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Friday, 30 July 2010
Friday Finds... HIPpadBaby
Interview # 36
HIPpadBaby on Etsy is a wonderful and innovative store by Phoebe, an enthusiastic mom from California and founder of the HIP Pad baby changing mats you'll see throughout the store.
I am a mom myself and know just how awkward a change can be at home or in public when a giant mess is on the way and you only have a slippery plastic changing mat at hand, or even only a few terry towels to place under your baby. Besides being colorful and stylish HIP Pads sound like the perfect idea to cope with those moment you need to leave your baby diaper free for a moment, to contain any potential explosions that usually ensue when your back is turned! Please check out her interview and visit her store also for all of your needs or if you know any new moms that wish to have that perfect gift for a baby shower!
I must must must give Pheobe a big thankyou for her patience with me as I was supposed to put her interview up yesterday, the true day for my Friday finds interview, yet having earned the title "computer destroyer", after crashing my own PC permanently at the start of the month I some how managed to blow the power supply to my other halfs PC last Tuesday!!! So without any guarantees of my return I had to close my store temporarily and also halt this interview. For that reason I made a promise to re-post this interview so Pheobe may enjoy the exclusivity she missed out on. A First for Friday Finds! It's a wonderful interview so I will be glad to hold it strong on the blog for the next week.
(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)
-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) I’m Phoebe, the mom inventor of HIP Pads. I’m a native Californian, now in San Diego, but I grew up in the Bay Area. I’ll be hitting the big “4-0” at the end of the year. Random fact: I’m also a woodworker (furniture-making).
-- What is your business about then? My business is about bringing an innovative and so-useful product to parents. I invented HIP Pads when my daughter was a baby out of sheer need: it seems like every baby just waits for you to pull the old diaper away to let something out, doesn’t it? I had the big changing table cover, but it was such a pain to remove when it got a mess on it, and bulky to wash. I had some small lap-pad kind of things that were leak-proof, but the material was either scratchy or plastic-y. And everything was light- or pastel-colored which became stained in one or two uses; I spent way too much time in the laundry room trying to scrub gross stains off of things. HIP Pads solve all these problems: the soft flannel is double-sided, and has natural absorbency – there’s no need for the bulky layer of terry cloth that most of the things made for babies have – and the most innovative part of HIP Pads is the leak-proof inner layer. It’s the first product of it’s kind that’s both soft & comforting AND stops leaks. HIP Pads are easy to put under and remove without moving the baby. They’re so easy to just toss into the wash, and even if you go through a stack a day, you create a minimal amount of laundry. The fabrics I select for HIP Pads are purposely darker or bright, camouflaging patterns. Not only are they cool and fun, but they conceal the stains, which means you spend less time scrubbing laundry; no chemical stain-removers near the baby! They pack small, travel easy, and come in handy at home or on the go. I started out just making them for myself, and then for friends’ baby showers. Everyone kept telling me how great they are, and I should sell them. So, I gave it a go! And the feedback has been really positive.
-- How did Etsy come into your life? I started selling on Ebay, but it was just the wrong venue for my product, Etsy was a more natural fit. And I love being part of a community of artisans. The fact that Etsians support and buy from each other is so great.
-- Are you working a day job too? Yes, I am a full-time mom and also a long-time graphic designer. I’m so lucky that I get to be with my daughter the majority of most days, now while she’s small. And I’m also very fortunate my schedule is flexible, allowing me to work on developing the HIP Pad Baby line.
-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? My whole life! I can’t think of a time I was not involved in multiple arts and crafts.
-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? The real inspiration is the challenge of creating something that fulfills the function in every-day life, but is also cool and fun looking. There’s no reason things can’t be practical AND good-looking! My other inspiration has been receiving the feedback from friends and now other customers who use HIP Pads – there is just a need for them in the world!
-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Useful, innovative, stylish
-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? Every day is a journey, here! My usual day starts with taking care of my daughter, she is my #1 and favorite job! Once I get her squared away with the morning basics, I usually take new photos if I need to (the morning light is the best), then check email, facebook and etsy pages. Then it’s time to work – ha, ha. Measuring, cutting, sewing and shipping, all with a 3-year-old in tow most of the time. Usually I reserve the night hours for design work, when I have the most quiet and creative juices flowing.
-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? Flannel is the perfect fabric for HIP Pads: it’s all natural, and is so soft against the baby’s skin. It’s not bulky, but it’s very absorbent, and holds up well through endless washes.
-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? My vision for HIP Pads is to expand the line, and to branch out into distribution around the country. I’m currently developing more products to go with the original HIP Pads: a longer, full-body length version, bibs, burp cloths, and some fun baby diversions for those extra-wiggly times! I’ve gotten a lot of interest from boutiques (it’s so exciting that the boutiques are finding me!) and I’m now in talks with vendors about wholesale. Ultimately, I envision a Babies-R-Us mass merchandising, but that’s further down the line.
-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I’m a big live-music enthusiast. I love cycling. Coastal hikes with ocean-breezes are pretty nice. I like to squeeze in the occasional movie.
-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Gifts for family/friends, I love to support other artisans. Also, out-of-the-norm crafts, it’s always so cool to see people who are successful doing something totally original! Here are two I just discovered yesterday that are fab: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Crafterall and http://www.etsy.com/shop/kfarrell
-- Any last words? Sure! If you’re a new parent or have a baby shower coming up, keep HIP Pads in mind – they make a great gift, and they’ll be used right up through the potty-training years. You can “like” on facebook for special offers and discounts: http://www.facebook.com/hippadbaby ... And, keep creating!