Monday, March 2, 2009

WAHM Interview - Stephanie of CutieBooty Diapers

Ever wonder what life is like when you own a diaper business? This month I was able to interview Stephanie of CutieBooty Diapers! Despite several major life events being thrown into the mix, Stephanie has continued to cherish being a WAHM. Read on!

Q. How did you first get interested in cloth diapers? Did you always know you wanted to use them, or did you come around to them?

A. I started using cloth diapers when my first child was born in 1991. I used the Gerber Birdseye diapers with plastic pants and a few Gerber covers. As a young military wife at that time, I started with cloth because of the cost savings. As time went by, I actually enjoyed using cloth diapers. I never had to make a diaper run and there was just something I liked about folding a load of diapers fresh from the dryer. There are so many more options for cloth diapering now and it can really become an addiction. (All you have to do is take a peek at some of the posts on DiaperSwappers or Diaper Pin to see what I mean). I do love picking out which diaper I am going to use next. Its fun to match the diaper with an outfit or pair it with some baby leg warmers. Every diaper change can be a different look.

Q. Tell me a little about the beginnings of your business. What made you want to sell cloth? Do you have a background in business?

A. I first started thinking about opening a business when my 3rd child was born in 2005. I knew that I wanted to find a way to be home with my kids and also bring in some extra money. My background was in office management so I knew about the business side of things. What I was unsure of was my ability to effectively run a business without sacrificing my family time. So I started researching different options. Everything that I read about starting a business said to do something that you love. I loved cloth diapering my babies and wanted to share that with other moms. A cloth diaper business seemed like the natural choice. That’s when the first seed for CutieBooty Diapers was planted. During the spring of 2006 my husband was laid off from his job so I decided that was the time to get started. I had found a wonderful woman named Conley Roberts who was selling her business, Weeware Cloth Diapers. I purchased Weeware and combined the two

Q. How do you manage to run a business and balance family life?

A. I would like to say that I am one of those women who is totally organized, has a devoted work space, and has specific time slots for working, and everything is neat and tidy. That however is not the case. Right now my business and family life are meshed together quite a bit. At any given moment in a day you may find me sitting on the couch nursing a baby with my laptop beside me trying to answer emails, update my site, work on advertising, or ordering inventory. I try and work on things when my kids are napping or outside playing but things don't always line up like that.

My children are homeschooled which gives me the opportunity to involve them in the business. My 5 and 3 yr old love to help sort merchandise, pack orders and go to the post office with me. They are helping me and learning new things at the same time.

Q. If you had $1,000 and an entire day to yourself to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?

A. I would love to spend a whole day at the spa. Having my nails and hair done. A facial and massage the whole works!

Q. What is your very favorite part of being a WAHM?

A. My favorite thing is being able to do something that I enjoy and not be away from my family.

Q. What is the hardest thing about being a WAHM?

A. The hardest thing is that I am not away from my family. Sometimes it is hard to get things done when kids are running through the house jumping over paperwork or getting into the merchandise. It would be easier not to have anyone around while I was working, but not near as exciting.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

A. Pretty much any meal that I do not have to cook myself. I love seafood. I would have to say oysters are my favorite.

Q. In addition to being a wife and Mama, how many hours do you put in each week on your business?

A. I have never sat down to figure it out. I work when I get a chance and for as long as I can until someone needs me. If I had to guess, I would say at least 25-30 hours. Some weeks more and some less.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a business owner?

A. My best moments come when I know that I have helped another mom. Introducing people to cloth or helping someone solve diapering issues makes me happy.

Q. What have been your happiest moments as a mom?

A. Watching my children grow and see the person that they are becoming. I am fortunate to be able to spend so much time with them on a daily basis. I hope that I can continue to teach them and learn from them as well for many years to come.

Q. What do you have in the works at CutieBooty Diapers? Anything new and exciting?

A. Since starting CutieBooty Diapers, we have moved twice, had a job lay off, and had our fourth baby. For 2009 I am looking forward to spending more time growing the business. We are looking into offering some local diapering classes and are currently researching new products. I would like to bring in an organic clothing line and possibly design our very own CutieBooty Diaper. Our main dream for the future would be to open a CutieBooty Diapers brick and mortar store. It would be nice to offer a local resource for cloth diapers in NW Oklahoma City.

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