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MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT - January 7, 2020
For many years now – since 2009 – my small business has been offering custom printed fabric to the sewing community. I'm proud to say that I started a business in my basement, and it grew to support several family incomes and to supply numerous other small businesses. My team and I have run over 33 successfully fulfilled preorders. Developed and printed 576 fabric designs. Shipped hundreds of retail orders each week with a 2-3 day turn around. It's been a sometimes joyous, sometimes exhausting adventure.
My lease in the industrial park is up this spring. My plan had been to scale back to PUL and Oxford and move the business back to my home. However due to health issues my situation has changed, and I will be needing to spend more time with my family. With much reflection I have made the difficult decision to wind down this business, and transition to the next aspect of my life journey.
This has been a very hard decision because I've been so nurtured and inspired by all the creativity in this community. You all have pushed me to come up with better and better prints. I got to savor the anticipation of seeing what you would make with each new round of fabrics. I've been awed over and over again at our talented customers all over the world, sewing such beautiful and reusable items. It was my mission from the start to make better fabrics available to the green sewing community, and I hope that together we've been able to make some small dent in reducing single-use diapers and home products.
What does this mean for our stores? We are currently seeking a new owner to carry on the mission and vision of our stores. In the meantime we have some plans in place:
Diaper Fabric Direct, the wholesale side of the company, will be open through February 10, 2020. Any store credits should by used by January 31 2020. We have solid PUL and bulk microfleece available while it lasts. While there will be no new production runs of print PUL, we do have a large selection of our most popular PUL prints in stock at Diaper Sewing Supplies.
Sahara Fabrics and Diaper Sewing Supplies will be open through March 15, 2020. Please use any store credits or gift certificates by February 29, 2020. In stock, we have PUL prints and PUL solids, Oxford prints, cotton lycras, stay drys, and KAM snaps. We will not be restocking anything; the remaining fabrics and notions will be available while supplies last until our close date. All preorders have already been completed.
It is my hope that by giving this notice of our intention to hand off the business to a new owner or close down the stores, you have time to pick up what you need for this time of transition. We will continue to fulfill orders through March so as not to abandon our loyal customers by closing abruptly.
I'd like to thank you in advance of our actual closing for all the faith and trust you've place in my little company for your fabric needs. I started this business to help diaper makers like myself and it grew into something larger than my wildest dreams. The best part has been all the tiny bums fluffed and all the beautiful sews our customers have shared. Thank you for being a part of my life.
About Diaper Sewing Supplies
Diaper Sewing Supplies specializes in hard-to-find diaper making supplies, made in the USA whenever possible, and top-notch quality always. Our prices are low because you are buying manufacturer-direct. We manufacture our own lines of PUL, Foldover Elastic (FOE), Buttonhole Elastic, Diaper Elastic, Microfleece, and Suedecloth. Our print fabrics are custom designed and printed - exclusively found in our stores. All of our products are specifically made to our standards for diaper making.
Diaper Sewing Supplies is located in Fenton, Missouri (a suburb of Saint Louis). Our storefront is online; our cutting and shipping warehouse is not open to retail shopping. If you are in the area, you can pick up your order during business hours.
We have two sister stores. Diaper Fabric Direct is your source for wholesale diaper fabrics. Sahara Fabrics showcases custom fabric prints.
The Diaper Sewing Supplies Story
My name is Dawn Bucholtz and I am the owner of Sahara Fabrics, Diaper Sewing Supplies, and Diaper Fabric Direct. These are all just different aspects of the same small business.
I have three kids and am married to a great guy. He is a chemistry teacher and a wonderful partner in raising our kiddos.
How did all this start? I started sewing when I was 7 years old, and have always loved fabric. I got into sewing cloth diapers in 1999 with my firstborn. After the birth of my third child in 2006, I opened a Hyena Cart store called Painted Patootie. At the time, there was no print PUL fabric available. Solid color PUL pocket diapers were relatively new and the big innovation was - a contrast color microfleece lining! I really wanted to have designs on my diapers to bring something fresh and new to the market. I sketched my own designs, cut stencils, and screenprinted them on to PUL - and printed matching baby shirts too. There was just one drawback (besides being super time consuming): because the ink was applied to the PUL surface it would gradually wear off in the wash.
There had to be better way to get designs on to PUL. I started working with several US based printers on screenprinting my original designs on the the right type of base fabric, and then worked with US laminators to find the best diaper-worthy waterproofing. This founded the basis of my PUL fabric lines.
My first custom print was called Turtle Friends, based on childhood memories of fishing and playing at the lake. Then I manufactured the Baby Pirate design I had been hand screenprinting, which turned out to be crazy popular, and many more. I ran my designs on cotton knit too, for matching baby clothes. All of my custom fabrics were sold through Yahoo Groups, cut and packed in my basement. I had a toddler underfoot, two school-age kids, and yes, I was still sewing diapers every day too.
During this time, I renamed my diaper business Fishnoodles (a family joke, don't ask!), then changed it to the more official-sounding Bright Star Baby (which brought legal action from a large baby products manufacturer), and finally Peachy Green. I went from home sewing diapers every day (for 3 years!) and getting totally burnt out, to finding a great local woman-run company to sew my diaper line. Peachy Green eventually had 11 retailers in 3 countries. Running two businesses, selling both diapers and diaper fabric, while being a mom to three kids was getting to be too much! I realized that what I loved most was helping my fabric customers make new things. So I bid the diaper line farewell and started focusing on fabric.
In 2010 I set up the Diaper Sewing Supplies online store to manage the fabric orders. My business location was my finished basement, sometimes with a preschool playdate underfoot. My brother-in-law, who is a stay at home dad, started coming over to help cut fabric. The cousins could play together, our dogs could hang out - it was a nice way to work. Diaper Sewing Supplies gradually needed more help, and I recruited a couple great moms to cut fabric too.
By 2014 fabric had taken over my whole basement, my garage, storage lockers - and my bathroom and kitchen was the "break room." My growing family was squeezed for space. So Diaper Sewing Supplies moved to a light industrial park in early 2015.
Now I have a commute, but I don't leave until my youngest is on the school bus. I have a great group of 5 women working with me to run the business and help fill orders. Between us there are 11 kids and 9 fur babies. This means that family always comes first. We work during school hours only, and evenings and weekends are family time.
At the same time, I think we have a really great team that is dedicated to getting orders out fast and serving our customers. We have an amazing group of customers. They write us comments in the order notes and inspire us with what they sew up. It's like Christmas every time someone posts a picture of what they made to our Facebook pages. I hope you will join us
, and share what you are sewing too!