I thought it would be fun to further celebrate Abby’s Lane’s NINE YEAR Anniversary with a fun interview so I put together some questions for Stephanie.
Want to know what started it all? Has Abby’s Lane ever been named something else? What does Stephanie have planned for the future? Read this cute interview and find out!
Nine years in the cloth diaper industry is a long time! How has your business changed or evolved over the years? Have you always been Abby’s Lane?
I can’t believe it has been 9 years. My “baby” I started our business with is a mature and sassy “tween” now, and has 5 younger siblings under her. I started with a bookshelf full of products, hoping it would be a hobby that would eventually help with financial extras in our household. Now we have about 2000 square feet of merchandise condensed into several rooms. We also had a storefront for about 2.5 years in a 3600 square foot space, it was a great deal of fun to work with our local community through classes and our very educated staff. Being back online though I am blessed to have 4 of our best employees still working with their babies in my home, it is a great dynamic!
Our business actually began under a different name. We obviously didn’t do enough research into similar names and the one we originally chose was close to an existing diaper brand, so about 3 months in we changed to Abby’s Lane (named after my daughter, Abigail Elaine). I wanted something that wasn’t limited to just cloth diapers, to give us room to expand over time into other product lines.
The first cloth diapers I used were my youngest brother’s birdseye prefolds, pins and rubber pants that my mother had held onto-LOL! They were about 20 years old at the time, but they still worked quite well. The covers were awful though, so my first official purchase was a Prorap cover and a Snappi, I thought they were the best invention since sliced bread. I used those prefolds through most of her diapering, we were on a very tight budget, so we had to make it work.
What was the first cloth diaper brand you carried?
We started with several brands, some of which are not in business anymore. Let’s see, I know Babykicks was a must, we also had Proraps and Snappis (of course!), some mama cloth and menstrual cups as well.
What made you decide you wanted to get into the cloth diaper business?
I wanted to get into the cloth diaper business because I absolutely fell in love with the products…AND…I got completely ripped off by the first retailer I bought from! We were very short of funds, and an established retailer I bought from didn’t deliver the products for several weeks, then kept asking for more time. It was an ugly experience, eventually that retailer went out of business and we did recover our funds. I knew I could run a “tight ship”, providing fast and accurate service to our customers, and making sure I knew all I could about every product I carried. To this day we do not sell one thing I have not tried on my own children, to sell it I have to know it like the back of my hand, I want my customers to have confidence in what they buy.
Are there any accomplishments for Abby’s Lane that you’re particularly proud of?
I am truly proud that we are here celebrating 9 years! I have the luxury of being the original owner and founder, and over the years have seen so many businesses come and go, I am very grateful to our customers for keeping us in business for almost a decade. I am proud that we have been able to support thousands of customers over the years with their purchases, whether for environmental, financial or health reasons, we have been able to make cloth easy and fun for many families. I am proud that for close to 3 years we had the chance to work with our local customers in a storefront, and bring cloth diapering to new families in that way. I am proud that our business has provided employment for moms with young children, and their children get to work with them. It is really fun to see newborns turn to toddlers, then go to school with the same employees that we have kept through the years
I am also proud that my own children have been such an integral part of the fiber of my business. They get to see a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom handle both taking care of them and running a business, and also see dad come home from work and plunge into the household needs as well as taking care of the children. It is satisfying to know my children can see both mom and dad juggle both roles, which sometimes leads to a lot of crazy in this house
What does the future hold for Abby’s Lane? Can you share any possible exciting changes or improvements you have planned for the near future?
The future for Abby’s Lane is exciting and e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g. I would love to add 3 new product lines every month, if I can meet that goal that means over 30 new lines a year! We are starting in October with Tula Baby Carriers, Bentoware (made in the USA reusable lunch boxes and supplies), and Sili Squeeze reusable food pouches. More brands of baby carriers, including wovens and water carriers, are in the works, and of course we are excited to see what new diaper lines come out next month at the trade show! I absolutely love what I do, and look forward to another 9 years with our fantastic customers.