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The beginnings


Traditions associated with the production of Koala hammocks date back to 1974. Central American craftsmen who worked at that time knew the process of production very well but lacked the knowledge of quality control. They did not know what size and weight were standard. It was also hard for them to get the raw material of good quality at reasonable prices. As they worked individually, it seemed almost impossible to carry out large orders. Their own financial resources were too scarce to buy materials. Besides, they did not have indispensable organisational skills which could enable them to create an association manufacturing hammocks. Moreover, they lacked the relevant information about their customers. They did not know who to target their products at and how to regulate the sales process.

In 1973 the originator and the great promoter of the idea of hammocks, Cecilia Castro went to the fair to Berlin to represent the Koala hammocks. It was during the fair that she saw the area in the European market which could be filled by her company that manufactured hand-made products. At first, Ms Castro's vision of cooperation with other countries seemed to be unrealistic. Her friends and family warned her that the attempt she was making to start the cooperation was a mistake which could cost her a lot in the future.

Cecilia did not give up despite the lack of support from the loved ones. To learn as much as possible about offers and sales of handicrafts from Central America, she visited many different cities and there she met local artisans. She grouped them so that through cooperation they could increase the number of manufactured products. At the same time, certain standards were defined in order to obtain a higher quality of products. Also new products were invented. A few months later, Castro again took part in the exhibition in Berlin and presented her collection there. Another challenge was to gain confidence of customers.

In 1982 Cecilia died at the age of only 54. Her hammocks, however, remained on the market due to perfect quality and customers' satisfaction. Before her death, Cecilia was able to propagate the idea of hammocks among many customers in Europe and the United States.

Since then, Cecilia's daughter has been managing the manufacture. Each employee takes part in training and craftsmen are provided with new tools for the job. In 1987 the company was also supported logistically and economically to finally be able to come back at international fairs. The so strengthened company has become more competent by improving the supply, quality of products and service.


The beginnings
Opening to the world
Social responsibility: nature, environment and craftsmen
The place of product origin
How we organise production
 

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