When I was pregnant I had many great ideas about how to raise my baby, as most mothers who lie awake at 3am will tell you. Naturally, I wanted only the best for my child, and one of the things I was adamant about was that my little angel was going to wear cloth nappies, full time. This is my story of how I got into cloth and then became the owner of a cloth nappy company.
Using cloth nappies for me was almost a no-brainer. I mean, I was raised on an organic farm, and was taught to value and care for the earth we live on, to live sustainably and reduce waste. My mother has a degree in landscape architecture and horticulture including herbal medicine, and likes to make her own household cleaning products. My father is a highly regarded water engineer with a soft spot for all animals (especially cows and dogs). Together they teach permaculture and are practically famous in the national permaculture community. They have designed many permaculture properties, including up to one of the largest temperate food forests in the world.
Being close to nature and living on a farm was a huge part of my life. I even rode into my own wedding on a tractor...
So, naturally I was drawn to use cloth nappies. How could I not?
However, my first obstacle, as any mother knows, was dealing with the opinions of how one should raise one’s baby, which come from every direction you turn when pregnant. When telling people I was going to use cloth nappies, they would tell me “oh, you’ll end up using disposables” or “ha, it’ll never work”. I’m serious! They poo pooed (pun intended) my idea before I could even get started, mostly founded on their ideas of what cloth nappies might be like, as opposed to actually trying.
So, when I heard that a family friend’s daughter-in-law had used cloth and it hadn’t worked out for her, I asked for some advice as I wanted to know why and what brand (mainly to help me figure out what to avoid). In the response email that was sent to me, via the family friend, she said “I love all the enthusiasm of first time mums then reality kicks in hahaa. Even my very “Eco” cousin doesn’t used (sic) them as much as she thought”. I was devastated - why would she say that? Why would she mock me like that? I’m only trying to do the best. Then I thought… You know what, I’ll show her!
I’m not one to be put off by other people’s opinions. I often ask for them, as part of my research into a new idea, but I form my own conclusions and if someone wants to try and bring me down (particularly if for no reason), then most of the time it can make me even more determined to make it work.
So, I researched all the brands out there, google became my midnight best friend, and I finally landed on the Real Nappies Birth to Potty pack. It seemed to tick all the boxes. I had boxes that required ticking (must be velcro, must be cotton, must be natural) and some I didn't even realise I had until Real Nappies started to tick them. It had every thing I was looking for and it seemed so simple and easy. I don’t have to tell you all the about the Birth to Potty pack, you can read about it here. All you need to know is I thought it was fantastic and so I bought it.
And you know what? That ‘friend’, she was right, reality did kick in, not long after bub was born when I realised I had the best cloth nappies on the market. I never had a leak, never had nappy rash, and was saving money that I could use on my son so he could enjoy his (rather expensive) swim lessons. Ha! - jokes on her and all those that poo pooed my ideas! In fact, I was recommending the Birth to Potty pack to all my friends.
About 4 months after bub was born, and having been a small business owner in the past and knowing how nice it is to hear positive feedback, I sent the previous owners a wee email. I told them how great we found the nappies. How we had spent time researching the different brands and how Real Nappies ticked all our boxes, how we never had a leak or an explosion like my mummy friends had experienced, and how we had recommended them to so many people.
This was the start of a new beginning….
The previous owners responded saying it was nice to hear our message as they had been thinking of selling, which started a conversation of why? how much? tell us more…. Conversations with the owners turned into finding a lawyer and an accountant and making a trip to meet them.
The faces of Real Nappies - Jamie next to her big brother Joe, who is holding our son James.
Joe is the little boy currently on our packaging.
A little over a month later and we were the proud owners of Real Nappies, not just the Birth to Potty pack, but the whole company!
Now I get to meet new mums and bubs and show them how easy cloth nappies can really be, I get to help people make better choices for their child and I get to be a part of making the planet a better, healthier place to live.
I'm so proud to use and own Real Nappies and to use cloth on my baby, and as my husband likes to say “We loved the product so much, we bought the company”, which is a stolen line from an old advertisement. Anyone recognise it?