Coral Grant – Forever Blankets and Bears
by Phil N Rossner
From the time a little one is born into this world, a cuddly blanket and equally cuddly bear go pretty much hand-in-hand with babys-ville. I remember well with our own kids how we made sure that they were always as comfortable and warm as possible. Over time blankets and bears became threadbare due to their excessive use. My niece was so attached to her blanket – her “bee-cee” – that it took many years for her to finally let it go… though she still has it in her possession 34 years later!
Coral Grant has picked up on this way that we keep our kids comfortable and happy when they are small and has made a business out of it. She has, however, added an extra feature in that, apart from being able to choose the colour and design of the blanket, she also offers custom personalized embroidery. This can include the baby’s name, gender and date of birth, along with any other text that you may like to add.
Apart from blankets, handmade collectible teddy bears and “zoobie pets” (a combination of stuffed animal, blanket and pillow) are available from Coral’s online store. While her main focus is on these personalized baby gifts, she mentions that she is also set up to do a full range of promotional products, including caps, t-shirts, team apparel, pens, cups, and more.
Starting Anew[sam_ad id=”74″ codes=”true”]After relocating to BC caused her to lose her opportunity to work in the public health sector, Coral had to re-invent herself and subsequently set up her business in 2003, moving it to East Sooke in 2006. Prime to her being in business is her husband, who is the graphic artist in the company.
Kudos and Challenges
On inquiring as to what keeps her motivated, Coral replies, “I love what I do, especially the baby gifts. The biggest rewards are the kind words from my clients and the cute baby pictures!” However, it’s not all fun and games in the business world as Coral can attest, “Worst challenge is the continuing changes in the internet search engines, the cost of SEO (Search Engine Optimization – Ed.) and the constant need to be on a Social Marketing site. The other frustration is the lack of support from local businesses.”
We asked Coral what she would have done different if she were to start all over again… “I’d spend less on SEO, Google Adwords and Internet snake oil salesmen!” As for whether she thought joining a group of other entrepreneurs in a support group might be beneficial, she states succinctly, “I am not sure, my membership in the Chamber wasn’t too helpful…”
Customer Service is KING!
Coral’s advice to new entrepreneurs is, ”Be prepared to work 24/7 and be prepared with a Plan B when Plan A doesn’t work out! Customer service is KING. Never expect overnight success.”