Today in 2010 we (Fiona & Catherine) took over Darlings Downunder!
While it might have been two years for us, Darlings Downunder has been going a lot longer than that - in fact Darlings Downunder turns 9 this year! That makes it one of the older cloth nappy businesses in Australia!
So we thought we'd let those of you who are new to Darlings know a little about the other mums behind the business! Let's start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start...) with Sally!
SALLYI started Darlings Downunder in June/July of 2003. A friend of mine who ran a WAHM nappy business in the US sent me some nappies to try out on my baby daughter. I tried them and I loved them! I decided to start my own business, making the nappies I found overseas available to other Australian mums.
It was actually my American friend who came up with the name ‘Darlings Downunder’. It has a double meaning, of course: the 'downunder' for 'Australia’, and also a baby's bottom :-)
The first website was a real WAHM website which I did the work on myself. And the first logo was something I designed too!
The early days of the business involved a lot of educating parents about modern cloth nappies, and I made a section of the website that provided cloth nappy info for people.
The business took off! Darlings grew to stock the biggest range of modern cloth nappies in Australia. I also became the distributor for quite a few brands for Australia. By this stage I was also involved in my other business of organic cotton baby clothing so was struggling to run both businesses completely on my own while also having a young family. I was working 7 days a week so made the hard decision after over 3 years of running Darlings to sell it. Tania bought the business in November of 2006.
I still think about Darlings and am so happy and proud to see how well it is doing and that it is still around (given how many businesses fail). Tania and now Fiona and Catherine have done a fantastic job and Darlings has gone from strength and strength which is really wonderful. I am still operating my organic cotton clothing business www.babye.com.au . And I’m going back to University this year to get my Master of Social Work (a bit of a career change from baby nappies and clothing!).
TANIAI came across Darlings Downunder when I was looking to buy some All-in-One nappies for my then almost 1 year old. And I noticed the business was for sale... Needless to say we all know what happened: I didn't just buy some AIOs – I bought the business too!
I loved dealing with all the new mummies and loved interacting with everyone at exhibitions and on cloth nappy days. In 2009 I won Best Internet Business and Business Woman of the Year Award for a Women's networking group in Melbourne.
I learnt many things in my time at Darlings. Firstly, running a business from home is not as easy as people think! It takes a lot of dedication and many hours to run a business successfully. There are always things to do and when you are looking after a little one it can be tough! But it was also great for my confidence levels.
I loved running Darlings and in 2010 passed the reigns over to 2 sisters who were a great fit for Darlings!
I'm still around running some online businesses. If your kids love to cook, send them over to www.thelittlecook.com.au
FIONA & CATHERINE
As far as we're concerned, owning and running Darlings Downunder together is the best job either of us has ever had, and we are so grateful for the work of Sally and Tania in establishing and growing such a great business. We are so proud to be continuing the business and look forward with excitement to the future.