Stephanie – Our Plushie-Obsessed Director of Product –
For 4 years, Stef has been buying the latest and greatest items for our friends both in-store and online. We caught up with her to find out what she loves about Team Snuggle Bugz and how we decide what will appear on store shelves.
How did you come to join the Snuggle Bugz team?
I attended a job fair that Snuggle Bugz hosted at their old office location back in Dec 2014… no, 2013.
I was coming off maternity leave with my 2nd child and I was an avid SB shopper. I just felt that my previous history in buying alongside my passion for any and all things baby would align.
I showed up to the job fair, met Ben… MAGIC. Joined the company January 4th, 2014, just before we moved into our new office on Sutton Dr.
How would you explain your job to a toddler?
I try to explain my job to my kids all the time. I tell my kids I get to shop for a living. I get to buy all the things that appear on the shelves in stores and they think its pretty cool. And then they ask why we don’t have more toys.
What product are you in love with right now?
OMG, the Jelly Cats. The new line for 2018 are possibly the best ones I’ve ever seen. The Mad Pet line is the best mix of crazy and cuddly that you’re ever going to see.
How do you choose new products for Snuggle Bugz?
I’m a sucker for great packaging. If a product is good but the packaging is great, it’s an instant recipe for success.
I go to a lot of tradeshows, making connections with brands all over the world.
When we find a product we’re interested in, we put it through a rigorous vetting process. If it meets our criteria, we often test it online to get an initial reaction and see what demand is from our friends.
If they love it as much as we do, we fight hard to get it in stores as quickly as possible.
What makes you laugh?
(laughing) Oh, so many things. So many inappropriate things. You can’t write that. Ha! What makes me laugh? You can’t write this!
Seriously, I’m a simple person and I just laugh at everything. My kids – they’re hilarious and have this whole new perspective on life. Sarcasm. Ridiculousness. The simplest most ridiculous things make me laugh. THIS. This interview makes me laugh.
What do you like to do when you leave the office?
Go for a 10k run. JK – I hate running.
I like to go home, be with my kids, have a dance party with my kids in the living room. Our favourite jam right now is anything Taylor Swift or the Trolls sound track. My 4 year old can do a mean robot.
This is a ridiculous answer, I know! This is why I should never be interviewed.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Live theatre makes me cry. I have a passion for the arts and I’ve been involved in it my entire life and I’m amazed by the talent that we see on stage. It brings me literally to tears every time.
What do you love about working at Snuggle Bugz?
Hmmm… I love the people. And I LOVE that it’s fast paced and there’s never a dull moment. I’m never bored. And I get to shop.
Which of the Snuggle Bugz philosophies is really you?
Uncompromising Commitment to Excellence. I’m my own biggest critic so I always try to do more, do something better, and I always have the company’s best interests at heart in everything I do. I’m not a quitter. So, if something doesn’t work, I’ll have no problem trying again.
What’s your favourite drink?
Daytime – London fog latte from Starbucks.
Nightime – A really smooth red wine.
Weekend – tequila. Shots. Can I say that?
What are you most proud of working at Snuggle Bugz?
When I started we had 2 stores and a little tiny office. I’m proud of the company and the business for taking its vision to build and get where it wants to be. I guess it’s not so much proud as honoured to be included in the process.
I’m proud of expanding the product line to include a really wide variety of new brands and products that have given our friends a reason to keep shopping with us.
What’s in the future for Stephanie?
Snuggle Bugz for life. I’m not going anywhere, I’m right where I want to be. There. Perfect.
But I AM going on a Disney cruise in April. I will say that if I got offered a job to play Belle as a cruise performer, well, I may have to consider a career change!