Official Stork Craft Blog

Loving Sleigh Cribs!

Sleigh cribs have always been a great classic style.  With the amazing response that Stork Craft has been receiving for the Tuscany and Verona convertible cribs, we are  excited to be launching the new Stork Craft Modena 4-in-1 crib.  It will be sold online at your favorite retailers very soon! 

 

The Modena crib and Aspen 5 Drawer in cherry finish, perfect for any little boy or girl’s room.

Modena 4 in 1 Crib with Aspen 5 Drawer Dresser in Cherry finish

The Modena crib and Aspen Combo Dresser in white finish.

Modena 4 in 1 Crib with Aspen Combo in White

 

Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

Dawn

Dad of the Week: Pete

Dad of the Week: Pete

 By Dawn

 

Up to now, Stork Craft has featured a Mom of the Week for the past few weeks (Which we love!), but we figured, why not change things up a bit and feature a dad?  Better yet, let’s feature a dad who has recently become a grand dad, and who is also in the juvenile products industry!  Meet Pete: Business man, husband, father to two grown up sons, and brand new grandfather to a four month old granddaughter.  

Ever the smooth talker, Pete is the sales man that could probably get into a conversation with just about anyone on anything (I think out of everyone that I talk to over the phone, on average Pete ranks the highest when it comes to calls per day!  Haha!).  But even as a natural conversationalist, Pete advises that every caregiver needs to keep in mind that “…you have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth…use them proportionally”.  In the same way, even when the Blackberry is ringing off the hook and buzzing with email notifications, this dad knows that it takes conscious effort to put family before work.  

For the majority of our readers who are parents of young children, the days can seem long and the nights even longer.  This is especially true with a new born that requires changing and feeding every few hours, or a fussy toddler who is teething and learning to sleep on his/her own.  Despite the spent energy and hectic schedules though, cherish every moment because babies do grow very quickly into young adults!  As Pete, and probably every parent that has waved their children off to college and beyond observes, time is the one thing that you can never get back to spend with your kids: “Now that they are grown, “the shoe is really on the other foot”, as I try to get more time with them than they have to give to me.”

 

 

The 411:

 -First name:   Pete

-Children (or Grand-child’s) age:  Step-son 27, Son 21, Granddaughter 4 months

-Location:   Greensboro, NC

-Occupation:   Sales

 

The Questions:

SC: What was the biggest surprise about fatherhood when you first became a dad?  What about becoming a grandfather?

Pete: The biggest surprise was learning how little you actually know about the new children in your life.  Every day was a trial and error to see what worked and didn’t work, along with what they liked and didn’t like.  As a new grandfather, the biggest surprise is that the likes/dislikes and works/don’t work are again different from what you did with your own children.

 

SC:  Looking back, what has been the biggest challenge for you in fatherhood during your children’s early years? Has this changed since they are now grown up?

Pete: The biggest challenge was balancing my time between work and family.  While critical to build a career to support them, I had to learn that it was more important to give them as much of my time as possible as well.  Now that they are grown, “the shoe is really on the other foot”, as I try to get more time with them than they have to give to me.

 

 

SC: As a granddad now, if you could travel back in time a few decades to give yourself some advise when you were a young father, what would it be?

Pete: It’s so cliche, but true – you really need to enjoy those early years when the children want so much of your time, because those days do go by so fast.

 

SC:  How did you manage your work life balance between being a father and businessman while your children were growing up?

Pete: It was actually easier in those days.  Technology has actually made things harder for this generation.  Except for business trip weekends, weekends were for family; nights were as well.  When the kids were very young, we didn’t have cell phones and Smart phones to allow us contact at night and on weekends.  Email was also in its infancy, so we weren’t as accessible as we are today. 

 

SC:  Any advice for fathers-to-be, new dads, or even dads who are becoming grandfathers?

Pete: For fathers, make time with your family that doesn’t include cell phones.  Put it away for certain periods of time, so that you can devote your full attention to your family.  For grandfathers, learn the salesperson’s rule – you have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth…use them proportionally.  Allow your children to make their own decisions and mistakes – allow them to use you as a sounding board, but try to not tell them what you did or what you would do in each situation.

 

SC: Since you are in the juvenile products industry, have you seen any big changes in products since you first started and now? If so, what are some of them?

Pete: There are almost too many to name – in general, there are so many products that weren’t available when my kids were little.  My kids slept in drop-side cribs, which aren’t available anymore.  The car seats they use today are safer and have more features than the ones we used.  There is also such a variety of strollers available that my son has multiple ones for the different activities he, his girlfriend and the baby are involved in.

 

SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby or children’s products that every parent should have?

Pete: First, remember that the nursery is more about mom than the baby.  Purchase furniture, bedding, and accessories that you will enjoy, as you will spend so much time in the nursery [during] the baby’s first few years.  Also, buy as good a mattress as you can – your baby will spend 50% of its first two years on that mattress.  Last, buy as good a car seat as you can - the safety of our children is so important. 

 

 

Fun Facts:

-My guilty pleasure is…

finding a pick-up game of basketball, football or soccer with the neighborhood kids.  Not very guilty, but a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. 

 

-My biggest influence as a father is…

helping my kids make their own decisions.  As an insider/outsider, you can help them understand the potential consequences and positives that happen with each decision.  Then, you can watch as they make their final decisions. 

 

-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have…

my health.  I would need to find activity, or I would go nuts.  Finding another human would also be helpful – communication and companionship are too important to me.

 

-Favourite restaurant to take the wife out to:

Positano’s or Sal’s, two local Italian restaurants with great food and management that is easy to get to like

 

-Favourite place to take my grandchild to:

We haven’t gone anywhere yet, but I’m looking forward to taking her to the pool and to the beach.

 

 

Mom Spotted

While it’s easy to feel the pressure to dedicate an entire bedroom to your baby before he/she arrives, blogger Jenne from Mom Spotted shows that it’s not always necessary to do so.  What’s most important is to make sure that you select a convenient and safe space in your home first.  Afterwards, by furnishing the space with a few, well designed and practical pieces, and complementing them with some cute accessories, you and your baby will enjoy the space as much as any other nursery in a bedroom.  

So before we transition into the weekend, take a look at Jenne of Mom Spotted’ s review of our Stork Craft Aspen five drawer dresser, change table, and Tuscany Glider/Ottoman set.  Better head over there fast too as she’s also offering her readers the chance to win an Aspen Combo Dresser with choice of colour finish!

 

Aspen Combo Dresser shown in Stork Craft’s rich Cherry finish

 

 The practical Aspen Combo Dresser in white finish looking amazing while paired with the Vittoria Stages Crib and Aspen Change Table

 

Have a great weekend!

Dawn

Here We Come, Las Vegas!

Here We Come, Las Vegas!

By Dawn

For most visitors, a week in Sin City is one filled with late nights out, shopping, live shows and just complete over indulgence.  But for Stork Craft, we can be found at the bi-annual Las Vegas Market and the Vegas Kid’s Market.  Last year’s show in August treated us to a keynote speech by President Clinton himself!  Click here to see the HUGE turnout!

During these five days, from January 30th to February 3rd, we get to meet up with our retailers, greet new ones, and also see what new furniture products are going to be coming up in the marketplace (Here’s a candid shot by the Las Vegas Market of our staff in their element at the previous show).  Our retailers can sit down with us to let us know what their customers (you!) are asking for, and what we can do to continue offering the best in quality, design and of course prices.

For industry insiders, this year, Stork Craft Manufacturing will be located at booth # B-0226-1E and  B-0226-2E.  We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Mom of the Week: Konda

Mom of the Week: Konda

By Dawn

Here at Stork Craft, we tend to focus our blog, and of course products, on children in their early years, but we understand that babies grow up, and they sure grow up quickly!  So who else better to feature as our next mom of the week than one who’s already clocked in the experience both as a full-time mommy for 20+ years, and is also a veteran in the juvenile products industry?

If you ever meet Konda in real life, you’ll see that she’s that “cool mom”.  She’s stylish, has a great sense of humour, and adventurous (The last trade show that took place in Las Vegas, she managed to convince me into taking the plunge off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere with her J).  But make no mistakes about it when it comes to raising children; she says, “You can NOT be their friend.  Boundaries must be set… However, always keep an open dialog with them.”

Meet Konda: Business woman and mother to 2 children, who she’s already sent off to college.  When she’s not jet setting around the country to meet her accounts, or madly typing emails on her iPad for work, she can be found getting her shop on with her daughter, and hitting up local restaurants for some good eats.

The 411:

-First name: Konda

-Children’s age: 21 and 23

-Location: Indiana

-Occupation: Independent Sales Representative for Children’s Manufacturers

 

The Questions:

 SC: What was the biggest surprise about motherhood when you first became a mom?

Konda: How much time it actually consumed in my day.  24 hours a day job.

SC:  Does it get easier or more challenging after the first child?

Konda: Both challenging and easier.  Easier because you already knew things that you learned with the first child, but now you were handling two children as opposed to one.  Dividing your attention between your children was more challenging.  Not to mention, that there are two complete individuals with their own characteristics.

No matter how much you try to parent them both in the same manner, the end results are most often different.  So changing your parenting to match the characteristic of the child is important.  No two children are alike.

SC:  Looking back, what has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood during your children’s early years? Has this changed since they are now grown up?

Konda:  Every stage had a different challenge.  You constantly find yourself saying, “I can’t wait ’til they make it through this stage…” only to find out that once they did, there was another stage that was challenging.  I learned to accept and embrace each stage for what it really symbolized which was their intellectual growth as well as my own.  Children teach you lessons as well.  My lesson was in patience and acceptance.  I’m a “type A” personality and with children, I found it nearly impossible to be a type A.  You have to go with the flow or you can drive yourself crazy trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.

SC:  How do you manage your work life balance?

Konda: Moms are always torn, whether they are stay at home Moms or full time working Moms.   I never figured out a way to work around the guilt of not always being with my child at home, but then when I was at home with them, felt guilty about what I should be doing for work.  Just find a way to make yourself happy and learn to deal with the guilt.  Don’t expect to be a Super Hero.  Your Kids will always be the most important job you do.

SC:  Any advice for moms-to-be, new moms, or even moms who are already thinking about those teenage and college years?

Konda: You can NOT be their friend.  Boundaries must be set.   They actually thrive on boundaries and want them, but won’t tell you that.  However, always keep an open dialog with them.  You can’t talk to them too much.  I always tried to be there for them to listen to their problems, even when they didn’t want an answer or comment from me.  Sometimes they just want you to listen and NOT offer advice.  That’s hard as a parent.

SC: Since you are in the juvenile products industry, have you seen any big changes in products since you first started and now? If so, what are some of them?

Konda: Many changes.  Everything has gone higher tech with toys, and games.  The products now manufactured are geared towards convenience and helping Moms as well as the safety of children’s products.  Safety on baby and children’s products has taken a forefront with manufacturers.

SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby or children’s products that every mother should have?

Konda: There are so many products out there for new moms to consider these days that it can be overwhelming.  The two most important things to buy are the mattress and the infant seat.  These two items you must do your research and buy better products.  Your Baby spends the majority of their time in these two products.  Make sure they are above standards in safety as well as convenience.

For products that I think every mom should have, I would suggest the Glider Rocker and a temporary bassinet.  The Glider Rocker is especially important for the late night feeding or just story time with your toddler.

The portable bassinet is especially helpful because in the beginning you don’t always want to have the baby in the crib.  You may want them in the same room as you and a portable bassinet lets you move them from room to room.  I always felt this made them a better sleeper as well, because they were used to noises and didn’t always wake up when I moved them into their cribs later.  I had a bassinet with wheels that I just moved from room to room even while they were sleeping.

 

Fun Facts:

-My guilty pleasure is…

Reality TV Shows – Housewives, Flipping Out, Next Great Artist, Top Chef

-My biggest influence as a mother is

helping my children make the right choices while also teaching them independence and confidence.   This is something that is ongoing even as they are now young adults.

-My favourite beauty buy is…

MAC under eye concealer and Frownies wrinkle reducer.  Makes your eyes look great even if you have had no sleep.

-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have…

My cell phone to contact the coast guard!

-Favourite restaurant:

St. Elmos, locally, and [for] a chain, Cheesecake Factory

-Favourite place to take my child/children to:

When they were young, the park.  Now….. to the beach

Mom of the Week: Meet Rachel from Michigan

By: Dawn

Stork Craft would like to welcome Rachel as Stork Craft’s featured mom of the week.  In this interview, Rachel offers some great product reviews and pointers on how to look for the best baby product deals.  She also proves that balancing mommyhood, being a wife and making time for herself to write isn’t always easy, but with a bit of organization, determination, and a sense of humour, it can be done!  You can keep up with her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/roasted_beanz), and also her revamped blog at www.roastedbeanz.com.  Everyone, meet Rachel: Writer, blogger, savvy shopper, coffee connoisseur, and best of all, mommy!

The 411-

-First Name (Surname is optional): Rachel

-Child’s age/Name: Isabel Eden, 3 years & Otis Graham, 5 months.

-Location: Detroit, Michigan

-Occupation: Writer.  Blogger.  Stay-At-Home Momma! J (Best job EVER!)

SC: What has been the biggest surprise about motherhood since you have become a mom?
Rachel: That there is a hidden clause that you will never go to the bathroom alone or uninterrupted until they move out. Seriously, the lack of me-time is unbelievable.

 

SC: How has your life changed since you became a mom?
Rachel: It has changed in every beneficial way possible. I had 5 years of waiting, planning, hoping, and loss before I achieved my first successful pregnancy. Babies are called the miracles, but motherhood can never be taken for granted either. Being a “Mommy” is worth the hard times.

 

SC: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood? 
Rachel: Knowing when to ask for help and/or not feeling guilty for accepting it.

 

SC: How do you (or plan to) manage your work-life balance?
Rachel: It’s hard. So I try to never procrastinate, and always plan ahead. If I have time to do something and the mind to be aware of it, I do it right then or have it scheduled so that it can’t be ignored. Because the first thing to be put last is any time for what Mom needs done. And especially with working alongside social media, there are a lot of distractions that can keep you from getting your work done as well. Thank goodness for coffee, family, and a strong work ethic!

 

SC: Any advice for moms-to-be or new moms?
Rachel: Amazon Mom.  At this time, I see there are occasionally wait-lists to join, but it will upgrade your Amazon account for FREE and as you continue to buy baby products, the term can be extended for up to a year.  The bonus?  Combine it and use Amazon Subscribe & Save as well. All Amazon coupons apply to your subscription for further discounts, two-day FREE shipping to your door, and huge discounts on everything from baby food, products, clothes, and diapers. Save yourself the trip to the store or running out of something important right when you need it. I buy a lot of organic or all-natural products, and the deals I find on both those and conventional items are as good or better than I can get in-store.
Money and Time are the greatest stressors of motherhood. So find where you can save it, and it will make your life that much easier.

 

SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby products that you can’t live without and that every mother should also have?
Rachel: Stork Craft Glider and Ottoman! Seriously, you have to have a glider. We had one with my daughter and loved that we could rock and comfort her to sleep. When our second baby came, we were in the middle of moving and still do not have one. Let’s just say you really develop some muscles standing up to rock your 15-pound, fussy 5-month-old for 45 minutes.
Other useful items that make our home happy?  Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment, Sam’s Club brand baby wipes, Little Tummys Gas Relief Drops, Hylands colic/ teething tablets, and the Adiri Bottle.  And if your baby only takes to the Soothie pacifier? Do yourself a big favor and buy a WubbaNub.

Fun Facts:

-My guilty pleasure is…
                Starbucks. I am absolutely addicted to the Iced Venti (no-whip) Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. I don’t think of it as just a $5 drink; it’s a thirst quenching, me-time hideout with on-demand adult-sentenced conversation. And hey, the bakery & breakfast menu ain’t too shabby either. LOL

 

-My biggest influence as a mother is…
                The women in my life.  All the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. I’ve had the honor of knowing some strong, independent ladies that could write their own books on what they have lived through.  When it gets tough, it doesn’t get easier knowing that someone else had experienced more difficult events then you. It gets better, because you realize you’re not alone.

 

-My favorite beauty buy is…
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. I am never without it!

 

-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have…
                Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. And I suppose survival tools, sun screen, MRE’s, flare gun, and a radio transmitter may come in handy.

 

-Favorite restaurant:
                Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Longhorn Steakhouse.

 

-Favorite place to take my child/children to:
                The park! Fresh air, playgrounds, trails, open fields, and water sprinklers in the summer all come together to make the best memories. We also like going to the library, zoo, and apple orchards.

 

-Top children’s store:
                The Children’s Place and Carters are my staple stores. Quality clothes, great designs, and superb sales!

Meet Mandi

Meet Mandi

By Dawn at Stork Craft

Happy New Year from Stork Craft Manufacturing to all the caregivers and parents out there!

We’re going to start off the New Year by featuring Mandi, a self described “Former kindergarten assistant teacher turned SAHM to a beautiful baby girl”, and fellow blogger.  You can find her blog here: http://www.sweettinyblessings.blogspot.com/

 The 411:

-Name: Mandi

-Child’s age: 12 months

-Location: Westminster, CO

-Occupation: WAHM – Independent Distributor for Shaklee

 

The Low Down:

SC: What has been the biggest surprise about motherhood since you have become a mom?

Mandi: I never knew what unconditional love was until I became a mom.  I never realized I could love so much!

 

SC: How has your life changed since you became a mom?

Mandi: I am now a role model for my daughter, so I knew I needed to make some changes.  I eat healthier, exercise and live a “greener” life.  My life now revolves around my daughter.

 

SC: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood? 

Mandi: Shortly after giving birth, both my daughter and I became very ill and were hospitalized at two different hospitals.  I contracted an E. Coli Infection and my daughter contracted Bacterial Spinal Meningitis from Salmonella.  Not being able to take care of my own baby was the biggest challenge of motherhood!

 

SC: How do you (or plan to) manage your work life balance?

Mandi: Fortunately, I work from home and can create my own schedule.  I usually work during her naps and after she goes to bed at night.

 

SC: Any advice for moms-to-be or new moms?

Mandi: Always listen to your heart and your intuition.  There are so many different opinions out there, but only you can make the right choices for you and your family.

 

SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby products that you can’t live without and that every mother should also have?

Mandi: Well, I’m a little biased.  But I can’t live without the Shaklee Baby products and multivitamins, as well as, their safe cleaning products.

 

Fun Facts:

-My guilty pleasure is…

Reality TV

-My biggest influence as a mother is

My mom.  I don’t know how she raised 3 kids as a single, working mom.  She made so many sacrifices for us.

-My favourite beauty buy is

I love massages and pedicures!

-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have

My family.  I couldn’t imagine life without them.

-Favourite restaurant:  

I love authentic Mexican restaurants.

-Favourite place to take my child/children to:

I enjoy taking my daughter to the park.  The joy on her face when she is swinging is priceless.

-Top children’s store:

I don’t have one particular store, but I love stores that offer organic and safe toys and clothing.


Stork Craft Hoop Glider Giveaway – ends Dec 7

Here is your chance to win your very own hoop glider and ottoman!

Enter here: http://www.momaroo.com/756743778/stork-craft-hoop-glider–ottoman-giveaway/

Enter to win a Stork Craft Hoop Glider today!

The Stork Craft Hoop Glider will provide you a comfortable place to feed and rock your baby-especially during those sleepless nights. The best part is that you will be able to use the glider for many years to come after the baby grows up.

Enter to win here: http://www.twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com/2011/08/stork-craft-hoop-glider-giveaway.html

Contest closes September 19th and is open to US and Canada. Good luck everyone!

Have a question about a new Stork Craft crib? Ask it here!

Feel free to ask questions about our new cribs in this post. such as:

1) Where can I buy one?
2) What is currently available?
3) Do these cribs convert to day beds, toddler beds, etc?

I will be happy to answer any of your questions :)

-Adam