Each month we like to feature someone in the baby industry that we admire. Someone that is doing great things and making a splash! We think you're really going to enjoy this month's feature, Kim Rosas of Dirty Diaper Laundry. It's an amazing blog that is all about Cloth Diaper education, breastfeeding, babywearing, is the home to the largest number of cloth diaper reviews & even delves into reusable feminine care. We hope you enjoy the woman behind the diaper! <3
Kim Rosas, the mastermind behind Dirty Diaper Laundry, is passionate about many topics, but is most notably known for cloth diapers. Right now she lives in the Tampa area but grew up in North Carolina and all of her family is back in Charlotte so she still considers that her home base. Kim tries to visit at least twice a year to see family and eat at all of her favorite places like Haps and Tokyo Express in Salisbury, NC.
Kim has two boys, her first son Fletcher is now 6 and he was her first diaper “tester.” He is now missing two front teeth and can beat Kim in Mario Kart. Her youngest son Everett is 4 years old and definitely the “baby” of the family. They are still part-time co-sleeping and while she understands he won’t be by the time he goes to college sometimes she wonders…
Kim started cloth diapering in December 2008 and stopped in May of 2013. When her youngest was born and for about 6-8 months after she was cloth diapering two at once. Kim said it was challenging to keep up with the laundry at times but she knew it saved her a ton of money! She is not cloth diapering anymore now that both boys are older.
When Kim was pregnant with her first son she remembers worrying about how many diapers she would be throwing away. It didn’t even occur to Kim to cloth diaper until seeing it mentioned in a mommy forum she belonged to. As soon as she realized there were modern options, she knew she would be using them. Once Kim started with cloth it became a passion, mostly due to the environmental benefits but they were a young married couple so the money savings were a major bonus. Kim said she felt like everyone should know about them so she started her blog.
We asked Kim what her most proud moment was in cloth diapering advocacy. She said the Flats and Handwashing Challenge has been really amazing for educating parents on ways they can cloth diaper on little or no money. She honestly had no idea it would become what it is. Kim challenged herself to use flats and handwash them for a week using a bucket camp washer she made to see if she could do it and mentioned it on her Facebook page. To Kim's surprise lots of others said they would join her and that’s how it started. Every year hundreds of parents use flats and hand wash to find out if it’s something that can be done, often the answer is yes, and they share this with the world. Every so often she gets an email or message telling her how this challenge saved them in a time of need- the washer broke and they had no money to fix it, the power was out for days, or they lived without a washer entirely- and the information from this event taught them what they needed to diaper their babies without having to spend money on disposables.
Normalizing Cloth Diapering isn't an easy task! Kim believes that the cloth diaper community is really shifting and has been for a few years… while there are still the “crunchy” moms who choose cloth for environmental reasons there is a new group of moms who are choosing cloth explicitly to save money. She says it changes the dynamic and has caused a lot of challenges in the online “world” of cloth diapering but it is a sign that cloth is moving towards a more mainstream audience. Kim knows if we can change the perception that dealing with the poop is “gross” then we will be winning over many more families.
Kim says, "sadly though, if a product isn’t profitable it is never going to be HUGE. Cloth diapers are a one time investment that last for years! Of course they make less money for retailers than disposables. The Pampers and Honest Co.’s of the world have the money to pay the advertising and can provide the free sample products. Cloth diapers can’t compete with the advertising dollars from disposables so we are just chugging along with our word of mouth advertising. It's growing, just slowly…."
For 2015 Kim has been working with some friends of hers on a really awesome campaign that will help #makeclothmainstream. She's also involved with the Cloth Diaper Resource Center at MommyCon events this year so she get to spread the word face to face!
We asked Kim about her OTHER passion ( the eco-friendly feminine hygiene products). She calls herself a #vagangelist. She says it was a natural progression that she try reusable menstrual products even though she was hesitant (and truthfully, grossed out) at first. Since Kim was a tampon user she knew cloth pads weren’t going to be for her but a menstrual cup would. Kim gave it a shot and it became a game changer. She never knew how easy getting a period could be. She started posting about her experience with the cup since she assumed like-minded moms would appreciate it and those posts and videos are Kim's highest viewed. Kim said, "If you haven’t tried one yet she highly suggests it to experience #periodnirvana!"
Her favorite non-profit is the one she volunteers for! One of Kim's best friends started Giving Diapers, Giving Hope (a cloth diaper lending charity) in 2011 and eventually Kim started helping her with it. Once her friend was no longer able to keep running it along with her work and being a single mom it fell into Kim's lap… so to speak. She couldn’t stand to let it shut down because people need it and it needs to exist so Kim became the Executive Director and pulled in her friend Maria Moser of Change-Diapers.com as the Director of Operations. They've helped over 500 families get the cloth diapers they needed in 2014 and plan to do the same or better this year.
We asked her what was one product in the baby industry she couldn't live without. She said Baby carriers and the NoseFrida! Kim said, "I couldn’t pick a favorite carrier if I tried, they’re like cloth diapers for me… some are better for certain situations than others… and the NoseFrida is a MUST for every parent. I buy them for baby showers!"
Please post a comment if you have had any experience with Kim Rosas & Dirty Diaper Laundry!