Kendama USA Headquarters Are In Atlanta?! What!
My son has been fascinated with kendamas for the last four years. If you’re unfamiliar with this Japanese toy, check out the Wikipedia entry on kendamas. In short, they are a test of your hand/eye coordination. As well as your sanity and inner determination.
Earlier this year, kendamas were banned at my son’s middle school. But that didn’t stop him from practicing non-stop at home, on the bus, on his way home from the bus, at tennis matches when he wasn’t on the court. Pretty much all. the. time. It used to be that I would hear the tennis ball being pounded against the side of the house or garage. Now I hear the clicking of the tama (the ball hanging on the string) in the wooden cups of the kendama. And the occasional thud as it hits the floor.
My boy really wanted to host a kendama tournament at field day at his school. He drew up an outline that covered how tickets would be sold, who would keep the entry fees safe, how the brackets would be organized, winners determined, where the money would be donated (St. Jude’s), and the prizes he was purchasing for the winners. He pitched it to one of the vice principals, who in turn took it to the school principal. She approved it, with one request. That the money be donated to Relay for Life in honor of one of their teachers who has been fighting cancer this year.
This was a major victory for my boy in seeing that he can create change.
He needed a new kendama for the tournament to match the same one his friends would be using and we were having no luck finding it online. He begged me to take him to Kendama USA. Their headquarters is twenty five minutes south of us. What?! They close at five on weekdays, so it would be tight getting there before closing because. Atlanta traffic. And my boy doesn’t get off the bus until 4:30pm.
But I called earlier in the day and they promised they would stay open late for us. And they did.
Who does that?! Kendama USA does that. They have fantastic customer service!
And by fantastic customer service, I mean they stayed an hour and forty five minutes past closing time talking to my boy. To show him around their property. To give tips on how to better master different tricks. To try out the kendamas and pills (another wooden toy designed for tossing and catching tricks similar to the kendama). To sign the special visitor wall in the back.
While I hear the angels singing when I walk through the doors of well-stocked camera shops, I’m pretty certain my boy heard the angels singing at Kendama USA. Jewbacca, the magnificent employee who shared so much time and enthusiasm with my boy, was THE best at giving his time, attention, and excitement over sharing a love for the kendama. I could not have asked for a better experience for my son. The smile that stayed on his face the rest of the week confirmed it was truly one of his best days ever.
Kendama USA also donated multiple posters, decals, and even a jumbo kendama for the tournament. They support kendama clubs at schools and promote local groups with kendama meet ups. They provide phenomenal customer service with high quality products that are. not. screens. and truly challenge the minds and coordination of our youth. Thank you Jewbacca, the wonderfully hairy Jew with a love for Stars Wars, who made my son’s month just by sharing your enthusiasm for kendamas.
If you’re in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend visiting Kendama USA. Their employees and products are THE best. They’ll likely give you a full tour and share many wonderful tips on kendama handling and mastery that leave your mind reeling. Their office building is less than five minutes off of I-75 and Delk Road in Marietta. They didn’t pay me to write any of this and don’t know me, other than the mom of a fourteen year old who visited a week ago. I’m just that thrilled with their products, service, and encouragement of non-screen related activities.
Enjoy a few photographs I made during our visit to their headquarters.
Thank you again, Kendama USA. I know we will be visiting more over the upcoming summer months!