Corporate Blogs tend to remain just that, corporate. It is about companies pushing products to their followers, which is really just another way of advertising. Since I started this blog in the summer of 2009, I wasn’t entirely sure which direction to go in. Should I update our customers on upcoming products, have contest giveaways, highlight community involvement or get personal (meet the people of Stork Craft)? I started out just talking about our products and noticed very few people reading this blog. After a few months of blogging and having only 4 followers (one of them was my Mom, thanks Mom!) I decided to change it up. Gone were the flavorless, corporate posts that could have been read on our website or any advertisement, and in were the more colorful, interactive posts about winning prizes and meeting the employees.
I’m very fortunate to have the freedom to post about whatever is on my mind. I am not pigeon-holed into pushing company strategies and agendas on this blog. What I am encouraged to do is showcase my creativity and writing skills and encourage healthy conversation and dialogue. I hope that over the last number of months you have enjoyed reading all sorts of different articles. I try to freshen and mix things up every once in a while.
So I figured this would be a good time to get to know me, Adam Segal, the creator of this blog. My position at Stork Craft is officially titled ‘Manager, E-Marketing & Social Media’. What this means is I oversee and manage all of the social media outlets that Stork Craft is tied to (Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin). I need to drive traffic to these pages but I also thoroughly enjoy interacting with our customers (and potential customers). Who would’ve thought that a 25 year old male would be interacting with Moms on Twitter throughout the day? Not I.
A little bit about me: I am one of four children in my family, and all of us grew up in Vancouver, Canada. I did my Honors Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Ontario in Sociology. I graduated on-time and had no idea what to do, applied for an internship to work on Parliament Hill for the Canadian Government and was accepted. I was the only representative of British Columbia and one of eight chosen in Canada. After a year of working as a fresh-faced 21 year old for the Deputy House Leader to the Prime Minister, I decided that Ottawa was far too cold for my West-Coast blood so I came back home to Vancouver.
Upon my return I got my Tennis Canada Certification and taught children for the summer. Running my own tennis lessons was fun, but this wasn’t a realistic full-year job for me. I then joined the Stork Craft team as Assistant Logistics and Warehouse Coordinator, and worked in that position for a year until I decided to go back to school. I attended the University of British Columbia and received my Masters of Management Degree. I wanted to become more business savvy and this program helped me infinitely. Upon graduation a new position opened up at Stork Craft, and I fully understood the need for Stork Craft to become more of an online presence. I told the Executives that we needed to become well-known online and responsive to customers concerns. We needed to interact with our customers and listen to them. This is where I fit into the equation, and I have been working in this position since May 2009. I love it!
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post a comment here!
Stork Craft’s thoughts and prayers are with victims and families of the earthquake in Haiti. Last Thursday, certain Stork Craft employees dressed in red to show their support for the relief of this terrible disaster. Talia Beckett, Marketing Manager of Stork Craft, attended a charity event for Haiti that was organized by Rose Charities. There is so much need for help in Haiti and Stork Craft is trying to contribute to the relief effort. We will be organizing more in-office donations and encourage people to give to this most worthy cause.
Here is an article about how your company can help with Haiti:
How Companies Can Truly Help in Haiti
Philanthropy expert Timothy Ogden says the best advice for corporate givers is: “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Allow him to explain
By Timothy Ogden
The news and images from Haiti are heartbreaking. Many individuals and companies are reaching for their wallets; others are wondering what they can do to help. But the best advice for corporate givers trying to figure out how best to respond is the old adage: “Don’t just do something, stand there.” To understand why, take a look back at the responses to other recent disasters. There is a discernable pattern, and not a good one:
1. Donations spike in the immediate aftermath.
2. A huge portion of the funds donated are spent on setting up disaster-relief operations that are no longer the primary need.
3. A flood of cash and materials cause a logistics nightmare leading to waste and ineffectiveness, if not corruption.
4. Six months later, reconstruction stalls because the world’s attention has moved elsewhere.
5. And, finally, a series of reports bemoan the fact that too many funds are devoted to disaster relief and not enough to disaster preparedness and reconstruction.
Companies are in the perfect position to break this cycle: They have the ability (and the obligation) to be thoughtful and strategic about how they handle their charitable giving. Here are a few ways businesses can help—and some principles everyone can apply to post-disaster giving:
Don’t earmark your donations for Haiti. Funds for disaster relief are absolutely necessary in the short term—but immediate relief efforts are just one part of a long recovery process. By the time money earmarked for disaster relief arrives in charities’ bank accounts for a particular disaster, recovery workers have already moved on to the much harder, much more expensive rebuilding phase. Rather than earmark a gift for Haitian disaster relief, direct your donations toward replenishing the cash and materials that disaster-relief agencies will expend in the next few weeks in Haiti, so they will be ready to respond immediately to the next disaster.
Go with experience. If you feel that you must give to disaster relief in Haiti, make sure you are giving to an organization that has extensive experience in Haiti and people already on the ground. They will be much more effective because of their existing knowledge of communities, cultural norms, and power dynamics.
Give money. Gifts-in-kind may seem like an appealing and useful way to contribute but they tend to cause huge logistical problems that dramatically undermine their value. Money gives those responding to the disaster the ability to act flexibly, according to the needs at hand. If you do have materials you are convinced will be useful (construction supplies, computers, and so on) ask the charity your working with whether it can effectively use what you can give. (And be prepared to hear that they’d rather have the cash.)
Look ahead. Long after their immediate health and safety needs are taken care of and the media spotlight has moved on, Haitians will still benefit from your organization’s help in rebuilding their lives and livelihoods. One way to do this—and engage employees and customers—is to match the dollars they contribute for immediate relief with a corporate gift for reconstruction, to be given in six or eight months. By that time it will be clear which areas of the rebuilding effort are underfunded. You’ll also have time to thoroughly vet agencies, projects, and so forth, to ensure that your donations will do the most good.
Since I haven’t blogged about Canwood for a little while, I figured it was a good time to answer some of the questions that have been posted on this blog. The interest in Canwood is off the charts. We have some very exciting Canwood products on the market right now, both in the USA and Canada. If I haven’t answered your question in this post, feel free to reply to this post with a question of your own.
Where in BC can you buy the Canwood products currently and are there any retailers that are selling it online currently in BC?
TJS – Kits, surrey, south van, Kelowna and Victoria
Mckenzies – Prince Rupert
Totem – Terrace
Northern Hardware – Prince George
Is Canwood only available at Walmart online?
Yes it is. You can purchase Canwood online right now at www.walmart.com
I am looking for the base camp loft bed with the accessories (desk, hutch and bookcase) that go underneath….is this available now in Canada?
Yes it is, in BC and Alberta at the following stores:
BC: TJS – Kits, Surrey, South Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria
Mckenzies – Prince Rupert
Totem – Terrace
Northern Hardware – Prince George
Alberta: Kacz Kids – Calgary
How much weight can the loft bed, or upper part of the bunk bed support?
The maximum recommended weight on the upper bed of a bunk or a loft bed is 165 lbs.
When will Canwood be available throughout Canada?
It will be available nationwide by late spring time.
Stork Craft’s annual ‘Holiday Lunch’ took place this year at The Keg Steakhouse and Bar. Employees from the warehouse and office gathered together for some great food and drinks and an overall fun time! There were some great prizes raffled off, such as sunglasses, dvd players, toolsets and many more. Thanks to Jim and Ashley the day ran smoothly and nobody went home empty handed.
Above are some pictures, including an office shot and some random photos from the lunch. Enjoy!
Warning: My red and yellow socks and Kevin’s green socks may blind you
On behalf of all Stork Craft Employees, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year and best wishes for 2010. You can expect big things from our company in the coming year, with new products being rolled-out from all of our brands: Stork Craft, Status Furniture, Ragazzi Fine Furniture and Canwood Furniture.
Stay tuned to this blog for the latest product news and contest giveaways from Stork Craft.
Happy 2010 everybody!
Manager, E-Marketing & Social Media
Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.
On behalf of Stork Craft and its employees, we would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year. Have a joyous and memorable Christmas and we will be back to work starting Tuesday, December 29th.
Stork Craft has been making some positive strides in light of the high demand for drop-side crib conversion kits. The initial surge of of inquiries and requests have been taken care of, and everybody should be able to access our online repair kit form at www.storkcraft.com
We have already processed and shipped out thousands of drop-side repair kits and have received confirmation that some customers have already received their parts. Again, the fastest way to request your repair kit is through our website as our phone lines are still being tied up with calls.
We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. Parts are being shipped out in priority sequence. Please understand that we are processing tens of thousands of orders and are shipping them out as quickly as we can.
Here are some positive responses we have received from our valued Stork Craft customers:
My name is Jennifer and I have a 9 month old son who sleeps in a Fisher Price, Storkcraft drop side crib. He loves his crib and sleeps really well in it. We are first time parents so may have a tendancy to be cautious, one might say overly cautious with our son.
When I saw the crib recall I panicked and thought we would have to buy a new crib. Money is tight as I am on maternity leave and we just bought a new house, a crib was definitely not in the budget. Much to my deligh I found the blog that Adam S. from Strokcraft was responding to and was happy to see so many positive reviews of your cribs even with the recall. I was able to blog my concerns and questions and Adam responded as quick as he could. We received our repair kit less then 2 weeks after we emailed our information to Storkcraft.
I have been very pleased with Storkcraft through what could have been a very stressful time. Thanks so much for taking responsibility and thanks for responding so quickly!!
Keep up the good work
-I had a recalled crib, which I sold when my daughter out grew it (at the same price that I paid for it)
It was my dream crib, solid as a rock right up until the day it left. Beautiful and I would buy it again, and again and again.
Im sorry that there is so much negative gossip about these cribs. Mine was put together correctly and I NEVER had any concerns, even after the brackets were recalled, I checked mine, they were fine, I ordered the new brackets, and that was that. I am so sorry to see these wonderful cribs coming off the market. I searched for a long time to find a retailer in Edmonton who carried it, and it is a shame other families are losing out on this amazing product.
I stand behind my storkcraft crib
-I also received my kit today. Thanks so much for the quick response from Storkcraft!!
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. November 23, 2009 – To alleviate confusion that is in the media regarding the recently announced recall of certain drop-side cribs, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), the not for profit trade association that promotes infant safety and the development of recognized ASTM International product safety standards, reassures the public regarding the safety of properly used, drop side cribs.
All new cribs on the market today must meet minimum government requirements. In addition, there are consensus performance standards, which are established by ASTM with involvement of the government and recognized experts, to which JPMA certifies cribs and other durable infant products. JPMA also reminds parents and care givers, that when you assemble a crib to the manufacturer’s instructions and use it properly, a crib provides the safest sleeping environment for baby.
Recent media reports notwithstanding, cribs are intended to last for years (or multiple births) when properly cared for. Crib instructions which are attached to cribs include information on assembly, maintenance, cleaning, storage and use.
“JPMA believes that instead of alarming parents, we should work together to educate them about the importance of the proper use, assembly and reassembly of cribs and how to provide the safest sleep environment for a child,” said Mike Dwyer, JPMA Executive Director. “The safest place for a child is in a fully functional, properly assembled crib. Parents are urged to closely inspect the hardware and stability of their cribs to ensure all parts are in place and secure when assembling and re-assembling cribs.”
The Consumer Products Safety Committee has NEVER said that a properly assembled crib with fully functional hardware should not be used. Each year hundreds of deaths occur when children are placed in a sleep environment that is not specifically designed for children. Parents should continue using properly assembled cribs in good condition as it provides the safest sleep environment for children.
JPMA suggests the following safety tips to sustain the proper lifespan of your crib:
Parents should not use any crib with missing, broken or loose hardware parts. Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, and none should be loose or missing. Also NEVER use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16 inches high for a canopy).
NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep. NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
When using a drop side crib parents and care givers should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving parts operate properly. Parents should be sure that hardware is installed properly. When assembling and disassembling drop side cribs, parents should always confirm that the parts are reassembled following the manufacturers guidelines as listed in the instructions.
Always check all sides and corners of the crib to assure proper assembly with no openings that may entrap a child. The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
Do not try to repair any side of the crib without manufacturer approved hardware.
Putting a broken side up against the wall does not solve the problem and can often make it worse.
JPMA is pleased to note that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recognizes the importance of urging parents and caregivers to closely inspect the hardware and stability of their cribs to ensure all parts are in place and secure when assembling and re-assembling cribs.
Recent recalls of juvenile products highlights the importance of proper assembly and use of cribs. Many older cribs do not meet all current safety standards. Even if you are on a tight budget, you should not purchase an old crib at a garage sale or accept a hand-me-down crib that may not meet current Federal and ASTM standards.
For additional tips on how to keep baby safe, including a list of JPMA Certified cribs, please visit www.jpma.org .
“We are all committed to making sure that baby’s sleep environment is as safe as possible,” said Amy Chezem, JPMA Communications Director and mother of two. “We have consistently promoted safe sleeping practices and the importance of ensuring proper assembly and use of products that have long provided the safest place to sleep for babies.”
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is a national trade organization of more than 250 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. JPMA exists to advance the interests, growth, and well-being of North American prenatal to preschool product manufacturers, importers, and distributors marketing under their own brands to consumers. It does so through advocacy, public relations, information sharing, product performance certification, and business development assistance conducted with appreciation for the needs of parents, children, and retailers.
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
15000 Commerce Parkway, Suite C
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Follow us on Twitter @JPMA.
Here are a few key points I’d like to highlight and update about the current situation:
-This was a voluntary recall of Stork Craft drop-side cribs with plastic hardware in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada
-This recall includes all Stork Craft cribs with plastic hardware made between January 1993 and October 2009. This recall includes all Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo with plastic hardware made between October 1997 and December 2004.
-Repair kits are being sent-out to customers in priority sequence. You can order your repair kit on Stork Craft’s website, by e-mail (email@example.com) or by telephone (Toll Free – 1-877-274-0277).
-These repair kits have been tested and approved by Stork Craft, the CPSC and Health Canada
-The website, which was initially slowed by the overload of traffic on Tuesday, is working much better now and is the best way to order your replacement kit
We thank you for your patience and are working hard to process your replacement kit orders as quickly as we can.
A Message from Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.
Thank You to Our Loyal and Dedicated Customers!
Dear Stork Craft Customers:
During this voluntary recall, we are very thankful to have committed caring customers! We value your support and appreciate the confidence you have shown in our company. We are pleased that you have chosen Stork Craft quality products for your family. We understand that you have many options when purchasing a crib. For this reason, we are grateful for the trust and confidence you have placed in our products.
We would like to recognize some of our loyal and dedicated customers for their positive comments on Stork Craft’s blog:
“We love our storkcraft crib and have had no problems with it! 4 moves, 3 kids and the crib is still in great working shape. We are glad to be getting the repair kit to continue its use. firstname.lastname@example.org worked perfectly fine for us. Thanks for the hard work to correct the issue.”
“I have always purchased Storkcraft cribs; my first one I bought was in 1982. Never have I experienced any problems with any of my cribs. I heard about the same recall issue a few years ago, but it was another crib company, not Storkcraft. Should we not be concerned about all drop-side cribs from all companies? Too bad you have had to endure the bad rap on behalf of all crib companies. Good luck Storkcraft!!”
“I just wanted you to know we have used your dropside crib for both of our daughters and we couldn’t be happier with your product. It sounds as though the unfortunate incidents were precipitated by people using your product incorrectly.
What a shame. Our drop side crib has been a Godsend. It made it so much easier to put our daughters to bed.
I hope this works itself out and you can continue to make fine furniture for babies every where.”
“Just wanted to stop by and say I LOVE my crib, and …I don’t feel this is an issue. You guys make exceptional products, and it is a shame that your good name has been sullied by this. I feel that if the instructions (which are very clear and concise) are followed carefully, there is minimal risk. Keep up the good work, and I hope that you will rethink the decision to stop production on drop-side cribs, as they are a real help to those of us with back problems or in wheelchairs.”
“What people do not seem to understand is that every company has had a recall. Just because they happened on drop-side cribs does not mean that they happened (only) on Stork Craft cribs! The media is reporting false information. STORK CRAFT IS THE BEST MOST TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY. I love Stork Craft and will continue to use it and recommend it to everyone!”
“I have nothing but positive things to say about Storkcraft. As far as I am concerned, their products are exceptional. I am a mother of twin boys, and own 2 drop-side Storkcraft cribs. My boys (13 months old) are quite active and rambunctious in their cribs. We have had no issues whatsoever. I have requested the kit, and will be putting it on both cribs as a precautionary measure. I am not at all concerned, and will continue to support Storkcraft.”
The Stork Craft team