Tell us about yourself and your family, where you live, any hobbies, if you have little ones in cloth diapers, etc.
My name is Rhonda Benson. I live in Southern California, with my husband and daughter. We have just the one little one, in her last year before starting Kindergarten. While we did cloth diaper, we are well past this stage in our lives.
We love the outdoors, and do a lot of camping, hiking, cycling, SCUBA diving (not as much SCUBA diving as we'd like these days, but it's still at the top of the list).
Tell us about 'Monkey Bunz' and how it came to be that you started a cloth diaper business.
Just before our daughter was born, I went from working full-time as a Corporate Travel Agent and part-time SCUBA instructor (right up until I found out I was pregnant). Wanting to go back to work, eventually, we knew that the high-stress and long hours of corporate travel, were definitely not what we wanted for our family. From the desire to be home with my daughter, Monkeybunz.com was born in January 2010.
We did lots of research, searching for niche markets. We weren't really sure what sort of business we wanted to start. What we did know was that it had to fit into the lifestyle we were after. Which meant that whatever we ventured into, had to be based from home (at least for the first few years).
Cloth diapering and eco-friendly baby products kept coming back as a very good market to be in. Having cloth diapered our daughter, we did have some experience on the user side of this business. We decided to give it a go, and the rest is history.
Do you have a physical store or showroom? Are you online only? Do you offer consultations, demos, deliveries? Any special services?
We are an eTailer only. We offer diaper demos and consultations for local customers, and prospective customers. We do them one-on-one and in group settings.
What's your favorite part about being a cloth diaper retailer and being involved with the industry?
I love being able to consult with new parents about cloth diapering. There are so many benefits for baby, financially and the environment. I enjoy interacting with the types of people interested in cloth diapering. Most of all, I love being able to do this in my own business.
What's your favorite style of cloth diaper?
I really love the pocket diaper. While I like the one-size options, my favorite is a line that breaks it down so that there is a size one and a size two. It fits a larger weight range, and cuts down on a bit of the bulk.
From the Leslie's Boutique line of products what is your favorite product and why?
My favorites are the Hanging Wet Bags in the Night Owls and Chocolate Zoo prints. They are vibrant, versatile and extremely well made.
What piece of advice would you give to a mom who's getting ready to make the switch to cloth diapers?
Cloth diapering can seem overwhelming at first. I would suggest that she first make a clear decision, and stick with it. If you purchase a full stash of diapers (18-24), as opposed to "dabbling" and maybe only purchasing 6-12, you are more likely to be overwhelmed by the process, unhappy and give up before you get into a rhythm. With a newborn, 6-12 diapers will barely get you through a day. Secondly, I would strongly suggest purchasing a few different styles of diaper. What works for one, may not work for another.