March 28th, 2013 • Comments: 0 • by Hillary • GeneralInside Snugabell

Going Green

We care about the environment here at Snugabell. We want to make sure our babies and their babies (and so on and so forth) inherit a healthy planet from us. We have been making changes to ensure that Snugabell is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Instead of printing a paper receipt to include with our products (a paper receipt that, let's be honest, is most likely immediately a forest of towering treesthrown into the trashcan or recycling bin), we email our receipts to our customers. It's a simple but effective way to reduce waste on every single sale we make.

When we do need to print something, we have recently made the decision to start using tree-free sugarcane paper. Paper made from sugarcane uses waste that would otherwise be land-filled; is cleaner to produce than traditional paper; and biodegrades more quickly. Being aware of whether or not something really needs to be printed and then printing on sugarcane paper (double-sided of course!) are steps we're taking to help protect our trees.

We also cut any white space off of paper that is headed for our blue boxes and create our own scratch pads from these trimmings. You'd be surprised at how much usable paper is diverted, at least for a while from our blue boxes. This of course, in turn, reduces the number of scratch pads we're purchasing from our office supplies vendor.

Here at Snugabell headquarters, we take our mission to be green seriously. We use only washable mugs and cutlery and have a recycling station set up to ensure that we are throwing out as little waste as possible. It takes a little more time and effort than using disposable kitchenware and throwing everything out but we feel it's our responsibility to be as "green" as possible.

What changes have you made to be kinder to the earth?

{Photo credit: Hillary Westover}

January 17th, 2011 • Comments: 0 • by Rebekah • GeneralHumourInside SnugabellJust for FunPumping

Guest Post: You Do What With What?! - Breastfeeding Through the Eyes of a Childless 26 Year Old

For those of you who don’t know me, I work with Wendy as her assistant/shipper/miscellaneous extraordinaire. We are coming up on our one year anniversary and when Wendy asked me to blog about my year learning about breastfeeding, breast pumps and the like I jumped at the opportunity.

don't forget to lower the toilet seat!

My husband and I were recently married last year and have decided not to have kids yet. So when I started working with Wendy I came in as green as the spring grass. Sure, I have breasts but I’ve never used them. I knew that mothers could breastfeed but I didn’t know some mothers had a harder time doing that than others. I figured breastfeeding was as natural to a woman as ask-telling her husband to please, please, please for the last time would you put the toilet seat down and save me from a midnight dunk in the bowl?

So I’ve decided to write about the things I have learned in the last year and share some of my most epiphany-rific moments with you. Here goes: 

1) Babies are alert when they are born and shimmy themselves up to the nipple and feed.

Wendy showed me a video of this happening. It was like seeing for the first time the pictures of the hippo and tortoise that are friends: I had some vague idea that in a perfect world it was possible for completely unrelated species to be kin but that it’s actually happening??? Mind = blown. 

2) When a woman breastfeeds/pumps, the other boob thinks it needs to express too!

Talk about a dilemma unless you have more than one mouth to feed (and I’m not talking about the dog). And then Wendy showed me the Milk-Saver by Milkies. All I can say is that this is one less thing to worry about when I start having babies. Thank goodness for inventive moms because if I was the first woman to breastfeed I would be up a milky creek without a paddle (or a Milk-Saver), y’all. 

3) Women can pump milk.

hamburgerHow did I not know this? Okay, I live a bit of a sheltered life when it comes to babies but this is kind of obvious; also that women who aren’t with child can pump milk. And give milk to other babies! Who need milk! Viva les women! Now, when breasts start producing burgers I will jump on that meal train.

4) Nestle makes chocolate bars AND baby formula.

I know the whole Baby Formula vs Breastfeeding thing is a bit of a big deal. I think when I have babies I will form a solid opinion (through actions) about how I feel on this topic. Until then, how I feel about Nestle making baby formula and chocolate bars is equal to how I feel about Dove and Axe Body Spray being own by the same company. In a word: suspect. 

5) PumpEase is probably one of the greatest inventions I can think of when it comes to boobs and babies.

When my mom got her eyes fixed (lasered) she couldn’t watch TV, read a book, go on the internet, be where light was nor any ordinary daily thing for DAYS. This is the closest thing I can relate to being stuck holding the breast pump on your breasts while waiting… and waiting… and then more waiting. If the pumping bra had not been invented I would not doubt that future-child-bearing-me would probably be duct taping those suckers right onto my chest. 

Thank you all for journeying with me through the last year. It has been a smorgasbord of enlightenment. I am so grateful that I’ve gotten to know Wendy and her fabulous PumpEase because it will help me when I decide to start having babies and it will hopefully keep me out of trouble (and duct tape).

Rebekah Joy Plett

April 29th, 2010 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Customer ServiceGeneralInside Snugabell

The Snugabell Promise of Quality, Integrity, Accountability and umm... Socks?

I don't understand why companies do it.  They have a great product, build a great brand following and then they change something.  From the consumer's standpoint, it is usually a change for the worse; for the manufacturer, however, it almost always means higher profits.  All that work of building their reputation and brand and they throw it all out the window.  I.don't.get.it.

Old Navy triple rolls socksTake for example Old Navy infant and toddler socks.  You know the ones I'm talking about?  The triple-roll socks that have rubberized writing on the soles stating the size (so handy when you have two little ones that are close in age).  The ones that were/are $1.75/pair or six pairs for $10.00 (it's been a while since I've bought them, so I may be a bit off on the price).  Well a few years back when my now five year old was a baby, we bought them by the bucket-full.  Every colour under the sun and two each of the neutrals.  And then my younger daughter wore them and then I passed them on to my sister and her daughter wore them.  And they are STILL in good condition!  I think I've thrown out maybe two or three pairs after 5-1/2 years and three kids!

They were all cotton with a bit of spandex.  They faded a bit over time and even shrunk a teensy bit (such is the nature of cotton), but they LASTED and LASTED and LASTED.  I recommended them to everyone I met that had kids.

Then I bought a couple of new pairs for the girls last fall as we were having family pictures done and we were all wearing black.  I needed new inky black socks.

So I went to our local mall and bought two pairs - one for each of my daughters.  They felt a bit silkier than before but looked the same.  I noticed that they were now made with 81% cotton/17% polyester/2% spandex.  Hmmm...

Six months later, I threw both pairs in the garbage because they had LARGE gaping holes on the balls of the feet - not even on the heel.  I was choked!  SIX MONTHS!  I guess they added the polyester to prevent the fading or the minimal shrinking or perhaps because polyester is cheaper?  Or maybe because they didn't have enough repeat customers due to the fact that their old socks lasted too long...  ???

I will never buy them again.  Ever.

I'm on a roll with the socks, so I will continue.  I bought a couple of pairs of Calvin Klein ladies' black dress socks for myself eons ago (honestly, they're older than my kids).  They are just now starting to wear thin, no holes yet, just wearing thin.  Did I mention that I've had these socks for years?  I think it is going on ten years.  Seriously.

Calvin Klein ladies' dress socksSo seeing that they were starting to wear thin, I decided to go the The Bay (where I had bought them) and buy more.  Of course, they didn't have exactly the same ones ten years later, but I bought what I thought were comparable socks.  Two pairs each of two different styles - footies and anklets.  Calvin Klein.  After two months, they had holes in them.  All eight of the socks had holes in them.  And not on the heel or where the balls of your feet sit either.  The holes were in random spots around the ankle where the knitting machine did the full-fashioning (shaping) to make the sock "bend" to go around your ankle.  Random holes on my new socks.  My background in the apparel industry tells me they are simply poor quality and/or they no longer do product testing and/or they have lowered their quality control standards.  A lot.

Every time I'm folding laundry and start pairing-up the socks and see the HOLES, I get annoyed.  AND then I see my 10 year old socks in the pile that are still in one piece!

What the heck is with the crappy socks???

Needless to say, I am choked.  Again.  And I need some answers!  Where oh where can I buy decent socks?  I just spent a good 10 minutes searching online for "cotton socks" and nothing really comes up!?!  Update:  I think I found the answer to my dreams (literally):  Sock Dreams!  Check them out!

But WHY do companies do this?  As a business owner, I understand the desire to increase your bottom line, but are you not shooting yourself in the foot (pun most definitely intended) if your product becomes sub-standard and you lose customers?

I.just.don't.get.it.

high quality PumpEase I remember about a year ago, we received a bad batch of production from our factory.  It was either 600 pieces and we sent back 400 or 800 pieces and we sent back 600.  Yes it cost us twice as much in quality control to check every PumpEase two times.  Yes it delayed our orders.  Yes it was frustrating!!!  However there was no question in my mind that they all get sent back to the factory.  I couldn't even fathom sending out a sub-standard product and "hoping for the best".  No way.  Not even an option.

In my mind, my product, my company and my reputation are all very intricately woven together.  If my company starts producing shoddy goods, that reflects on me personally.  It's just not going to happen.  I give you my word.  And I am super-duper proud of the high quality that is reflected in our products.  :-)

So, tell us... have you ever experienced a particular brand's quality decreasing over time?  What did you do about it - just accept it or switch brands?  Do you expect, as I do, consistency in quality when you are loyal to a particular brand?  Please leave your thoughts below.

 

Tags: 'quality control', socks, 'sock holes', 'calvin klein'

August 8th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • GeneralResources

Why are 80% of Women Wearing the Wrong Bra Size?


If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed.  Thanks for visiting!


When I see a woman that is clearly wearing a) the WRONG bra size or b) a bra that should have been incinerated years ago, I have to admit, I visibly CRINGE!

Why do women do this to themselves, and to "their girls"?  WHY ARE 80% OF WOMEN WEARING THE WRONG BRA SIZE?

I think a big chunk of the reason is that women buy bras from stores where, if you can actually find a person to help you, said person knows NOTHING about fitting a bra.  Ladies, you are NOT saving any money buying cheap, crappy bras!  Well, maybe you "think" you are if you wear them until the spandex is completely rotten and your puppies are hanging down to your belly button (sorry for that visual), but you're not.

I am a firm believer in the mantra that you get what you pay for.  If you buy a bra from a department store for $25, $35 or even $45, that is what you will get - an ill-fitting $25, $35 or $45 bra.  Now if you go to a specialty boutique and get professionally fitted for a bra, you will probably spend around $100, but it will FIT YOU and last two, three, even four times longer!  You do the math!Chantelle

For example, the last bras I purchased were from La Jolie Madame in Pacific Centre in downtown Vancouver.  La Jolie Madame have been in business for 25 years and the owner and staff will not sell you a bra without properly fitting you.  They carry bras sized from 32A to 46H and feature Vancouver's best selection of the finest European labels like Chantelle and La Perla (drool) that are drop-dead gorgeous (see pics to the right and below)!  You will just LOVE slinging your bosoms into these delectable pieces of art every morning!  And I don't know about you, but wearing a really stunning piece of lingerie under my clothes - as my little secret - makes me feel faaaahbulous!  And yes these are my "everyday" bras.  I deserve it and so do you!

It's not just about looking and feeling great either (although that is VERY important to us women)!  There are health problems associated with wearing the wrong bra size.  According to this article, it can harm the actual breast tissue, cause poor posture and produce neck and back pain.  And this article talks about how effective breast support can relieve the pain associated with sports, PMS and hormone problems.  I found this point to be particularly interesting:  those "compression-type" sports bras are not the ticket after all.  You are better off with a bra that encapsulates the breast like the Playtex Cross Your Heart designs.  Who Knew?  And to think I ran a couple of 1/2 marathons wearing my compression sports bra.  (oops!)

Another great place to shop in Vancouver is Diane's Lingerie, a fixture on South Granville for over 25 years.  Owner Diane Thomson describes her store as "your gateway to BC's greatest selection of quality bras and beautiful lingerie."  Diane's carries sizes 32AA to 56JJ (wow!)  She also states in her Bra Fit FAQ that women should be fitted twice a year for a bra and that throughout your lifetime you will wear six different bra sizes!  Weight gain, weight loss, puberty, gravity, pregnancy - all these things will affect your bra size on an ongoing basis.  You also won't necessarily wear the same size in different styles of bras either - balconette (my personal fave), push-up, strapless, demi cup, full cup, halters, minimizers, the list goes on.  Colour and brand can also make a difference!  So don't make the mistake of finally getting professionally fitted and think that you are going to be a "36C" until the end of time.

While I have mentioned only Vancouver stores in this post, most cities will have at least one bra/lingerie boutique that has staff trained to provide a professional fitting.  Look in your local Yellow Pages under "Bras" or of course, online.

ChantelleIt was over 4 years ago that I last visited La Jolie Madame (I think I'm going through withdrawal).  I bought 4 bras and I admit, dropped a few bills.  BUT they are just starting to wear out NOW.  Say it with me... YOU DO THE MATH!

Now, there is a commitment when you buy high-end bras - you must take care of them (don't worry - you will WANT to take care of them because they are so beautiful).  I hand-wash the really fancy lace ones (well I soak them in the sink - pretty effortless) and others go into mesh lingerie bags before going into my washing machine on the gentle cycle.  I use "Zero" or a comparable fine-washables soap (make sure the soap you choose is spandex friendly) whether I am washing in the sink or the machine.  But they NEVER and I mean NEVER go in the dryer.  EVER!

It is no coincidence that bras are referred to as FOUNDATION GARMENTS.  What is a foundation?  According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a foundation is "an underlying base or support; especially the whole masonry substructure of a building".  Also "a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid".

In other words, get a well-fitting bra or your clothes and your boobs will fall down - and it won't be pretty.before and after a properly-fitting bra

In a properly-fitted bra, you will look thinner, taller and your cupcakes will look perkier.  And for those well-endowed ladies out there, you won't have backaches or grooves in your shoulders anymore.  In fact, if you can "feel" your bra when you are wearing it, you are wearing the wrong size.  Other signs of an ill-fitting bra are:

  • the back rides up
  • the straps dig into your shoulders
  • you have red marks on your body after you take it off
  • you tug at your bra throughout the day
  • you have bulges at the tops and sides of the cups
  • you have bulges on your back

So what does this have to do with breastfeeding?  Well if there is ONE TIME in your life that you should get properly fitted and spend some extra dough on a bra, it is when you are pregnant and/or nursing!

Another reason that I am writing this post (other than my inherent desire to accost people in public and drag them off to get properly fitted for a bra) is because of our product - PumpEase™ hands-free pumping supports.  Our size charts tell our customers to choose their PumpEase™ size based on their maternity or nursing bra size.  Considering the "80% statistic", this can be challenging at times.  Having said that, we get very few returns for sizing because we encourage our customers to contact us for help if they are unsure of what size to buy.

Still, it would be sooo much easier if there was a Bra Police that enforced the "Professional Fitting Before Purchase" law across the land.  Then I would see perky boobs everywhere and that would make me a very happy camper!

Have you ever been professionally fitted for a bra?  Were you surprised at what size you actually turned out to be?  Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

{Photo credit: Hotmilk Lingerie}

{Photo credit: The Bra Lady}

February 20th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • GeneralInside Snugabell

PumpEase - a "Recession-Proof" Product? - YES!

Last Fall, we received an email from a retailer that wanted to sell our product in her store.  It was quite the coincidence as I had just three days earlier drafted an email to her, introducing PumpEase™, but had not sent it yet - and then she contacts us (can you say kharma?)

Anywho... she explained in her email that although they weren't taking on any new products at that time (due to the economy of course), that they wanted to carry PumpEase™.  She called our product "recession-proof" (and she said it "rocked" and a bunch of other nice stuff!)

I have been reflecting on that email from time to time over the last few months.  And I've come to the conclusion that she was right. PumpEase™ IS recession-proof!

Let me explain:

During hard economic times, people "cocoon".  What do they do when they stay home? - make babies of course!  There has actually been talk of another baby boom - perhaps not as big as the post-war baby boom that we are all so familiar with - but a baby boom no less.

Artificial feeding costs almost $2000 USD annually.  Breastfeeding provides all the nutrients your baby needs, is always the right temperature and is FREE.  It also protects you and your baby from a myriad of diseases.  Kind of a no-brainer I'd say.

New Moms are likely to have to return to work sooner than planned to bring some money into the household, therefore more women will be pumping!  If you are buying or renting a pump, what's another few dollars for a PumpEase™? - a product that lets you multitask while pumping - your boss will love it and so will you!  And of course you will need one of our sassy Do Not Disturb door hangers to announce to all of your coworkers that you are busy "Mommy-tasking"!

And then of course, you can't argue with the numbers.  We had our best month ever in January 2009.  Everyday on the news, in the papers and on the internet, all the talk is "doom and gloom" - people losing jobs, families losing their homes, businesses closing (I feel for ALL of you, really I do).  And yet, we are filling more orders than ever and are 'business as usual'.

I've been reading articles here and there about consumers' spending habits during an economic downturn.  Research indicates that people cut corners with the "everyday" stuff - groceries, toiletries, items that don't really matter too much - however, psychologically need that one "luxury" item to boost their spirit, to make them feel special, to remind them that things will get better.  Go ahead!  Treat yourself to something special whether it is a PumpEase™ or something else you really want!  You deserve it - and don't you dare feel guilty!