Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Meet Billie of "Nappies and More... a Wrapper's Paradise"

Billie poses while wearing her youngest son in a 
wrap-conversion mei tai.
Buying your first woven wrap can be a difficult decision. There so many sizes, blends, and brands and the lingo can be hard to learn! Lucky for those of us in Colorado Springs and Teller County, we have local woven wrap retailer Sybille Irby to help us!

Known mostly by her nickname, Billie is the owner of Nappies and More..., an online baby carrier and cloth diaper store she manages from her home in Woodland Park. While there are several local stores that carry mainstream baby carriers, hers is the only one that sells woven wraps, such as those made by Didymos and KoKaDi. A babywearer herself, she is well equipped to help new babywearers in picking out the perfect woven wrap.

Like many moms, Billie's first wrap was a stretchy wrap, which she started using when her third child was born more than seven years ago.

"Woven wraps scared me at first due to their length and a Moby seemed the easier way to start," she says. "Little did I know how long a Moby [would be]. It looked much easier to wrap and then put the baby in it and we both really liked it (despite the hot weather in Texas)."

While Mobys are great for little ones, sometimes a little more support is needed. That's where woven wraps come in! Over time, her baby grew, like babies do, at which point she started looking at other options.

After her family's move to Germany, her husband, "who could tell that babywearing helped our little girl a lot," bought Billie her first woven at the Didymos store that was close to their new home. She learned a few techniques from the owner's daughter and about a helpful babywearing forum online, Thebabywearer.com.

Her babywearing journey continued. She had an opportunity to take a class at the German ClauWi babywearing school. She also met her friend Becky, who was "talking about opening an online business for wraps and carriers," she says. With a husband away on deployment, Billie offered her help.

In 2009, she and her family moved to Colorado. Billie had enjoyed the work she had done with her friend Becky and considered opening up her own stores.  In October of 2009,  Nappies and More... was born.  

“It was very slow in the beginning, but I was fine with it, due to having young children at home,” she says. “I never planned on having a quick start, [but] rather be there and work my way up and have people know and remember me later on."

While her store was basking in quiet success, it was in the summer of 2012 when Nappies and More... boomed in popularity. The store revealed a new exclusive custom wrap: Merlin, a hemp wrap featuring the KoKaDi "Stars" design in black and purple. Even now, nearly a year later, Merlin and its "fraternal twin" Morgan are still in fairly high demand!

"I wish sometimes for the old times," Billie admits. The store's popularity and success, after all, does mean a lot energy and time dedicated to work. She says she has had to learn to “step away from the computer and business and just enjoy" her family.

Since the release of Merlin, Billie has also teamed up with KoKaDi retailer Nadine of Babyleicht. Nadine designed the turtles that become the wrap Tuga as well as Keiko (the orcas), with Nappies and More... offering the exclusives to stateside customers. 

Billie revealed that she is planning to phase cloth diapers out of her store and focus on selling woven wraps. While the cloth diapers are still listed at her old site (http://www.nappies-and-more.us/), babywearing items have been moved to the store's new website: http://wrappers-paradise.3dcartstores.com/.

Additional Q & A with Billie:

How did you come up with the design for your KoKaDi exclusives Merlin and Morgan?

When I was looking at Merlin and Morgan colors, it was actually the Kokadi owner, who asked me about a black and purple wrap. I knew I wanted a purple wrap, like the purple Melody they had just released, but picked natural as the second color at first (Morgan). Kokadi offered me as a second custom wrap in black and purple and I thought, why not? Little did I know...

What is the best part of being a baby carrier retailer?

Best part is that you get to see a lot of different wraps with no obligation to buy! ;)

*This post was written by Paula R.

No comments:

Post a Comment