Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Special for Our Blog Readers

I wanted to throw out an offer just for our blog readers. For one week, only our blog readers are welcome to the following savings at our website:

Spend $75 at http://www.clothdiapermom.com/ - Get 1 pair of Babylegs 25% off - code BL25
Spend $150 at http://www.clothdiapermom.com/ - Get 1 pair of Babylegs 50% off - code BL50
Spent $300 at http://www.clothdiapermom.com/ - Get 1 pair of Babylegs FREE - code BL100

This offer is valid while quantities last.

Our updated contact info

Just in case some people still have our old contact info on record, here is the updated info.

Phone: 204.798.5292
Email: customerservice@clothdiapermom.com
Mailing Address: 103 - 1157 St. Anne's Rd, Winnipeg Manitoba R2N 0B8
Hours of Operation: Subject to change. Please see website for current info.



How to keep your cloth diapers residue free

I came across this article from Bummis.com and wanted to share. The article covers troubleshooting problems with cloth diaper users and lists residues as the single most important issue.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winnipeg Diaper Service

I run into so many friends who do not have children yet but who say they want to cloth diaper one day. A large portion of them express interest in using a diaper service. The appeal of using cloth on your baby but not having to deal with the dirty diapers, even to those without children, is huge.

Winnipeg currently does not have a diaper service. I believe we used to have a service called Tender Touch on Henderson, although I was not familiar with them when I start cloth diapering my first daughter Keira back in 2004.

1 year ago, we first considered starting a local diaper service after hearing more about diaper services at a Real Diaper Industry Association meeting we attended. 1 year later, we are gearing up to offer the service to residents of Winnipeg. This is really exciting to me because I know this service will be valuable to many parents who have been waiting for a local diaper service.

Here are some of the details we have so far:

Program start date: Late September to early October 2009

Program name: Not Decided

Program cost: Approximately $22 - $23/weekly flat rate

Program details: Our diaper service will provide you with clean diapers one day a week. Our delivery will occur on the same day each week and we will pick up your dirty diapers and have them washed following the standards of the National Association of Diaper Services. http://www.diapernet.org/

Coverage Area: Within the city limits of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Waitlist: We are now taking contact information from anyone wanting to join a wait list for this program. Please email diaperservice@clothdiapermom.com for more details.

More details to be provided throughout September.

From diapernet.org:

How Does A Diaper Service Work?

Although each diaper service may operate a little differently, here is a general idea of how the process works.

Diaper services are professional laundries, who rent reusable cotton diapers to families of infants, hospital nurseries, and day care centers. The diaper service delivers clean diapers, and picks up the soiled diapers on a weekly basis, and launders them, using professional equipment, and specially developed laundering formula. The service essentially rents you the use of the diapers your baby needs, sized for the baby's age. Diaper services also sell or rent diaper covers to make using cloth diapers as convenient as using single-use diapers. Diaper services launder diapers to rigorous public-health standards that you couldn't possibly match at home, with thirteen changes of water and high-temperature drying that eliminates bacteria.

The service supplies a special hamper, with a professional quality deodorant, and a heavyweight plastic bag/liner for the hamper. Services will also provide professional automatic-closure diaper covers, if the customer wishes.


Our first Contest!

Congratulations to Nicole K for winning our first Cloth Diaper Mom contest, which was open to residents of Canada. Nicole won a Stage 1 Drybees Gone Natural Bamboo diaper! Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. We plan to make contests a regular feature on our website. Good luck everyone who enters upcoming contests.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

7th Annual ABC Kids Expo

What is on my mind lately? Vegas.


Last year we had the opportunity to attend the 6th Annual ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. This convention covers 2 huge floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center (the south hall, I think) and has everyone from Chicco, Peg Perago, Fisher Price, to tons of new start up companies. Think of every single children's product you can imagine and all of those companies are here in one place. Now imagine each company displaying all of their new and beautiful fabric and colour selections. The Kids Expo is full of style, and I think I still have images of crib bedding and wall art swirling in my head.

This show is only open to retailers and manufacturers and it gave us the chance to meet all of the wonderful people who we purchase our inventory from. After hundreds of emails and phone calls, it was wonderful to meet everyone in person. We were able to meet with Linda Byerline from Happy Heinys and her husband Tim, Betsy Thomas from Bummis, Heather from Knickernappies, Rosie from Imse Vimse, Tashi from Kissaluvs, and Jen from Cotton Babies. It is so nice to speak with each manufacturer in person and learn more about the products they carry. The main advantage of attending this expo for me was that I walked away feeling like I knew each product I carry more and it made me more confident in discussing each diaper with our local customers.

What else stood out in memory at the convention? The other cloth diaper retailers, for sure. I met a wonderful group of ladies (and a few of their husbands) who have online or brick and mortar cloth diaper stores across Canada and the United States. We already have a network online where we can ask each other questions and help our customers troubleshoot any issues they are having, but it was definitely nice to put a face to each name. I'm looking forward to seeing all of these ladies again this year.

Asides from a few days of walking the convention center floors and talking with manufacturers, we also attended a few meetings. Admittedly, we did miss one early morning meeting.... this is Vegas after all. Our last meeting was for Cloth Diaper retailers, Cloth Diaper manufacturers, and also those in the diaper service industry. We were unbelievably lucky enough to have the owner and publisher of Mothering Magazine, Peggy O'Mara speak at the meeting. I'll include a link to a great article on Cloth Diapering from Peggy at the end of this entry.

And so, I'm looking forward to going back to the ABC Kids Expo again in a few weeks. The retailers and manufacturers have put together a group called the RDIA. http://www.realdiaperindustry.org/ We are proud to be a charter member of this group. As someone without a background in business, I'm hoping that in addition to learning more about the products I support, that I will take in more about how to run a business and how to be profitable. For Canadian cloth diaper retailers especially, the mark up on diapers isn't that high once you take into account shipping, taxes, and fees. This is our 3rd year in business and we are constantly learning and expanding, but behind that comes 3 years of learning the hard way and yes, making mistakes. In the past, I didn't make a point to watch our bottom line and I often sold products at too low of a price, not factoring in my costs. Anytime we had shipping delays or problems, I also threw in many free products for our customers. I would rather charge fairly and be able to offer wonderful support than to price too low and not give my business the funds it needs run properly. We are getting there. (I'll probably discuss this more in an upcoming blog.)

Before I forget, here is my link from Peggy O'Mara.
A Tale of Two Diapers - A Quiet Place by Peggy O'Mara