Vancouver-based Slumberkins asks for help after Silicon Valley Bank collapse

Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 9:21 PM PST
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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) - A local Vancouver business is asking for help after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed Friday morning, the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history, leaving clients like Slumberkins to figure out what’s next.

In the early says of Slumberkins, Co-founders Callie Christensen and Kelly Oriard opened up a bank account with their local iQ Credit Union but it wasn’t long before they switched over to Silicon Valley Bank.

“We ended up switching to SVB because it had a reputable name in the business for startups and so we have a lot of friends that bank with SVB,” Christensen said.

Then, come Friday morning, the pair of CEOs were flying back from a business trip when they learned about the news that Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, leading them to imagine a worst case scenario.

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“We landed into complete devastation over ‘Oh god this really could be the end of our business as we know it,’” Christensen said.

Before the bank’s failure, people scrambled to pull money from SVB, but Christensen said it was too late. The FDIC had already taken over.

“Starting Thursday we ended up trying to initiate the transfer of our cash out of Silicon Valley Bank, but it was a situation where the online portals were failing we couldn’t get ahold of the account managers,” she said. “It was just pure chaos and no communication.”

Christensen said luckily, their iQ account was still open and that’s where the money from all sales will go for now. She also said they’ll be able to get at least $250,000 back, which is the government’s limit on deposit insurance. However, it’s unclear if and when they’ll get the rest of their money that was with SVB.

“We’re hopeful we can bounce back from this. It’s a big hit, it’s a big punch to the gut. It was a majority of our operating capital,” Oriard said.

Despite this setback, they decided to practice what their products preach. Their narwhal helps parents teach kids problem-solving skills and the alpaca provides a lesson in stress relief.

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With this in mind, they put our a call for help on social media, asking their customers to share the word and support them by placing an order if they can.

“It was really scary, but you know we teach these things in our products,” Oriard said.

They said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

“We wanted to make it clear that even them sharing the post, even them telling a friend, or a neighbor was such an important piece of like how they can help rally around the brand and that’s rang true. For that post to have been shared over 10,000 times now is incredible,” Christensen said.