As a mother of four children under 9, Missie Baldwin appreciates the ease and convenience of disposable diapers. At the same time, she hates the idea of trading green space for landfills every time she changes a diaper.
Baldwin switched to cloth diapers when her third child was born. Her friend, Stephanie White, owned Z-Bear—a store that specialized in eco-conscious baby products, including 21st
century cloth diapers.
"Cloth diapers are a lot simpler than they seem," says Baldwin. "They're just as easy to use as disposables, and the only thing that it will add to your routine is one extra load of laundry a day."
Baldwin became such an expert that she bought Z-Bear from her friend and launched her career in retail. In June, she re-opened the 900-square foot boutique at 4976 Northwind Drive under the name Little Green Branches.
She expanded the scope of the store to carry eco-conscious products for infants through pre-schoolers, and added a special section for moms.
"I'm looking to take the store to the next level," says Baldwin who recently hired three part-time people. "We'll even be providing a registry for new and expectant moms."
Little Green Braches sells cloth diapers and offers a cloth diaper rental program for newborns. Packages include fitted diapers and covers, a pail liner, and a special deep cleaning detergent. Customers rent and use diapers for a limited time and return them. Diapers are then washed and hygienically cleaned for use by the next family.
"Cloth diapers are extremely economical," says Baldwin. "It may seem like an upfront investment, but if you add up the cost of disposables, it will run you almost $3,000. You can get enough cloth diapers for about $200."
Aside from diapering systems, Baldwin carries baby wearing and breast feeding products, non-toxic toys, up cycled furniture, and a line of natural teas, herbs and soaps—some even made by Baldwin from products grown on her small organic farm.
"I plan on having a dad department, too," says Baldwin. "I'm working on the products to put in there. It's coming soon."
Source: Missie Baldwin, Owner, Little Green Branches
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor