Jeff Green | Jan 15, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - January 15, 2009 Unique diapers in high demand
by Julie Druker
Dave Limber and Laura Baldwin.
Sharbot Lake residents Dave Limber and Laura Baldwin are both life and business partners. Their business, El Bee Baby.com, is a web-based business that they run out of their home in Sharbot Lake.
The couple make and sell hand-made, fitted, snapping, organic cotton cloth diapers and other children’s accessories, and their products, especially the diapers, are in incredibly high demand.
The parents of two young children, the business came about 6 years ago when Laura decided to cloth diaper her youngest child Finn. She recalls, “I hated the cloth diapers we were using. They were super bulky, just enormous. You couldn’t get clothes over them and he looked like a door stopper so I decided to see if I could come up with something better.”
With a fine arts degree and experience sewing Laura started the business and had some definite objectives when she first set out. “I wanted to have plastic snaps for a better fit and I wanted to use organic cotton.” Laura obviously has aesthetic goals and the diapers are as beautiful as they are functional.
The couple both work on the production of the diapers. Dave washes, hand dyes and cuts the material and does the initial sewing. He also applies the poly resin snaps and does all the packaging and shipping. Laura does the design work, 2/3 of the sewing, the decorative stitching and the assembly.
Each diaper takes over one hour to make and involves 20 specific steps. The diapers are colorful, incredibly soft, and durable. They come in 7 sizes and are reusable, easy to wash and dry, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. To be honest I’ve never seen a more beautiful diaper in my life. And I am not the only one who thinks so.
Business has been booming since the business started 6 years ago and the couple have not been able to keep up with the demand for their diapers. They have never had to advertise their products either.
Dave explains that they sell by “word of web”. People in the market for cloth diapers apparently are a tightly knit group and word gets around quickly on the web when you are offering a sound product.
In fact the demand for their diapers so outweighs the supply that custom orders are sold on their site by lottery. Similarly their online store often sells out very quickly.
Most of their customers are from the States but they sell internationally as well and have customers in Spain, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, Croatia, Israel, Australia
Many customers are also repeat buyers; one in particular has purchased roughly 60 diapers, which demonstrates the fierce loyalty that their product has generated.
The diapers run from $35 -$55 and Laura admits, "We are pretty top of the line in the industry." She goes on to explain that the diapers are extremely time consuming to make and there are a lot of expenses involved, which makes the profit margin relatively small.
Dave and Laura are not looking at this time to increase their production by expanding their business outside of their home, although the demand is there. Rather they are happy right now to be the sole makers and to keep the business small and in their home.
To view their products visit www.elbeebaby.com
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