January 12, 2011

YOUR interview of ME

I thought it might be fun to do a Reverse Interview where readers ask questions and I answer them.  For the past week, I've been collecting questions and today is the interview!

"Old Style" FuzziBunz
What is the first diaper you sold?
My first diaper sale was for FuzziBunz in December 2005, two months after Cloth Diaper Outlet opened for business.  Back then, the tabs were pointy and there were a lot more colors (like black, burgandy, forest green, hot pink, and lime green to name just a few!). 

Any idea how many diapers have you sold in the last 5 years?
I had to call my bookkeeper for help on this one.  Our estimates show that we've sold enough diapers (not counting covers, inserts, doublers, etc) to keep over 14.5 MILLION diapers out of landfills!!!!!  That's amazing.  Carry the numbers a little further, and we've helped families save well over $2 Million dollars on diapers alone, not counting wipes or other reusables.

What is your most popular diaper?
BumGenius, no secret there!  BumGenius released their first diaper, a white nylon diaper that became known as BumGenius 1.0, in December of 2005.  It was instantly a hit with parents.  We received our first shipment just 4 months later and they've been our best sellers ever since.

How long did it take to turn a profit with Cloth Diaper Outlet?
Technically, about 6 months.  I purchased in small quantities and sold it quickly.  I took nothing from the business and ran it on a shoestring budget.  But how long before I could pay myself anything?  Over 2 years and even then my paychecks didn't cover our grocery bill. LOL  My first paycheck didn't even cover pizza! 

Are there influxes of business during certain times of the year or is it pretty steady year round?
October through December are by far our slowest months.  I think families are gearing up for the holidays and just not thinking about diapers.  But then January rolls around along with New Years' Resolutions followed by Earth Day and summer babies, so spring is a busy time for us.

Have you ever thought or have plans to open a brick and mortar store and/or teach classes or seminars? 
Yikes, no!  My husband and I owned a brick & mortar bookstore for 5 years and we learned our lesson.  I would much rather refer local customers to another store than run a b&m myself.  I very much enjoy working from home and spending quality time with my kids.  I wouldn't mind teaching classes or seminars someday.

What are your top 5 favorite diapers?  
In no particular order, our favorites are Knickernappies Custom Fit, Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size, BumGenius Elementals, BumGenius 4.0s with snaps, and GroVia with snaps.  We prefer snaps and own very few velcro diapers.  We don't generally like one size diapers, instead we prefer the exact fit of sized diapers.

How many companies do you work with?
Currently we carry products from 40-some companies.  This changes a bit throughout the year.  Sometimes we drop a company for one reason or another, more often we add companies so the number usually increases!

What is the criteria used for accepting used cloth diapers?
We don't actually take used diapers.  The ones we sell on our site are almost exclusively from our own son's stash.  But we're considering starting a used diaper buyback program this year.  When and if we do it, we'll post on this blog and on Facebook first!

You just drop ship everything, right?
Nope!  We actually stock nearly everything we sell.  Our garage is a 500 square foot warehouse with rows of shelves up to the ceiling.  The only things we dropship are Allen's Naturally detergent, Tummy Tubs, and organic mattresses, all because of shipping restraints.  Detergent and mattresses are just plain too heavy to ship twice and Tummy Tubs are a weird shape.  Every other item is in stock in our warehouse.

What was the very first diaper you ever used?
Our daughter was 7 weeks old when we switched to cloth.  Our very first diapers were two used Happy Heinys that I bought from eBay.  One leaked like a sieve but the other was a great diaper and stayed in our stash for a long time.  It was enough to convince us to use cloth.  Shortly after we added more Happy Heinys and FuzziBunz.  The first new diaper we ever had was a Snap-EZ (now out of business).

6 months - prefold with GroVia cover
How many diapers do you have?
Our son is 7 months old.  He has 20 prefolds and about 30-32 diapers (mix of pockets and AIOs).  We don't use them all, though.  I wash every other day so we use about 20 at a time and rotate them around.

How long have you and your husband been married?
We got married on October 16, 1999, so we've been married 11 years.  He works with me in our business.  His job is to pack orders and manage the warehouse. 


Fun! I learned some new and interesting things about you!