Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 114

The Future of the Cloth Diaper Podcast

An update on the Cloth Diaper Podcast and the sudden hiatus over the summer months, and the future of where we from here. 

Topics Explored

  • Why the break from the cloth diaper podcast
  • Navigating my new business
  • The End of the Flats & Handwashing Challenge
  • Future of this show and me. 

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Nest Sprout

Show Transcription


We are back. The cloth diaper podcast is back in session after what feels like the longest break of my life. While I’m back, I’m sitting down in my office today, both of my kids are at school, my store is staffed with amazing employees, and I get some time to do things that I want to do. And for the last couple of months, I haven’t had time to do things that I wanted to do.

Which means all of the wonderful podcasts that I recorded in spring 2022, winter 2022 Just have been sitting on my computer collecting internet dust.

But we are back. This is show 113 of the cloth diaper podcast, a quick update about where I’ve been what I’ve been and what you can expect going forward.

Now if this is your first time popping into the cloth diaper podcast, and you’re wondering Who is this lady who’s saying that she has been around the block for a while? What is going on? Hello, my name is Bailey. And four years ago, I decided let’s start podcasting. I thought podcasting would be a fantastic method for this industry. Because one of our biggest challenges is the rumor mill. And in a world of the internet, and DMS and messaging, all we ever do is kind of talk on the internet. And we never really get to understand feelings and story and passion. That’s why I kind of want to a podcast and opportunities to talk to people and share those conversations with the world.

The cloth diaper industry is really good at gatekeeping. The content industry is really good at keeping things to ourselves. And sometimes it can be hard to kind of have those stories out there. So the podcast was my way of providing that, you know, learning about things from other experts learning about things through other industry leaders, and connecting them with you because I don’t want to keep any secrets I try not to I mean, I do have some industry secrets that I’m not allowed to share that when you’re just gonna have to wait for 20 years when I write my towel book. But until then, we’re trying to share with you some more transparency in this industry about what’s really going on behind the brands behind the parenting. And for over four years now you guys have learned a ton.

I’ve taken breaks in the past when I’ve gotten overwhelmed because fun thing about writing a podcast is it takes a lot of time, it also makes very little money. I know that there are podcasts out there and we’re making some big bang for their money. And they’re making some big contracts. And they’ve got professional studios, but I am just a woman in her home office recording a show on Adobe edition, I don’t really know what I’m doing. But that’s okay, because sometimes you just gotta put the quick and dirty out there. So much has happened.

My name is Bailey, I have two kids, they are now fully in school, I have a five year old and a seven year old, which means that it’s been a long time since I was actually cloth diapering babies. But what that means is that I’ve seen a lot of change in our industry. And some of those changes for the good and some of those changes for the bad.

I want to finish getting all of the shows that I recorded this year, up and out onto this podcast. To continue to share those I’ve recorded tons of episodes with work at home creators with small up and coming brands, and with some big brands that you need to hear about. And then once that’s all kind of done, I think I’m going to shift into talking more critically about the industry, finding some other people to talk about what are some big moves that we need to be doing. I am kind of a big picture person. And I would love it if somebody else found an opportunity to share the parents stories. But I need to call the parents story part of my journey is coming to an end. And it’s it’s time to focus on thinking about how we can propel the cloth diaper industry forward in some new ways. And so that’s kind of going to be my shift and what we’ll see a shift here in the in this podcast as being more of an industry critique an industry conversation, and how we can kind of do that.

I don’t have as much time as I used to because as you know I bought a business buying a business this year was an incredible opportunity. It’s not every day that you get that it was a huge risk and I’m really excited to have taken on that risk.

Purchasing Nest & Sprout, Local maternity and baby store, has been an way to support cloth diaper brands and a new way I’ve been able to bring in brands such as Kinder cloth, Lunapaca and Loomey to Canada and provide those to you as Canadian parents.

I know how hard it is to get the diapers that you want. And as we continue to grow and we continue to do well and thrive as a brick and mortar and online business at nescens I hope to bring in more brands in 2023 Running a retail business is absolutely bananas. And I know that we’ve chatted with a lot of retailers over the years. And I can’t even I just, you know, I can remember talking with Peanut & and Poppet it Katrina, Katrina and pop it and it was about the same time that I knew I was going to be buying this business.

But I just, it’s, it’s so it’s so much work. It’s like, you know, everything they tell you and more. It really is. And without childcare this summer, because I naively pulled my kids from childcare, I felt a lot like I was drowning. And I do feel like I’m drowning more days than not. So we are we’re trying to tread water. Right now we’re trying to find some survival. And it’s just one whole big thing.

Now, the biggest kind of moment that has happened in the last month, was when I cancelled the flats and hand washing challenge. And I thought I would talk a little bit about that today. I don’t want to dwell, dwell too much on it, because I am trying to just move past but I do want to recognize and take a moment to reflect some of the mistakes that I made in announcing this challenge. And for me, it didn’t seem like it came out of nowhere. But in following some of the conversation, I know that a lot of you were really surprised when I announced the end of a flats and hand washing challenge. Now for the last couple of years, I’ve been critical of the thoughts and hand washing challenge I have brought it to your attention, I feel several times that I was concerned about whether or not this challenge was being done. So in the right light, whether or not it was effective still in this 2020 era and whether or not it was a good use of our time and our resources and our skill set as an industry. Over this time, I have put out many polls, I’ve put up many calls, and I’ve conversed with many of my listeners, many of the people who’ve been impacted by this challenge in a variety of ways.

We’ve seen some amazing things come out of the flats and hand washing challenge. I don’t want to disregard that at all. I mean, Megan at Milwaukee diaper mission, sale and cloth, like so many amazing people have gone on to create diaper need awareness programs in our region. But I kept also getting this more quiet story, the story that I can’t share publicly the story of how people felt hurt, or they felt like it was mocking, or they felt like it wasn’t impacting them. And so these are stories that I’ve been sitting with, and I haven’t shared with you.

And when I announced the end of the challenge, I failed to recognize that I had lost a lot of my authority, I failed to recognize that I had lost a lot of my respect. And I failed to recognize that I didn’t prepare you adequately. Because in my head, I was doing all these motions. I was doing all these things for the last two or three years, where I was reviewing and conversing and interviewing and doing the research and doing the work to find out how this challenge was impacting others. But I never really shared that with you. And so when I announced the end of it, it felt like a surprise. And many of you got taken aback. I should have prepared you better. And I should have recognized that I needed to build your trust and respect up again after a summer off. And I failed to bring up the whole picture. These are things that I know as a communications and crisis management specialist who just graduated recently.

And I didn’t do them because I posted on impulse.

Romi was like, hey, Bailey, what’s going on with the flats and hand washing challenge. And I immediately wrote a response because I had already made up my mind several months ago, and I just hadn’t gotten around to telling you because I bought a business and I got overwhelmed with everything else. So the end of the flats challenge. I apologize for how that came to be. You know, the biggest reason that I ended the fights challenge was in respect to the stories that I had heard that this was not a good way to share experiences, thatthis wasn’t the right way of engaging this wasn’t. This is not how we do advocacy work anymore.

But I didn’t teach you about that enough.

And as a result, we did the thing that we don’t want to do. You know, I feel like we have been talking about how as white people I mean, I’m speaking to white people right now that you need, that we need to not ask people to teach us that we need to teach ourselves that we are not respect but it is not the responsibility of Black and people of color and the disadvantage to tell us their story and teach us, but is our job to listen, believe and trust in their experiences.

And so when I ended the flats and hand washing challenge, a lot of you didn’t believe me, you didn’t believe that. There were people being hurt by this challenge. And so you, people went out and said, Hey, teach me educate me, tell me your stories. And so many of you guys had to relive that experience and relive and teach people I. I didn’t want that to happen. And I didn’t realize that was going to happen. And that is my naivety. And that is the good biggest piece of guilt that I hold over the cancellation is that I didn’t pause and think I that is my one of my biggest weaknesses in general is I’m very reactive.

And I will just do, and I should have thought about how the community would have reacted, and that people were going to demand education as a result of my cancellation. So if you had to educate somebody, if you educate a brand, another content creator or another person, because of my cancellation of the floods challenge, I cannot apologize enough. And I recognize that I failed you as a communicator, I failed you as somebody who wanted to express this concern. Now, the flats and hand washing challenge was thus picked up and reevaluated and reformed into something else, which I don’t know.

I have all sorts of mixed feelings. I really just wanted the challenge to come to an end. And for us to focus on diaper need Awareness Week, as its represented by the diaper national national diaper need awareness. Like, I didn’t want the challenge to be picked up or reformatted. But that’s what it happened. You know, people felt really strong to this tradition. And they didn’t want to hear what I had to say. And even though in the end, they heard you and your stories, that’s like, that’s where the pain really comes in is like, I failed to communicate, I just, I failed, I failed at that.

And I mean, it was a great learning experience for me. And I look back at all my studies and my work and communication. And I’m like, oh, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey Bailey, but we’re just gonna move on, you know, it is hard sometimes to have growth in our industry. Whiteness in our industry predominates. And because our industry is in this constant stage of turnover, with new brands and new parents, new people emerging, I think it really prevents us and having some really healthy growth. And hopefully, we can move forward as an industry and find some better stronger ways to advocate and talk about the possibility of cloth diapering.

And that’s kind of where I want to take the show in the future.

So when I look to the future of the cloth, diaper podcast, I am going to get out all these shows. And then I want to be an industry critic.

You know, I want to be having these harder conversations. I want to be providing these education and business opportunities. And I want to talk about, I want to talk about different things I want to talk about kind of this nitty gritty, industry struggles in new and different ways in the way that we can think and reflect on ourselves and find opportunity for growth because it’s been 10 years of the corporate industry doing the same stuff over and over again without much change.

So I want to reflect on that and want to find a way that we can move forward. And now that I have my own business that provides me with some financial stability because being a corporate content creator is not financially stable. It’s not like other influencer positions where you have opportunities to earn income, the business can support me in achieving that. And the business allows me to do some more work locally.

The business allows me to have stronger revenue streams, stronger expense streams, and kind of achieve what I want to achieve in that world. While also achieving what I want to achieve in the other world.

I feel like I said the word achieve a lot.

So my first four months of owning Nest & Sprout is over. We’re paying the big bills now we’re paying the big loans. We’ve got the employees, we’re finding some steady growth and it’s given me the opportunity to focus on Okay, now where do I want to take the cloth have a podcast? Where do I want to take nest and sprout? How do the two work together and what can I do to achieve Do you greatness in this industry?

I do want to continue the corporate network, the association and building kind of this legacy of connection and community. I am worried though that I have severed a lot of that connection and community.

I don’t have a lot of trust right now I feel in spring 2022, there was a lot of gossip and rumors and distrust a lot about me. And so that’s hard. It’s hard to be in an industry where you’re always looking over your back, where you’re always wondering if somebody doesn’t believe you, and if what you say comes off wrong. And those are always gonna be things that happen in any industry in any space. But we have to admit, to a certain degree that it is worse in the cloth diaper industry, that there are people out there who look and feel malicious, and that they, without a doubt would tear you down in an instant. And that’s kind of how I feel about this.

Right now, I feel like I am at a point where I’ve created enemies, and when you create enemies in this industry, they will tear you down. And so this is not healthy. This is not how our industry should be, we shouldn’t be at this point where you become so fearful of doing something because you could lose it all. And so we have to evaluate that if that is how people come to feel in our industry, we will never find forward growth. And why do we allow this to happen? Why do we allow these spaces to exist where we talk crap about people? The only that like something I had to learn a couple of years ago, in my friend group, I had a large group of friends. And I actually lost a lot of them during the pandemic, because it turns out that a lot of them were talking crap about me in other groups. And it got to the point where, you know, like, I realized that everybody low key hated me. So why was I still trying to organize events and participate in a space where people didn’t like me. So now I have a very small friend group. And something that we have promised to each other is that we don’t talk smack about other people. We only talk about ourselves, and our experiences and our feelings.

But we, anytime we start talking about somebody else, we say, Hey, that’s not appropriate. Sure, we’re not going to talk about so. And so we only talk about us and our experiences. Because this gossiping and this like secondhand information. It’s not healthy. It wasn’t healthy to us as people. And it wasn’t healthy to the dynamic of our relationship. And so I think the cloth diaper industry has things to do a little that growth. And it’s hard, you know, because we’re constantly having new parents and new brands, but they have to think is this conversation valuable? Is this conversation important?

Like, yes, we need to have space to grow as an industry and be like, hey, this brand did this, and it’s not really appropriate. But we also need to recognize when gossiping is tattletaling and gossiping and bullying, and when it’s healthy and effective. And so I don’t know. I have moments of have dealt right now. And I will work through it.

So today I have a day off. I have finished recording the next show which is going to be with Thea. It’s about daycare, and I will work on editing and updating all of the future shows. If you’d like to support me and my business and your Canadian visit or a maternity, breastfeeding baby store,I sell all sorts of things I ship across Canada and the United States.

If you’re a newsletter member, I’m going to send out a quick little promo code. It’s one of the best ways that you can support the author and podcast right now you can get my book where you can shop Kinder cloth diapers, little helpers, Lunapaca and Loomey.

And every I mean I want you to still shop though with all the amazing retailers shop local, find that cloth diaper brand, find that retailer that you love and appreciate go spend your money with them. Happy behinds is doing amazing things in the United States, representing so many amazing brands like Oh my gosh, one day I want to chat with her on the show because I think she’s doing great things and I want to be like her. And then Stephanie at cloth diaper kids in Canada has a fantastic selection of brands. I am here not to compete with anybody else in this industry. I don’t want to compete with other baby stores. I don’t want to compete with lagoon baby. I don’t want to compete with little monkey. I don’t want to compete with little footprints. I want to be an option for people.

And I want you to shop with people who share your same values who share the same quality that you share the same value, like all those things, and I serve my local community. We have a brick and mortar here. We’re located at Pine Center Mall and Prince George British Columbia. So if you are local to me, come visit us come shop with me at Pine center Ma. I would love that. If you’re not local. You can shop with me online. But more than anything, I want you to shop local. So find that little baby store in your community.

Go love on them because they want it they need it. And they need it.

They need it. It’s like competing with Amazon. I mean we’re not competing with Amazon Amazon has a whole other world. But we’re trying our best anyways. Visit called i For more information, you can find me on social media. The best way to get a hold of me these days is to send me an email and I will see you online. Until next time

Bailey Bouwman Cloth Diaper Podcast

Professional Cloth Diaper Educator

Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.

Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.

Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.

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