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Franchisee Spotlight: Kelly Knight of Safeguard
Kelly Knight has just celebrated one year as a member of Safeguard's franchise system with his business KayCee Promotions and Design, and he remains a loyal and participating member of his Winnipeg community.

Kelly Knight began working in promotional items and advertising in 1998. Since 2008, he branched off and started his own business, KayCee Promotions and Design, created to provide local businesses the resources to help promote their products and/or services. There, Kelly began working as Tim Horton's Timbits Sports official provider in the Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario areas in 2009 and has been ever since. He secures products for the Timbits program, like branded soccer balls, backpacks, hats, puzzles, that have become a fixture as part of Timbits Minor Sports Programs.

Recently, Kelly partnered with and signed on his business to work under the Safeguard umbrella where Kelly will have more access name-brand distributors like Under Armour and Eddie Bauer. Recently, Kelly celebrated a one-year anniversary as part of Safeguard's system of franchisees. Apart from his work with Tim Horton's, Kelly provides the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba the gift items featured on the annual Teddy Bears' Picnic.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Kelly is devoted to giving back to its local business men and women in the community he grew up in and is raising a family of his own in.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your background?

I was born and raised in Winnipeg have been living here for nearly my entire life. I started working in this industry in 1998, and started in promotional advertising, specifically. The company I was working for at the time went out of business and it forced me to find an alternative. From there, I decided to start my own business in 2008, KayCee Promotions and Design. We needed a business like Safeguard to validate our items with access to name-brand retailers. They have bigger and better buying power, more access to other product lines. If you don’t have the finances in this industry, you can’t go very far. Business men and women in Winnipeg are always looking for ways to grow their businesses.

One of the bigger organizations I’ve been working with over the years has been Tim Horton’s. I’ve been working with Tim Horton’s since 2006 within their TimBits Sports programs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario. It’s my job to provide the children playing hockey, soccer and baseball in TimBits programs with the Tim Horton’s branded promotional items to acknowledge their participation in the group.

Can you elaborate on this partnership? 

They have a budget for the items and then I’m allotted those funds to find unique and fun gift items to offer the kids. Because I know the local coordinator, we were the ones who collaborated to produce this project. They come to me and I source gift items to give to the TimBits Soccer organization, for example. TimBits Soccer is generally our biggest job every spring and summer. I source and distribute the roughly 20,000 items. We’ve given away anything from custom baseball caps to bags, soccer ball bags, and this past year we gave away custom puzzles.

Do you provide any interesting services or work in the community?

Winnipeg hosted the inaugural Canadian Hockey Expo last June. It’s was a huge show at the convention center in Winnipeg and hockey suppliers came from all over so it was an opportunity for me to set up a booth there, too, to show the Winnipeg hockey community what I could offer them. This is all thanks to my work with TimBits. We showed off some apparel but mostly water bottles, bags, skate mats, basically items that we can put kids’ names and numbers on.

In addition to my work with Timbits, I have also started to support Tim Horton’s Charity Golf Tournament in town where I’m a sponsor. The event is a part of Tim Horton’s Children Foundation, and every year for the last five or six years I’ve sponsored a hole on the course.

And lately, I’ve been doing some work with the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba where I provide some gift items for the Teddy Bears Picnic in an effort to help create awareness for child health and safety issues. 

Visit the International Franchise Association’s @OurFranchise website for more stories of passionate local franchise owners, employees and their communities.

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