Interview with Wink Diapers
In show 20, Bailey talks to us about Wink Diapers, what they are, where they are manufactured, and about the challenges of a small business.
Bailey Duke started cloth diapering in 2011. Over the years she founded Wink diapers to create a dipaer that fits her needs.
diapers, fabric, bailey, cloth diaper, cloth diapering, primarily, cloth, tpu, people, gusset, covers, wink, diaper covers, bought, brands, organic, continue, manufacturing, friends, layer
Bailey, @WinkDiapers, Bailey Bouwman
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 00:17
My name is Bailey do I’ve been cloth diapering since my oldest. She’s seven years old. So I’ve been cloth diapering that long since she was born. I started my cloth diapering journey, primarily to save money, which I think is a big reason for a lot of people along with using more eco-friendly products is probably the second most important reason, but it was money for us. Um, so I was looking for ways to save. diapering was a huge expense for us. And then I continued that on with my other two children. I have three children. And they’re all potty trained now. But they all primarily cloth diaper.
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 01:59
And as I started doing it, and realizing that there were so many different times, and so many different features, and all of these different things that were sometimes are defined or hard to tell what you were getting before you bought things, especially online. And doing more research into that and looking for that I really wanted two things that were primarily very important to me. One was a double gusset on the leg, that made a huge difference in leak protection was organic fiber inside the diaper, because most mainstream brands use a stay dry fabric, which is not a natural fiber, synthetic fiber.
Bailey Bouwman 02:47
So you started Wink diapers because that was missing in the industry at the time?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 02:51
that I did order some diapers off Etsy and I found some handmade stuff. And there were a couple of mainstream brands that I found that had the plastic but one of them went out of business right after I started using it. And it was it was difficult to find the features that I wanted. And that was my primary reason. I was already doing it. And I was looking at trying to find wholesale diapers anyway. And I thought well, you know, maybe I could customize this inside my own. And it went from there.
Bailey Bouwman 03:23
What products is with diapers currently manufacturing?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 03:26
all of our diapers are available in a one size. And then some are also available in like a smaller, premi newborn, it’s similar to a one size style where there’s a rise snap, that changes the size. Right now I have hybrid diaper covers, I have all in one’s pocket, cover diapers, and training camp. And only the covers and all in what are available in the smaller premi newborn size. Everything is available in the one side. What’s your favorite product covers, that’s what I always use was hybrid covers because they’re so versatile, and you can use them with just about anything? I use them with insert. And they were so easy. They were cheap because I could buy extra insert. And if it was just like a little fee, then I could change the insert and not have to change the cover and down on my washing a lot. And it’s cut down on the cost. So I primarily use hybrid covers when I bought diaper
Bailey Bouwman 04:27
covers are definitely one of my favorites and I think people get scared of them. But they’re not really that scary.
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 04:32
Yeah, definitely. Especially when people are first starting out and they’re just not really knowledgeable about the different kinds. It can be scary. And they go with all in one because they think it’ll be the most similar to a disposable but actually, I think the covers are easier. All on ones can take a little longer to dry. And sometimes they’re a little harder to spray out, stuff like that. But as I’ve gotten more into the designing element of diapers, I do really, really like my all-in ones, they have a layered fabric that comes loose in the wash, which makes them dry a lot faster. And that organic bamboo fabric that I use is super, super soft.
Bailey Bouwman 05:15
I will have to Check that out. And I will include links, guys to all these products that Bailey is talking about in the show notes. I was reading on your website that you choose to make your diapers at a TPU instead of PUL, can you explain to us why you do that? And why that might be important to consumers? And what’s the benefit of a TPU versus a ul diaper?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 05:32
Yes. So TPU is a heat bonded fabric versus a chemical bonded fabric. All laminate fabric has a layer of what you typically think of a woven fabric element, and that it also has a layer of water. And that layer of waterproofing is on the inside. And that has to be bonded to a layer of textile. So with TPU and the heat bonding, it’s actually a more environmentally mentally friendly process, because it produces less waste and chemical no off that. Oh no doubt. TPU is primarily things that are used in hospitals that are laminate are made out of TPU. And they can be autoclaved at a super high temperature which makes them less likely to De laminate because they take a larger range of temperatures and the PUL can so my diapers are entirely safe to put in the dryer on the highest setting. And they’ll do just fine.
Bailey Bouwman 06:45
And I understand that Wink diapers are all manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 06:50
No, actually they’re not we do use overseas manufacturing for some of our products. And some of them I make myself in Greensboro. But primarily we do store our products from overseas,
Bailey Bouwman 07:03
Got you so that I miss understood that line on the internet
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 07:06
it is really difficult when I was starting out, I did look for us manufacturing and textile manufacturing is extremely hard to find in the US, especially at reasonable pricing. And all of the established diaper companies that are using us manufacturing have set it up themselves. So they don’t take any outside borders. For me to set up my own facility. I’m just not large enough to be able to afford to do that. And to hire people to make by hand without the industrial equipment is so expensive that there’s no way that I could keep my prices additive by us. So I’ve chosen to do that on my facilities are inspected, they all have certifications for the there’s a fair-trade certification.
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 08:00
Look for when choosing my manufacturers, which includes things like environment, working conditions, limited hours, stuff like that. So everything is done in facility. Right? Yeah. How was that process? Fine. Find the facility. Did you find that easy, overwhelming? Everything has, you know, difficult elements. But if you go through the right channels, if you typically if you contact the organizations that do the certifications, they can provide you with lists. And so there it’s just a matter of contacting each one and seeing who you could work with that. So it’s not that difficult of a process. know which organizations you’re looking for, to begin
Bailey Bouwman 08:44
with, because it’s not so in the cloth diaper communities online. Everybody, not everybody a few people were making acquisitions that wink diapers are just rebranded Elva cloth diapers. Can you speak to the accusation?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 08:57
Yes, I have seen that come up. And I think the reason is because some of my friends are the same as the ones that Alva uses. And the reason for that is because I don’t manufacture any of my fabric. And so typically, you in full is purchased in bulk from all cloth diaper manufacturers. And what’s readily available are sometimes has, you know, common prints that crossover between brands, I do design my diapers myself, they have elements in the design that aren’t available through brands like Alba, like the double gusset and the organic inside fabrics and all that sort of stuff. So they are very different than the Alva design. But some of the fabric the exterior fabrics are the same, which when that’s what primarily catches people’s attention when they’re looking at diapers, I think and they say oh, I’ve seen this print before, so it must be from the same color. But they’re not licensed print. They’re like, if you went to join fabric, and you bought a fabric and you made a dress out of it, someone else might do the same thing. But, you know, obviously they were made by two different people.
Bailey Bouwman 10:13
Yeah, that really helped. Thanks. I always I was curious. I know and nobody really was read direct response from you about what that answer is, they just continue to let the rumor mill live at isn’t necessarily bad.
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 10:28
Yeah, I’m not as active as I used to be in cloth diapering groups anymore, just because I’m not like that green myself. So when those things come up, and I am my tire business, I don’t have any employees. So if I don’t buy it myself, then yeah, there’s not. Or if someone doesn’t point it out to me, it’s a big world out there, I get that you can’t be in all the places all at once, what makes your diaper special and stash worthy, I really pride myself on using organic and natural fiber fabric, I offer all of the interior fabric of my diapers, my pockets, and my all-in ones are made with organic bamboo. And I also offer bamboo inserts for my covers, and also hemp inserts for my covers. And I think that there’s a huge benefit in using organic natural fiber fabrics, not only because they’re better for the environment, but also because things like microfiber synthetic fabric pulled in smells a lot more, they’re cleaner, they’re not as soft. A lot of babies have sensitivities to synthetic fibers. So using a natural fiber fabric has lots of benefit. And that. Thus, it makes a huge difference with leak protection, especially in the newborn stage. When you have that, you know, runny newborn diapers, it makes a big difference, there’s an elastic across the back, that’s added into my diapers, which can help with those like the back blowout. And there’s also that double layer. And to explain that a little further. It’s where the elastic balls on the legs, there’s another piece of fabric that’s added with another layer of elastic. So there’s essentially two pieces of elastic that stand against the leg. So there’s a little bit of a channel that runs in their car they have an extra layer of protection against.
Bailey Bouwman 12:38
I know that double gussets are pretty popular, but I’m really good double gusset paper. You’re seven years out of cloth library, are you you’re done cloth diaper. So why do you continue with diapers, what passions and feel feels your passion every day began for
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 12:52
financial reasons. But I am also very eco conscious. And we do a lot of things to try and reduce our way we suppose we use cloth instead of paper in our kitchen and stuff like that. And I have partnered with some organizations like the Rebecca foundation and done some community education cloth diapering classes, I really enjoy the community element, and I enjoy the education element. And also, now that I’ve established myself business, it’s still continuing to grow. And I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve been able to continue cloth education and get it out there and make it more accessible.
Bailey Bouwman 13:37
Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. What are your goals and dreams for WIC diapers? What can we expect from you over the next year or the next five years?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 13:44
I’m not exactly sure. I do hope to continue to grow. We’re growing a little bit each year and we’re continuing to offer new channels, we just added Amazon this year. Lily for about two or three years, and I want to become as accessible as possible. I think that with people that are transitioning from cloth to disposable, making it as accessible and as easy as possible, the transition is really important. increase that accessibility and possibly some new products but always new and cuter.
Bailey Bouwman 14:25
That’s the thing, hey, new prints. Everybody loves new friends. And accessibility is huge. Like I think a lot of people are overwhelmed about where to find things and what’s been your biggest challenge over the last couple years but owning and operating your cloth diapers
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 14:39
my biggest challenge has been honestly keeping up with demand. I know that hey, that’s a good challenge. Sounds a little braggy but I have these periods where I’ve placed really large orders with my manufacturers and it takes them a long time to diversify. So A period of time that I go out of stock, I’m actually really, really low on stock, right, that timing and being able to have things in stock consistently has definitely been a challenge.
Bailey Bouwman 15:11
I think that’s the challenge that we see with a lot of brands. Where can people find with diapers? Where can you connect with you on the web?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 15:18
so you can always purchase them at Wink Diapers.com We’re also available on Amazon and zulily, sporadically, but they dont release their sales information ahead of time. So, but you can follow the brand on Zulily to get notifications when. Then whenever we do new friends or new restocks, we announce everything primarily on Facebook. So facebook.com/winkdiapers. And then in that page, there’s also a link to a private group, or buy, sell trade and chat. And I do sometimes I do special offers just for that
Bailey Bouwman 15:57
as well. Awesome. That is that’s really helpful. And my question I always ask my guests is, what’s your best piece of advice for any of the moms listening today?
Bailey, @WinkDiapers 16:05
My advice for people getting started with cloth diapering is trying to put your hands on the diapers where you decide what you want. Instead of deciding Oh, I read something online, this is what I want. Buy a full stash and hundreds of dollars and then decide Oh wait, actually, I don’t like this. Try and get a bunch of different kinds. Try them out. If you have friends that cloth diaper, look at them, get take a class have someone explain the different types to you. Because once you’re in it, it seems totally different than before you start and all the information is like bombarding you and being able to have them in your hands and see what they’re actually like and the different functionalities.
Bailey Bouwman 16:51
And I love I love hearing that from brands all the time is such a great piece of advice. Thank you so much for joining me today Bailey and we look forward to your star.
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The Cloth Diaper Podcast is a regular podcast sharing stories from cloth diaper parents, brands and retailers from around the world.
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