I still remember my first Woollybottoms experience. A friend (actually, someone you've already met) strongly suggested that I needed a skirtie (translation - a diaper cover with skirt attached). As this friend had a son, it was pretty obvious she was pushing to live vicariously. But I didn't mind - I do have a fair number of skirts and, pre-baby (aka pre-kneeling-down-fifty-times-a-day), I was known to sport one for nearly every occasion.
Ghiberti 'Gates of Paradise' show in Chicago, 2007
What else could a girl do but track down this newest necessity.
It was so beautiful.
So well made.
And so massive.
Lesson learned - measure your baby, reference the WB size chart, and do not add inches upon inches to each measurement.
I'm so very excited to finally bring Woollybottoms to Itsy Bitsy Bums! Shannon is lovely, and her products are top-notch. And not only that, but they are made in the USA using upcycled (aka repurposed) materials. What better way to reaffirm cloth's positive environmental impact than by breathing new life in otherwise cast aside items.
Without another moment's delay, welcome to the WAHMlight Woollybottoms!
My name is Shannon Foster and have been married to the best, supportive guy for almost 15 years. Sarah is my oldest. She is 10 going on 17, loves to read, and is very proud of the fact she is nearly as tall as I am. Caleb is my baby. He is 6, just learned to ride a bike without training wheels this week, and has a very quirky sense of humor.
We first discovered cloth diapers with Caleb. He literally could not wear any of the disposables out there. Within minutes he would break our in rashes... we still today are dealing with his super sensitive skin issues. Cloth was the only thing that would work but I really did not like covering up the cloth with plastic covers. Summers here in Arkansas are hot and humid and the cloth/plastic combo was really not cutting it. I soon learned about wool and purchased 2 Babyology wool covers and had his name embroidered on the bum.
I had a few wool sweaters sitting around and thought, these are wool... why won't they work as a diaper cover too? The difference was absolutely amazing when we switched to fitteds and wool. He was staying dry and his bottom was staying cool. This quickly led to an obsession. I started actively looking for wool sweaters to turn into diaper covers for Caleb. I had no intention in making these to sell. There sure were some beautiful girly sweaters though that I couldn't just leave behind so you know what happened next. I started to make more than what we needed and listing them on Ebay for fun.
One thing led to another and I soon found myself with a full time business again by the end of 2004. Business was set up in our dining room and sweaters were everywhere. I even had the "wall of wool" in the dining room which acted as insulation. Between the wool and the wall, it was warm in the summer holding the summer heat out. I knew at that point something had to change since it was overtaking my home. We live on 2 acres so I had some extra space to put a building in the back. At that point I hired someone to come in and help full time with the sewing. This worked out wonderfully since I could keep work separate but still be right there with my kids.
Things continued to grow and a few years later my husband and I purchased a building in the next town over to share. He owns an upholstery business and this building was set up perfectly for us to both use yet still be kind of apart. This is the most awesome set up ever. We come to work together, our children go to school 5 minutes away, and then they are here with us after school. As a family, we are all involved with each other and able to interact and talk about our day. My husband and I are able to step in and help each other as well.
I love working with recycled wool. Each sweater is different and watching them come together into a diaper cover is fun. It never gets old. The ugliest sweaters usually are the ones to turn into the best diaper covers. I can't believe that someone out there actually bought some of these sweaters brand new AND wore them :).
For the future, I just plan on keeping on doing exactly what we are doing. Keeping everything hand made right here in Heber Springs is very important. We currently have 2 ladies that help with the sewing and I would like to find at least one more person to help handle the demand. Right now that is our biggest challenge.
Want to learn more about the wonders of wool? Check out the Wollybottoms's FAQ page.
Now that you have met Shannon, time to checkout her amazing hybrid soakers (aka pull-on wool diaper covers) which will stock Tuesday evening, May 3rd, at 8pm (central time). Shop quickly, as these styles sell fast. And when they are gone they are gone. The rather famous Woollybottoms solid lanolin is also stocking tomorrow evening. In my humble opinion the smell is heavenly!
Lastly, want to win $15 to spend at Itsy Bitsy Bums?
- Become a fan of Itsy Bitsy Bums on Facebook (1 entry)
- Follow Bitsy Buzz publicly (1 entry)
- Become a fan of Woollybottoms on Facebook (1 entry)
- Purchase an amazing soaker or two from Itsy Bitsy Bums (5 entries per purchase)
Please be sure to comment one time for each entry. Also be sure to leave your email address in at least one of your comments, so I can get a hold of you. Contest closes to entries May 31, 2011.