Show 18 of the Cloth Diaper Podcast brings you the interview of the year with an up and coming Cloth Diaper Brand and Business. Fluffy Penguin is cloth diaper business redefining cheapies, and perhaps the industry. Learn why Ket got started and what she hopes to achieve in 2019.
… i never did ask why Ket calls her company “the fluffy penguin”
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Topic: The Fluffy Penguin Company
Guest: Ket, Founder of the Fluffy Penguin Company.
Length: 28:40 minutes
Fluffy Penguin Show Notes
I kind of start off with a preamble about my concerns, hesitations and feelings about this episode. It’s hard for me to step outside my comfort box of North American brands and begin to connect with others who might be working with brands outside of my comfort zone.
However, I’m learning by asking the story we learn more about the situation besides the snippets that we learn online and that there are people in the cloth diaper industry trying to do the right thing, and sometimes we all mess up.
We are all growing, and yes, I’ll still be passionate about North American brands, and that’s not a bad thing, there should be space for everyone.
3:30 – This is about Burgers
Ket started cloth diapering about 10 years ago with her first child back in the days of Hyena Cart, WAHM, FuzziBunz, and more. There wasn’t the mass production or options.
She had her second about 4 years ago and went back to cloth and the marketplace had changed significantly.
Ket loves fast food —- she ordered an Alva wholesale order and flipped the ones she didn’t use to fund her fast food addiction…. eventually she had a group, then a website, and 4 years later and getting pretty big.
Bailey: Fluffy Penguin is the name on the street.
Ket never thought she’d be an entrepreneur or own a business, but it started with the pursuit of burgers.
6:40 – Fluffy Penguin is NOT just cheapies
They started with Alva, but they would like to hit as many markets as possible.
2019 looks at Tiny Tots, GroVia, and maybe some WAHM. The Fluffy Penguin is looking to branch out and be more than just the cheapie place.
Bailey: there’s a lot of up and coming and growth going on in the industry.
Fluffy Penguin has their own line of prints, and in 2019 will be launching their own cloth diaper style with a patent-pending option that will be different in the industry.
Everything Fluffy Penguin tries to be the Cheapie with benefits, they have a quality guarantee, safety, and warranties. It’s more than taking a chance on Aliexpress, Wish, or China.
Bailey: I got overwhelmed trying to buy cheapies on the market.
8:55 2019 will the big year for the Fluffy Penguin
Looking to develop cloth diaper classes on video or other teachable platforms because it is very overwhelming.
Hoping to launch trial packs and bundles.
Brick and Mortar is collapsing and retail is shifting to e-commerce.
10:40 – Is the cloth diaper community really cut throat?
Then Ket taught me that the industry is split into different groups which is something I never really thought about.
Co-ops is one area and this can be a shady area in itself and super cutthroat.
The big problem is the inexperience starting to sell diapers with infringement and stolen prints and images from google. This becomes an unregulated small business industry.
China lies – that’s the first rule of working with China.
Took a while to learn about the value of asking questions.
15:00 What about higher end places?
Ket says she doesn’t want to take that place but give options and most of her customers have a mix of diapers.
And beginning to hit the market with other options including Diaper pods and clothing including dresses and pants that fit over the cloth. Even dishware options and more eco-friendly kids stuff.
The Cloth Diaper Community is Awesome
18:06 – What would you recommend someone buy from your store?
Don’t buy all of one thing – cloth diapers are a lot like jeans and each cut and brand fit a little different.
… Will be expanding into Alva covers and AIO, and they are working with them.
Hopefully, bundle deals in Spring 2019.
20:30 – What’s been your biggest challenge?
Learning all the hoops of everything – accounting, taxes, safety compliance, tracking things, employees, and more and learning how to be and implement the legitimate business.
Safety Compliance Manager — who even knew that was a job?
Ket gives an example of a product she had to stop selling because of safety concern where one batch had an issue. Needing to research things and meet the standards they need.
23:10 – How do you tackle the knowing of what you can and can’t do as a business?
It’s the compliance manager – she pays someone to help her know what she needs and understands the complexities.
Fluffy Penguin has 9 employees now!
25:40 – How do you make time for you?
Time for Ket is closing out Facebook, email and more. She works at midnight because of China’s hours
27:22 – China Close down in February for the New Year
The closure affects everything and does offer a bit of a slowdown but this is the time of the year that Fluffy Penguin submits their products for retesting of Lead certificates.
Fluffy Penguin does all of their retesting annual with a US-based company and that includes the PUL, snaps, any buttons, zippers, etcetera.
29:20 Where does the Fluffy Penguin Company Ship?
Almost everywhere, there are a few limitations but pretty much everything. They have shipped to China, Japan, to Africa, the UK, Canada, and more.
Ket is trying really hard to master their customer service and offer exceptional customer service. She doesn’t want people to leave their site unresolved.
31:30 – China Trip
Will be taking a business trip in June to report back on the processes, the people making the diapers, and more.
Ket says with the brands she stocks have responsible labor practices. She has no reason to believe there is child labour other misconception. Maybe in the past, but not today and this specific industry she doesn’t think it is.
We look forward to hearing more about her trip in Summer 2019.
Find the Fluffy Penguin Online
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The Cloth Diaper Podcast is dedicated to sharing everyday stories of diapering. We welcome any and all suggestions for future episodes and encourage you to connect with us for an interview. We’d love to interview what works for you, your favourite cloth diaper, and any words to the wise you have. Send us an email [bailey [at] clothdiaperpodcast [dot] com] or connect with us online: Facebook, Facebook Group – Cloth Diaper Addicts, YouTube, or Instagram or Pinterest.