Tuesday, March 27, 2012

** UPDATE** Ribbons and Fluff- Review and Giveaway!!

About Ribbons and Fluff:
Jena is the WAHM behind Ribbons and Fluff and the Mommy to a 5 year-old boy named Jaksen, and an 8-month-old girl named Ryan. She is married to hubby Mike- who works as a mechanic for Infiniti. She works as a Mommy to her two littles, and business owner during the day, and at 24 Hour Fitness at night. To say the least she is a hardworking Momma!!

Jena loves being able to work from home during the day and spend quality time with her littles. Her son was in daycare from the time he was 11 months old until she was on maternity leave with her daughter (until he was 4). Having him home was such a gift, and she enjoyed every moment of it. She decided then and there that she did not want anyone else raising her children, so she considers herself blessed to be able to stay at home with them.

Jena considers herself a definite Tree Hugger. If there is a sustainable, reusable option she will choose it 100% of the time (with the exception of toilet paper... She says she cannot force herself to go quite that far:) ). Jena tries to buy from other WAHM's for many reasons: She feels that many WAHM products are often of better quality because they are doing what they love. She also spends confidently knowing that her her money spent is supporting a real family- She would rather her money go to putting dinner on a families table, rather than helping a CEO's 4'th international vacation of their year. She recognizes the work, and the love that goes into these products!

Jena started sewing right after her daughter Ryan was born. She found herself in need of more cloth wipes to hold her over so she made some out of some old flannel pajamas and a towel. As it turned out she wasn't too shabby with her sewing machine. After that she decided to draft a pattern for a diaper, and sewed it up. It took some pattern altering to get the best fit, but after her third diaper she had a perfect leak proof fit on her daughter. All of her friends told her she should start her own business, and she could not thank them enough for that support now.

Jena loves making diapers, and also enjoys stitching baby leg warmers. She loves making new things. She would love to someday have her own sewing room/ business office. Right now her work station is in the corner of the family dining room, and they are currently saving to buy a new (and hopefully larger as she says) home.

This year Jena has a lot of plans for craft shows and farmers markets. She would love to see more people consider the switch from sposies to cloth, and getting her message out there is very important to her. To her success for her business is defined by staying busy- She would love to cut her night hours at the gym down to one day (or less!) a week.

Jenna has an album of fabrics that she has on-hand for customers to choose from, however she is happy to search for any specific fabrics that you might be looking for. Prime example of that: She is working on a custom diaper now that has Philadelphia Eagle fabric on the outer, and Dallas Cowboys as the inner to be pooped on! She plans to stock more diapers with rival teams like that very soon. She will search to find an array of fabrics with your theme to choose from when making a custom diaper. Customs are her favorite to make.

Jenna offers two different types of inserts- a Batting and Flannel insert, and a flannel and Zorb insert. Her diapers can be AI2 pockets, or snap in soakers. If a customer does not define a type her default is the snap in soaker (which I love). For her closures she can do snaps, hook and loop, or felt tabs for those who prefer to use a Snappi. If one of these is not specified her default is snaps. She currently offers sizes Newborn-Large; however, she does have a one-size in the works as well as a pull-up style for those potty training littles. She anticipates that the trainer's and the OS will be ready to go sometime in the next month.

Jena does a great job at keeping her prices as low as possible. She makes the equivelent of $2/ hour of diaper making to make sure that her customers get the best deal possible.

Price List:
Diapers-$22+shipping and includes one insert (custom diapers may run more if the fabric is more expensive)
Additional inserts are $5 each

What I thought:
We reviewed a size Medium snapping diaper with the snap in inserts. Jena sent us one of each of the inserts to try out. We loved the diaper! It is adorable! BOTH the outside and inside is super soft. I consider this diaper to be like the fancy comfy pants we all want. It looks great, but seems to be super comfy for Zoey. I loved that it had the snaps that matched the pattern on the fabric. It seemed to hold our daytime wets really well holding up to a four hour leak test. The cleanup was also so much easier with the snap in soaker- I could really get used to not digging a pee pee filled insert out of the pockets! We used both of our inserts equally and they both seemed to hold a really good amount. I think the batting/ flannel did a little better in our night test, but both of them held in the yuckies well. The only downfall to the diaper is that Zoey is really really skinny and tall- my little oddball- so the medium fit her perfectly in the rise, but the waste was a bit loose. I talked to Jena about the waste size and she said that from now on she will be adding an additional row of snaps to accommodate skinnier babies like Zoey. That being said we did have some leaks in the tummy area during Zoeys nighttime wears (she is a tummy sleeper now). I definitely think this will be solved with the additional snaps, and I love the fact that Jena welcomed our feedback, and strives to make the best diaper for every body type. She is very admirable. These are definitely great diapers to add to your stash!!

Jena sent me a different insert to try for Miss Super soaker as an overnight insert and I LOVE it!! It is 3 layers of Zorb II wrapped in 2 layers of flannel, and is turned at top-stitched to prevent any fraying. Its also not nearly as bulky as I had expected considering what it is made of!  It worked really well for Z's night time diapers!! We still had a small leak in the tummy, but again, that is due to Zoey being a little to small for the diaper and being a tummy sleeper.  The insert held SO SO much!!  She will be offering the overnight inserts separately fr $5 each, or if you would like this type of insert instead of the ones that come with the diaper it is an extra $3.

(you can tell we have used the diaper for a while now!! We love it!)

Up For Giveaway:
Jena is giving away one diaper in your choice of size in any fabric pictured in her fabrics album!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spider Monkey Designs- Review and Giveaway!!

About Spider Monkey Designs:
Julie is the WAHM behind Spider Monkey Designs. She is 25 and married to a wonderful man. They have a son that turned one in February and two furry children.

Julie had been sewing for years, and got crafty when she found out that she was expecting her son. She made a lot of their nursery decorations and some of the needed baby accessories such as nursing covers, and a diaper bag. They decided that they wanted to cloth diaper their son, and have been since he was only 2 weeks new.

Julie had looked into sewing diapers on her own, but at first felt like it was not the right time. A few short months later she had requests from her husband and other friends for custom diapers. She decided that she wanted to develop her own pattern and build her venture from the ground up.

“I wanted to make adorable diapers that people would be proud to show off, but that were also functional (even for super soakers) and still fell into a practical price range for those people using cloth for budgetary reasons. And so here we are today! “

Most of the diapers that Julie makes are OS (One Size) pocket diapers that fit approximately 10 pounds+. Julie's 30 pound little one fits with room to grow, and the same diaper pattern was used for a 9 pound newborn without leaks, and without too much bulk. Julie can do any style of diaper you are looking for- whether that be covers, pocket, or fitted diapers, but at this time plans to stock pocket diapers only. All other types are available through custom order.

Julie also crafts many other Mommy made goodies such as-wetbags, ring slings, and a multitude of other baby and children's accessories. She absolutely adores doing custom orders – she loves knowing that her customer is receiving something with which they are absolutely in love with. Julie cannot pick a favorite of one of her creations, but if you ask her hubby he would pick the black diaper that Julie most recently made for their son's personal stash, since it has a giant Steelers logo appliqued on the bum!

You can order through Julie's Facebook page HERE using the "shop" tab to the right of the screen. You can also reach her through email at: spidermonkeydesigns@hotmail.com.
There is a large photo album on her page with all of the fabrics that she has in stock. She can also search for any specific type of fabrics you may be looking for or you can do a "send your own fabric" order. She has a friend that she outsources embroidery requests to, so the possibilities for custom creations are virtually limitless. She plans to offer all of her more "girly" diapers with an optional removable ruffle-bum that you can snap on and off. She also tries to offer a discount on larger custom orders (5 or more diapers).

Price List:
Pocket Cloth Diapers, $18 without insert
Custom diaper slots start at the same price, with add ons as follows:  detachable ruffle butt ($3), embroidered image ($5), patchwork / scrappy style ($2) [same as the giveaway diaper style] 
There may be an additional charge based on fabric selection - She has no problem locating and purchasing fabric that she doesn't already have in stock, but if the fabric is hard to find, etc, she has to price accordingly =)

Inserts:  bamboo hemp $3, 100% bamboo $5 for 2 (2 of the 100% is recommended because 1 is rather thin and tends to bunch up)

Ring Slings start at $35, depending on fabric selection

Small wet bag (zipper closure, fits up to 3 pocket diapers) starts at $11, depending on fabric selection
Medium wet bag (zipper closure, fits 8+ pocket diapers) starts at $17

Other custom items are available upon request, such as Boppy covers, shopping cart / high chair covers, etc.

What I thought:
I reviewed an incredibly adorable one size pocket diaper from Julie. It is a great shape for Zoey. Its trim enough through the legs to fit her like a glove. The outside is a soft cotton, with a PUL waterproof inner, and the pocket portion is made of crushed panne. The insert is long enough to fit on the biggest setting and catch all the yuckies, and still trim enough to easily fold over in smaller settings. Zoey has worn the diaper for 2 playtimes at home, one shopping trip, and two overnight's. She wore them for up to 4 hours during playtime (taking it off only to avoid diaper rash- That’s where I cut off our leak tests. Haha) and for 10 hours for the overnight diapers without any leaks at all. It contained everything exactly as it should- these have hip snaps in just the right place which is perfect for my wiggle worm. I know I can put this cute diaper on her bum without worrying about any kind of leaks, and to me that is the most important!! The only downfall to this diaper is that Zoey seems to have a slight skin allergy to the inner fabric. That is not something that would be a downfall for most babies, as it is a very commonly used diaper making fabric. I have been using it with a fleece liner to protect her skin, and that has cut out all of the irritation. All in all an A+ diaper, and definitely a must have for your stash!

Up For Giveaway:
Julie has generously offered to giveaway one of her fabulous patchwork style diapers to one very luck winner!!