Thank goodness for family and friends.
From before the beginning, when just an idea, friends and family were the backbone for TUTI. The passion for sustainable nappy fashion had bitten me and left me with a fever I couldn't shake. Friends and family were the first to buy things in a kind combo of encouragement and sympathy.
Friends designed the beautiful things that we created, friends kids wore them for photos. Then family came to help when we went to markets and had no babysitters, when I had to send orders but was so tired with my 20 month old and new, very colicky baby.
Family then said they could keep helping me with the packing and shipping and they could help me with storage as our small house was (I believe literally) busting at the seams and picking the nappies to send took a lot longer than it should , because you had to climb over boxes and move everything to get to what you needed nearly every single time.
Where there is a will there is a way. There was a will, not just from me but from family and friends. Family members continue to move boxes for me constantly, store things for me constantly, count things for me, not to mention the rest.
Two family members (my brother in law and my dad) were key players in pushing me into action on something I was interested in.. My dad came to Auckland and went into a large trendy European retailer on the scene (he doesn't shop and has a farming background). He walked in and was shocked and said "what the bloody hell do they do with all this stuff?" like a martian from another planet he offered an outsiders view. This stuff couldn't and wouldn't all be sold, it was overflowing, and ridiculous and unnecessary, it was a picture of oversupply and or over consumption. To us, this concept has crept in, particularly over the past ten years, slowly but surely to become part of what we know as life or, life at the mall. But that stopped me to remember... it is stuff, too much stuff and it has to go somewhere. Don't forget it. Don't buy it. Do something constructive. It reminded me how normal somethings had become that are problematic, just like nappies.
My brother in-law likes camping, fishing, the beach, surfing. The ocean. He knows plastic is a problem. But he was one of the first people I knew to take a serious and considered action against it at their home. After a while, his kids were telling me, we are a zero plastic home and they made their consciousness and connection seem so easy. He and his family is part of TUTI and they're constantly questioning shipping and packaging we get in that seems unnecessary or wasteful. These actions also got me to stop thinking so much and start acting.
Having another baby had me thinking hard, again, about who and how I could get help. I deliberated for a long time, although I was told over and over again I had to sort it out. Although I am not fast responding or even good at it, it is important to me that customers talk to someone who uses cloth nappies. I want them to have the experience like talking to a friend that knows something about the product, hey it might take a couple of days but I want TUTI to be useful. For this reason, I was really struggling with getting the right person.
Well, of course it was meant to be, my niece, with her own daughter who she uses cloth with exclusively (aged 6 months presently) was looking for something to do. She has used TUTI from the start, and when given disposable nappies, gives them away. So, while I return to caring for a newborn as well as learn to be a mother of three, she will help me with support and messages so we continue to help people with any questions or queries about cloth nappies.
I love all of this for our little business, the fact that the family's heart is in what we do. I feel that they all help me out so much because they truly believe that what we are doing is important. All of us understand the problem and want to take action on it. I also love that our designers are friends or are customers who we've got to know.
This all is really so heart warming.