Monday, April 16, 2012

Get to know the founder of SoftBums!

Interview with SoftBums Founder, Sarah Van Bogart
Visit Empowering Ellie a blog on "Practical research-based perspectives on parenting, family finances and daily blessings"

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Sarah Van Bogart, owner of SoftBums Cloth Diapers.  After discovering that SoftBums is a Mom owned business, I wanted to learn more about her experience.
Sarah is a motivated, passionate Mother of four who started cloth diapering when her oldest (who is now 15) was about two months old.  When she was pregnant, she considered cloth but had the misconception that all cloth diapers were fold and pin, smelly messes.  After using disposable, Sarah bought some velcro cloth diapers at a yard sale, fell in love and never looked back.
During her cloth diapering years, Sarah tried every type of cloth diaper available:  covers, prefolds, pockets, pull on’s, you name it.  It wasn’t until she was pregnant with her third that she decided to start sewing her own diapers.  Sarah learned to sew when she was around nine years old with help from home economics class and her Mother.  She began with a self-made newspaper pattern and used cloth that was around the house: old sheets worked just fine.  Three weeks overdue, Sarah found herself in a pile of diapers, each with slight variations.
Sarah started giving her diapers away and their popularity soared.  Due to the size variations in all babies, she found that many people requested custom sized diapers.  Each of Sarah’s own children were shaped very differently as well and this left her wondering about a sizeable diaper.
One evening, Sarah and her husband were looking at a jacket that cinched at the side and wondered, “Why can’t a diaper do this?”  This is when the Slide2Size was born.  Sarah had tried many sizeable diaper variations, but when she made this prototype, it was the clear winner.  It’s also important to note that Sarah tested prototypes with her husband.  “That’s why the SoftBums Omni is so easy to stuff,” says Sarah.  She ensured they were easy to use and therefore, Dad friendly.
SoftBums is a business that has grown gradually and consistently.  It is still spread by word of mouth today.  Sarah admits that initially it was a challenge, as her friends and family had a hard time understanding that her online business was more than a hobby.  But, the rewards were well worth it in Sarah’s eyes.
As Sarah says, “I really love babies!”  Hearing each family and Mom’s story is payback for her.  Sarah loves her customers, especially when she gets to see their families grow.  Sarah also sees the value in supporting women in their roles as Mothers.  She has been a La Leche League leader and had training as a Midwife, due to her passion for natural birth.  These experiences helped her to understand the need to meet women “where they are” to best support them.  With all the misconceptions about cloth diapers out there, this is surely helpful experience.
SoftBums gives back to the community through diaper donations to families in need as well as to orphanages overseas.  Sarah would like to get more babies in cloth and donates to causes to help support this desire.  She sent me this picture of a box of over 350 diapers they are shipping to an orphanage in Haiti this month.  They are all green to celebrate earth day.  Next month, they will ship out a similar box to another location.
As for what’s next for SoftBums, we’ll have to wait and see, as all Sarah would say is that we have products “up our sleeve.”  Sarah did inform me that there will soon be a seconds page on their website that will be a great place to find bargains.  I’ll be anxiously watching this Mother owned business.  Their focus on quality, giving back and excellent customer service surely makes them a top ranked diaper company in my eyes.

SoftBums Coupon Code

Use this code for free shipping on your next SoftBums order: springfever

Don’t forget to enter in the SoftBums Giveaway, ends 4/18!

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading more about SoftBums! I was already placing a starter order. Thank you for the promo code as well!! I searched online to save some $$$ and yours was the only I could find that worked! I am looking forward to trying SoftBums!