The modern cloth nappies.
Back when she was expecting her first child (nearly 9 years ago now!), Catherine Langman was keen to find the best products for her new baby. She researched all the options available and decided that when it came to bubba’s bum, what she really wanted were the benefits of cloth nappies but the convenience of disposables. Catherine found that there weren’t many options that covered all the bases – she wanted a one-size design that was absorbent, easy to use and came in fun, brightly coloured designs.
So, together with a friend, Langman got crafty and created her own range. They were such a fun and effective product that word spread and they were churning out nappies for family and friends. Soon enough, Cushie Tushies had a steady following and had developed into a sought after product!
Here is what Catherine had to say about her business.
Q. Describe your business and products/services you offer
Cushie Tushies debunk all the myths and misconceptions surrounding cloth nappies. They are a premium product, while still prov iding incredible value for money. Customers love Cushie Tushies because they are an investment in their babies’ health, the save time and money, plus they are proven to be much kinder on the environment than disposables.
Q. How long have you been in business?
Officially 6 years, with another couple of years’ R&D prior to that (with testing on our own bubbas of course!)
Q. What made you decide to start this business?
I’ve always wanted to have my own business, but it made sense to respond to the demand for our range. Also, I’d had to resign from my previous career in Advertising after my 2nd child quickly followed my 1st – my boss had said “full time or nothing”, which just wouldn’t work with 2 babies a year apart!
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
Some weeks it’s an intense 40+ weeks, others half that time. I tend to go hard during school term time and take it easy during school holidays. The whole point of setting up the business online the way we did was so we could be flexible around the needs of our children.
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which works best for you?
These days our advertising is largely online, with social media, email, PPC and SEO featuring prominently. We blog and work with other bloggers whose readership fits in our target market. Offline, we attend a lot of baby and pregnancy markets and expo’s – ours is the sort of product that sells best when demonstrated in person by people experienced in using them.
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
The biggest mistake I made was not trusting my own intuition as strongly or as often as I should. I know now that I DO know what I’m doing and should trust my own judgement more often – when I do, it pays off!
Q. How has your website helped you run your business?
I wouldn’t have a business without my website. Being a niche product market in Australia, it is not the sort of item stocked in mainstream bricks n mortar stores – we do have quite a few stockists but certainly not enough to rely on for our main source of revenue.
Secondly, though, as a Mumpreneur, having a website that sells whilst I sleep, so to speak, gives me the flexibility I desire at this point in my life. I’m earning an income, challenging my brain, and setting an example to my kids about what you can achieve if you put your mind to it, without having to spend all my time away from my kids.
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
High levels of competition from cheap import/manufacturers. Not only are these products bad quality, but the advice that comes with them is also terrible. I worry that the market is being corrupted and customers may turn against the good quality options like ours, after having had bad experiences w ith the cheap knock-offs.
For more information visit, Cushie Tushies website