Tuesday, March 30, 2010

National Mom and Pop Day!

By Jay Jay
In honor of National Mom and Pop Day yesterday, we here are celebrating all week. Sarah's Silks has been a proud Mom and Pop operation for 15 years now. Sarah and Mike are here with us everyday, running the business and collaborating to make the best products possible.

Here an interview with one of our retailers run by mom Tracy Coe. Hazelnut Kids is a great online resource for natural toys of all kinds. What I love about them is that they provide so much information about the companies they represent. We are proud to be part of their business. Read on to learn more about Tracy and Hazelnut Kids.

Sarah's Silks: It’s obvious that you put a lot of effort into your business, how do you juggle being a mom and entrepreneur? Any tips for other working moms or small business owners out there?
Tracy: Work/Family balance is always a challenge. Some days work wins and some days family demands more attention. The home office (the dungeon, my family calls it) is where it gets tricky. I can't walk by the computer without checking email and then I get sucked right in and forget I was supposed to be finding clean socks for the kids! I hate giving advice to anyone, but something I do constantly is remind myself that my children will only be young once and I will have plenty of time to work when they no longer want me around.

Sarah's Silks: How did you get into the toy business?
Tracy: By accident, like most things in my life. When I was pregnant with my second child I began to read a lot about natural parenting and becoming more aware of the dangers of most children's toys, especially plastic ones. I was introduced to a wonderful lady named Sheri who created Hazelnut Kids just for parents like me who were looking for toys made of natural materials like wood, wool, organic cotton, and of course, silk. I was a loyal customer for four years and an advocate of safe, natural toys. So when Sheri decided to move on to other things my phone rang and here I am!

Sarah's Silks: What is the mission or philosophy behind Hazelnut Kids?
Tracy: HazelnutKids.com provides a place for parents, grandparents, and friends to shop for beautiful, natural toys that are safe and feed the imagination of children. We are huge supporters of land conservation and donate 1% of all sales to local land conservancies as well as have one tree planted for each toy sold.

Sarah's Silks: At Sarah’s Silks, we believe in the importance and the magic of imaginative play. What other toys do you sell that really inspire open-ended play?
Tracy: The first toys to come to mind are the playkitchens and playfoods because my children have spent hours role playing with them. They pretend they are at the farmer's market, they take turns playing waiters and cooks in a restaurant, and we've been able to make some great math lessons playing market.
I have great memories of Sarah's Silk's also. Simple playsilks have been capes, skirts, a leg cast, you name it! And just yesterday, my daughter rediscovered her silk streamers and took them outside because it was a lovely day.

Sarah's Silks: I really love all the creative projects you have on your blog. Can you point us toward one project that you might take on for Easter?
Tracy: Not so much a project, but we love your idea of using a lime green playsilk instead of messy grass for the kids' Easter baskets. I'll be snagging two of them today before I head home.

Visit Tracy's website at Hazelnut Kids and her blog here.