Sunday, April 19, 2009

Los Chiquitos Cloth Diapers

I wanted to write about this for awhile. I've been making cloth diapers since 92. That was the year my first son was born. Back then there was no Internet, no pul , no really good information on cloth diapering. I was considered weird doing this. I had found a pattern from kwik sew on making diapers with velcro,(yes, no aplix either). So I started making him cloth diapers out of cotton on the outside and flannel on the inside. They were the cutest thing. I tried making them a AIO using first nylon fabric then shower curtains. Of course they didn't last long so I made covers out of the nylon. I used them when I could and learned a new way with each new diaper I made him.I ended up making my own pattern since the Kwik sew was a sized one and I didn't fell like making new ones each time he grew. So born my one size diaper. He was out of cloth diapering totally(including night time) by 2 1/2 years old. Then my second son was born in '98. This time there was the Internet and I found out I wasn't such a freak after all. I started making my son diapers out of flannel and stretch terry cloth. Made him covers from micro fleece. I did try some more AIO with shower curtain liner too. Well one day at the laundry mat someone decided to put bleach in my triple loader of diapers. I left to do more errands so when I came back they smelled of bleach(this person probably put in a whole bottle, why??? who knows???) and literally my diapers ripped and shredded right there. I had probably 2 dozen of diapers ruined by some idiot. I had to make more and this was hard while I was working part time, 2 kids and in college part time. I managed and made more but I also bought some. This also helped improve my diaper. My little one was out of dipes totally by 2 1/2 years old. I did not own a computer but my college did. So I had to do things the hard way. I then decided to start my own diaper business. I went to Score for business advice, register with my state and then sold some sample diapers on Amity,Wahm mall auctions and Mother Nature's Auctions. I had good feedback so I went ahead and had someone do my website and had it hosted on ivillage. I opened Los Chiquitos Diapers in Dec. of 1999. I still didn't have a home computer so all my items posted was through photos that were loaded up threw a scanner then put in. It was a lot of work but I did it. Mamas who bought my diapers were awesome knowing I couldn't always answer my e-mails right away. I sold flannel, stretch terry cloth and knit diapers for 6.00 and with aplix 6.50. I invested later on , around 2001 for a snap press. I love it and dropped aplix all together. Why? I prefer snaps-aplix , even with fold over tabs, would still get caught on on other diapers especially the ones from other Wahms who had used serge ends on their dipes. Aplix tabs would get lint, hair, etc. caught in them and eventually some tabs just died or peeled off not matter how good the stitching on it. So thats why I don't do it anymore. Around 2002 my hubby bought me a computer so I wouldn't have to juggle do my biz from a college computer. This was awesome. I know had my own scanner and could answer e-mail anytime. I kept posting in auctions , custom orders and Amity. Amity has been awesome to me. I've met so many nice Mamas on there who have encouraged me over the years. I decided to redesign my diaper at this time. I wanted to make it more absorbent and I was pregnant with my third son. I did try making a new design but didn't care for it so I went back to old faithful. At this time many Wahms were making AIOs and New fabrics, etc. Some had lots of bells and whittles and a price tag to match it. I made my diapers affordable. Even though they didn't have all those gadgets , they did what they were supposed to do. I was thinking of mamas like me struggling to just buy some. If you could only buy like 4 or 5 for a 100.00 dollars-what was the point? I remember on Wahmall auctions- there was just some crazy auctions for a AIO/One size embroidered diaper. This Wahm's diapers were going for 100's of dollars for one diaper. Yes, 250.00 dollars or more for one diaper. Crazy huh! Anyway, I am still here going and going. There have been many, many wahms that have come and gone but I am still here. Some Wahms have done well and sold their patterns because there diapers were in such demand that they past that threshold of making them. I think that is awesome. I am still sewing away making mine. Maybe I'll get there but I doubt it. It will be 10 years that Los Chiquitos Diapers has been in business and 17 years I have been making diapers. Wow-some days I don't know how I managed to do it. In 2005 I finally bought my own url after ivillage suddenly dropped all websites and e-mail. This was awful because not only was my own website gone with no backup , it was that week I and Chiquitos was featured in the local newspaper with my e-mail and website that was no longer there. Big bummer cause I had to start all over again with a website, e-mail and lost revunue from that article. Two years ago I thought about closing down Chiquitos diapers but Buzzie Bee Diapers( ) in Maine came to me and asked to make them 40 diapers. That was so awesome and a good kick in the rear. I had lost my drive since I was still at the crappy part time job even after getting my degree in Biology. So thank you Jennifer. I had seen others talk about Etsy. So I looked into Etsy and signed up in Dec. '07. The first year went slow but toward the end and beginning of this year has been a lot better. Its brought new life to Chiquitos and I've been updating my website and banners. I enjoy making cloth diapers and that is why I am still in it. So that is basically how Chiquitos started and how I am still going. I don't have the most sophisticated diaper with all the gadgets and lastest fabrics but I do have an excellent diaper at an excellent price for the mama looking for a way to cloth diaper her baby without asking the government for a bailout. Thanks to all my mama customers all these years!!! Erika

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