Founder’s End of Year Letter

Looking for the audio version? Listen here:

I don’t think I have ever been more relieved to see a year end and welcome a new one with so much excitement. This past year was filled with negative news, especially in the United States, where the pandemic shared the headlines with an audacious and at times vulgar President. A President without empathy, who worked diligently to make himself the major story each and every day. This was a drain on society and hope; which combined with the worries of COVID-19, made the year at times especially painful.

Now that the President has been replaced by an individual who has served in public office since 1973, for many of us hope has returned on the political front that humanity will again be part of our conversation.

The vaccines that are becoming available I’m told are excellent and reliable and this allows one to imagine that by the end of next summer a large part of the world will have immunity against the current virus. So goodbye 2020 and hello 2021, where some semblance of normalcy is approaching..

Odeon is an iconic 40-year-old restaurant in downtown Manhattan that shut its doors during the pandemic

At the Kingpins Show, we see ourselves the way successful restaurants view themselves. Before the pandemic, we served our clients and our clients appreciated what we provided. With the pandemic and the lack of ability for our customers to use our services, we had to shut down our physical show which stressed our financial wherewithal to the brink. We constantly asked ourselves “is a good restaurant a great product after the pandemic?” And this question motivated and inspired us to survive because we think so and we look forward to being back in action in China in September, Amsterdam in October and in NYC in the late fall of 2021.

What still remains to be seen over the next eight months is how restaurants or hotels or tradeshows will survive.

At Kingpins, we will do more online shows starting with an event in February to serve the U.S. market and another one in April for Amsterdam and Europe. Our online shows should not end once physical shows return. We love the idea of digital information and the challenge to find new and inspiring individuals to share their stories or their products or inventions.

We will also work diligently at improving and widening our Kingpins Exchange platform. We are pleased it will be available in Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese in the new year and there will be many enhancements that will make online fabric viewing a more functional tool for sourcing.

Lastly, I wanted to thank Erin Barajas who worked with our company for such a long time. I am extremely sorry that Kingpins was not able to support an internal Media department during this pandemic. From the day I met Erin, I felt a wonderful kinship and compatibility and her contribution to Kingpins was deep, seriously appreciated, and in some ways everlasting. I’ve never written anything publicly without her these last 10 years or so.

Strife makes people do things they could never imagine having to do. Hope gives us all a chance to reboot, restart and turn the page.

Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates and Happy Holidays to all. We hope your 2021 is as good as we expect it to be. See you in the fall and the drinks will be on us!

Best wishes

Andrew Olah

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