The cloth diaper industry innovates. We’re fueled by a passion, not solely money. Even the “big” businesses in the cloth industry are small in comparison to “big” businesses in other industries, and most are still family run. Even the “biggest” have founders actively involved in the day to day business operations and when you buy from them, you’re paying for dance lessons for their daughter, not a second vacation home for the CEO (as the often shared small business meme goes). Like other small baby-related businesses, many brands and shops were founded when the family identified a problem and set out to solve it. I think the cloth diaper industry is pretty darn great.
When I attended ABC this fall of course most of the cloth diaper brands were grouped nearby in the Natural Baby area. Plenty of brands were chatting and joking with each other and even mingled at after hours parties. I love that everyone can focus on their own businesses and still be friendly as people.
It’s not just brands, but cloth diaper bloggers collaborate and help each other as well. Brick & mortar stores, which have their own set of challenges, “meet” in closed groups to share tips and things they’ve learned on their journeys.
What really motivated me to write this post? The way that the community rallied around Amii of Up On the Hill when her son was born 3 1/2 months early. Friends, family, brands, stores and strangers donated to the GoFundMe for Baby Fritz but I was truly blown away at the support for the Putting on the Fritz Benefit Auction. (The last auctions end 1/26 around 9:45 PM Eastern so if you are reading this before then, please take a look!)
Paige, the Up On the Hill customer who began the auction efforts, reached out to some brands but almost immediately we were inundated with messages from people wanting to help, sharing the GoFundMe, the auction page and wanting to donate. Even online cloth diaper retailers who might be considered Amii’s “competitors” donated generously, and I mean generously. Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot donated $1 for every Applecheeks Suddenly Royal sold and donated an Applecheeks Purple Rain to the auction. Other generous retailer donors include: Abby’s Lane, Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique, Kebbie’s Diaper Bag, Soft & Cozy Baby, Itsy Bitsy Bums, Happy Baby Company, Yaya Baby, Planet Bambini, A Special Time Maternity & Kid’s Wear and Mom’s Milk Boutique. These retailers donated rare, hard to find and valuable items that have drawn a ton of interest and were totally unexpected.
It wasn’t just retailers of course. GEN-Y, GroVia, Applecheeks, Balm Baby, Spray Pal, Cottonbabies, Happy Heiny, Lalabye Baby, Thirsties, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Motherlove, Sloomb, Boingo Baby, Planetwise, Best Bottom, Kanga Care, Smartbottoms, Bummis and countless others also donated, in addition to a ton of fabulous local shops and artisans.
I also can’t end without giving an enormous thank you to Paige DeWitt for all her hard work on the auction, and to all of the families both in the local area and in the online community that have been bidding so generously on the items. (I’m sorry for using the word generous so many times in one post but it fits and my brain is drawing a blank on synonyms!)
I wondered; is it just me? Is the cloth diapering community as amazing as I think it is? I asked a few others to share what they think.
“The cloth diaper industry is a community of tight knit women that span the globe that come together when the going gets tough for our own kind, especially an amazing mom and business owner like Amii. We are so blessed to have the cloth diaper community in our lives because it transcends the physical limitations of ourselves and connects each of us on a much deeper level.” Ferne Benson, Kebbie’s Diaper Bag
“The Cloth Diapering community isn’t just about changing diapers. It is about changing lives. When we at Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot learned that the newest edition to Up On the Hill family Baby Oliver, was born at 25 weeks our hearts melted. We were called to action. With the release of the newest AppleCheeks colour Suddenly Royal we knew we had an audience to broadcast Oliver’s story to; a group of parents that are always giving, support each other and might be a bit addicted to new fluff (we are too). With the generous support and business from our AppleCheeks customers we donated $1.00 from each cover purchased the first week of the release. We are proud to announce that we will be writing a cheque to Amii Fritz family for the amount of $214.00. Our company believes success isn’t measured by how much your earn but by how much we can give back to your community. Stay Strong Oliver! We are praying for you!” – Miranda, Calgary Cloth Diaper Depot
“The cloth diaper community is amazing in that it doesn’t matter your walk of life or how ‘crunchy’ or ‘granola’ you are, everyone still treats each other with a sense of ‘it takes a village’ respect and caring. If one hurts, we all hurt; if one celebrates, we all celebrate.” – Misty Henry
Yep, this industry is pretty awesome! What do you think makes the cloth diapering industry & community so wonderful?