Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting a Babysitting Co-op!

A great idea for saving some money is to find a group of friends with whom you can start a babysitting co-op.  It's very simple to do and will save on childcare and the stress of bringing your kids to the grocery store. Who wouldn't enjoy more date nights? This works for families with parents at home or working out of the home because it works around your schedule!

Here's how it works:

-Gather a group of friends for your initial meeting.
-Give each person a coupon book of 30 coupons.
-Each coupon is worth 1 hours of child care, and this was how you pay each other.
-The Co-op can be used to grocery shop, clean house, or have an evening out (or you can come up with your own agreed upon rules).
-Members are free to specify if they wanted to baby-sit during the daytime, evening, or weekends.
-One could always say "no" on an occasion that wasn't convenient.
-Have a once-in-a-while meeting meeting to meet new members and keep up with how many coupons members have accumulated.

I know Claire on our team and some of my good friends are currently in a babysitting co-op.  I'd love to hear their insight and feedback!



Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235

New Initiative: Finding More Ways to Save Green (Money)!

One of my new initiatives with Ecological Babies new year is to offer some suggestions of ways to save your family money so that you have more financial freedom to invest in other purchases you might not otherwise be able to afford.  So for example, say you REALLY like the GroVia all-in-one diaper but you don't have the budget to have your stash filled with it. With some extra spending money, you can upgrade at no additional cost to you!  I know I'd personally like to invest in higher quality items and perhaps save money for trips.  You might have other priorities!

We hope you find some value in this initiative and look forward to hearing your feedback!



Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reflections & Resolutions

What a busy year for us!  We went from launching our natural parenting products to adding a new location, and even hiring Claire Williamson.  I have to admit, having Claire on board our team has been a highlight. Partnering with others really helps bring in fresh new ideas and discussions!  Of course, Ecological Babies would absolutely not be operating if it weren't for my amazingly talented web designer, Liz Buzone.  Thank you Liz for ALL that you do!!!

Every year on our birthday, I like to do a little "R & R".  Nope, not rest and relax!  Rather, I like to see the day as the beginning of a new year and reflect & develop some resolutions.  It's time for planning and improving and going back through our notes when we first developed our mission.  

Here's some of the key points in my notes of what I originally wanted integrated into our mission:
-Creating value through our products & education.
-Developing relationships with those that we serve and work with in the community.
-Desire to serve society rather than exploit. Something many big box stores don't embrace.
-For me to be able gain balance and peace within my self and help others too.
-Promoting simplicity, social justice, community, and spirituality. These are values that stem from a volunteer year I spent with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp (JVC).  Spirituality in the sense of connecting people to each other and their environment, whatever beliefs you may have.
-For me to gain autonomy to be home raising my children.  

In reflecting on ways I believe we can improve, I've come up with a short list that will sound a bit vague.  But as I continue to dwell on these topics, I'll put more details into motion. Most of all, I'd love your feedback!

Ways of Improvement:
-More education.  I'd like to offer more discussions on topics related to cloth diapers to offer more support and guidance. In addition, I want to become more a resource on other topics related to our mission: natural parenting, attachment parenting, simplicity, community building, etc.  
-Faster Shipping.  I have to be honest.  Right now, it's an effort to ship out orders.  I want to become more efficient to minimize efforts and costs, and to be able to ship within 24 hours.
-Quicker Follow up.  We want to offer as much support to you as possible.  You should expect us to return your message or reply by email within 24 hours at the latest. 
-Find more ways to build community.  Since we're home-based, our main presence is online.  And while we can connect online to many people at once, we can connect better when we are physically with people.  We want to provide more opportunities where like-minded families can get together.  When you have small children, you can become limited in your ability to meet people you'd really connect with.  We want to help orchestrate that!
-Have more presence in hospitals, day cares, and other places where consumers can learn more about cloth diapers.  We want nurses excited about cloth diapers, day cares to be more eco-friendly and open to accepting cloth diapers.  If they won't come to us, we'll just have to come to them!!!  :o)
-Give back more to the community.  We're talking charity events, donations, volunteering.  We're all in this together, right? 

Like I said, I REALLY want to hear from you and your experience with us.  What can we be doing better or already doing well?  You can even post anonymously! Please don't make me beg! 

Thank you to all that we have met with this year.  You make us a success and keep our mission going in your community.

Peace and lots of love,


Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Winner Picks" Giveaway!

Our three year anniversary is right around the corner and we couldn't be more excited with where we are right now.  I found it difficult to pick an item to put up for our giveaway.  SO, instead I thought I'd leave it up to YOU! :o)  That's right.  If you are the lucky winner, you get to pick ANY item you've wanted to try out or have already been loving at Ecological Babies.  (Note: this doesn't include packages but single items)

Giveaway Requirements:
1. Like us on Facebook.
2. Tell us which item you'd like to win and post on our wall.

Extra entries:
1. Tell us one of your favorite products of ours you've been using and why you like it so much.
2. Give us a shout out on your wall promoting our giveaway and make sure to tag us.
3. Bring us a new friend to like us and tell them to give you credit when they post on our wall.
4. Post a picture of your baby wearing one of the diapers you've purchased with us.
5. Subscribe to our Blog and let us know on our FB wall.

Friday September 23rd at 10pm E.S.T.

Note:Winner will be drawn using and will be announced on our wall.  Winner has 1 week to claim prize.

Good luck!



Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235