Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 14

Humbird Wool

Show 14 of the Cloth Diaper Podcast brings us around the world to an early morning chat with wool and diaper maker Dawn of HumBird Wool. We talk about her journey, her why, and her dreams for her business. 


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Show Transcription

Interview with HumBird Wool/Diapers

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Dawn. She owns HumBird and works for the afterschool program for the elementary schools in her town. She likes to run, hike and teaching her 2 girls (6 & 8 ) to sew.

She’s located in Germany – the sound of music, the mountain pitch she grew up on is the one right beside. Dawn is right across the border from Salzburg in the Bavarian Alps.

5:20 – How did you get into Wool and making diapers?

Dawn is originally American. She’s been in German for 11 years.

Originally a learned Chemistry teacher and was offered a job in Salzburg. Though she’d come for a year, and then met a boy (now husband).

Huge life change going from a career outside the house to a career inside the house. Dawn found herself lonely after the birth of her two kid and a change of her life. She wanted to connect with more people and thought it might be fun to open a little shop.

HumBird was born from being a SAHM and looking for connections for others.

8:40 Presence in US is that due to your American background?

Dawn attributes it more to her language being English and building communities in American sites. The population of the USA is also huge and that is your biggest clientele.

10:00 HumBird is increasingly busy and needing time off.

Dawn works 24 hours with other job and the growth this year for HumBird was unexpected. She’s been in business now 6 years and this last year really took off.

She’s now beginning to get into the group.

11:00 Remodeling how she runs the set up?

Things changed at the beginning of this year because she found a local-European wool factory. She now doesn’t have to import from the states which gave her the ability to have as much as she wanted.

Pre-orders stay open from the 1-7th which allows people to buy whatever they want. Her goal is to ship by the end of the month. Dawn can’t handle having a list.

The Preorder lets Dawn organise everything and create a better flow. It lets her be planned and organised.

Recently started limiting the options because too many variations prevent the effectiveness of the flow of the operations.

Dawn hand draws all the patterns. When changes are asked that means a new hand-drawn template and impact the timeline and defeat the purpose of the 10% discount.

13:57 – two woman show.

Recently brought on a second woman to offer a part-time full benefits job to another mama who she really jives with. Benefit for everyone.

15:07 – What is your Why?

Her Facebook Group. 

Such a great group of people and the support on the Facebook group.

It’s a group for everyone, Dawn thinks that without that interaction the business isn’t the same.

17:57 – The Super Nova Night Time diaper

It is the diaper when all else is fail. She doesn’t know if anyone has ever peed out the Super Nova. If nothing else works and you’re desperate this is the diaper for you. 

There is also a daytime hemp fitted that works for normal overnight.

19:38 – How did the supernova come about?

Her girls weren’t super heavy wetters.

about 4-5 years ago, someone reached out to Dawn for some support. Over time they mailed things back and forth to see what would work and it involved over time from someone who asked for help.

20:50 – What Makes You Special? Why should someone buy HumBird Wool?

She hasn’t felt every wool, but she likes HumBird wool because it’s really strechy. For newborns, it’s totally comfortable and there are no restrictions of movement. It’s now produced in Europe.

The new mill is in Europe, in Italy. The wool in the past was also great, but this new factory offers a great personal connection in creating how much wool and the type of wool. She wanted a wool with all these great ideas and this makes it happen. And they are excited to work with her to make it. The yarn even comes from the wool.

The wool from HumBird is an interlock wool that is 95% merino and 5% spandex. And recently started doing the second technique to fluff up more through Fulling. This is not felted, and it’s the fulling method. After the interlock has been fulled it can be machine washed.

You shouldn’t end up with doll size pieces of wool with this treatment to the wool.

Another awesome: wool can be used as regular clothes and use them all day without a diaper cover. 

As of 2019, Dawn will be moving forward with two thickness of wool. A classic wool which will stay pretty much the same. Will be adding a heavier wool to the line up which will be about 80-90 gram per meter than the classic wool.

Classic can be worn anywhere even in the summer and if you live in a colder place it might be better for the heavier wool, or if you need a super durable nighttime cover.

28:00 – What is your 5 year plan for HumBird.

Dawn would like to convert HumBird to all renewable resource materials and fabrics. She’d love to make it as environmentally friendly as possible and it’s great that her mill is supporting her on it. They are even helping her with finding better sources for her diaper fabrics too. Not all fabrics are created equally and some are less renewable than others.

Looking to really push HumBird towards being 100% renewable or sustainable fabrics. It’s a long-term goal that will likely take a few years.

29:36 – Next Stocking? Nope, it is a preorder.

Pre-orders are the 1-7th of the Month.

There is a preorder every month. There might be leftovers in the shop, but if you miss the preorder wait till the next month or check for retail on the website. 

But because of Black Friday – there will be a Black Friday preorder to let her have time off at Christmas. Every sale on Black Friday will be shipped by December 15, 2018 and then open again January 1, 2019. Diapers and Flats will be ready to ship. There will be a surprise Black Friday wool stocking.

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32:00 – Best Piece of Advice

For all of us – when you do the best you can, that’s enough.


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