In September of 2006 I decided to open an online cloth diaper store in the Kansas City area. I met local mom’s in coffee shops and showed them how to use the unique products that I sold. The mother’s were able to touch and feel the different cloth diapers that were available. I was able to teach them how to use and wash them. I showed them how to use different slings and carriers to wear their babies. I also sold online and shipped nation wide.
My goal was not an online store but a local brick and mortar store where parents could come, see the diapers in person, and touch and feel them. I wanted to help people learn about all these amazing natural products that would save them money, be healthier for their babies, improve their day-to-day, and help the environment. After 12 months of building my online store, community presence, and experience in the industry I got a loan to open a retail storefront in downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri. We opened our doors March 1st, 2008.
My store helped build the cloth diapering community in the Kansas City area to the thriving movement that you will find it in today. I operated my store from March of ’08 to January of ’12. We grew so large that we were one of the top 20 retailers in the world for the top two diaper brands sold. Unfortunately with high overhead costs and financial institutes weary in a down economy we closed our storefront in 2012 leaving our customers brokenhearted. Since we closed in January our online store was purchased and reopened. As well as half a dozen other cloth diaper stores popping up or expanding in reaction to the close of the Happybottomus retail store.
We also introduced the Diaper Swap to the Kansas City market and the tradition is still being carried on. Moms get together and sell gently used cloth diapers, and other mamas come to save by purchasing them used. It’s a fun event where mom’s can share all their best tips and tricks to being crunchy in KC.
Happybottomus was also a resource for all things natural parenting. Teaching parents alternative ways to combat teething pain, menstruation, and even giving local birth professional referrals. We hosted vaccination discussions, Holistic Moms Network meetings, birth preparation classes, baby sign language, baby wearing classes, and so much more. Our goal was to help the community in any way that we could. We continue to have an active Facebook discussion group for Happybottomus Parents.
Over six years I self-taught and learned how to build websites, blogs, create graphics, and setup online retail shops. I created the brand for Happybottomus across website, storefront, and marketing materials. I often had people ask me if the store was a franchise.
While I am sad to have closed the store, especially not on my own terms, I am glad to be out of the rat race. While I loved helping people and babies, my own family was not getting the attention they deserved. I’m thrilled to be with my children each day, molding them, and teaching them.