When I first started Earth Babes in March 2019, my eldest babe was 18 months old and I was pregnant with my second. I wanted to be able to share my love of cloth nappies with families in my area. I had the discussion with my husband, and we dove in. Absolutely no experience in small business, let alone anything managing retail. I am a nurse and Aaron is a plumber, but I knew cloth nappies, and from my experience as a nurse, I wanted to help as many families as I could #getintocloth.
We started using cloth nappies when Hudson was 7 months old. When he was a little baby, I was feeling so wasteful as I threw out a nappy with only a little bit of wee in it... part of me wondered if I could wash the disposable... then I googled cloth nappies and started doing some reading. I tried the one brand that I found at my local baby store, but they were not working well for my family.
My darling little babe would not travel longer than 10 minutes without constant tears, so traveling to a cloth nappy store around 40 minutes away was not an option for me to get help. I found lots of information in Facebook groups and then just decided to dive in and give it a go by buying some nappies from a few reputable Australian owned businesses. I learnt some really important key things about cloth nappies very early on:
- what the insert is made from, can make the difference between cloth nappies working, or not
- the best thing to do when you're trying to find a cloth nappy that works for your family, is to try a few different brands
- what one person thinks is THE BEST cloth nappy out there, may not actually work for you
- its actually easier to use cloth wipes rather than just sticking with disposable wipes first when you're using cloth nappies. Using disposable wipes with cloth nappies just means that you need to fish out the wipes after you've cleaned the bum (yuck!)
- sometimes the thought of doing something you haven't done before, is much harder in your head than it is in real life.
I learnt so much and wanted to share that with other families. I wanted to be for other families in my area, what I wanted at the time. Somewhere I could order online and pick up my order locally to save money on postage! Also somewhere to go for advice when things weren't going to plan!
I had plenty of thoughts like "Do I know enough about this to be giving out advice?", but then I realised that I knew enough to get people started and that's what I did. I started running my own cloth nappy workshops in Guildford, Forrestfield and Kalamunda (in Western Australia). I met some beautiful families, some who are still friends and customers today! I had some great advice and help from my sister who helped me and came to the workshops, she told me to hand out feedback forms. I'm so glad I did! The feedback was always amazing. People learnt so much and felt the confidence that they needed to just make a start.
That cloth nappies were not that scary... they are just something absorbent, inside something waterproof. Then you change it when it's wet, wash and repeat.
Earth Babes became for me a great outlet to give back and help other families, and to the people who came to me for purchases and advice, I loved becoming that place for them!