Kristy – Snuggle Bugz’s first ever Employee –
As Snuggle Bugz’s first hire, Kristy has gained a lot of experience during her 11 years with the company. She started as a Key-holder at the Burlington store and is now a Talent and Culture Advisor, on the Human Resources team. Snuggle Bugz has grown and changed during Kristy’s tenure, but she can attest that the company’s core values have always remained the same from the very start.
How did you come to join the Snuggle Bugz team?
The first original store wasn’t even open yet and there was sign out front saying “coming soon” and “now hiring”. I emailed my resume and at that time, because the store wasn’t open, Tanya interviewed me at a coffee shop. We clicked right away, it was good. So the first week the store opened, I was with them.
How would you explain your role to a toddler?
(laughing) How do you explain human resources to a toddler? Okay… If I had to explain what talent and culture does to let’s say, my two-year-old nephew, I’d have to relate it to trains otherwise I’ve completely lost him. So I would say that talent and culture makes sure that the right people are sitting in the right seats on the choo-choo train. Once everyone’s on the Snuggle Bugz train, we make sure they work well together and play well together.
What product are you in love with right now?
I love everything from Little Unicorn. Especially their swaddles, the poppy collection is beautiful. I absolutely love those, perfect for spring.
What makes you laugh?
My husband, I don’t know if that sounds corny, but he cracks me up. Every day he makes me laugh about something,
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I would probably say that a long time ago, my nickname used to be “grandpa”. The Burlington girls back in the day gave it to me. I don’t know how or why it happened out of all the nicknames I could have, but that’s the one that stuck. Somehow, I came to be known as “grandpa”. I don’t know if it’s because I’m old and boring, or if it’s because I have all the Snuggle Bugz wisdom. Till this day I’ll run into a person I used to work with, like 5 years ago, and they’ll be like “hey grandpa”. I’ve learned to embrace it and take it as words of endearment.
What do you do when you leave the office?
Anything outside. I love hiking, camping, paddle boarding. Just get me outside and I’m happy.
What do you love most about working at Snuggle Bugz?
I like a lot of things because I’ve been here this long… (laughing) The one thing I admire most about the company are our co-founders Ben and Tanya. They built this company and I believe in who they are as people and in the brand they are creating.
The early days of Snuggle Bugz were different from what it is now. It’s weird for me to think that when the company first started, Ben and Tanya had full time jobs outside of Snuggle Bugz. In the beginning, I remember working the store floor and Ben would come over on his lunch to give me my lunch break and then he would go back to work. Their kids were also so young back them. Sam be in a playpen in the back while Tanya ways doing her office work and when Addison was a few months old, she would have her strapped in a carrier while doing dry fits and stroller demos. We’ve had strollers and car seats on our floor from day one because Ben is a strong believer it letting our friends get a genuine feel for the items they want to purchase. It has always been about empowering people to feel confident in their buying decision and not just making a sale.
What’s your favourite drink?
Coffee. I can’t live without coffee.. I’ve tried to give it up but I can’t, I love it too much and it makes me happy… it’s the small things in life… Starbucks… Blonde Roast.
Which of the Snuggle Bugz philosophies best describes you?
Probably that “we love people”. I think that one is at the core of my personal beliefs. It’s something that I strive for daily on a personal level in my life. “We love people” is closest to my heart.
What are you most proud of working at Snuggle Bugz?
Being with the company from the beginning. Seeing it start with a husband and wife that had an idea, and then to see it grow to what it has become to today and knowing that I had a small part to play in that story. I think that’s what I’m most proud of.
What are you most excited for in the future?
Just to see where the company is going, it will be exciting to continue to see it grow. I’ve done so many different roles with in Snuggle Bugz but right now, being apart of the talent and culture team is a great fit for me, so I’m excited to be part of the growth.