I am a Step2 Ambassador and traveled to Step2 HQ to share what I saw and felt. #Step2ambassador
If you’ve followed me for a while then you know my journey with Step2 started long before I had a blog. It simply started with my hunt for a few good toys for my child. Same as any parent out there. These days, the toy section is noisy. Literally and figuratively. What do we as parents really want from toys?
If you’re like me then you want toys that remind you of the ones from your childhood. Toys that won’t drive you to the brink of insanity with their electronic voices on repeat. Toys that let your kids just be kids and use their imagination. Toys that are made with love by people who truly care.
Which is precisely what I found in Step2. Toys made to last that let Kayla use her imagination to decide how to play with them while I either played along or caught up on chores nearby. A sand and water table can be exactly that. Or it can be a pirate’s treasure hunt, a dinosaur dig or a restaurant serving up the best darn sand pie this side of the Mississippi. That’s the awesome thing about open ended play.
Fast forward five years and earlier this month my journey with Step2 came full circle. I have been a Step2 ambassador in the past, but this year I finally made it to Step2 HQ in Ohio. Where it was cold. Like freezing cold.
But inside Step2 it was warmer than I could have imagined. When we see products on the shelves in big box stores from recognizable brands a lot of the time we don’t realize there are real people behind them. From the corporate office to the plant next door, the people of Step2 felt like a family. Real people.
The folks answering your call to customer service when your dog eats your sand toys? (not that I would know anything about that) They’re real people. Here in the US. Not in some remote call center. Really awesome real people. There was an overwhelming sense of respect for one another, parents and kids as consumers and of course the toys themselves.
I was surprised by how much the Step2 crew was willing to share with us about products in the works. We saw quite a few things I can’t share with you yet (sorry!) Of the ones I can share, this play kitchen was by far my favorite and surely nicer than the kitchen I normally cook in.
What shocked me the most was how seriously the feedback provided by myself and nine of my peers appeared to be taken. Good, bad or ugly. They wanted to know what we as parents and customers thought. How would we use things? What prices would we expect to pay. Was there anything we would add or take away? Would this product help us as parents?
One thing I heard over and over while at Step2 HQ was that their goal is to bring families together. Whether it’s you cooking in your own kitchen while your mini me mimics you in theirs, or a family walk to the park with the tiniest of drivers leading the way. That resonated with me and made me think about how our family has used Step2 toys in the past.
Kayla had a Whisper Ride Buggy similar to this one when she was about Blake’s age. I have such fond memories of pushing her around in it while she honked the horn and “drove” like she was in a 1950’s movie. Craig and I headed to Toys ‘R Us and bought a new one for Blake since Kayla’s was passed on to a friend years ago.
After returning from a business trip this week Blake wanted me to push him all around our house in his new blue car and “Go FAST.” On every loop I’d tell him to honk the horn as we approached Craig. Craig of course would make a silly face and say “Don’t crash into daddy you crazy driver!” which would send Blake into a fit of giggles and leave him asking for more. It was one of those moments when you’re all having a blast and you don’t want it to end. So I guess they’re right. This crazy family, brought together.