"Gone are the days of using terry squares with pins, these days modern cloth nappies are the way to go."
My name is Rebecca, you can call me Bec. I'm so glad you clicked on the "READ NOW" button to learn about BumCheeks backstory. Settle in for a big read, because I have loads to tell you! It all started here with 2 Aussie mums on the Gold Coast.....
The idea to look into using cloth nappies started with my beautiful friend Hollie. She and I met in 2006 when we were only just pregnant with our first babies. My son Levi was born in January 2007 and her son Jhet only 2 months later in March 2007.
Levi & Jhet (2007)
Anyways, when our boys were around the 6 month old mark, Hollie had heard about these new modern cloth nappies and we both jumped online and purchased some. We went for different brands to test out which ones we liked better. When we received them we got together again and discussed the pros and cons of each of the brands and Hollie suggested that we make our own, because we couldn't find a cloth nappy brand that had all of the 'pros'. At the time that seemed impossible and we went on just using the ones that we had purchased.
Sometime later, Hollie had moved house and made friends with a neighbour whom owned her own cloth nappy business. She began to teach her how to sew the nappies herself. In January 2009, Hollie's daughter Charleigh graced us with her presence and Hollie began creating the design we had talked about. I was also pregnant again with my second son Isaac, who wasn't due until July, but I became just as excited as she was and where I could I pitched in and we got busy having fun with all different fabrics and patterns. It was there the first BumCheeks nappy design was created.
Charleigh & Isaac (2009)
Now, Hollie was the brains of this whole operation. BumCheeks was her business, I was just a friend that helped out now and then and pitched some ideas. She went on to create an online store, making and selling only custom nappies. She was also teaching me how to sew them at the time (although I was keeping everything I made for my own boys!) Every part of the BumCheeks design was carefully thought out. We trialled and tested it and made some minor changes to perfect it.
- We chose to use snaps rather than velcro as we found that they lasted much longer. Velcro tends to wear down quickly, especially when it is being washed so frequently.
- We chose to include the rise settings to make a one size fits all nappy from 4-16kg.
- Originally we chose to have a double layer of bamboo sewn into the nappies, but after testing, found that it took far to long to dry, which is why we changed this to a Tri layer of microfibre sewn in, plus adding the bamboo fold over insert, giving a total of 7 layers of absorbency.
- We preferred the design as a pocket nappy as gives the choice to add more layers for heavy wetters.
- We went for a suede cloth lining over the micro fleece as it made the nappies less bulky
- We were particulary unimpressed with the fit of most nappies, we found that they were too wide between the legs, which is why our nappy design has been made to be as slim as possible.
In 2010 business started to boom and it was no longer possible for Hollie to sew all of the nappies by herself, I was pregnant with my third son, Caleb, at this stage and was not able to offer her the extra help. It was after careful consideration and alot of research that she found an ethical factory in China that met the standards of quality and workmanship to continue the work and meet the demands. All the fabrics being used to manufacture nappies are made in China, so it only made sense to have them made in the same place.
By 2013, Hollie had made a big name for BumCheeks and took the business on the road to events like the Children's, Babies and Pregnancy expo. BumCheeks became a finalist in the 2013 Cloth Nappy Awards because of her hard work.
In 2015 Hollie welcomed her third child, Emileigh and because BumCheeks nappies were now being manufactured in China, she decided to put the business up for sale and concentrate on the demands of family and Uni. BumCheeks took a big hit and business slowed right down to very few sales each month. Although the website was still up and running, it was awareness that started lacking.
Two years on now in 2017, She hadn't sold BumCheeks yet, so we thought it was best to close it down. I took on all of the stock and started the process of closing it down, selling all of our stock at cost price or less just to move it.
My husband, Josh, reminded me that BumCheeks nappies are a good product that I was once very passionate about and that I didn't ever have a go at it myself! I knew that I didn't have the knowledge and skill that Hollie had when it came to marketing, but it really got me motivated and I started thinking... I do believe in this product! What if I could continue the business and sell the nappies at a cheaper price. This meant less profits of course, but I genuinely care about people and for the world we live in more than profits. BumCheeks became my hobby, not another job.
My Husband Josh & I
I have been slowly building the website, changing through a few different providers until I found the one that was right for me. I've been doing my best to market BumCheeks however I can and even re-created the BumCheeks logo.
Things were still slow but getting better coming into 2018. I really wanted to create some of my own designs again and swim nappies etc but could not afford to get my manufacturer in China to make them as they required me to order large quantities. Not to mention the price of the USD has made it difficult to afford anything from China! So, I went to Spotlight and I even recruited my wonderful mother to help me start sewing nappies again.
I thank the Lord for my Mum, Lyn, everyday! I could not have pulled this off without her.
My Mum and I
Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
Blessings to all,