For the past few days, I (along with Christine From Dates to Diapers, Sarah from Minnesota Mama Must Haves and Jennifer from Mom Spotted) had an amazing opportunity to spend time with the Kolcraft and Contours Baby team in Chicago. Aside from getting the royal treatment, which will be discussed in more detail later, the highlight of the trip for me was actually partaking in the informational sessions and panel discussions. I have gained more (personal) insight into their family-based company and an incredible respect for this trusted brand.
After sitting there a few hours giving my opinion on everything from fabrics to features on new and existing products, I had to catch my breath. You mean these people actually care about what us moms, especially me, think about the products they are producing? Wow! It was amazing to feel that needed. To think I am making a difference. Plus, these people knew about me. I mean they knew my entire background – from the languages I had learned and studied throughout my life to certain details they could only gather from reading multiple posts on my personal blog. They went above and beyond to please us and impress us with all the added details the entire trip. I was in awe.
Talk about an inspiring company with so such a great future ahead of them (I can’t wait to tell you!). The team – FANTASTIC! They couldn’t have picked a better group of people! I know that Kolcraft stresses being a family owned and operated company, but you don’t really get the gist of that until you meet the staff in person. I already loved Michelle (but grew to love her even more in person), but was introduced to her fabulous team (Colleen and Kim), and we were able to meet Sandy Koltun (the son of the original owner, Leo), his son Tom and his daughter Anita, who was interning there this summer. Even Tom had done his “homework” on us! (I love them all for making me feel so special!)
In my next post, I will go into more detail about the fun we had (complete with photos), our phenomenal experience, some things that stood out about the company and about some new and exciting things happening over at Kolcraft. But for now I just want to share with you a small portion of the wealth of information I learned about their higher end crib mattresses (Sealy and the luxury line of Stearns and Foster, which is only sold at Babies R Us), since they are the leading crib mattress manufacturer in the US. I learned more about crib mattresses than I have ever thought possible! Andrea at Kolcraft is a walking mattress knowledge database. Here are a few interesting tidbits:
- The inventor of the 2-stage mattress (a firmer infant side and a plush toddler side), Kolcraft produces such high caliber products that even adults could use the baby mattress. Now that’s quality! Plus, they are all USA-made.
- They fully disclose all the materials and layers right on the mattress, so that you always know what the mattress consists of without any of the guess work or extra research. Look at all that goes into a 6-inch mattress!
- Did you know that there is no such thing as a completely organic mattress? You can have an organic outer, but the core (consisting of either inner springs or a high density foam) cannot be organic.
- Why do they use Oeko-Tex Certified latex foam and not a memory foam? Memory foam heats up and sinks down when pressure is applied, whereas latex foam bounces back, making it much safer for your child.
- Another remarkable fact I learned about latex foam is that people with latex allergies have no issues with their latex foam mattresses. Why? Because latex foam has no proteins (proteins are what causes the immune system to shut down and cause allergies), making their mattresses hypoallergenic. That, along with the pictured Crypton Enhanced cover(an easy to clean, waterproof, stain-resistant, anti-dust mite cover), make their Nature Couture (Sealy) and Baby Dynasty (Stearns and Foster) line of mattresses more than desirable. A winning combination in my book!
- Did you know that those mattresses also come with a lifetime guarantee? That means that you can call up Kolcraft at any time (well, during normal business hours) and have any of your personal crib mattress issues addressed.
And these are more reasons why I have grown to love this company and am extremely proud to be a Kolcraft mom!
Stay tuned for upcoming posts – behind the scenes, (REALLY) exciting new products, and, of course, the royal treatment in Chicago! (Complete with photos.)