Monday, April 2, 2012
Meet the Team - Karen from Cloth Diaper Club
Today we're sitting down to chat with Karen from South Carolina, who owns Cloth Diaper Club.
Where did you get the name for your shop?
When I first started using cloth diapers I was chatting with a friend of mine about how fun it is to meet someone who uses cloth diapers. I said, "It almost like being in a club!" Later on when I decided to try selling diaper products on Etsy, I remembered our conversation and that's how I picked my shop name. The funny thing is, my mom has been making things for our shop for quite a while now, and she still calls it all kinds of crazy things...Diaper Cloth Club, among a few. She cracks me up!
Please share what is unique about your products.
Most of my products are unique in that almost everything is one of a kind. I have made a few of the same diaper once or twice, but mostly I only make one of anything. I have needlefelted animals onto the backs of wool soakers, and something like that can't be replicated. The reason I run my shop this way, is because I learned a long time ago that I don't make enough money to call it a business, so it should just be fun. If I have to make the same thing more than once, I get bored! The one exception is the sock-monkey longies I have been doing. I have had repeated requests for those, but even with those each one is a little bit different. My hand-knit products are also unique because I am dyeing my own wool now!
What are your most popular products, and why are they so appealing?
As I said, the sock monkeys have been most popular as of late, but it really depends on the time of year. Before and after Christmas everyone was buying repurposed wool items. Sometimes it's hand-knit items. At one time it was diapers. It really just varies.
How did you get the idea for your products/business?
Out of neccessity, I started sewing my own cloth diapers and realized how much fun it was. I had been wanting to find a way to make extra money and wondered if I could make a go at it. I started out thinking mainly diapers, but my favorite things to make now are the hand-knit ones.
What have you found most challenging about running your own business?
I don't keep up with how much I spend on materials very well. If I did, I would probably see that I don't make any money at all; I just break even to feed my hobby. Also as a thrifty mama, I am always looking to give my customers the same great prices I look for, so it's a struggle for me to price things worth my time and effort. I am so fortunate as to know how to knit and sew, but I think, "What about those poor mamas who can't?"
Why do you like selling on Etsy?
I like selling on Etsy because it is super easy and I am inspired by all the other artists around me!
How long have you been sewing, knitting, crocheting? I have been sewing, knitting, and crocheting since I was a little girl. My mom has always been a great seamstress, but she didn't really teach me to sew, just let me have at it with all of her supplies. I would make all kinds of crazy things, like sleeping bags for my cabbage patch dolls! Later on, after high school, I got more serious about sewing and learned how to read a pattern (I still hate it) and what a selvege was. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet. I have always knitted more than crocheted; I still have a table runner sized unfinished tablecloth I was crocheting in thread from years ago. I can barely crochet enough now to do a decorative edging now and then.
What is your favorite thing to make at the moment?
I love to knit wool shorties and I'm loving making these super easy and economical Daddy Flat diapers.
Why is cloth diapering important to you?
I started for all the usual reasons, financial, environmental, etc. But the most important thing about cloth diapering for me now, is helping others see how easy and affordable it really is (or can be). People think they can't or don't want to do it, but they just don't know the facts. I am passionate about getting people to see that, especially those who could really benefit from it.
What is the kind of diaper you like the best at home?
Our diaper stash is a complete hodge podge of test diapers. 25 of them are fitted recycled t-shirt diapers which we used exclusively until I began testing patterns to sell. Some diapers are one-size fitteds, and some are Daddy Flats. I am working on creating a whole stash of Daddy Flats for at home because I love them! I use wool covers over all of them. I also have a stash of 15 pocket diapers, but we mainly use those for out-and-about and trips.
What is your favorite cloth diapering memory?
I can't think of any specific memory. I remember how much I loved it when I first started using my homemade diapers on my son. I still get a thrill from seeing something new I've made on him. Cloth diapered baby bottoms are so cute!
Who or what is your inspiration?
Well, my third son was my inspiration for sewing cloth diapers, and I guess I would say that all of my boys inspire me daily. They are always with me because we home school, and sometimes I think I could get so much done if I had a few hours to myself. However, when I do get a few hours to myself, I never feel productive. I think I feed off of their energy and stay motivated by their presence. My mother also really inspires me. When we are able to get together a few times a year, we do nothing but projects and ignore everyone around us!
Do you have anything new going on now, or upcoming, such as new products or promotions?
As for new, I will certainly start stocking wool shorties and soakers as the weather is heating up.
Also to celebrate this interview, I will offer free shipping with this code for the next week: MYINTERVIEW
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
ClothDiaperClub is a three-generation shop. My mother in Michigan knits things for the shop. She makes beautiful girly things and uses lots of bright colors. I also sell wash cloths made by my grandmother, who has probably never seen the internet!
Where can we find your products?
My Blog: http://clothdiaperclub.blogspot.com/