Saturday, March 5, 2011

The making of a new product ...

Hi my name is Sharni and I am the owner of Nappy Shoppe. At Nappy Shoppe, we don't just sell brands of cloth diapers etc, but we also make our own line of products. I started Nappy Shoppe with selling the G-Flapper, an insert originally designed to work in gDiapers. And the business grew from there. We added a line of wet bags, we started making organic wipes, breast pads, and mama pads. We also make custom diaper bags and quilts.

Recently a regular customer was in the store and was complaining about the lack of value in their nursing cover. They had paid $40 for a very flimsy piece of fabric that was less than a yard worth of fabric. I looked it over, I said I could make it better for the same money or the same for less.

So then started the process of making our own line of nursing covers. We had most of the materials already in stock from making things like wet bags and diaper bags. We made up a few demo models. We tried the single layer smaller version similar to the one that our customer had shown us. When customers who nursed came into the store we asked them to try it out. One girl who was on the larger side, said she didn't like how narrow it was as she felt exposed on the side. So back to the drawing board we went, and we made our covers wider so that girls of all sizes could feel covered.

Then another girl told us that single layer nursing covers flapped too much when she was watching her older child play soccer and the breeze would lift the cover. So we decided a lined product would be the way to go, to give the cover some weight. We did have some mums say that a cover got hot, but those that did got hot with a single layer as well as a double layer, so we decided that two layers were best as it made for a better quality product.

So the double layered, wider cover went out into the store for our nursing mums to test. And the feedback was great, they loved how it covered, they loved the prints, they loved the drape. Then one mum said, I would like the strap around the neck to be longer because I like to be able to stick my hand in the neck line to adjust my baby. So as the strap was something you could adjust to personal taste, we made it longer so that those who wanted it long could do so, and those who wanted it short could make it so.

Then we tested how big the curve of the boning around the neck would go. And we adjusted that until mums were telling us they loved the size of that.

So the end result? A well crafted, good quality, non flimsy, wider, longer strapped nursing cover in cute prints! We didn't get the price down, but we increased the quality of the product dramatically.

The proof was in the pudding when our original customer was in the store recently. We showed her the new product. And while her husband was checking out new diapers for her son, she tried out our cover. Later on, baby wanted another feed. She stepped outside to do it, and quickly came back inside, and instead of grabbing her own nursing cover, grabbed ours saying it was far better to use outside!!

We have a lot of fun at Nappy Shoppe making practical products for mums and babies. We hope you will stop by and shop with us. When you buy a Nappy Shoppe product you are buying something made locally in the US and help keep locals employed.


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