As a mother to four daughters, Dzintra’s concern for the world she was leaving behind for her children was a growing concern that led her not only to using modern cloth nappies, but to starting her own business promoting cloth nappies and other eco-friendly products to Australian mums. Fluff Mail gives Dzintra an excuse to receive hundreds of nappies every week without a judgy look from her husband in return – a situation many cloth loving mums could only dream. Join us today to find out Dzintra’s advice for combatting the overwhelm that often comes with making the switch to cloth and her best tips for all cloth families.
Welcome, Dzintra @fluffmail
Can you share a little about yourself, your family and where you live?
I live in the hills on the outskirts of Melbourne. We moved to our little property a few years ago with the view to live a slower life with our kids, growing our own food, keeping chickens and spending more time as a family together. I have four daughters (Lulu our youngest has just turned 1) and our house is a bit chaotic!
What is the best way to start the day?
Coffee and cuddles! Every morning starts the same – cuddles with my bub in bed where we giggle and be silly, then I get up and make my morning coffee.
What was your dream job as a child?
I wanted to either be a Mum or an Astronaut.
What do you love most about cloth nappies?
I love that cloth nappies make probably the worst aspect about having a baby the most fun! Being at home raising a family can be really challenging at times, so if there’s something that makes it more enjoyable, and less of a chore, then I think that’s pretty awesome.
What fact about disposable nappies most blows your mind?
That the first ever disposable nappy is still sitting in landfill. That’s such a devastating thought.
Instead of forcing you to choose a favourite brand, what is your favourite style of nappy and why?
Probably a pocket style with velcro fasteners. It’s my most reached for nappy when I’m tired as they are the easiest to use (assuming you’re on top of your laundry pile and they’re prestuffed and ready to use!)
This time there is force – what is your favourite cloth nappy accessory, and why does it take your heart?
The $2 silicone scrub brush from Kmart. It’s a real game changer and makes poo removal so much easier!
What do you think still needs to happen to encourage more families to use cloth nappies?
Cloth needs to become mainstream, be more affordable and I’d really like to see them be manufactured in Australia.
For those you are yet to discover Fluff Mail, can you tell us who you are in just a few sentences?
We offer modern cloth nappies and accessories in our online shop and also an exclusive monthly cloth nappy subscription box (the only one of its kind!) that is packed with eco-friendly goodies for both mum and bub.
Can you explain your mission to save 1 million disposable nappies from landfill? How did you land upon this mission, and what does it mean to you?
It is our mission to save 1 MILLION disposable nappies from landfill! How will we achieve such an ambitious goal? By helping 167 families make the switch from disposables to cloth. Here’s the maths: Each child uses on average 6000 disposable nappies from birth to toilet training. If we helped those babies switch to cloth, it would only take 167 customers new to cloth for us to reach our goal! And here’s the exciting part: not only have we already SMASHED this goal, we have more than DOUBLED it! That’s right, we have saved 2.5 MILLION disposable nappies from landfill and counting!
From where was the idea of a subscription box born?
I was simply a lover and user of cloth nappies myself, I kept coming across the term ‘Fluff Mail’ and once I’d discovered it meant receiving cloth nappies in the mail, the idea literally just popped into my head. I quickly got onto the computer and discovered that nobody was doing subscription boxes in Australia and the rest is history really.
What did your life look like pre-Fluff Mail?
Before Fluff Mail if a package of nappies arrives I’d get a judgy look from my husband. Now I have hundreds of nappies arrive nearly every week and he doesn’t even bat an eyelid!
How do you balance your roles as a mother and business owner?
Well let’s be honest there is no balance! If I’ve spent the day working on the business, then there will be sticky floors and dishes piling up and likewise if I spend the day just in mum mode then you can bet that there are a dozen emails sitting in my inbox and orders needing to be fulfilled. You can’t do it all, or at least not all at the same time and I’m okay with that.
What does a typical workday look like for you today?
Every day is different. I do the bulk of my work during the baby’s nap times or from my mobile phone whilst I’m running errands. I’m often sitting in the car at school pickup time answering emails, posting to Instagram or ordering more stock.
What has been your favourite part of running your business so far?
I love the flexibility of doing what I want and when I want. It’s very empowering. I get to come up with the ideas and I’m free to innovate and be as creative as I want.
One of our biggest highlights so far has been our recent participation in the 2020 AusMumpreneur Awards. We were thrilled to get bronze in both the Sustainability and Retail Business Excellence categories. Considering the calibre of entrants in the awards, we are so proud to have been considered in our first year of business.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own business?
Invest in professional branding and marketing.
What response have you received from your customers in your early days of business? Do you have any heart-warming stories to share?
I’ve been in the business long enough now that my first customers who were pregnant at the time that they bought from me are starting to have their babies! It’s so exciting, when I get a text or an email letting me know that they’ve arrived. I think that’s been an immensely satisfying part of the business.
Your Instagram feed is deliciously attractive. What’s your secret?
Well my career up until this point has all been based around digital content. I’ve worked on projects for some of the biggest companies in the country including Coles, The Parliament of Victoria and Mecca Cosmetics. I also coordinate the digital content subjects at RMIT university in their Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing. So it’s been pretty cool using these skills and knowledge on my own business and see it flourish. The secret? Have a really good camera on your smartphone and edit your photos with presets.
What advice do you have for families feeling too overwhelmed to make the switch to cloth nappies?
The one thought everyone has after they finally make the switch is ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’ Everyone is overwhelmed at first, but it is so much easier than you realise!
One of the hurdles to becoming a cloth family is the cost of building a stash. What advice do you have for families struggling financially to get into cloth?
You don’t need to start with a full stash! In fact I would argue that it is better and more financially smart to build it gradually. Why? Because until you actually start using cloth nappies, you won’t know what kind you actually prefer to use. There’s nothing worse than investing in a large stash of nappies only to discover you find them fiddly or they don’t work for your bub. So grab a few different brands and styles and give it a go and gradually build it from there. Take advantage of bulk discounts and value packs too – you’ll get great value for money!
What’s the best tip you have for all cloth families?
Use a variety of nappies in your stash. Try different brands, styles and closure types because you will find that you have different preferences for different scenarios. For example you might love pocket nappies for day use but prefer a fitted nappy and cover for night. Or perhaps you prefer snaps but other people who do the nappy changes prefer velcro.
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