A Day in the life of a KGC BUYER
7:00AM – Every morning we would wake up by the sounds of roosters. Rooster are everywhere in Bali but to get us in the mood for the day we would listens to 80’s rock. This really set the ton for the day.
7:30AM- After getting ready we head downstairs to eat a quick breakfast. Breakfast consisted of fresh watermelon juice, strong coffee and fruit salad with fresh melon, yogurt, chopped basil and granola.
8:30AM -Gus our driver would pick us up from our hotel and we would head out to conquer the day. The streets of Bali are always packed with cars, motorcycles and people, so even getting to a nearby location takes time.
10:00AM - We reached our first destination which was a huge warehouse filled with dream catchers. The overwhelming display of dream catchers made us stop in our tracks. Where do you even begin? While we walked through the endless rows of products we could select any size and color you could imagine. What was most impressive was watching them being made right in front of us. Balinese men and women sat on the floor and weaved these impressive structures. Once we selected all 500 dream catchers, we were given our purchase orders for our records. The funniest part about each shop was that we would have to sit there and calculate each purchase from Indo currency to USD.
11:00AM- Right next store there was a metal store with home décor items. This store was not as big as the last but we made some great selections from sea turtles to wall hooks. We were in and out quickly and onto our next stop.
11:45AM After crossing a treacherous pathway and extremely busy road we arrived at one of the many furniture warehouses that we visited. All of the items were made right there in the warehouse. This was a common occurrence when visiting these stores. It smelled of lacquer and saw dust; needless to say we needed many hand-wipes after we left. This store was unique because all the items were made with recycled wood. They repainted and sealed all the wood that they use to create new furniture. We liked a lot of this stuff because a lot of it can be used outside. While many items sold at the bx or other outlets rust and mold these items will withstand Okinawa weather. The best part about this store was that the owner was from Japan. Speaking what little Japanese we know we felt beyond cultured doing this in Bali. After 2.5 hours we finalized our order and moved on.
3:00PM Grabbing some protein bars in the car we headed to our next location. LANTERNS ON LANTERNS ON LANTERNS. We had found LANTERN MECCA!!! We could have stayed there all day but with the day quickly slipping away from us we knew what we wanted and made executive decisions.
4:00PM Heading across town we ended our day at an art gallery where we sat with the artist and gave her our inspirations for her to create our masterpieces. Of course cherry blossoms were our first request, which she had done for us in the past, so we quickly moved onto some abstract paintings that are new items that we are adding to this years’ shipment. We talked about using different art mediums for each type of paintings. Fingers crossed that they turn out spectacular.
6:00PM Finally, reaching the hotel and completely exhausted from the day we immediately headed for the showers to rinse off the days stench and dirt. Quickly changing we headed out to dinner.
7:00PM On our way to dinner we walked past the monkey forest and watched a man get attacked by one over a can of Pringles. We walked even faster to get to this vegetarian restaurant that we had heard of and avoided all eye contact with any monkeys. Once we sat down we ordered these amazing fried noodles and basil rice. Everything in Bali was delicious and as we guzzled down water like it was going out of style, and with the last bit of energy we had left, we pulled out our camera and laptop and started transferring our paper purchase orders into our excel spreadsheet.
9:30PM Most nights ended with the windows open so we could hear the sounds of the wind travelling over the rice fields. Bali was magical, exhausting and inspiring.
With our Bali shipment arriving in May we hope you appreciate all the hard work that went into purchasing items that will be timeless pieces to add to your home.
THE KGC GIRLS
How KGC Gives Back
Ever wonder where the money goes that you spend at the Kadena Gift Corner? Well, let me educate you on why shopping at the Kadena Gift Corner is beneficial to the community. 😊
The Kadena Gift Corner is not only a non-profit association but is run by the Kadena Officers Spouse’s Club which consists of volunteers. A larger percent of the store’s profit is dispersed between the KOSC Scholarship Fund and The American Women’s Welfare Association. The KOSC Scholarship Fund is not only for all military children applying for higher education but also military spouses. The application process happens once a year and is open to all ranks. As far as AWWA goes, members from all the gift corners gather once a month to discuss applications submitted to AWWA. The applications are mainly from the local Okinawa community. AWWA was created to support the Japanese welfare and to impact the community in a positive way.
But why stop there?! The Kadena Gift Corner is always looking for ways to help out individuals or other organizations. Most recently we hosted a donation drive for Okinawa Stray Pet Rescue and Help Oki. During Christmas, we dedicated a wreath to the Okinawa Stray Pet Rescue so individuals could donate funds toward their organization. In February, we started collecting bags of clothing for Help Oki. For every bag that individuals donated we would give them a punch on their KGC rewards card. We were able to donate over 50 bags to HELP Oki. Since it was such a success we have decided to host a clothing drive for them every other month.
The Kadena Gift Corner is always looking for ways to help out the local community. Please let us know if there is an organization that we can assist and we will be happy to work with them. Remember your patronage to the store helps fund many import organizations.
You shop & we give.
The Girls of KGC
We have all been there - moving from the comforts of “home” to a new place where we must start all over, unsure what it will be like, who we’ll meet, or where we’ll even live. As military families, this is just part of life – sometimes the transition is smooth, and sometimes…well, sometimes not so much. Thankfully, there is the Kadena Gift Corner. In an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people we are here to welcome you to the beautiful island of Okinawa!
The Gift Corner first opened its doors in 1954 on Kadena Air Base with the goal of providing SOFA personnel and dependents with much needed furniture and décor, assisting in the monumental task of turning sterile base houses into homes. The Kadena Officer’s Spouses’ Club took the store’s profits and put them right back into the community – funding local charities, sponsoring school trips, and providing college scholarships. Over the past 62 years we’ve donated well over 1 million dollars to the local community and have shopped in over 8 countries.
Our store merchandise is sourced from all over the globe: Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, China, and Germany are just some of the locations we’ve explored. It’s our goal to bring these exotic locales to you at affordable prices and with a friendly smile.
So please – come on over and pay us a visit! Remember - the more you shop, the more we give.
Follow along with us as we take you from one country to the next! We’ll be posting updates as we shop India next month and would love to have you along for the journey.
Arigatō and see you soon! XO
~The Girls of the KGC