Podcast Episode 014: Cloth Nappy Awards.

I read some negative articles online about cloth nappy awards. So I wanted to get the girls take on the subject. Are they fair, can a small brand win, is it the brand with the most sales gets the prize.

Or are cloth nappy awards just a money making click bait tactic website use to get more traffic?

 

Transcript: Cloth Nappy Awards.

Andrew:             How are you Vicki?

Vicki:              I’m good. How are you Andrew?

Andrew:             And how are you Vashti?

Vashti:             I’m fantastic. Should we do that again?

Andrew:             No, it’s fine. Everybody at home is thinking, gee, I wish the microphones were on ten seconds earlier so I could have heard that joke.

Vicki:              Somebody actually said that we should put this on YouTube. At first I thought, oh, I don’t want to be videoing this, be seen picking the nose, and, you know, eating all those chocolates like I was that day just before [00:00:40] Christmas. I think they just want it on YouTube as a soundy thing.

Vashti:             It would be interesting. I’ve actually thought about taking a couple of, not videos, my brain is completely gone today people, so, please excuse any weird things I come out with. Taking snap shots of us. Having a couple of photos while we’re doing it.

Andrew:             I did that. I got both of you. Remember that …

Vicki:              No, but that’s going to completely and utterly blow this whole professional thing that we’ve got because if people could really see, and [00:01:10] not just that, we’re doing it in my lounge room, and today we had our main bathroom ripped out. There is this layer of fine dust over everything. I have to keep my appearances, you know. Being Mrs. Bouquet.

Andrew:             House still smells like [inaudible 00:01:34].

Vashti:             Good smell though.

Andrew:             So today, sorry?

Vicki:              You didn’t even notice. I picked the [inaudible 00:01:37] based on his looks.

Andrew:             [00:01:40] Oh did you?

Vashti:             Yeah.

Vicki:              Well where was my invite?

Vashti:             Sorry, he didn’t have his shirt off.

Andrew:             Didn’t you do that with the first [inaudible 00:01:46] and look how that turned out.

Vashti:             Let’s not go there.

Vicki:              Was Andrew a [inaudible 00:01:49] in a previous life?

Vashti:             I don’t know.

Andrew:             I don’t even dream about being a [inaudible 00:01:54]. The subject I wanted to cover today is cloth nappy awards. The reason I wanted to cover this subject is I’ve actually read a few negative articles online about cloth nappy awards.

Vashti:             A few or just one?

Andrew:             A few, well okay, one. Coincidentally from [00:02:10] someone who didn’t win, but, we won’t go there.

Vicki:              They came runner up didn’t they?

Vashti:             They did.

Andrew:             Yes, they came runner up. Cloth nappy awards, what do you girls think of cloth nappy awards? Vicki, let’s start with you.

Vicki:              The cloth nappy awards, with any baby related awards there is a problem, and there’s really no way to get around it. Obviously, the bigger a brand is the more products they sell. I’m sorry, the more units they sell, the [00:02:40] more customers they have so thus the more votes they have. There’s not really any way to get of that. We’ve got a Nuna car seat as an example, probably everyone listening at home, Nuna? what brand is that? When you put a Nuna car seat up against a Steelcraft car seat, do you know what I mean, that’s kind of what I’m saying. The awards are amazing if you’re comparing apples to apples. [00:03:10] The cloth nappy awards in particular are run by the Australian Nappy Association. This year we’re trying to as best as we can, level that playing field. Actually segregating out the bigger brands like myself and a couple of others from the work at home moms and the smaller brands so they have a fair go as well. Does that make sense?

Vashti:             Yeah.

Vicki:              Am I really making any sense at all?

Andrew:             What do you think of cloth nappy awards?

Vashti:             I like them. I think it’s a good chance for [00:03:40] customers to see what brands perform well. As with any awards, it’s not just in the baby industry, it is awards across the board.

Vicki:              That’s all awards.

Vashti:             It costs for manufactures and retailers to enter these awards. You actually have to pay a fee to have your name in there. For some of the smaller brands it may not be viable for them to enter some of the big awards. I know My Child Award, they cost a couple of hundred dollars.

Vicki:              No, no, no. My Child are actually [00:04:10] really reasonable. They’re I think, $49 this year.

Vashti:             Oh, that’s okay.

Vicki:              No, you’re thinking of the Mother & Baby awards.

Vashti:             Mother & Baby, yeah.

Vicki:              They’re like 250, $300 to enter, per category, per item.

Vashti:             Yep, so there’s no way I, me as a small business, I couldn’t, I can’t justify that money to go into.

Vicki:              I’d struggle to justify it.

Vashti:             An award.

Andrew:             Aren’t they using that money to pay for the cost of the awards?

Vashti:             Yeah, well, it goes into prizes and stuff.

Andrew:             This obviously takes-

Vicki:              It goes into marketing, it goes into-

Andrew:             They’ve [00:04:40] got to write terms and conditions, somebody’s got to look after it. They’re obviously wanting the money because they’re not going to ask customers to pay to rate something?

Vicki:              No.

Vashti:             No.

Andrew:             It has to be passed on tho who it’s going to benefit so obviously-

Vashti:             That’s exactly right. I’m not saying that paying to enter your products or your business into these awards is a bad thing, I’m just saying that for some of the smaller businesses, some of you work at home mums who are just producing small amounts of nappies and are really [00:05:10] only covering their costs with the sale of their nappies. I know Fe Fi Fo Bum did a video on how much time it actually takes to create one of her masterpiece and Tabitha doesn’t cover her own time in the sale of her nappies. She pretty much only covers the cost with a very small amount as extra for her own time. It’s not award what she gets so sometimes those costs are prohibitive to some of the smaller businesses.

Andrew:             [00:05:40] Would an award be beneficial to her though? She’s obviously got a little niche market, she’s not interested in growing.

Vashti:             Some of your small businesses it can be beneficial to them in the fact that it gives them more visibility to consumers. Some consumers who enter cloth nappy or who rate the cloth nappy awards or give their impressions of the products may not have ever heard of her and being in the cloth nappy awards gives them visibility of her product [00:06:10] so that’s why it could be a beneficial but it’s not necessarily going to help her grow her business in any way because she may not have the capacity to grow that much. I’m not saying specifically Tabitha, I’m saying all small businesses.

Vicki:              That’s what we’re trying with the ANA cloth nappy awards is to actually categorise those work at home mums together so it’s like against like. I produce a product off shore so comparing my product to some work [00:06:40] of art with Tabitha even though they’re both all in two’s it’s not apples with apples. They’re completely different.

Andrew:             On the same hand though, you used to produce in Australia and you went overseas. Why did you go overseas?

Vicki:              Just volume. Really the unfortunately our wages here have been the destruction of pretty much all the manufacturing in Australia is our high cost of living thus our high wages make it prohibitive [00:07:10] for businesses to be competitive.

Andrew:             I remember when you used to manufacture in Australia. You had a little old shop you used to do it in, you had 10 women there sometimes manufacturing nappies and you still weren’t making enough were you?

Vicki:              No, no. Actually getting skilled workers too and I did try and source factories here pretty much, actually having something sewn in Australia is pretty [00:07:40] prohibitive. It’s actually really hard to find. I did find a place over at Cleveland and they just didn’t have the skill set that I needed and it’s not that making a nappy is terribly hard, they just didn’t have the trained staff. They were all making school uniforms and stuff like that. I used to have my swim nappies made over at [inaudible 00:08:01] I think it was and yeah, even there they eventually said no, that they couldn’t do it anymore.

Vashti:             [00:08:10] Now you don’t make swim nappies.

Vicki:              I know.

Andrew:             The nappy awards, how many are there and if you girls know how much it is to enter each of them say that as well.

Vashti:             Well, the Australian Nappy Association is the only one who does the actual-

Vicki:              Specific cloth nappy-

Vashti:             Cloth Nappy Awards.

Andrew:             Okay, how much does it cost to enter that?

Vicki:              $25 and if your an ANA member it’s $12.50. It’s not a prohibitive cost at all and all of that money goes directly back into advertising, Facebook ads and [00:08:40] stuff like that because-

Andrew:             For mainly cloth nappies.

Vicki:              Yeah, yeah.

Andrew:             Which basically grows the [crosstalk 00:08:44]

Vicki:              Actually the awards.

Vashti:             Yeah, we go straight back into the awards and promoting those businesses who have entered the awards as well so the money that each business provides, they don’t even need to be an ANA member if they enter the awards. They can still get paid advertising through the money that they have provided for the award.

Andrew:             Yeah, okay but your whole story before [00:09:10] about how prohibitive it is to enter awards, it doesn’t stack up when it’s $25.

Vashti:             Not for the ANA. We’ve kept our prices for the ANA Awards very low because we are trying to promote cloth nappies and trying to make it a viable option for cloth nappy businesses. When you have a look at Mother and Baby and My Child and there’s a few other baby product awards out there, those prices can start getting prohibitive.

Vicki:              There’s UK ones-

Vashti:             Yeah, there’s a UK one [00:09:40] that one of our members looked up recently which was-

Vicki:              Insane price.

Vashti:             350 pounds per product, per category. If you enter three products in one category, there’s over 1,000 pounds just in entry fees. If you’ve got products in several categories, you’re stacking them up again. Some of the awards out there in the baby industry are very cost prohibitive for small businesses so therefore those businesses [00:10:10] aren’t getting their name in front of the client base that they need.

Vicki:              That’s where the ANA, I know the article that you’ve read because I read it as well and yeah, it was alluded to that the ANA awards were cost prohibitive but it’s actually completely opposite. As I said, $25 and $12.50 for ANA members. We’ve made it as, and then as I said that money, that $25 goes directly back into [00:10:40] that-

Vashti:             Advertising that brand.

Vicki:              That brand. We actually boost their post, their blog posts and stuff like that to that value.

Andrew:             To be fair though that’s because the ANA is a non profit organisation.

Vicki:              Yeah, we’re not for profit, yeah.

Andrew:             Some of the other ones, they’re not non profit.

Vicki:              They’re for profit, yeah.

Andrew:             They’re for profit, yeah.

Vashti:             The fact of the matter is, with the ANA ones even the funds that we get from the entry fees don’t even go into paying for the people that we have [00:11:10] managing the awards. The ANA pays for our VA out of member-

Vicki:              Member funds.

Vashti:             Member funds and stuff like that. All the ANA award money goes directly towards promoting businesses who have entered. We’re not getting anything back to the ANA itself.

Andrew:             Some of the awards too don’t seem to do it very often like one of the awards I came across hadn’t done one for two years but it’s still [00:11:40] popular.

Vashti:             Most businesses are annual.

Vicki:              Most of them are annual.

Vashti:             Some of them are bi-annual.

Vicki:              You might be thinking of Essential Baby. They actually dropped it. They dropped their awards.

Vashti:             Oh did they? I missed that one.

Vicki:              Yeah, they dropped them last year so they are thinking of … What it was they lost the staff member who was spearheading that. They dropped them last year. Whether they pick them back up again.

Andrew:             How much do they charge?

Vicki:              I never entered the Essential … yes I did actually. I couldn’t honestly [00:12:10] tell you. I think it was, well Essential Baby is owned by Fairfax so they would’ve been on the pricey side whereas My Child is owned by a small business owner so that’s why theirs are quite reasonable as I said $49 I think they were this year.

Andrew:             Okay, any others?

Vicki:              Not off the top of my head. Not for cloth nappies. I’d have to go hunt find.

Andrew:             Yeah, there a lot of awards for, actually there’s awards for pretty much anything you can find that goes with a baby.

Vicki:              Yeah, well Mother and Baby dropped their, sorry [00:12:40] they dropped cloth nappies out of their categories. I’m not sure why but the ANA are the only ones that actually run The Cloth Nappy Awards just specifically for cloth nappies whereas even My Child and what have you, you’ve got pretty much nappy, it’s a cloth nappy whereas with the ANA awards you’ve got fitted nappies and traditional nappies and all in twos and one size nappies and breaks it up into the categories so you’re comparing more apples with apples.

Andrew:             For some of them you could just [00:13:10] say that they’re a popularity contest.

Vicki:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew:             Do you agree with that?

Vicki:              Yeah, yeah.

Andrew:             You guys are trying to work with the ANA to make sure yours is a little bit more fair or what else are you doing there?

Vicki:              Well, last year’s awards were like the Baby Beehinds and Bubblebubs show.

Andrew:             Bubblebubs has been around 40 years. How long has Baby Beehinds been around?

Vicki:              14 years.

Andrew:             Okay.

Vicki:              So in fairness we’re old established brands. Of course we’ve got big customer bases. We’re [00:13:40] two of the biggest brands in Australia.

Andrew:             True, but you do have a high turnover of customers. Customers only stay with you when they’ve got babies.

Vicki:              True, true like customers tend to turnover every two years but also [Leanne 00:13:53] and I are very active members of the ANA. The awards are still quite young so there wasn’t probably as many entry. I don’t think [inaudible 00:14:06] entered any of theirs from memory. See, [inaudible 00:14:09] [00:14:10] another big brand. Certainly this year I’d expect to see a bit more competition if you like. It bordered on embarrassing when you’ve got basically two brands taking out all of the awards. Now, I am not saying that Beehinds and Bubblebubs aren’t great brands because they are, it’s why we’ve been around for 14 years but it would be nice to see a bit more competition. One of the [00:14:40] awards, one of the categories that we’re looking at bringing in is a retailers choice in all of the categories. I remember when Darlings Down Under used to run the cloth nappy awards many years ago, the Bam Bam won the retailers choice newborn nappy and that meant so much more because retailers have got a choice of multiple different products and it wasn’t that popularity contest kind of thing, it was that’s what the retailers thought was the-

Vashti:             The best newborn [00:15:10] nappy.

Vicki:              Yeah, yeah, exactly. As an award I cherished that one much more than-

Andrew:             What’s it like winning an award? It’s a lot of work to produce nappies and sell nappies. What’s it actually like to win an award?

Vicki:              It actually feels like, “Oh my God I’m actually doing something. I’m doing something right.”

Vashti:             It’s a little humbling.

Vicki:              Yeah, it is. It is that people went, they took the time. Sure, there’s prizes and all of that [00:15:40] sort of stuff but they like your product enough to vote it as better than something else and I did take out customer service last year and that to me, that was the pinnacle so whilst yes, I know that I’ve got good products and stuff like that, actually taking out customer service, to me that trumps it all. It’s on par with winning a retailers award.

Andrew:             That’s a big award actually because people usually only complain.

Vicki:              Exactly. Exactly.

Vashti:             What’s [00:16:10] the adage? If you have good customer service they’ll tell three friends. If you give bad customer service they’ll tell 10.

Vicki:              10, yep.

Vashti:             Yeah, I definitely think that customer service is the one to be.

Vicki:              Well, it’s the one thing that you can control 100% of the time. I produce nappies that probably suit 80% of the population but I can only really control how [00:16:40] well it fits a baby to a point whereas customer service I can control that 100% of the time every single interaction that we have with a customer is all controlled by me. Whereas the performance of a nappy I have a lot less control over that.

Andrew:             Well, probably because you sell so many too it’s hard to look at every single one.

Vicki:              True.

Andrew:             So Vashti, people coming into your shop because you sell a whole bunch of brands.

Vashti:             Yep.

Andrew:             Does an award sway a customer?

Vashti:             To a point. I know that I do occasionally [00:17:10] have some customers talk about the popularity of a particular brand or how much it’s liked by other customers and stuff like that. Having award winners on some of the brands, it’s a great selling point by no stretch of the imagination but it’s not the be all and end all. It comes down to the individual baby and it also comes down to the parents and what is going to work best for them so just because Bubblebubs and Beehinds took out a whole range of awards last [00:17:40] year that may not suit a particular customer. Both Bubblebubs has got the candies which took out an award last year didn’t it? Snaps might not suit every customer-

Vicki:              Oh side snaps?

Vashti:             Yeah, side snaps.

Vicki:              It’s a side snapping nappy.

Vashti:             Some customers might prefer a front Velcro close. It’s also an all in two. Some customers might not like all in twos. They may prefer an all in one because they like the ease of the use of the all in [00:18:10] one or they might prefer a pocket because it gives them the ease of an all in one but it’s quick drying like an all in two. Just because a nappy has won an award doesn’t mean it’s going to suit every customer.

Andrew:             I know Vicki doesn’t put anything on her nappies as far as awards go, do other brands put what awards they’ve won actually on the packaging of the nappy?

Vashti:             Well, most of my nappies don’t have packaging. I’m very big at [00:18:40] Nest-

Andrew:             You strip that all away from them.

Vashti:             I do.

Andrew:             Everything’s exactly the same.

Vashti:             I specifically ask my suppliers not to provide packaging on the majority of my products. I believe that because packaging just ends up in the bin so to me it’s a waste of resources and it’s just putting more strain on our environment and our waste removal services so I don’t want that packaging. [00:19:10] That’s why I ask specifically for my suppliers not to provide packaging.

Vicki:              We have such pretty Bubblebubs tissue paper.

Andrew:             That’s all you got, tissue paper and a box that you-

Vicki:              There are some little tags and some-

Vashti:             You’ve got the little tags and we do put those, well when I remember to grab them from you I do get those for the micro fleece liners and the breast pads and the wipes. I package them up with the little red string and the tag on them.

Vicki:              It [00:19:40] also adds cost to a product too.

Vashti:             It does.

Vicki:              At the end of the day, that whole unboxing experience, your buying something and it comes with the pretty tissue paper and the pretty box and the fancy dancy all that, it all costs money and if I was to say to you, okay well you can have your unboxing experience with all of this packaging or you can save $3 per product. What are you going to do?

Vashti:             When it comes right down to it, cost is a major factor with any [00:20:10] consumer, be it cloth nappies or fridges. I’m not a big fan of packaging. I do know that a lot of my suppliers will put the little badges on their website and I will copy those badges across to my website for their products and stuff like that so if somebody’s looking online they will see badges when I remember to put them on products. It can be quite hard to keep track sometimes. [00:20:40] Yeah, definitely I don’t think having awards on packaging is a big contributor for me.

Andrew:             The reason I ask is because it seems to be a big thing in computer software.

Vashti:             I know that-

Vicki:              And As Seen on TV. You see that on products as well. The As Seen on TV for some reason all of a sudden better product.

Vashti:             I know my carriers, [Manduka 00:21:03] has all their awards listed. It was quite interesting, at an expo recently I saw a pack [00:21:10] of disposables and I was just telling a customer about the fact that disposables say you have to scrap the excess solids out. Went to go show them on the pack that they had and that brand had actually put their awards over the fine print because they had little stickers and they’d covered up the fine print with their awards. For some companies it is a big thing to list their awards but for other company and I think that comes down to sustainability as well. You’ll find a lot of brands in the [00:21:40] cloth world don’t use packaging because of sustainability reasons and so they’re not going to list their awards on their products.

Andrew:             Many times I’ve actually gone into a shop, bought something and thought to myself, this packaging cost more than what was in the packaging.

Vashti:             Yep.

Vicki:              Wow, how the world has changed. If anyone who doesn’t know, my husband is far from green and when I started cloth nappies too I was far from hippie environmentalist but after [00:22:10] doing cloth for so long it becomes glaringly obvious just how over packaged everything is. Even when we get our Cole’s online order, there’s not way to say, “Oh please don’t give me any bags.” I can’t wait for July when there’s no more bags.

Vashti:             I’m curious how that’s going to work in July.

Vicki:              Have you ever had an online order?

Vashti:             No, and the reason I don’t shop online is because I hear horror stories of them putting one product-

Vicki:              They do. In a bag.

Vashti:             In a bag.

Vicki:              Yep.

Vashti:             I use [00:22:40] canvas bags when I go and do my grocery shopping that I’ve spent $5 on each bag but those bags have been going strong for nearly 10 years now.

Andrew:             It’s because we got five years worth of bags. When they stopped bags we had five years worth of bags to put garbage in.

Vicki:              Yes, we don’t recycle them, we reuse them which is good but I’m all for getting rid of the bags but they actually come in these pop up black tubs and there is absolutely no reason [00:23:10] why they can’t pack directly into those black trays. I don’t know the process but they obviously run it through a checkout because they have to weigh all of the fruit and all of that stuff. What’s the difference between packing it into a box then packing it into some bags and then into a box. I hope that’s how they-

Andrew:             I hope you’re listening all you home delivery companies.

Vashti:             All around.

Andrew:             A new brand, [00:23:40] this is a little bit off subject but kind of related to the awards. How would a new brand get themselves known without nappy awards?

Vashti:             They’d just have to market themselves.

Vicki:              It comes down to their marketing plan.

Vashti:             Yeah, they would just need to concentrate on their Google ads and their Facebook ads and their Instagram ads and getting in all the groups.

Vicki:              Interacting with customers.

Vashti:             Yeah, and do you know what? It’s not just about advertising, it’s actually about education as well. There’s no point in jumping, [00:24:10] I know most people who listen to this have probably part of the Facebook groups for cloth nappies so you’ll see it. There are some brands who get on post and they just spruik their products and it’s not just about marketing your product and telling people that your product’s fantastic and it’s going to suit everyone, it’s about educating as well. I’m all for educating customers and letting customers know that just because I sell a product doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for [00:24:40] them. There are other products out there that I will always recommend to a customer if it suits their needs.

Vicki:              We do a lot of that at expos too.

Vashti:             Yeah.

Vicki:              The amount of people that go, “Oh.”

Vashti:             Yeah.

Vicki:              Oh, you’re not going to try and sell me-

Vashti:             That’s exactly right.

Vicki:              Well no, it’s not the right product for you.

Vashti:             If somebody sits there and tells me when I go away and do an expo for Bubblebubs, if someone sits there and tells me they can’t stand side snapping nappies I’m like, okay, that’s fine. There’s this brand over here and they [00:25:10] do a front snap, or there’s that brand over there that do a Velcro close so go and have a look at them and check them out and make sure you touch and feel the product and see whether or not it’s going to work.

Andrew:             I’m like that with stuffing nappies. I can’t stand stuffing nappies.

Vashti:             Yeah. So pupped nappies might now suit some people-

Andrew:             Can’t stand pocket nappies.

Vashti:             That’s-

Vicki:              It’s like trying to sell someone an all in one and they’re in Melbourne and they don’t have a dryer. It’s not going to work. And they’re having a winter baby. It’s not about pimping your product, it’s about educating [00:25:40] your customer so they get the right product because then they’re going to have a successful cloth journey and then they’re not going to tell their friends, “Oh, I bought X product and it was crappy-“

Vashti:             Or oh, I bought cloth nappies and cloth nappies don’t work and they take forever to dry because they had the wrong product for their life.

Vicki:              Yeah.

Andrew:             That reminds me, I want to say congratulations to my brother Paul and his wife [Fillie 00:26:04] on their-

Vicki:              Number four?

Andrew:             Number four coming along. It’s a girl this time so Bubblebubs will have [00:26:10] another model coming through, going through the works.

Vashti:             Let’s hope she’s got curly hair like your brothers.

Andrew:             Yeah, that’s right. I’ve ran out of questions girls. Anything else you want to say about cloth nappy awards?

Vashti:             Get onto it.

Andrew:             Actually I just thought of something. When are the next ANA awards starting?

Vashti:             July.

Vicki:              July. I think, yeah.

Andrew:             July, okay. That’s excellent because this episode is coincidentally going to publish in July. I’m sure that was just a mistake.

Vashti:             Get involved [00:26:40] and if you’ve got a particular brand that you like that may not know about the Cloth Nappy Awards, let the brand know so they can enter and then you can vote for them and there are amazing prizes. There’s always really, really good prizes to be won which is pretty much a thank you for your time for voting.

Andrew:             Excellent. Well, when you’re spending a lot of time making nappies and got your head down all the time [00:27:10] that’s really nice to hear something nice.

Vicki:              Yeah, it is because you do, you only hear the bad and it’s completely off topic but it’s always nice to get a positive email so the awards are that positive reinforcement that is sometimes missing in retail in general.

Andrew:             You had one of those the other day, didn’t you Vashti? Someone who previously bought some nappies off you and could’ve bought them online but decided to get Back to Nest nappies?

Vashti:             Yeah, we had [00:27:40] the most beautiful customer who came and saw us with her pram. He was about eight weeks which was actually negative one week corrected but I know when she came in she was really quite confused and we spent a long time helping her find something that would suit her. Then she had the chance to get a discount at a supplier and her husband actually said, “No, go back to Nest because they [00:28:10] spent all that time with you and they deserve your business.” That customer has ended up being a really fantastic and long term customer with me now and just due to her gorgeousness she got a little present from me the other day. She was having a bad day and I could just see that she was having a bad day when she popped in and so she got a little present from me as a thank you for being an awesome customer and it made her day.

Andrew:             Let me guess, wet bag?

Vashti:             It was a little wet bag.

Vicki:              See, that’s a win- [00:28:40] win when you actually go to a retailer rather than directly to me as a brand. It’s actually putting food on two people’s tables because it’s not like I miss out on the sale but it’s supporting two businesses and it’s helping two businesses to grow and that’s-

Vashti:             We’re not big businesses. Vicki and I both work off our kitchen table most of the time.

Vicki:              No, I work off a lounge because I’ve got a MacBook and-

Andrew:             Like now working off the kitchen table.

Vashti:             No, the kitchen table’s [00:29:10] too messy.

Vicki:              The dining room table’s got Lego all over it.

Andrew:             Yeah, daughter’s birthday recently and she got Lego and it’s like a Lego city on our dining room table. It’s quite fascinating.

Vashti:             When you do support a retailer, yes you support the retailer and you allow that retailer or for me, I provide income for the two girls that work in my shop plus my nanny who is a mum as well. That’s three mums [00:29:40] that I support. Then I support my suppliers who are all mums themselves. I don’t have a single supplier who isn’t a mum. It’s definitely, it is a win-win going to retailers. That’s not to say don’t go direct to your supplier if you love your supplier and you’ve got a great relationship with your supplier continue going to them but check out your local retailer if you can.

Vicki:              I think that actually goes for all small business.

Andrew:             I’d like to see more retail [00:30:10] stores.

Vashti:             There’s definitely more coming.

Vicki:              I was actually referring to just all in general, the whole shop local and shop small. It makes a big difference whether you go to [Myers 00:30:25] or your local little boutique store-

Andrew:             Food Works.

Vicki:              Yeah, Food Work.

Vashti:             So, Cole’s versus Food Works.

Vicki:              Yeah, Cole’s versus IGA. Yeah, that’s the classic example your $10 [00:30:40] means a lot more to IGA than it does to Cole’s.

Andrew:             Any final comments on the Cloth Nappy Awards?

Vicki:              No, you’ve already asked that.

Andrew:             People can’t hear it when you’re shaking your head.

Vashti:             No, just have a look. Check it out and make sure you keep your eye out and [inaudible 00:30:58] your favourite products. I know that all of the suppliers or everybody who enters their product or business into the Cloth Nappy Awards would love to hear from you. I know [00:31:10] from myself I entered customer service last year and while I didn’t win it was still really nice to hear how I went and to know that I did get a huge amount of votes in the awards and it meant a lot to me that my customers took that time to vote for me as a business and that meant the world to me.

Andrew:             Something I just thought of, if there’s a small brand out there and somebody really likes this small brand [00:31:40] but this brand isn’t going to enter the awards, would somebody be able to donate the money so they could enter the awards?

Vashti:             Yeah, definitely. You don’t have to be a business to enter your brand. Any consumer can enter if they want to pay the award entry fee.

Andrew:             It’s ridiculously priced at $25.

Vashti:             Yeah.

Andrew:             Who could afford that? Thank you Vicki.

Vicki:              Thanks.

Andrew:             Thank you Vashti.

Vashti:             Thanks Andrew.

Andrew:             [00:36:05] [00:35:40] Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling cloth nappies [00:36:10] for 13 years. You can contact Vicki through her website bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300-792-232. Vashti [Wadell 00:36:20] is the member secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, Nest Nappies in Brisbane, Australia. She has been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. You can contact Vashti through her website nestnappies.com.au or phone, 07-3217- [00:36:40] 5200. If you have any comments about the podcast, you an email us at feedback@nappyleaks.com. If you found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes Store. I am your host, Andrew Simpson.