March 25th, 2008 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestGiving BackHuman Milk Banking

Let's Talk about Human Milk Banks!

Did you know in the 1970’s there were as many as 23 milk banks in Canada?  In the 80’s however, fears of HIV transmissions led to the closure of all but the Vancouver bank, located at BC Women’s Hospital.

Breast milk banks - there are currently 10 in the United States as well - provide supplies to mothers who cannot produce enough milk or are not able to produce their own due to illness or being on medication.  Banks are also used by parents of adopted and foster children.

Many Canadian communities are pleading for more milk banks to be opened, however few hospitals are willing to supply the required funding and resources and the government isn’t stepping up to the plate to help (surprise, surprise).

Here at Mike & Toni’s™, we are committed to raising awareness around the need for donations (both breast milk and monetary) through our website, blog J and promotional materials.  And of course we will talk about it with everyone we meet!

We will also donate at least 1% of our profits to the BC Women’s Milk Bank to assist mothers and babies in need.

How can you help?  If you are nursing and have an abundance of milk, please consider donating!  If you are in the Greater Vancouver area, they will even come to pick it up.  Then they pasteurize, test, freeze and ship it out to those in need.  Of course, you can use your Mike & Toni’s™ hands-free pumping support while collecting the milk!

If you can’t help with a milk donation, you can help by donating monetarily.  Currently the milk bank cannot pay for the inward shipping of donations outside of their cachement.  A donation could help to change this!

For more information, you can visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America at www.hmbana.org.  Our very own Frances Jones, Coordinator of the Vancouver Bank, is the Chairperson of the Board.  It is actually a pretty interesting read!

You can also find information about the Vancouver Bank here.

Thank you for your support (pun most definitely intended)!

March 15th, 2008 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Customer Service

Great Customer Service - Part I

I’m a real stickler when it comes to customer service.  Sadly, more often than not, I am frustrated and shocked by the customer service (or perhaps I should say the lack thereof) that I receive these days.  However, I’d like to share a few delightful stories that have restored my belief that yes Wendy, there is a Santa, I mean, great customer service out there after all!

The first one that comes to mind is a lighting company by the name of Kichler.  The previous owner of our house had some lamp posts built, but had not gotten around to installing the carriage post lights and so they were included in the sale (in their boxes).  When we had our electrician install them, we were dismayed to find one of the finials missing.  I contacted my local Kichler retailer, however, they informed me that we couldn’t buy “just the finial”, but would have to buy the whole light ($200).  After mulling over this for a while, I decided to email the parent company.  The fellow I corresponded with told me that he would check if he could send me a finial.  He told me exactly when he would get back to me and that’s exactly when I heard from him.  He then told me that he unfortunately could not send me just the finial and in the same breath offered to send me an entire light FREE OF CHARGE - he even covered the shipping!  Of course I was ecstatic…. I would have been happy to get it wholesale!  I wasn’t even the original purchaser of the lighting (and he knew that).  But I tell you….I sure will buy Kichler lighting in the future!

Just telling you this story has exuded in me the same excited feeling that I had on that day and that was over 2 years ago!  This just goes to show that providing exceptional customer service is worth every cent of your money and every minute of your time.

Here at Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear we strive to provide the same exceptional customer service to each and every customer - the kind that takes your breath away and makes you say, “Wow!”

Stay tuned for another great customer service story….

March 8th, 2008 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • About this Blog & Me

Welcome!

I am always thinking….my brain never stops: in the shower, making the beds, brushing my teeth, doing laundry, getting the kids dressed, driving (I do a LOT of thinking while I’m driving).

Unfortunately, I also have a really bad memory. It never used to be bad, however has steadily declined ever since I went back to school in my late 20’s and started using a DayTimer to keep track of all my assignments. Of course this has now turned into a Palm Pilot and may soon turn into a BlackBerry. My advice to you is to keep using your BRAIN and don’t be tempted by teeth that are blue, berries that are black and phones called “Chocolate” or “i” ….. it’s a conspiracy! I used to be able to retain a list of
20 (yes T-W-E-N-T-Y) tasks in my head and now I can’t remember anything! And then I went and had 2 babies over the course of 3 years just to really make sure my brain was mush!

So while I’m doing the laundry or making the beds or brushing my teeth and all these thoughts and ideas are popping into my head, I have to stop what I’m doing and run out to the kitchen to write them down. Sometimes I find myself running back and forth like a crazy woman! I’m paranoid that if I don’t write my fantastic thought or idea down, that I’ll remember later in the day that I had the fantastic thought or idea, but I won’t remember what the fantastic thought or idea was! Then I stress about the fact that I’ll probably never have that same fantastic thought or idea again!

If I’m in the shower or some other “penless” place, I chant the thoughts or ideas in my head over and over until I can make note of them. I’ve even resorted to keeping a Dictaphone recorder in my car so that when (not if) the ideas come to me while I’m driving, I can record them without causing a 10 car pile-up!

But now I have a blog - a means to record and share my fantastic thoughts and ideas with the whole universe! OK, maybe not the WHOLE universe….but hopefully you will find humour, insight and useful information in these posts. I plan to blog about being a WAHM, mompreneur, wife, parent, consumer, breastfeeding advocate and much, much more “as the mood strikes”. Come to think of it, this blog is pretty much destined to become one of life’s little instruction books because as you now know, “I am always thinking….my brain never stops.”

Welcome inside my mind, er blog. I hope you enjoy the ride!