Posts Tagged ‘etsy’

Ya’ll Amaze Me – a Wee Essentials update

I’m amazed, guys.  I’ve been looking at my numbers.

I started Wee Essentials in June 2008 and made my first sale shortly after.  I am blessed to be able to say it’s been mostly uphill since then.

It hasn’t always been easy on either of us – my customers or me, though.

The summer my daughter was born, we were living without any air conditioning in 100+ degree weather (I don’t think I mentioned that here!)  At the same time, Wee Essentials was experiencing unprecedented growth that I couldn’t keep up with.  I did eventually figure it out, and the next summer, I hired Jess to help me out with the basic sewing tasks and soaping I do daily – cutting, pinning, cutting soap bits and packing them up.

That, in a nutshell, brings me up to today.  And I’ve been looking at my numbers.  I’d like to share some of them with you!

The last half of 2011, on Etsy, I had about 50 sales a month.  So far, 2012 has been a year of amazing growth, with 80 orders in January and 70 in February.  March is shaping up to be similar.  I just keep going back to those numbers and I’m stunned!  (In a good way, of course!)

This doesn’t include those of you who ordered off WeeEssentials.com, co-ops, directly from me, or from retailers across the US and Canada!  Wow!  THANK YOU!

Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve been well prepared for this growth.  I’ve been getting orders out as fast as possible, but barely keeping up.  And I’m sorry for that.  You all have been very understanding, and I appreciate that so much.  These types of growth come with “growing pains” and we are definitely feeling that now – especially the week we realized we had 35 custom orders in the queue and ran out of 16 of my 31 scents of soap bits!

We are looking at a few different options, including hiring someone just to take care of the soap bits.  I am also looking into finding an office space to rent – maybe even a retail space!  I’m so excited for the future, but I want to be sure that we keep up with the present.  So you’ll find us in the studio for several hours this evening, after the kids are in bed. 😀

In the end, it comes down to this: I want to truly, deeply thank every single one of you for your business and your friendship.  YOU are what makes Wee Essentials successful!

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Why Choose Cloth? Menstrual Pads for the Modern Woman

I wrote this blog post for Top To Bottom Baby Boutique earlier this year, but I’d like to share it with you, too.  I have used cloth menstrual pads for almost 4 years now, and began manufacturing and selling cloth menstrual pads in my Etsy shop three years ago.  This post stems from that.

So you love cloth – diapers, that is. Maybe you’ve switched to cloth kitchen towels, and cloth wipes, too. And now you’ve been thinking: if it’s good enough for my baby, maybe it’s good enough for me?

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about cloth menstrual pads since I started selling Wee Essentials cloth menstrual pads on Etsy in 2008. Women worry a lot about how well they work, if they smell, and how to wash them. Many remember their grandmothers talking about wearing “rags” that leaked and were difficult and embarrassing to wash. And a surprising number confide in me that when their periods are over, they are left raw, red, and irritated in their most sensitive areas.

But there is a reason why most women who try cloth pads never go back: cloth is comfortable, easy, and actually a little fun! (Hey, you need something that will cheer you up when Aunt Flo comes!)

I’d like to answer some of the questions women have asked me, and explain some of the best benefits to using mama cloth!

  • · It’s comfortable. Disposable pads are made of paper and dehydrated cellulose (ie. Wood fibers!) That’s why they chafe and itch. It’s like wearing cardboard! Cloth pads are generally topped with natural fibers like cotton – just like your underwear.
  • · It’s pretty – okay, this probably isn’t the best reason, but I like it! It sounds silly, but it makes me smile a little when I choose a pretty pad. I need that when I get my period. It’s a whole lot better than bleached white paper!
  • · Yes, they are absorbent. And, yes, they will leak – only if you wear them too long. Just like any pad. But I can tell you this – in my memory, I’ve only had a cloth menstrual pad leak on me once, and it was because I didn’t want to get up to change.

Look for pads that contain a bamboo or hemp core – they are some of the most absorbent natural fibers available.     Bamboo and  hemp hold a great deal more than a cotton core, so they are worth the additional cost. You can also buy    menstrual pads with or without a waterproof layer. Wee Essentials pads typically use PUL, which is the same waterproof barrier used in many cloth diapers. I’ve also made my pads with polyester fleece or with no waterproof barrier at all for customers.

  • · No, they don’t usually smell. That menstrual blood smell comes from bacteria from your body multiplying in your pad. I don’t honestly know why cloth pads smell less, but I do theorize that the plastic in the disposable pads raises the temperature of the blood more than cloth pads does and allows the germs to multiply faster.
  • · They are easy to care for: if you don’t like stains, rinse them after you use them with cold water. (Hot water will set the stain – it literally cooks the proteins in your blood and removing that is kind of like removing last night’s burned lasagna from the pan…)

If you are like me and don’t care too much about stains, you can throw them in a dry pail until you are ready to wash.   They wash best when you wash them like diapers – a cold rinse, a hot wash, and another rinse. If you don’t use cloth  diapers, just throw them in with your towels and add a cold rinse beforehand. Most washers allow you to preset that now, so you don’t even have to come back after the rinse! You can tumble dry them on low in the dryer.

  • · They are designed by women, for women. Granted, the disposable pad companies have figured this out, too. Things like wings and easy-to-place designs help make your period a little easier. I also like that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a huge diaper!
  • · They save you money. Yes, the initial cost is much higher. $8 for a pack of disposables sounds a lot better than $8 for one cloth pad! But when you start to think about the cost per disposable, you’ll begin to see what I’m saying.

I went to drugstore.com today and looked at the cost-per-unit for Always and Kotex brand regular maxi pads with  wings. I found that prices ranged from 17 cents to 26 cents a pad. (For reference, that’s about what a brand-name disposable diaper costs!)

When you realize that you can use the same cloth pad several times during a cycle, you can see how quickly the  cloth pads will begin to pay for themselves. And that doesn’t even include the costs spent on medications…

  • · Anecdotal evidence suggests that cloth pads may actually reduce or stop yeast infections, vaginitis, and other irritations of your private areas. On several occasions I’ve had new customers complain of redness, soreness, or even raw skin after a week of using disposable menstrual pads. When they switched to cloth, they no longer had those symptoms – the disposables irritated their sensitive skin. Many people have told me they have had fewer yeast infections since changing to cloth (myself included – I don’t think I’ve had one since I switched, and I used to have one nearly every month!)
  • · Oh, and the most obvious one: Cloth pads are more environmentally friendly than disposables. All but the waterproof or water resistant layer and any plastic snaps can be composted or burned, rather than wrapped in a plastic wrapper, thrown into a plastic trash bag, and then into a landfill. Also, cloth pads don’t require a separate wash, and they are small, so they can be thrown in with any load of laundry – no extra water or soap is required!

 

I would love to answer any other questions you may have about cloth pads. Please feel free to post questions or comments here, or to email me at weeessentials.com or on Etsy with your questions if you aren’t comfortable asking them here. Don’t worry – I am not easily embarrassed!

Although I am a cloth pad maker and seller, my main goal is to introduce women to cloth – even if you buy elsewhere! (Though, of course, I do hope you will buy the Wee Essentials brand!) I’m delighted to be able to pamper the mamas with cloth just as much as the babies!

Yarny goodness from Storied Yarns!

Okay, I don’t usually do a lot of giveaways, but I couldn’t resist offering up this one. Jess of Storied Yarns is offering a $10 digital gift certificate to her store to help me celebrate 1000 fans.   She’s also having a sale through today – 20% off with the coupon code SUMMERTIME11 at her Artfire shop.  Don’t spin, but you see a batt or roving you just love?  For July only she’ll also spin it  just how you want it for free!

Jess dyes yarn and spinning fiber inspired by books, tv, and movies, and her colorways are just fantastic (I have a couple of them!)  Her pictures really don’t do justice to her items, but I can attest to the quality and beauty of everything she makes.  She’s about to have a knit-along with a very cute “winged” shawl and a shrug to choose from.  I’m knitting up the test shawl, and I think it’s going to be gorgeous.

So here’s one of the items I got from her:

"Finding Nemo" luxury batt by Storied Yarns

Beautiful, right?  On the inside is even more orange, and I can’t wait to spin it up. I bought a BFL braid from her a few months ago and it was so fun to spin.  My five-year-old son saw the beautiful blues and immediately claimed the yarn:

"I Dare You To Move" by Storied Yarns, spun by me

Anyway, sorry, I’m a little obsessed with pretty batts right now. 🙂  Storied Yarns has an artfire shop (you don’t need an account to buy) and an Etsy shop, which I linked above.

How to enter: Check out Jess’s shops, and if you want to win the gift certificate, comment below with what you think you might buy if you win the certificate!  I’ll give you 3 extra entries if you buy something from her shop, too – Just comment three times for your purchase.

Here are the rules:  You must be 18 to enter, you must live in the US and Canada to play.  If you live elsewhere, you can still play, but you will be responsible for shipping and customs duties and taxes if you win.  You must put your email address somewhere in your post (I believe you will have the option to put it in when you comment, and only I will see it.)  If there is no email address, or you do not answer my email saying you are a winner within 48 hours of the email, I will draw another name.

I will use random.org to generate the winning numbers, and I will go down the list of items from top to bottom.  So the first number I generate will win the first item here.  I don’t want to make this complicated. :)

The contest will run as soon as this post is published until Friday, July 22nd, at 11:59:59 PM Central Standard Time.

Good luck!

Free Shipping Through September 30th!

My eldest started preschool this year!  His first day is today, and I’m sad and he’s excited, so let’s celebrate!

Okay, so this is a long running promotion, but until September 30th, 2010, when you order $50 or more of product from WeeEssentials on Etsy or on diaperswappers.com, shipping is free!*

Links to my Diaperswappers threads: mama cloth and wet bags, and diapering accessories.

On Etsy there is not a way to automatically discount the shipping, and there are two solutions to this:

1. Check out and pay.  I’ll refund your shipping when I ship your items.

or

2.  Check out and don’t pay.  Send me a message or just wait and I’ll send you a revised Paypal invoice with the shipping removed!

WeeEssentials Breast Pads for Nursing Women

WeeEssentials Breast Pads for Nursing Women

*The items you purchase must equal $50 before shipping charges are added.  Custom orders are eligible as well, as long as you place the custom order before September 30th, 2010 (even if you wait to pay for the order until it’s completed.)

Gratuitous Self Promotion

I just recently opened a new Etsy shop under the user name DyeingtoSpin.  As if I don’t have enough going on, I decided this would be a good outlet for all the handpainted yarn and handdyed fiber I’ve dyed but don’t have time to use.  (As I sit here, I have two large rubbermaid totes filled with yarn I’ve bought and yarn I’ve spun.  And that’s after I gave away a lot of it!)

I just made my first sale from a splatter dyed yarn that went wrong. I forgot to set the yarn until all the colors had already blended together so I got a boring peach yarn.  I’m glad someone out there had a use for it!  And now that I have a sale under my proverbial belt (I am 7 months pregnant, after all, and haven’t worn a belt in months) I figured it was time to share my shop.

I just bought and received almost all the acid dye colors a girl could want, so I’ve been itching to get back to the dye pot (not to mention that while I’m surrounded by totes of yarn, I have very little dyed roving yet.)  Anyone want to help support my habit?  LOL

Right now you can find several wool types of combed top roving in the shop- Australian Merino, BFL and Falklands.  I have some Romney to dye and I’m hoping to get some superwash merino in soon, too!  But I absolutely love the feel of the Australian Merino!

I’m also catering to the sock yarn crowd.  I carry just a superwash merino/nylon blend right now.  I’m making a pair of socks out of this yarn that I dyed last year and I love the feel as it knits up and the feel on my foot, too!  I’m down to the foot of the second sock!  The pattern is free on Ravelry – River Rapid Socks.

Finally, I have some superwash wool in worsted weight, though mostly I’m catering to all my cloth diapering knitters out there with yummy Peruvian worsted weight yarn perfect for longies, shorties or other waterproof garments.

So if you have the chance and you like to spin or knit or crochet, check it out!

You have come to the end of my gratuitous self promotion.  LOL

$20 Gift Certificate Giveaway for WeeEssentials

Just in case you haven’t seen it, hop on over to My Silly Monkeys – the owner of the blog is giving away a $20 gift certificate to my WeeEssentials Etsy shop, good for anything, including shipping!

WeeEssentials Wipe Solution Cubes (i.e. Soap bits.)

As many of you know, I carry all sorts of products that usually are bought at a premium price at the store only to be tossed in the trash.  My products, however, can be washed and reused – easing the strain on both landfills and your pocketbook!  I currently carry cloth nursing pads, cloth menstrual pads and cloth pantyliners and thong liners, cloth wipes for cloth diapering, and cloth wipe solution cubes, among many other things!  (And yes, that was absolutely link spamming for keywords! LOL  Hey, I have to get it in occasionally, right?)

If you don’t use these products and never will, you can always get them as gifts.  If you don’t use these products because you don’t understand them, leave a comment with your email or contact me through etsy!  I’d love to answer any questions you have about them.  And in my line of business, there is nothing too personal and nothing that won’t stay confidential.

So check out the giveaway!  I hope you win!  It ends on February 10th, so hurry!

Coolest. Diaper. Cake. Ever.

Okay, it’s not a cake:

Cloth Diaper Sushi Roll from EnchantedDandelions

Cloth Diaper Sushi Roll from EnchantedDandelions

I got a diaper cake when I was pregnant with my first, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever, too.  It didn’t take me long to use up all those newborn and size 1 disposables!

But this really takes the cake, if you’ll forgive my pun.  I’m not one to be extremely enthusiastic about products I haven’t tried, but hey, this is so creative, I know the woman who made it, and what can I say?  I love sushi.

I saw this in someone’s etsy favorites, and then I realized that it was from EnchantedDandelions, one of my fellow Etsy Cloth Diaper Team members. She also puts my soap bits in many of her cakes. It has prefolds (good for both diapering and spitup!) and a few really cute washcloths in a variety of fabrics – perfect because I thought I loved fleece wipes until I tried flannel and terry.

I don’t want you to buy this, though, because if you buy the bigger cakes, you get some of my soap bits in there, too. (Hint, hint.)  Plus, if it’s still in her store, I get to see it whenever I browse my etsy favorites. LOL.

Get this one instead:

Cloth Diaper Cake from EnchantedDandelions on Etsy

Cloth Diaper Cake from EnchantedDandelions on Etsy

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