Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fun Stuff

I have to admit, it's pretty fun to work at a baby blanket company. We had a team meeting at my house this week which breeds a certain informality. It's that environment that allows us to laugh a lot - and this week, we spent a lot of time laughing. So it's a fitting occasion to launch our brand new Fun Stuff section. We built it for you and your little ones to enjoy, learn and just monkey around. We hope you like it.

Here's another fun thing: We're teaming up with our friends at Mabel's Labels for a Summer Contest. You can win an Admiral Road Camp Blanket and a Camp/School Combo Pack of Mabel's Labels. You can enter by leaving a comment here (be sure to include your name) or on the Mabel's Labels blog. We'll randomly select a winner on August 10th.

One last bit of fun: For a limited time, get $5 off your Admiral Road blanket purchase. Just enter ARDSUMMER09 at check out. This offer is valid until August 14.

Have fun!

The Admiral Road Team

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Contest

Admiral Road is teaming up with our friends at Mabel's Labels to bring you our summer contest. Here's what you can win:

An Admiral Road Personalized Camp Blanket of your choice, including shipping. Camp blankets are perfect for twin beds, bunks or the couch. Cozy and durable, our camp blankets are made to suit any member of the family.


A Camp/School Combo Pack of Mabel's Labels, including shipping. We don't let our kids take anything out of the house unless it's got a Mabel's label in it. Trust us, Mabel's Labels are perfect for the stuff kids lose.

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment here (be sure to include your name) or on the Mabel's Labels blog. We'll randomly select a winner on August 10th.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Customers We Love

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: Sarita D.

Hometown: London, UK

Customer since: 2002

Became an Admiral Road fan after: she learned about the company from a friend. After sending her first blanket and getting a great reaction, Admiral Road became her new baby gift destination.

Likes Admiral Road because: "I've sent an Admiral Road blanket to every new baby I know, on both sides of the ocean. People love to receive them. My friends in the UK have been especially excited by them as there is nothing else like them over here."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

War No More

Growing up, I could lend my support to the War on Drugs. This seemed intuitive to me. Too many drugs = bad.

War on fat? Check. Thanks to current information, I diligently monitor the intake of fat for myself and my family.

War on sugar? Sure – I can get behind this one too. (Anyone who’s ever been to a kid’s party has seen firsthand the impact of birthday cake on a small person.) Why wouldn’t I want to be cognizant of how much sugar the little ones are ingesting?

War on salmon? This one I had a little more trouble with. I thought that those omegas were supposed to be good for you…

War on meat? Cattle-rearing produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars?? Wait a minute – I thought that eating meat constituted part of a balanced diet.

And as of last week, Canada has declared a war on salt. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think that I’ve got this fight in me. For years, sodium has been the single aspect of the nutrition label that I have blissfully ignored. I’ve counted and compared calories, fats and sugars. But sodium? Nuh-uh. This one I’ve overlooked – until now. Now my eye goes directly to the middle of that label – shocked at how high this sodium number can climb. Now I know that I’m failing, on a daily basis, to limit my intake to the appropriate recommended amount. Sodium is added to everything – especially prepared foods.

To wage the war on salt, my newspaper nutrition columnist suggests that I cook my foods from scratch and then season them with cayenne pepper or citrus. Okay – so here’s a question, World: You want me to work to support my family, be a doting yet firm mother, a supportive and available friend and family member AND TO COOK MY FOODS FROM SCRATCH AND SEASON THEM WITH CITRUS? No, I say. I just can’t do it. I cannot juggle Admiral Road, my children's schedules, my schedule and grow my own foods too. My kids will eat Cheerios (loaded with sodium) and hot dogs (who knows what’s in those?) and as long as our blood pressure remains under control I’ll do my best to get them reared into adulthood.

I’ve fought the good fight, but I just can’t fight the war on salt. I’m saving my strength. Twelve years from now I’ll have three teenaged girls in my house and I’m going to have other battles to pick.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pretend Mommy

I spend a lot of time with kids. I worked through university as a part-time nanny and babysitter so I have had plenty of experience with feeding and entertaining, playdates and playgrounds, school pick-ups and drop-offs, and time-outs and bedtimes. I can discuss, with a reasonable amount of accuracy, Toopy, Max and Ruby, Bob the Builder, the Backyardigans and more. So I guess it is only fitting that I am a key employee of a company run by mom-entrepreneurs that specializes in baby gifts!

This is a mom company. Throughout the day we talk about babies, families, and life. Sometimes my work day is interrupted by a 4 year old who needs help with her computer game or a sick kid home from school that brings me pictures she has drawn. Sometimes there are babies at business meetings.

I started reading “mommy blogs” and keeping up to date on the world of celebrity babies – all work related I’m quick to tell anyone who will listen. But somewhere along the way I realized I was enjoying them….and occasionally related to them. I guess I am far more entrenched in their world than I thought.

I used to think I ended up at Admiral Road by accidental networking (I babysat their kids), but the more time I spend here, I realize that there is probably a good reason that I fit in so well. In school I thought I was working towards a degree to get a job. As it turns out, sometimes knowledge of diapers and Dora can be a lot more useful if you’ve got the right audience.

Admiral Road has been making personalized blankets since 2002.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It’s not what goes wrong; it’s how you fix it

We spend lots of time thinking about small businesses – our own included. And we think a lot of about what constitutes great customer service. At Admiral Road we’ve always strived for and prided ourselves on excellent customer service. Interestingly, a few of our best customer experiences have been born out of error.

Anyone who has ever been responsible for a lot of moving parts knows that inevitably something, sometime is going to go wrong. We’re human and occasionally we make mistakes. In the event that this happens, we try our very best to do everything possible to help our customer and fix the situation. Invariably, our customers are surprised and grateful to be treated decently and fairly – a testament to the sorry state of customer service in general, I think. It seems so many companies have a ‘you’re on your own’ attitude. Who wants to be treated like that, especially when you’ve paid for a product or service? We just don’t understand it.

Every now and then, though, a company will restore your faith. Last Christmas, I had a great customer service experience – and it all started when a company really screwed up.

My husband, an avid cyclist, had been pining for a particular pair of bike shorts. I scouted them out and ordered them from a local bike shop. It was extremely busy at Admiral Road and I had no time to go pick up the shorts. I called to ask that the shorts be held for me until I could come and collect them. I had a bad feeling about it and actually made the guy on the phone promise me to hold them. When I eventually went to collect the shorts they were nowhere to be found. They had been sold and were out of stock.

I was beside myself. But I also really felt for the bike shop owner who was just trying to deal with his busy season. The owner promptly offered to re-order the shorts. I didn’t want to have to go back to the bike store, so the owner delivered them to my house himself a few days later. Also, the shorts I had ordered were no longer available, so they gave me even fancier shorts at the same price.

As a business owner I know that this transaction resulted in a lot of work with no profit for the store. However, I also know that I will shop there for years to come because of how they fixed the problem. We all just want to be treated fairly – it makes all the difference. Every company makes mistakes - but they are defined by how they handle them.