Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy: IBB Turns One

One year ago today Itsy Bitsy Bums opened its proverbial doors. It has been an amazing year, filled with so many fantastic, interesting and different experiences I cannot even begin to adequately describe them. But I can say it has been an absolute joy to meet so many amazing people, and I cannot imagine doing anything else. 

Please join me for a look back - 

September 2009
My wee baby is only three months old, but my love affair with researching all things cloth diapering is reaching new heights, culminating in a wondering whether I could turn this unending obsession into a realistic profession. 

December 2009
The name 'Itsy Bitsy Bums' is born during the drive northwards to visit my family for Christmas. The store's mission is outlined - Make cloth diapering easy for anyone and everyone interested, and a preliminary business model is planned. 

January - March 2010
Many, many, many versions of the spider are reviewed and edited. I think the poor guy might have had a bit of an identity crisis for a while. But in the end we found just the right diaper-wearing spider. (Yes, at one point a baby's face was also considered, and quickly abandoned.)

I continue to order samples, attempting to whittle down my initial inventory offerings (ie. AppleCheeks, pictured at the left; not to mention I still order diapers because I think they are super-cute, like the WAHM fitted on the right). Because I'm still a serious addict, I also photograph all incoming fluffy mail. 

April 2010
The small but growing website is up and running, although this fact unknown to anyone outside of a few close friends who act as advisors (you guys know who you are, and to you I say - THANK YOU! THANK YOU!). I spend most nap times writing tutorial content and planning inventory counts. 

Settle on one of my favorite photos of my newborn daughter's fluffy bum for the Newborn Rental icon. 

May - June 2010
Inventory is rolling in. Counted, inspected and stacked, hundreds of diapers begin to take over our home. 

July 22, 2010
Afternoon spent at the splashpark

Late that afternoon the graphic designer confirms she's installed the final graphic content (inside tidbit - the graphic designer and I spent three months developing the logo and aesthetic of the website; but every word, comma and misspelling is entirely my doing - almost 400 pages of content!). 

The website is ready to go live!

Itsy Bitsy Bums (shorthand - 'IBB') opens for business later that evening, offering the following brands:
AppleCheeks, BacOut, Cow Patties, Kissaluvs, Fuzzibunz, Grandma El's, OsoCozy, RLR, Rockin' Green, Rocky Mountain Diapers, Snappi, Thirsties, Tiny Tush and Wahmies. 
The Newborn Diaper Rental, Bitsy Boost and two Trial Packages (Total Economy and Economy+Convenience) are up and available to ship!

 July 24, 2010
Bitsy Buzz is up and running with the first Bitsy Buzz post! Granted, there are 'construction' messes everywhere, and it won't be another six weeks until BB looks the way you know it today. 

July 25, 2010
First Newborn Diaper Rental order is placed!
(Fun fact - to date IBB has shipped over 160 Newborn diaper rentals.)

August 2010
First WAHMlight is published
(wonder where WAHMlight has gone? Why, its on summer vacation!)

Fishnoodles joins the IBB line-up.

August 12, 2010
Publish first IBB-giveaway - free Fishnoodle when we reached 200 Facebook fans 
(took four days)

September - October 2010
The focus turns to mamas - mama cloth and deodorant now-stocked. 

November - December 2010
GroVia, Bestbottoms, Softbums and Sustainablebabyish are added. 

All-in-Two Trial Package introduced. 

IBB survives its first Black Friday, shipping out almost sixty orders in two days (inside fact - I spent twenty-four hours of Black Friday weekend in bed with the stomach flu - I didn't want to pack any orders while I was sick so everything went out a day later than intended.)
^^the aftermath of Black Friday order packing -
the tornado stands still long enough for a quite photo op

Twelve Days of Christmas relieves the post-holiday blues

January - February 2011
Amber Teething Necklaces, Fishnoodle's younger sibling - Bright Star Baby - is unveiled (IBB has the inside scoop with one of the first reviews)

Ten-day vacation proves to be a feasible undertaking (with just a few sharp and observant folks finding the golden egg)

March - April 2011
Planet Wise, Econobum, Hemp Babies, Flip and bumGenius now stocked

Rock Chalk Freebies celebrate Jayhawk wins

Abby's Favorites - Four Weeks of Product Spotlights

IBB Ships its 50th Trial Package

April 3rd, 2011
Publish 'Much Ado about Making Do,' challenging readers (and myself) to look around their lives, and minimize excess. This reflection forces me to realize we've outgrown the space our home can offer the business. Within two weeks we've scouted the new home of IBB. Three weeks after that we move all inventory into the new space, which I affectionately call 'the Showroom.'
(and this isn't even all of it - there was inventory stashed in the nursery, in the living room - essentially anything that didn't move, or didn't move fast enough to get out of the way, became a home for a box of inventory)

May 2011
itti*bitti tutto and all things wool (Woollybottoms and Tiny Tush wool and wool care items) now stocked

June 2011
Teething Bling, Babykicks and CJ's join IBB

1,000 Facebook Fan Celebration

Avalee's Birthday Celebration sale

July 2011
Milkies Milk Savers and Party In My Pants now available.
AND, introducing Chewbeads - so fashionable, so functional!

There you have it folks! I still cannot believe it only has been a year! In some ways it feels like just yesterday I published the first web page. And in other ways it feels like I've been doing this my entire life. I take both as a good sign.

Like a Peak Into a Typical Day in IBB-land (aka The Life of a WAHM)?

9:30ish breakfast (all times are -ish these days)
Avalee sings along to Yo Gabba Gabba (she's obsessed with their CD; thank goodness she doesn't know it is a TV-show!) while I skim all emails that have come in since I went to bed 6-8 hours earlier. Essential emails are answered or acted upon immediately. This could mean anything from 'I'm delivering my baby tomorrow, three weeks early, can you send the rental now?' to 'Monkey-print diapers now stocked' (which translates to - act fast, or another retailer will snag them while you are doing dishes).

10:30-12:30 Play
Dishes, read books, dance around like crazy ladies. At some point during this time she breaks away and colors, paints or covers the dog with stickers. When this happens I return to my email, answering any inquires that just take a few minutes or are easily stopped and started through the day.

12:30 lunch
Repeat of breakfast scene. Typically she'll color in her highchair while I attempt some of the longer emails. Most of these messages end up saved to my drafts folder for later.

1:30-4:00 errands and/or more play
This time used to be spent packing orders. However, now that the store is out-of-the-house typically the early afternoon is spent attempting to do day-to-day house stuff, or plotting new freebies and marketing ideas (while simultaneously reading Moo, Baa, La La La - I have mad skills and the majority of Sandra Boynton's collection memorized - anyone want to hear an impromptu Barnyard Dance?)

4pm time for the workday to begin
My husband arrives home from work, and I rush to the Showroom. The next two hours or so are quite hands-on - orders are pulled, double-checked, packaged, weighed and labeled. Newly-arrived inventory is inspected then put away. Mark and Avalee arrive at the store around 6 to grab the orders and swing them by the late-drop-off post office (it just opened a couple of months ago - I'm already deeply in love with them!). Packages make the 7pm truck.

6:30 arrive at the coffee shop and begin my 'office work'
With somewhere between 40-50 new emails received during the day, it is now time to establish the evening's game-plan - which emails are essential, which emails are important, and which emails are ones to mull-over for later? Or, did a new brand, colorway or item arrive in the mail that afternoon? The evening is then split between emails and updating the website and inventory counts.

10pm my office kicks me out
Fully caffeinated, I arrive home and set-up shop on the couch. I then resume emails, and any last website updates required for the evening. If email is caught up, I then research potential brands to grow the store and plan inventory and replenishment orders for the following weeks.

Check email one last time, say 'sweet dreams' to my laptop, and head to bed.

And Repeat!


  1. Wow, Abby. Congratulations on a year. <3 You are really amazing. :)

  2. Happy 1 year anniversary! (After reading your daily schedule I think I need a nap!)
    Thank you for all your hard work & dedication. I don't believe I would have succeeded with cloth diapering if it weren't for you! And thanks to Mark & Avalee for getting our packages out. :)

  3. Congratulations on an awesome year! I can't believe how much you've done in a year, and how much you can get done in a day! You are amazing and we really appreciate all your hard work! <3

  4. Happy Anniversary, Abby! Just reading about your day makes me tired! Love your store and I am so thankful for all of your advice and help. Congrats :)

  5. Congratulations! Thanks for the peek into your daily life :) You are really doing a stellar job with the shop!

  6. Congratulations! You are one hard working Momma! Thank you!