Thursday, March 26, 2009

Customers We Love

Admiral Road customers come from far and wide. In this ongoing feature we will profile some of the Admiral Road "Customers We Love." Do you love us too? Let us know at We'd love to hear from you. Any customers featured in our blog receive a very nice coupon toward their next order.

Name: Greg M.

Houston, TX

Customer since: 2005

Became an Admiral Road fan after: he forgot his newspaper at the office. Forced to read a left-behind women's magazine while on the stationary bike, he discovered an Admiral Road blanket featured in its pages. Has been giving ARD blankets to friends and colleagues ever since.

Likes Admiral Road because: "I love the reaction I get when people open their gifts from Admiral Road. I also like the web site. I'm not a big on-line shopper, but Admiral Road makes ordering gifts so easy. Admiral Road blankets are the only present my wife lets me buy without running it by her first!"

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Recession pricing from the other side of the coin…

My 30 minutes of CNN each morning is not exactly a calming start to the day. The high-pitched, almost hysterical reporting - with edgy rock music at the beginning and end of each segment (remember when CNN did the news?) screams that there is an ugly recession about us and it appears that the sky truly is falling. To make us feel better though, the trusty CNN reporters tell us about all of the great deals around – on everything from our morning lattes to condos in South Beach. And, we’re told, we should feel free to demand the bargains from any company lucky enough to have our business in these uncertain times.

As a consumer, this certainly resonates. And we want our customers to continue to feel comfortable shopping with us. Here at Admiral Road we offer regular discounts to our customers as a part of our newsletters and Facebook pages and we have extra recession-busting coupons lined up for our Facebook group members.

I am however, a little worried about that guy making your morning latte. Odds are he hasn’t experienced any significant drop in his costs. And it follows that if the economy is sluggish, he’s probably selling fewer of those lattes to start with. Has his rent plummeted to meet the struggling economy? Of course not. So now, Mr. Latte Maker is making less money and is being asked for discounts left, right and center. What’s a guy to do? Hopefully he’s got the same kind of great, loyal customers as we do. But I’ve got a sinking feeling that he’s going to be discounting himself all the way to the poorhouse.

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hello kettle? It’s me, pot.

All we do, all day long, is think about baby names. Here at Admiral Road we really see it all. We see traditional baby names, avant garde baby names, and everything in between.

Sometimes we see traditional names with deliberately unusual spellings and, admittedly, I have been known to wonder why a parent would give a child a name that he/she will surely need to spell/pronounce for everybody else for the rest of time.

When I was expecting my second daughter, we wanted to honour my late grandfather (whose Hebrew name was ‘Ya’akov’). We happily stumbled upon the Hebrew name ‘Yakira’ which means ‘precious.’ It was the perfect Hebrew name: unusual but pretty and a tribute to my grandfather.

It also helped to inspire our daughter’s English name, the name which she goes by: Kyra. We loved it.

I dutifully researched her name-to-be in the baby books and found that there were multiple spellings of Kyra (Kira, Keira, Kiera, Keera). Here is the reason we chose the K-Y-R-A spelling: At the time she was born, it was the most popular spelling! I wasn’t trying to be weird. I wasn’t trying to be unusual. I wasn’t trying to present my unborn daughter with a lifelong challenge. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I actually thought that I was doing the kid a favour!

Then Keira Knightly showed up on the scene. After a few hit movies, not only did the name Kyra increase in popularity, so too did the K-E-I-R-A spelling.

To make things worse, I’d show up with my infant daughter at her doctor’s appointments, and the receptionist would call for “KY-ruh” when it was her turn (rhymes with pie/sky/rye). People couldn’t pronounce her name! I had inadvertently given my daughter a name that was routinely mispronounced!

We have sewn thousands of baby names on to thousands of blankets. After all these years, surely you would think that of all people, I would have been able to choose a simple, straightforward name!

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

excuse me sweetheart, won't you please PUT YOUR SHOES ON!!!

There was a time when I fantasized about travelling the world – meeting adventure and intrigue along the way. Now I fantasize about walking into any bathroom in my house and finding a flushed toilet. (This is followed closely in the rankings by finding that a dish has made it to the dishwasher without the mandatory stop in the sink – but that’s a marital, not a parenting issue.) Believe me, it’s not like I’ve never pointed out the importance of flushing to my children…it’s only one of long list of things that get said but somehow never heard. I can just hear the parenting experts now saying that we shouldn’t nag our children and we need to hone our messages, etc. etc. The question is – how do we refrain from nagging our children while setting expectations for behaviour – or getting through the day for that matter. Are we meant to settle for the bathroom surprise?

Recently a career mom that I know and love told me with exasperation that her son never puts his shoes on when asked. With a heavy heart she told me that she is sure this is because she works out of the home and isn’t able to manage discipline during the work week. I laughed. Hard. I’m a mom who gets her kids off to school each morning and I assured her that the sentence ‘please put your shoes on’ has never been uttered fewer than 8 times before working in my house – each time with increasing volume and exasperation. I’ve been asking around – and apparently there are legions of children who won’t put their shoes on when asked – I’m beginning to wonder if this is even a global phenomenon (my mind is drifting to children in Fiji refusing to put their flip flops on…).

So what is a beleaguered mom to do? I’m of the firm belief that we moms are hardest on ourselves. I am trying to learn to be kinder to myself and more accepting of the many imperfections of life. Maybe I don’t need to accept that my kids don’t flush or put their shoes on when asked – but maybe I can try to accept that I’m going to have to keep reminding them. Again. And Again.

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.