Many of the cloth diaper brands that have become familiar were created by mothers who still own and run the companies. This week we focus on mother inventors.
Betsy Thomas is a mother of three. She was one of three mothers who started Bummis in 1988 as a “kitchen table business.” They cloth diapered their own children and created the products they themselves needed. Bummis remained a home business until it grew to large. “My husband and I home-schooled our 3 sons – and so like many business-mothers, I grew the business slowly but steadily at the same time as raising my family. It was pretty wild at times!”
Erika Froese is a mother of five. She created Sandy’s diapers in 1991 then Air Flow diaper covers in 1993 to meet the needs of her own children. “Shortly after Sandy was born, I set to work to design a diaper that would make my life easier and Sandy’s more comfortable.” She started her business out of her basement until she grew the business and opened a manufacturing facility.
Tereson Dupuy is a mother of three children. She created her own cloth diapers in 1999 when her son had chronic diaper rash. She built a business from her diapers in order to stay home with her children. “As the business grew, balancing everything certainly became more challenging. I decided to surround myself with good people to help me with the business so that I was still able to stay home with my children.”
Linda Byerline is a mother of three children. She created her own cloth diapers in 2002. When her third child was born prematurely and developed chronic lung disease, her doctors recommended that she switch to cloth diapers. She found that this decreases her daughter’s need for hospitalization and medication, but she could not find diapers that fit her daughter well. Linda created her own cloth diapers with a focus on fit and comfort.
Annie Marie Padorie is a mother of five children. She began to sew her own diapers in 2003 when she decided she didn’t like the feel, the fit, or the care of the diapers she bought. She tried making many styles of diapers while looking for comfort, ease or use, and ease of washing. “Some friends urged me to make some for them and a company was born.”
Erin Kimmett was a cloth diapering mother who couldn’t find a diaper cover that worked well for her baby, so she designed her own. She made patterns, cut, and sewed the diapers on her dining room table with her secondhand sewing machine. She spent a year and a half perfecting her pattern before releasing her new product in 2004.
Many baby products are created by mothers who are meeting their own children’s needs. This week we will focus on those mother inventors of byNature.ca products starting with cloth diapers.