Once a year, leading retailers and manufactures from the kite world gather at the annual KTAI (Kite Trade Association International) Trade Show.
Kitty Hawk Kites is one of the largest kite retailers in the entire United States, so naturally we make it a point to attend the show each year to learn about new products, mingle with other kite retailers from around the world, and most important of all, have fun. Plus, we certainly did not want to pass up the opportunity to visit Las Vegas in January!
Many of the kite manufactures we work with where at the Trade Show, including: Revolution, Brainstorm, Premier Kites, Prism Kites, Skydog Kites, Into The Wind and HQ Kites to name a few. We work with so many different manufactures, and it’s great to get some face-to-face time at least once a year to learn about all of their new and innovative products.
There are a few highlights from the show that we wanted to share:
– Our own Heather Doyle was elected to the 2016 KTAI Board of Directors. Heather is to thank for our terrific selection flags and spinners that you’ll see in-store and on our online store.
– Head kite buyer Rachel Sanchez wowed Trade Show attendees with her presentation on “store within a store” retail programs, which is something we’ve experimented with heavily over the past year.
– And lets not forget about Kitty Hawk Kites founder and president John Harris who hit the jackpot while in Las Vegas. John was honored by the KTAI with the 2016 David Checkley Lifetime Achievement Award!
Here’s some information on David Checkley:
Born in 1917, David Checkley was an amazing man who helped pave the way for all of us to have success doing something we love – working in the kite trade. In the 70’s, David was instrumental in the development of the US kite industry, opening and operating one of the first US kite manufacturing facilities located in Seattle, WA. David pioneered the concept of merchandising high quality fabric kites to adults, in fine retail stores like Abercombie & Fitch, Neiman Marcus & F.A.O. Schwarz. To satisfy his passion of getting new people involved in kiting, David also made paper kite kits. The FLY Me Paper Bag Kite Kit, one of David’s clever inventions, is still available today from 30 year KTAI member Great Winds Kite Company. In 1973 David began to lead kite tours to Japan. David’s kiting adventures throughout Asia opened the doors to International Kite Trade and began the introduction of American kite manufactures to Asian kite suppliers, where most kites are now produced. Mr. Checkley passed away in 1988, but his work lives on with all of us that make a business in kiting.
In addition to the awards mentioned above, we were ecstatic to be recognized by Brainstorm Kites who is celebrating their 10th year anniversary this year. They highlighted Kitty hawk Kites for our 42 year in the business, the oldest kite company at the KTAI Trade Show!