Getting Sponsored by your Local Toy Store... A Personal Testimony by Homegrown Team Pro, Luke Ford.
Hey guys, Luke Ford from the Homegrown Team here... I just wanted to share some insight, incase anyone was wondering how they could get a store to sponsor you!
Based on my own experience, I'll tell you guys my story. The 2015 Kendama World Champion Wyatt Bray and super slayer Chris June were hosting a grand opening jam for the opening of a Learning Express Toys in Renton, Washington. I attended this event to kick it with everyone and have a good time. After a long day of dama, Cody Perino the owner of the store, was very interested in kendama. He saw it bringing all of us together. He wanted to continue doing these jams weekly so that he could keep the hype and attract attention to the store. I was local at the time so Cody offered me a job to host the kendama jams in front of the store every Sunday. The jams got pretty popular and we had some awesome turn outs! This continued for about 2 months until I graduated high school in June and moved to the other side of the mountains. Before I moved away, the owner wanted to make sure he had good product to sell in the store. So I set him with our very own Max Norcross and we got an order of damas out to him.
How can you make this happen without any jam sessions being hosted at any places near you? You don’t have to wait for a jam to happen at a random store... You can show up to a local shop with your kendama in hand, ask to speak with a manager and show them what you do, how it effects our lives so positively, and how it would benefit their store to carry kendamas. Offer to come in weekly to try and gain hype for the kendamas and their shop. If it doesn’t work out at the first store then try again somewhere else. I got lucky because the owner of this store saw how passionate we all are about this toy and started playing a bit himself. Just be yourself and show how much you REALLY love kendama. Cody is very passionate himself about a lot of different things. He is very interested in many skill toys, magic tricks, card games, all that kind of stuff. So when he saw kendama he HAD to have them in his store.
What are the Benefits from being sponsored by a toy store? For starters, you could possibly make some money (or whatever you come to terms with the store owner for running the jams) by doing what you love. You get see all of your friends, meet new friends and get everyone together every week to have fun. You progress as a player and learn leadership skills while on the job as well as connecting with others and introducing something fresh and awesome to the new newcomers being brought into the kendama community.
Most importantly have fun and SPREAD KENDAMA LOVE!!!