You have often heard entrepreneurs referring to their creations as their “baby,” and that is a very accurate comparison. Babies grow up, they go through adolescence and eventually leave the nest. I started FuzziBunz as a young mother (28) and it was born out of a need for a better diapering solution to help heal my son’s raw and rash-prone bottom. It was the love for my own children that birthed the brand and I suppose you could say we all grew up together. In the beginning I did what every mother would do for her own child. I nurtured it, encouraged it and I watched it grow. I cheered it on during its brightest moments, and cradled it during its lowest points. . There were many sleepless nights to be had, especially in the early years when nursing a baby and nursing a business were simultaneous. For 13 years I lived and breathed FuzziBunz, all while raising my 3 real life children on my own. The “adolescent” stage was certainly the most challenging. Then comes young adulthood. There comes a time in every parent’s life when they need to let go and allow their children to sow their own oats and find their way all by themselves. And I am sure every parent can relate to the self-consciousness one feels when their children DON’T turn out as they had hoped; when they run into problems; when they make bad choices, etc. It is all too easy to blame ourselves as parents for what went wrong. We only HOPE that once we let go that we have guided them, nurtured them and have instilled enough wisdom in them that they are OK without us right there, holding their hands. In 2013 it had come time for me to let go and allow my baby (FuzziBunz) that I had nurtured for 14 years to move on and either blossom and thrive or fall flat on its face. My oldest child, Sarah, was graduating and also leaving the nest. I felt I had taken FuzziBunz as far as I could possibly have taken it on my own, with no investors or partners to help me. I was a single parent of 3 kids in real life and I was a single parent of FuzziBunz as well. Many people don't realize I was a one woman show running a 3 Million Dollar company. So I did exactly that, I let it go and hoped that all of my hard work I had put into it would pay off under the guidance and care of others that might have known better. I did what I felt was “in the best interest of the child.” While my daughter (now 20) thrived on her own with all that I had taught her, FuzziBunz did not. I had to sit on the sidelines (as many parents do) and just watch and wait for that fateful moment when that child returns home and asks for your help because they can’t seem to figure it out on their own. That is exactly what happened with FuzziBunz (details spared). In December of 2014 I was able to pick up my baby - now a little bit on the beat - up side, and somewhat depressed after its year of struggle and failure - and give it the love and nurturing it deserved once more. BUT……. FuzziBunz wasn’t the only part of this equation that had changed: so did I. I had a lot of time to reflect on my parenting skills. What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What mistakes would I never repeat again? And what - if given a second chance - would I most certainly do differently? Now being an older and wiser parent from a business perspective was one thing, but being an older and wiser parent needing to “cloth diaper” was another. I didn’t have a baby in cloth diapers anymore. My real life baby was 13 years old! I had also been out of the diaper industry for almost a year and so I was somewhat out of touch (intentionally). What had changed in the world of cloth diapers, and in the world of parenting in general? Clearly there was research to be done, so we went to the very source – the parents themselves. This is who we do everything for (and their babies of course) and this is the lifeblood of our company. The result???? A whole new FuzziBunz that encompasses quality, durability, functionality and fashion and a company that can now grow and meet the needs of the very people that make it possible for it to exist in the first place. For that...I am truly grateful. Parents are typically given one shot at child rearing. You learn as you go and hopefully apply lessons learned with the first child to the second and so on. Not many entrepreneurs are given the luxury that I was given to take stock of a situation and walk back in and make it better. I get a do-over. How lucky am I?? Very. It has been 6 months in gestation but in that short timeframe a new company was built, a new and exceptional team established, a complete product makeover completed and a product launch in full swing. 6 months has passed in the blink of an eye and just like parenting a newborn, I have loved every minute of it. Our new collection has been aptly and meaningfully named the “Sweet Beginnings” collection for a reason. Babies mark the beginning of life, which is always sweet, and we wanted to capture that essence in our new line. But it is also about the new and very sweet beginnings of a new brand, new company and new opportunity for me as an entrepreneur and I plan on cherishing it, valuing it and making my partner, team, family and loyal FuzziBunz fans proud. I cannot wait for July 6th. The anticipation is incredible for all of us here at FuzziBunz, and I hope you’re just as excited to see what’s in store. Thank you for sticking it out with me on this long and crazy journey! The future is looking sweet indeed!! Tereson - Single mother of 3 and FuzziBunz Diapers
There are some days when I feel like I can't get anything done. My house is a mess; my kids want to play, but I don't have the time; meals consist of bacon and eggs because it's quick, easy, and I know my kids will eat it.... etc cetera and so on. Then there are days when I feel like Super-Awesome Mom, and I come up with all kinds of ridiculously awesome things for the kids to do while I clean my house till it sparkles and make a huge, nourishing, delicious meal. I'd like to share some of those awesomely creative ideas here, and I would like to hear about some of YOUR awesomely creative ideas, too, because it's nice to share. 1. Build a Fort! I know, most of you have probably built forts for your kiddos, but it never gets old! We have built some pretty epic forts using the couch, the kitchen table chairs, huge blankets, pillows, those big giant foam blocks, and whatever else is sturdy that will hold things together. One of my girls' favorite things to do is lay a blanket down underneath the "roof" of their fort and have a snack while watching their favorite movie. They also like to play pirates, which brings me to my second idea... 2. Build a Pirate Ship! I sometimes fulfill orders for returns/replacements from my home office, and sometimes when I receive an office supply order it will come in a big box with these really huge flaps on them. I took one of these the other day and made a super fun pirate ship out of it! We made portholes, a pirate flag (because you have to have one of those) and the girls spent quite a lot of time coloring the inside and outside of the ship. I had planned to attach one of their Barbies to the front of the boat as the figurehead, but we got so wrapped up in everything else that we forgot. Remember the figurehead! Note: Boxes can be used for so much more than pirate ships. One day we put together a pretty large box-building with really random sections. I hung long socks from the interior "ceiling" of the main box so that it would tickle the girls as they crawled through, and we had another section dedicated to Weeble Wobbles, and another section dedicated to talking on the "box phone." You get the idea, and it was a blast! 3. Paint the Bathtub You may have just cringed reading that, but allow me to elaborate: I allowed the girls to bring their watercolors into the bathtub one day, and they had so much fun! The bath water swirled with color, they used their fingers to make pictures on the tiled wall, and they painted whiskers and cheetah spots and all sorts of things on eachother which rinsed right off because they were already taking a bath. 4. Make Magic Water Fill up a water-table or other big, clean vessel with water, a little Dr. Bronner's, and some glitter. During the warmer months, the kids love splashing around and washing their bikes in the "magic soap." The glitter sparkles in the sunlight and their hands splashing around make more bubbles! The girls literally play with their water table for at least an hour usually. And as an added bonus they're clean when they come inside! 5. Create Nature Bouquets My girls love picking flowers, and I don't blame them! It's fun to go out into nature and gather interesting-looking greens and beautiful flowers. In our yard, we tend to have a lot of Yarrow, Dandelion, Bluets, Wild Mint, Clover, Sweet Grass, and other various grasses that I haven't yet identified. Put the bouquets in a little mason jar or other vase (or you can decorate your own.... another creative idea!) and enjoy the bounty of nature for days to come. These are just a few ideas, though there are thousands of others. What are some of your favorite crafty ideas to help your kids have fun during "boring spells?"
As much as we LOVE cloth diapers, there will come a day when you will no longer need them. I know that this is hard to accept.... please feel free to take a moment and breathe into a paper bag if you need to... I'll completely understand. Some day, our children will grow up and out of diapers, and we'll be left with empty shells and a pile of inserts possibly the size of that MegaBlox tower you and Jonny made last week. So what do you do with your once-amazing stash? Here are some ideas: 1. Pass them on to someone else Assuming that they are still functional, gifting them to someone who really needs them can ensure that the legacy of your cloth diaper stash will live on. Plus, it will make you feel super great knowing that you've lessened another parent's burden by offering the gift of earth-friendly diapering options! 2. Sell them to someone else Cloth diapers can be expensive, and if your diapers are still in great shape, it can be difficult to just give them away knowing that you could recoup a decent portion of what you paid for them initially. Even if they're in "well-loved" condition, you can often sell them for at least a few bucks each if they still work. The website www.diaperswappers.com is dedicated to all things cloth, and has a fantastic Marketplace where you can buy/sell/trade your cloth diapers, accessories, even mama cloth! You can also try selling them on your local Craigslist site, or on Ebay, or consigning them at your local children's consignment shop. 3. Donate them to a charity. There are quite a few organizations that collect new and used cloth diapers to bring overseas to third-world countries and to assist in disaster-stricken areas of the world where babies and young children are most at risk for disease and infection. There are also plenty of diaper banks and organizations in North America which aim to help low-income families make healthy choices for their children. One of these, www.givingdiapersgivinghope.org is a wonderful organization accompanied by Kim Rosas of http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/. According to the website, "we process about 10-20 applications and ship 8-15 packages of diapers to families a week." Wonderful!! If you are interested in donating locally, you can go to http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/ndbn-php/diaperbank_find.php to find out if there is one near you. 4. Use 'em as rags Yes, you heard me. All of those old, hole-y, super thin pre-folds and flats, and all of those crunchy microfiber inserts that you don't want to use anymore (or can't because the pee just shoots out every time you try) can be used quite effectively as dust rags, oil rags, spill rags, and whatever other type of rag you want to use them for. And why not? They sopped up pee and poop, right? Why not dust and juice, too? 5. Compost them If your diapers are made of natural materials like cotton or hemp, you can put them right in your compost bin, where they will break down and become part of your beautiful landscape! As an added bonus, you can even put them in the compost with urine in them, as urine is a rich source of nitrogen which is necessary for good compost. There are a plethora of uses for old cloth diapers, and what is listed here is just a few of the most common. What else have you used them for? ~ Lindsay Lewis