The MAGIC-al ingredient: Persistence

KAD’s Linda Ampah chats with a U.S. buyer scouting several items for her boutique women’s shop in Florida at the 2017 Sourcing at MAGIC show. Photo credit: Joan Steiger, Trade Hub

For Linda Ampah of KAD Manufacturing, one year has made all the difference in reaching U.S. buyers. She has ramped up international orders in addition to following up with contacts made at last year’s Sourcing at MAGIC tradeshow.

Ms. Ampah first attended the world’s largest apparel show in February 2016 in Las Vegas, under the Africa Pavilion—a joint effort by USAID’s East, West, and Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hubs. Ms. Ampah met several serious buyers there and noted other contacts interested in future opportunities. She regularly checked in with all of them throughout the year to update them on her company, which received a steady flow of international orders following MAGIC: a purchase order from a luxury UK sleepwear brand, followed by a “Made in Africa” collection for Brooklyn Industries of the U.S., and orders for Jeanswest, an Australian apparel retailer.

Thanks to her diligent buyer follow-up, coupled with regular technical support from the Trade Hub and its partner Ethical Apparel Africa, Ms. Ampah noticed a marked difference during this year’s Sourcing at MAGIC tradeshow, where she received three test orders and made over 50 contacts. One visitor even placed an order for 2,000 wax print-screened print tote bags she made as giveaways!

“Overall, I think this has been a much better show than last year—we have more quality people coming through with more potential than before,” Ms. Ampah said. “I’ve reconnected with a number of [buyers] from last year, and some have actually gone ahead and placed test orders. And I think for some of them, seeing us here for the second and third time makes a difference—they see that you’re credible.”

Back in Ghana, Ms. Ampah will continue to follow-up with U.S. buyer contacts and launch work on a repeat order for Brooklyn Industries this spring.

“I expect 2017 to be another year of growth for KAD—both in terms of production capacity and the number of international orders—and that comes from following up with contacts made at MAGIC!” said Ms. Ampah.

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