This week, we meet Kylie from Kozy Kuddlz.
Tell us about your background. What did you do in your past life, before children? Before cloth nappies!
BC (before children) I worked in hospitality and blue collar recruitment for many years. I had the option to return after the birth of my first biological son but with 3 bonus kids to look after as well as a baby I felt I would be missing out on too much. I played around with some recruitment work from home for awhile but gave it up because it was too difficult to try and squeeze my phone work into his (very limited) nap times!
Tell us about your journey into the cloth nappy industry.
I wasn’t introduced to the cloth world until after the birth of my second son. We were in a precarious financial situation and cloth nappies offered a massive saving to us. Well it wasn’t long before the lure of pretty embroidered nappies struck me down……but I just couldn’t factor them into the budget. *Light bulb moment*, I can do this! Out came my granny’s ancient sewing machine, and with the help of some birthday $$ and some scrupulous saving I managed to buy my first embroidery machine. From that very first embroidery I was absolutely hooked!
I entered the cloth business at a time when scene nappies were huge. Popular characters graced all the nappies but I looked at them and thought meh. From the very beginning I made a conscious decision to be different, to avoid the popular designs and let my imagination run wild. I wanted my customers to have something unique to them, nappy designs that would stand the test of time and not date. My specialty now is creating unique and OOAK (one of a kind) nappies, it’s incredibly rare for me to make the same nappy twice.
In early 2014 I was accepted as a Lolly Bottoms licensee. There are plenty of nappy patterns you can make and sell from but to be accepted by Erin I needed to provide a physical sample. She inspected every inch of that nappy to ensure it was made to the exact specifications of the pattern, that I was using high quality materials and that it was something she was happy to put her brand name to, thank god she loved it!!
How has the cloth nappy industry changed since you started your business?
There has been a huge shift of late away from Australian made and Australian owned businesses. This really saddens me because while I understand that cost is a major factor, so is sustaining our local economy. There are so many worthy reasons for choosing cloth but sustainability for our children and grandchildren (both environmentally and economically) must be paramount.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Time management. Stretching yourself to juggle a business, a family and sometimes external work is exhausting. As a sole trader it’s also very lonely, most of my nappy friends are scattered around the country and while we’ve talked for many years we’ve not actually met!
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your business?
How much of a buzz I would get seeing my nappies out there and hearing people talk about them. Also that I’m truly terrible at talking myself up,luckily for me my customers are more than happy to cover that off for me!
Who helps you run your business?
Me, myself and I most of the time. Master 4 loves to be my apprentice and help take the wonderclips off as I sew but mostly he sets up his own mat and fabrics to ‘make nappies to sell mum’. I’m also lucky enough to have a wonderful network of creative friends to bounce my crazy embroidery ideas off.
What do you do to relax?
I love to cook, when life gets a little overwhelming you’ll often find me in my kitchen covered in flour whipping something up. My granny taught me to cook and there’s often no specific recipe to follow, I cook from the heart.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
What works in your house is nobody else’s business
What’s something you’d like your kids to remember about you?
That I was here as much as I could be for them. That the late nights and sometimes hectic weekends of sewing were to give them as much as I possibly could.
Tell us your favourite quote or saying.
Even the greatest was once a beginner….
Is there anything else you think our readers would love to know about you or your business?
Everyday I pinch myself, that I am actually doing this. That there are so many people out there who love my creations. I am utterly blessed to be able to make a living doing something that makes me so very happy.