The Fuss Pot Blog
A note from Ken Ormston, creator of the revolutionary Fuss Pot container garden concept, and now the Fuss Pot community fundraising initiative...
Hello and welcome!
I have created this blog page for two reasons:
1. To announce the pending creation (nationwide) of a unique community based fund raising initiative, which I am hopeful I can achieve over the next twelve months.
2. The blog page will eventually be able to provide regular updates as locations are secured, and how progress is being consolidated. In the near future, a question and answer page will be added to provide better information.
The program is to be branded The Fuss Pot Community Fund Raising Program. Its design will first and foremost be directed to the involvement and fund raising imperatives of the NDIS, but scaled down to focus on individual participants.
However and quite deliberately, it should be noted that it can and will (because of the simplicity and scope of the format) be made available to any existing bona fide community organisation and service clubs who are already recognised for their need or their regular habit of instigating community fund raising activities to support their cause.
In this regard parties who are deemed likely to fit this criteria will be canvased via direct email and invited to comment, provide feedback and if so inclined, provide an endorsement and engage in the concept and its goals. It is my intention to record all this activity in future blogs.
My objective: To find a way to successfully install this fund raising program nationally
For some three years now I have been regularly engaged at a monthly community market. Recently it occurred to me that with some modifications this market activity could translate into a business opportunity for people with a physical disability. As a result of this, a number of parties involved with national disability - having had the opportunity to consider my theory’s potential for its national application - have encouraged me to initiate such a program. I have now embraced the task and am intent on finding a way to achieve this.
In pursuing my Fuss Pot concept over the past three years at Hall, my exposure and involvement with all the staff, the carers, the volunteers and the disability fraternity has made an indelible impression. I recognise and appreciate the unique environment that these people present every month at the Hall markets – a mix of the very best in human nature blended with the very best in a determined human endeavour because where there is a will there is a way.
Here is the background:
In early 2009 while spending time in a small home workshop, a chain of insignificant incidents stimulated my curiosity and interest. Then – bingo – just the germ of an idea. Much research and many prototypes ensued. By September of 2013 I felt my current designs and the concept that was emerging was ready for market research and public scrutiny, because I felt it was the birth of a cottage industry which had national potential.
For this, no better place than the Hartley Hall Markets, one of Australia’s largest hand made, home grown goods markets, owned and operated by Hartley Lifecare Inc. It raises funds for respite accommodation and community services for people with complex disabilities and has been running for the past 28 years.
In September 2013 I secured a market stall and began to present a range of my products which I had now branded as The Fuss Pot (a registered trade mark). They are a 21st century range of up-dated pot stand designs that embrace and cater for 21st century residential trends. Over the 36 months since then, I have maintained this stall at the Hall markets and as a result I have become convinced of two things. First, my Fuss Pot concept on two occasions in 2014 received critical acclaim and high endorsements at two national design forums. I believe this was confirming evidence of a burgeoning and expanding niche market with huge potential. The second one was the continuous enthusiastic consumer interest and sales with complementary and encouraging remarks expressed by market patrons.
I am confident my Fuss Pot container garden concept can be installed nationally and be developed over time into a self supporting, ongoing community based cottage industry for the benefit of those with physical disability, their families and carers. This can be enhanced and consolidated with an appropriate affiliation with those national not-for-profit organisations with an existing community-based club structure. Corporate sponsorship particularly from the horticultural industry and other local enterprises can also be cultivated.
I believe that the most efficient and effective strategy to achieve this objective lies in the cultivation of a national network of established, well patronised community markets like Hall. They provide a low cost retailing platform and can also offer participation and scope for imaginative marketing pursuits. Finally a well worn but always successful community market tradition - first class customer service in a person-to-person engagement that inevitably leads to personal referrals.
Preliminary Project Specification:
Part 1: The component design and manufacturing system
Part 2: The quality control regime – component quality assessment – finishing, painting and preliminary assembly check
Part 3: The marketing, promotion and regular sales activities. These will be arranged to be carried out substantially in a team environment using the purpose built ‘marketing friendly’ trailer.
The three separate functions identified are to be coordinated to bring about the intended outcome. The complete project specification which will be made available on request will describe all aspects of each function. It is designed to engender the meaningful and rewarding work aspirations across all levels of physical disability.
In addition it provides a degree of input by relatives, carers and volunteers when appropriate.
The Regular Creation of Marketing and Sales Programs
Initiate promotional and advertising campaigns focusing on reoccurring community events, utilising local publishing, radio and coordinated editorial comment and support.
For display purposes organise the placement of appropriately identified ‘dressed’ modules within new residential developments. I.e.: apartment living, display homes and new retirement villages, and engage charities and sporting clubs in fund raising initiatives. To this end, design and build “special edition” modules, designed to support the promotion and the theme.
Advertising, editorial support and comment will always emphasise the level of involvement of people with disability within the manufacturing and marketing activities, each campaign designed to accentuate the positives i.e. involvement, inclusion and the recognition of an abiding determination to contribute. All marketing and promotional activity will have as its prime objective, continuous public exposure.
Purpose built promotional vehicles in the form of attention grabbing trailers – how often have you spied a red Coca Cola trailer at public/community events - provides flexibility, convenience and are able to adapt its extensive range of clip-on signage and presentation to match the occasion. When travelling, the trailer will always boldly identify its destination and the venue, in effect, assisting the promotion and announcing the location for the coming event. This practice will endear the Fuss Pot concept to the organisers and as such will ensure that the latest ‘Fuss Pot’ product and marketing activity is publicised and promoted and becomes a public interest topic.
At community functions as this Fuss Pot marketing strategy grows, its versatile signage package will provide a number of sales promotion options. With this higher public profile it may become appropriate to always announce the vehicle’s presence with a tag line, boldly presented such as the ‘Fuss Pots’ are delighted to be fussing about doing something positive and inclusive for disability.
These Fuss Pot promotional vehicles (trailers) will provide regular public exposure when attending reoccurring community fund raising events at regional markets, Floriade, The Canberra Show and the annual Home and Leisure Show. Specific staged activities can embrace the emerging school garden concept – reference Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden foundation – and provide opportunities for the senior sector by staging information days at retirement villages and nursing homes. On these occasions one option could be for the trailer to be presented as a stage to provide an onsite product assembly demonstration.
This marketing vehicle can quickly be rebadged to accommodate broader community advertising initiatives, i.e.: horticultural exhibits (sponsorship?) and other interlocking local business interests but always seeking maximum exposure and sales. As with all marketing activities, local print and radio coverage will be sought and programmed. For example weekend radio would be briefed and encouraged to announce what the ‘Fuss Pots’ are up to this weekend. The aim of this strategy is to continue to build a strong brand with community attachment and an awareness of the activities, aim and aspirations of the disability fraternity and reinforce the public image of the Fuss Pots, who they are and what they are striving to achieve.
The shopping malls scattered throughout the region that have community notice boards provide for cost effective advertising of the Fuss Pot container garden product range, as well as community information regarding up-coming Fuss Pot activities.