Do you ever wish you could see, feel and experience cloth nappies before making a purchase? That’s how Mel felt after the birth of her daughter, so she solved the problem by opening her own modern cloth nappy and other eco product store in Canberra where she lives. Fuelled by coffee, Mel wants to help save the planet for her daughter. Her advice for not destroying the world is simple – ‘just try’.
Welcome, Mel @friendlyearthemporium
Can you share a little about you, your family and your business by way of an introduction?
Hi! I’m Mel, and I run the Friendly Earth Emporium. My family and I are based in Canberra, ACT.
Let’s get started with what brings you the most happiness in life and why?
My family are what makes me happy. Included in that family is my husband (Sean) our daughter (Emelia), our two dogs (Hagrid and Felix) and our 9 chickens (unnamed!!)
What is your best tip for making the world a better place?
Don’t be a dick.
What inspired you to become a business owner? Can you share the beginnings of Friendly Earth Emporium?
The Friendly Earth Emporium started after the birth of my daughter. At the time, there was nowhere in Canberra to look at cloth nappies in person – and I wanted to change that.
Why would you say eco products are so important?
Because we should be focusing on planet A, not planet B. I don’t want my daughter to grow up with the world being destroyed by our carelessness.
Because you sell reusable products, is it hard to ever use a single use item?
Definitely! I feel I am sometimes more aware of the options. However, I think it’s important that everyone doing a little bit of reduction creates a bigger difference, compared to just a select few doing it perfectly!
What would you say it is that sets The Friendly Earth Emporium apart from the other businesses in your field?
I like gifs and memes.
But in all honestly, I’m just a mum trying to do my part.
What is your greatest wish for the business?
To help other families to reduce their eco footprints.
Who is your ideal customer & why do they choose your products?
My ideal customer is someone who is open to trying new things, and giving it a red hot go.
What is the best part about being a business owner?
Not having to have fast fingers on release night 🤣
What is your favourite product of those that you stock, and why?
Nappies. I loooovvveee a cloth bum.
How do you go about choosing the products you stock?
I like to know the makers and products personally – and I only stock things that I know things that work!
Where do you hope to see The Friendly Earth Emporium in 5 years time?
I honestly have no clue. I’d like to dedicate a full room on my house to be a showroom … but it’s all unknown!
How are you managing that elusive work/ life balance? That is, how do you fit your business needs in and around your role as a mother? What has been your biggest challenge so far with being both a business owner and a mother?
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
The biggest challenge would be the lack of sleep … I really like to sleep in!!
Can you tell us about your own cloth journey in just a few sentences? What is your favourite part about being a cloth mum, and what has been your greatest challenge you had to overcome and how have you done so?
We started cloth for my daughter when she was a newborn – and never turned back!
What is your advice to those who feel overwhelmed about beginning with cloth nappies?
Don’t overcommit. Take small steps, and work your way up.
What do you consider to be the key to success with cloth?
CCN routines 🤣
What is your take on all the benefits of cloth nappies?
Cheaper. Cuter. Reusable. Better for the environment! It’s so worth it.
If you had to narrow all of your advice about cloth nappies into one sentence, what would it be?
What do you think needs to happen for cloth nappies to become the mainstream choice?
People worldwide need to more aware of their footprint.
What do you hope for the future of cloth nappy use in Australia?
That it becomes the norm!
Besides cloth nappies, what other eco choices would you recommend for families aiming to lower their environmental impact?
If you can bin it, reuse it. Cloth menstrual products are what I can recommend the most! (Women – do you really want to have your menstrual products in landfill for decades? 🤮)
If you could encourage everyone to make one change for the planet, what would it be?
Just try. That’s all I ask.
And, to conclude, what future do you envision for your child? And, what is the most important lesson you would like them to learn?
I want her to learn where everything comes from, and how to contribute to her society. I want her to still have animals to visit, and for animals to not be extinct.
I want to help save the planet, for her.
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