Alli Cravens has worked in the womenswear and retail industries, the jewelry industry, and … rotational molding.
She is a fan of polyethylene. And she’s got a quick sense of humor.
“My experience in marketing rotomoulded products has made me so aware of the benefits that I often look at things and think, ‘it would be better if it were rotomoulded’. When I see new rotomoulded products, I get very geeky, ”she said.
Cravens is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Granger Plastics Co. in Middletown, Ohio, known for its rotationally molded underground storm shelters. As an outgoing woman, she is a natural spokesperson when local reporters call during the severe weather season or the Weather Channel drops in to make a report.
But a lot of what Cravens does is more traditional. “I’ve written thousands of press releases,” she said.
Cravens, 38, also answers questions from dealers and homeowners. Selling storm shelters is a unique business – a product you hope you will never need. It’s not like new kitchen cabinets or a new bathroom.
“It’s a lifesaving product. It’s the only home improvement product that will one day save your life, ”she said. “People buy them for peace of mind. They don’t really buy them because they want to use them. “
Granger shapes other products at its Middletown factory, including air freight containers, custom moldings, funeral urns and cemetery vases. But the Granger ISS Tornado Shelter attracts attention – especially in bad weather. The company is selling the properties to developers, but Cravens said the majority of the market is single-family homeowners.
Alli’s husband, Shawn Cravens, is the general manager and his father, Jim, is the president and owner.
Shawn Cravens has created about 150 websites for the company that are designed to find words like storm shelters and funeral products in search engines. Alli Cravens is developing many of the campaigns, such as this year’s tornado planning and safety. The company also explains rotational molding. Consumers usually do their research online before making a purchase. “This is how we really reach people who are looking for protection,” she says.
Jim and Shawn Cravens are rotational molding experts. Alli Cravens enjoys working with customers.
“Although you know the product better than I do, I can talk much better about the product than you do,” she says with a laugh.
When asked about their biggest failure, Cravens jokes that there are too many to count. “But in the depths of failure, I learned a lot. The most important thing is that that little voice in your head that wants to talk so much about failure never really gives good advice, ”she said.
Everyone hears that voice. “I think women listen to that little voice more than men do,” she said. What should I do? “Go back, think about what went wrong, but focus on moving forward instead of repeating failures over and over.”
Alli and Shawn Cravens have two young daughters. At trade fairs, they dress up the elderly like Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz”. You dress up a doll like the Wicked Witch. Do you remember the tornado scene?
“We take them everywhere because people love them,” said Cravens.