Monday, August 30, 2010

The Perfect Addition To Any Kids Playroom

Kids can be quite hard on furniture, especially at a young age and when you have more then one younger child the last thing you want to do is buy expensive, fancy furniture. Kids learn over time how to respect furniture and their belongings, but until they do having kid friendly furniture can be beneficial for any home.

If you’ve lucked out and been able to designate a room specifically for your kids there are many different ways you can spice it up. Kids always love fun, creative atmospheres and when you can put great furniture in there for them, it makes the room even more enjoyable for all. It can be difficult finding furniture now a days that goes perfectly with your homes decor that is great for the kids. A lot of kids furniture isn’t the most pleasant looking, and bombarded with cartoon characters. Thankfully over the years kids furniture has modernized and become more decor friendly.

Finding The Perfect Sofa Set

When you go on the hunt for kids furniture consider looking at some of the newly designed kids sofa sets and chairs. These products are designed to not only be stunning, but kid durable too and priced to go easy on your budget but provide long term value. No more of those thin cotton fabric, impossible to clean sofas, you can find a chair made of the incredible Crypton fabric or a sofa sets made out of soft vinyl which is easily washed and durable. This means you can relax a little more if sticky fingers and mucky messes happen to appear on these sofas.

One major benefit of these popular new kids furniture pieces is that they can easily blend into your homes decor. The sofas, love seats and chairs are designed to look just like modern furniture that you’d love to have.

Finding the perfect sofa set for kids has been known to be a trying event in the past. Now this is no longer true. With the amount of kid furniture options available you are guaranteed capable of buying not only a brand new sofa set, but an entire room of fashionable, trendy furniture for your kids.

Keeping the Kids Room a Kids Room

Kids are always more likely to play in a room that is fun and exciting. This not only includes what toys they have to play with, but what they can relax on while in there. If your child is worried they could scuff up the furniture they aren’t going to want to be in there. Instead give them furniture that can withstand them and make them feel comfortable while using it.

Keeping the kids room a kids room can be a lot of fun. You can incorporate many different things into this room including fun toy boxes, creative wall decals, activity tables and much more. Keep your child’s interests in mind while you are designing the kids room. Keep it appealing to them, but still keeping your own design preferences in mind. Now you can design a kids playroom just like an adult’s room, except filled with child friendly items instead.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Ever Happend to Uncle Stewie?

Back in 2004 SensoryEdge was contacted by a man who made affordable upholstered kids chairs from his warehouse in downtown Los Angeles. The pictures he sent looked great and once he sent us a sample we knew the product would do well on our site. Little did we know that the man who we called Uncle Stewie would cause us more headaches than help. Our business is fairly simple; we get an order from a customer who has visited our site and send that order to our vendor partners. 

Unfortunately Uncle Stewie was not a guy who used technology. He was from the old school and didn't really get the whole website sales, email, and need it now mentality of the 21st century. So we started sending Uncle Stewie orders and he wasn't making his ship in a week promise. When we could get a hold of him, there was always some excuse why the product didn't ship.

Because the product was affordable and good quality, we put up with his excuses and apologized to our waiting customers. This went on for a few months and then the holiday season started and orders started coming in at a really good pace. However orders weren't shipping at all! It seemed every other call was a "Where's my chair?" question. Calls and emails to Stewart went unanswered and when we did get a hold of someone, it was a warehouse worker who couldn't take a message.

We really didn't now what to do and felt terrible. People wanted their chairs for Christmas presents and it didn't look like that was going to happen. As parents, we felt our customers pain and could only offer alternative chairs (which we didn't have much of back then) or a refund. Of course, it was our reputation on the line and we take how people perceive our company very seriously. After dozens of calls to Uncle Stewie (some not so nice), we finally received a call back. He babbled on about this and that and promised to get chairs out before Christmas. 

By now we had over 200 chairs owed to anxious customers and we knew we weren't the only sellers who Stewart owed chairs to. Well by the time Christmas came, Stewart did get some of the chairs out but not all and we heard back from a lot of angry customers. The funny thing was that people still were willing to wait even into the next year for their chair!

Most companies would have simply stopped selling the chairs and moved on. But something about ol' Uncle Stewie made us feel bad for him. He had a product that was in demand but as we found out later he was cash poor. He simply didn't have enough capital to fund his business, and if resellers didn't pay him, he couldn't pay his suppliers or workers. We were suckers and even tried to help him out by telling him to charge his resellers including us more for the product. Stewart wouldn't because he saw lesser versions of the chair being sold at gas stations around Los Angeles and thought that was who he was competing against. 

We explained that customers would pay for better quality and he shouldn't worry about an inferior product in his space. He didn't listen and slowly but surely we had no choice but to start taking his products off our site.

We heard from Stewart sporadically over the next year but then he simply disappeared. We asked some of our competitors and they also wondered what happened to the chair guy. The 3W company is gone and we miss Uncle Stewie. We gave you the short version of all the trial and tribulations with Stewart. Stories about our trips to Downtown L.A. and calls from employees wondering if they'd get paid are just some of the nutty things that went out.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Classroom Rugs: A Teacher’s Best Friend

Having a classroom rug may not seem like a necessity to some, but teachers know that a classroom rug can be their best friend. Classroom rugs range from about 4 feet by 5 feet to 8 feet by 13 feet and can be placed in most classrooms. To the teacher, a classroom carpet is one of the most versatile items to have available. Here are some or its many uses.

Create a Room within a Room

Classroom rugs can provide a room within a room. This means that the teacher has a space that is measured out, well defined, and easy for kids to identify. A simple, “Please sit on the carpet” request by a teacher means that students know exactly where to go. Since the design of a carpet outlines itself, children know the boundaries. Sitting on the carpet means that students can easily and quickly be sent to one area where further instruction can take place.

Provide a More Personal Setting

Sometimes classrooms can feel impersonal with students sitting at their own desks in their own area. This is needed for some classroom instruction, testing, and other individual activities. But to bring the class together in a personal setting, the classroom carpet is the ideal place. Students can sit in rows on the rug for story time or sit around the rug for discussion time or an educational game. Classroom rugs become a memory building space for students to get to know each other and the teacher just a little bit better.

Classroom Rugs Create an Area of Separation

For some students, getting some alone time or space from other students is necessary. Having a classroom carpet gives teachers a well defined, outlined, safe area to send a student that needs some momentary space. Teachers can ask a student to “go take a breather” on the carpet and the student can easily understand what he is supposed to do.

Educational Opportunities

There are many different classroom rugs available that are educational. Such rugs as the ABC Caterpillar Rug, Fishing for Literacy Rug, and the Pond Carpet can be used as educational tools. While sitting on the rug, teachers can ask students what letter they are sitting on and then ask them to name things that start with that letter. Teachers can have students line up and hop on the letters that spell their name. The ideas and creative learning moments are endless with classroom rugs of this kind.

A Place For Expression

Some classroom rugs have symbols and signs that allow children to express their feelings and teachers to express their pride in students. For example, there is a Signs of Emotions Rug that allows students to stand or sit on the emotion they are feeling and the teacher can then help the child talk about those emotions. I also like the Motivational Mat Carpet that allows a teacher to send a student who has made a good choice or accomplished a task to the carpet to stand on the thumbs up or smiley face. Giving students a creative way to express themselves is invaluable to teachers.

Any classroom can benefit from a classroom carpet. Teachers and students alike will love the versatility and many options that classroom rugs provide. These rugs truly can become a teacher’s best friend.