1. So what do you make?
I make diapers, the absorbent soakers that go in the diapers, waterproof dirty diaper bags. I make those in the big size for home and smaller sizes for when you are out and about. I make sundresses and pajamas. I also make something called a Mama Cloth, which is a washable, reusable menstrual pad. I do lots of other stuff just for us, but those are the things I make to sell. Oh, and I do embroidery on items. Sometimes, people will bring me something to embroider like a shirt or something like that.
2. How did you get started?
Well, my mom always sewed and she got me started at about 5 years old working on a sewing machine. When I was pregnant with Clara here, I thought I'd try the cloth diapers again. I had done them with my Jack — he's 15 — for a couple months, but I hated them. I hadn't realized how much they'd changed since then. I decided to sew my own. Then Jessica Pero talked me into creating a Facebook page, and it just took off from there. I didn't really expect that much, but I had a couple orders the first day I put up my page.
3. So is this a hobby or business?
It's a business I call Chunky Monkey Products. It's not one I'm going to get rich off of. I make enough to cover my supplies with a little extra left over to buy some things for the kids. It's also my hobby, as well, so it's very enjoyable work.
4. About how many orders do you get per week?
Oh, I don't know. I bet I probably get two to five orders a week, and that could be one diaper or 10 different items. I have a two-week turnaround time. I don't really keep things in stock. If people order something, then I make it.
5. What kind of materials and equipment do you use?
I have three sewing machines. One is an embroidery machine. One is a regular multitasker, and the other one is a serger. I love having that one. I also have a giant snap press — most of the diapers I make have snaps. Once in a while, a mom will want Velcro, but most kids learn how to undo Velcro and that's not a good thing. For fabrics, I use a waterproof fabric — it's called PUL. It's a poly T-shirt knit on one side and waterproof on the other. I have over 160 different patterns for customers to choose from, and I add to that all the time.
6. Where do you get your ideas from?
Well, a diaper's a diaper, but I look at current diapers out there and see what customers like. Owls are really popular right now, and everyone loves monkeys. Cute boy prints are hard to find, so I am always looking for those. Whatever strikes my fancy of what looks cute.
7. How long does it take you to make a diaper?
If I was going to make one diaper from start to finish, it would probably take me about an hour.
8. On a daily basis, how much time do you spend making things?
I probably work on the business about six to seven hours a day. If I have a deadline coming up for an order, I will sew until I finish that even it means staying up all night. A lot of time is taken up with customer service and dealing with the business end of things.
9. What's your favorite thing to make?
My favorite is probably the embroidered diapers because they are cute and fun. There's nothing I really hate to make though. I really enjoy making the matching sundresses and diapers. Those are super cute.