This week, we meet Erin of RAWr Nappies.
Tell us about your background. What did you do in your past life, before children? Before cloth nappies!
Before children, I was in the Royal Australian Air Force working as an Air Traffic Controller living a completely different life to the one I enjoy now 10 years later!
Tell us about your journey into the cloth nappy industry.
I became interested in cloth nappies (and other reusable products) when I was pregnant with my first baby in 2006, I must admit I was excited to discover that it wasn’t all terry flats and pilchers like I was expecting!
After I met Anna – a fellow cloth nappy nerd, and as chance would have it, a Stuff n Snap nappy lover… we discovered that our beloved Stuff n Snaps were about to be removed from the market due to the business closing. So we decided to buy the pattern, updated the inner fabric to something that we both love for it’s quality of keeping our own babies’ bums rash free, and RAWr Nappies was born!
I now solely operate RAWr Nappies and as a seasoned nappy maker and designer myself I am always looking for solutions to improve and help bring cloth nappies to new parents and carers as an accepted, standard and everyday option alongside disposable one-use baby products.
How has the cloth nappy industry changed since you started your business?
Since starting RAWr Nappies in 2012 the cloth nappy industry has matured and grown. I am seeing more articles and ‘talk’ of cloth nappies in the media than ever before and I know that much of this is because of the efforts and professionalism of members of the ANA. The formation and growth of the ANA is a great step forward for cloth in Australia and I love the level of respectability and the potential this gives for encouraging even more cloth nappy use in the future.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
I find time (and ideas) management so so hard, I have loads of ideas and things-I-just-need-to-do-right-now running around my head all the time and not enough hours in the day. My family is my priority which is why I am working at home and sometimes I have to remind myself to switch my poor brain off RAWr and either let an idea that won’t eventuate go, or write it all down to get back to later (but by then another idea will probably have jumped into the space and I’ll be all crazy-determined to explore that one now too)!!
What’s one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your business?
How much time everything takes to get done!! I just can’t stand it when I have customers asking when a product restock (or new product) will be listed and although it’s sitting there in my storeroom I just can’t find the time to get all those little things done that are involved in actually listing it on the website for sale!
Who helps you run your business?
It’s really me, myself and I at the moment – although my family all support me like the awesome people they are! My husband helps me talk through ideas and challenges that come along, my girls help me with stock, videos and photography and my baby boy is the current product tester extraordinaire! My Dad and his lovely wife will soon be helping me out with running the business, as I am planning on going back to university, so I dare say you will see more of them in the future!
What do you do to relax?
I love spending time with my family, even if it’s winter cuddles together on the couch watching a movie or playing a highly competitive game of Uno on a lazy Sunday arvo! I get a lot of enjoyment out of knitting too, so that is where you’ll often find me after children are asleep of a night – getting a few rows of knitting done!!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That it’s all about trial and error, you just need to give it a go, be yourself and believe in yourself – you might not get it right every time, rarely the first time but you won’t know unless you try! But I think this goes for lots of things, and have certainly taken it on board in other aspects of my life too!
What’s something you’d like your kids to remember about you?
I’d like them to remember how much I love them above all else, that I would do anything for them and support them always. I think what they’ll actually remember is how good Mum could draw nappy pictures – that’s something I get lots of
praise for haha!!
Tell us your favourite quote or saying.
He’s got so many I love but I am partial to:
“We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein.
also while I’m at it,
“I never said half the crap people said I did” – Albert Einstein.