flashback friday

A look at blog posts from yesteryear:

MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009

you think i can do what?! 

Shawn says that he thinks I should make and sell fitted diapers. I thought he was crazy at first, but since Shawn has a tendency to see more in myself than I do, I’ve been mulling it over for a few months. You read that right, it takes me a long time to mull. No need to judge.

Actually, he started saying I should sell them when I made Bug’s first batch of cloth diapers. I disregarded the idea because I was just starting to figure out what I was doing and thought Shawn was just trying to give me an ego boost. I also had no idea if the diapers would even work, if they’d fall apart after one washing, if they’d hold in stink, if the velcro would fall off, if the seams would come undone, if the elastic wouldn’t work…you get my drift. I didn’t feel comfortable trying to sell something that I didn’t even know would work.

After having J. Bug in cloth diapers for five months (we did disposables for his first month), I can now say that the diapers I made are pretty dang good and hold up just as well (and actually hold the smell less) than the purchased ones. And since Shawn is still saying he thinks I could sell fitted diapers, I’m starting to take him a little more seriously. Truthfully, I’d love to be able to make them and give them away, but my time with Bug is very precious to me. If I’m going to be doing something that takes me away from him, I need it to be something that generates income to contribute towards my eventual dream of staying home.

Now for the embarrassing part. I’m not a good marketer, and I have a severe disdain for people who peddle themselves. I’ve stayed far, far away from businesses like Mary Kay and Pampered Chef – not because those aren’t great opportunities for extroverted women – but because I’m just not good at the whole, “you should buy my product” thing.

Allow me to tell you a story to demonstrate my point. Two weeks ago, I took Bug into our pediatrician’s sick clinic on my way to work because I thought he had a cold and wanted to make sure it wasn’t something more severe before we left town. I usually try to put him in a disposable before we go to the pediatricians because I don’t want the cloths to change the consistency of his weight, but this was a last minute thing, so I didn’t have the chance and he went in his cloth diaper. As the nurse was getting some of his stats from me, I undressed J. Bug to get him ready for the weigh-in, asking if it was okay that he was in a cloth diaper. Yes, it was okay, and the nurse quickly became fascinated with my cloth diaper choice, telling me that she was considering cloth diapering her 8 month old. This is not an unusual occurrence, I get questions about it at least once a week. The conversation went like this:

“Where did you find the diapers?” the nurse asked.

Tell her you can make them, myself said.

“Well, I had a hard time finding anything locally, so my husband’s parents actually bought us most of his online.” Just do it. It’s not that hard, just say, “Actually, I made some cloth diapers for him that work as well as the ones we bought. I’d be glad to give you a better deal than you could find online if you’re interested.”

“Do you happen to remember the website you bought them from?” she inquired.

“Gosh” I replied, “Not off the top of my head. I do know that they’re Little Lions brand, though. I think you can do a search for Little Lions and probably find them pretty easily. They were the best quality for the best price that we could find and they work out well for us.” Or…I can jot down my email address for ya. The Little Lions were about $9/diaper plus shipping and handling. I’d be glad to make you some for about $7.50/diaper and you wouldn’t have to pay shipping and handling. I can easily email you pictures of the diapers I’ve made. 

“I’ll have to check those out – have you tried any other brands?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’ve tried the BumGenuis, they’re a pocket diaper. That just means you “stuff” them with the liner that’s already sewed into the fitted. I like them a lot, but I don’t see much of a difference in functionality between those and the fitteds with the covers.” Gosh, just say it! I made some for Bug that work really well. I’d be glad to make some for you to try if you’d like. Here is my email address and what I would charge per diaper. End of peddling. How hard is that? Really. How hard is that? 

I went on to explain to her some of the details of how fitted diapers work, the best place to find the diaper covers, how often I wash his diapers, and the best way I’ve found to remove the smell and stains…all without mentioning that I’m fully capable of making fitted diapers.
See? I’m a total and complete pansy. It’s ridiculous, really.

I certainly can’t expect to sell any diapers if I don’t let people know that I’m able and willing to make them. I don’t plan for this to develop into any kind of lucrative business, I’m just thinking that I can take something I love and about which I’m passionate and turn it into a way to help support my family.

Because I’m completely stepping out of my comfort zone here and doing my best to put this out there, would you like to know why I think my diapers would be a great option? Well, whether you would or not, here you go:

  • I’m really not lying when I say that they’re equal to the diapers we’ve purchased. Shawn actually likes them better, but that would sound pompous if I said it. 🙂
  • Because each order would be custom made, the client can tell me what kind of fabric and pattern they would like. The diapers I made are considerably softer (even after tons of washings) because I was able to choose my fabric. The pattern choices are almost endless and I’m sure I could find a fabric to fit even the strangest of tastes!
  • Supporting your local economy and handmade goods is very trendy right now. So…if you’re a jump on the bandwagon/peer pressure type of person, this is a great opportunity for you (but after this, you should really stop jumping on that bandwagon. The 80s are making a comeback in fashion and you really don’t want to go back there. So really, for your own sake, jump right off).
  • Included in the order, you would receive washing and care instructions so that even someone who doesn’t know a cloth diaper from a trash bag would be able to get them clean like a pro.
  • Really, this price is just about the cheapest you’ll find for non-used cloth diapers. I wouldn’t even consider selling them if I didn’t feel like I could make something that is quality for a great price. I don’t have time to waste making something that won’t really work or that is overpriced.

So consider this my one and only solicitation of you, my friends and family. If you know of someone who is interested in cloth diapers, just let ’em know that I make them and sell them pretty cheaply (I’m thinking around $7.50/diaper, the price will vary slightly depending on the type of material and pattern they would like). They can email me (serwachic@yahoo.com) for more information or pictures of the diapers I’ve made. If you yourself are interested or would like to order diapers for a friend (great baby shower gift!), it would be my pleasure to make some for you, according to your specifications, and I can ship to anywhere in the US.

Okay, that’s the last of that nonsense. I promise that my next post will be filled with lots of Jude goodness! 🙂

Phew. It’s done. I did it. I am, by far, the worst saleswoman ever. Ever. But possibly…just maybe…next time someone asks me where I bought my cloth diapers, I’ll actually muster up the courage to tell them that I make them. Maybe? Maybe. Definitely. I can do it. Jen M.- pansy? No, Jen M. – cloth diaper maker-er. Yeah, I can do it.

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