Saturday, May 28, 2016

My Social Media "Me Time"

I wanted to share this with you this morning. A lot of times before the kids wake up (I'm not trying to say my kids are sleeping in by any means, I'm just a naturally early riser), I'll spend the quiet time just looking around on social media. It's my ME time. I sip my coffee and follow my clicking fingers down rabbit holes that often take me to some pretty interesting places.
Today I did my morning story watch on Snapchat. Lately, this is how I begin my "me time" routine. (At least, ever since I've started getting the hang of this crazy Snapchat thing I swore I'd always avoid. Totally eating my words.) I've been particularly loving watching Hillary Rushford's snaps from the Italian Riviera as it is giving me the perfect opportunity to practice my Zen as I try not to feel complete and utter jealousy and focus on the beauty that she is sharing while living vicariously through her Sabbatical.
One of her snaps this morning mentioned hopping over to Instagram to leave a comment on a post (great social media engagement tip, BTW). Dutifully, I went right over and starting scrolling through her IG feed. I went from posts showcasing beautiful scenes of the Italian Riviera down to a photo of an open page of a book that caught my eye. Clicked to learn more about said book. Clicked the book's hashtag. Found some more photos of this book, then my eye landed on a photo of three books (the original book in question plus two more) laid out on a furry rug. I clicked this photo to learn more about the new books. One was written by Elizabeth Gilbert of "Eat, Pray, Love" fame (hello, crazy Sabbatical coincidence!) and the poster had tagged her. So I clicked through to her account. That's where I found this:
And this was the fruit of today's random clicking because it inspired me. This little graphic inspired this entire blog post. And here's the craziest thing you should know about me: I can tie PRACTICALLY ANYTHING back to cloth diapers, including an inspirational Elizabeth Gilbert quote. #talent
In the case of this quote, it struck me as the perfect mantra for anyone using cloth. You know how you'll get friends asking about your diapers on play dates? Or you'll post a photo of your baby in fluff on social media and a random Internet person will see it and ask what the diapers are all about? Well, this is your opportunity to be an influencer. Whether you're Instafamous, a blogger, or just a mom sharing a cute photo of her baby in cloth, how you respond matters. Whatever you say WILL be contagious. You may not realize it, but your response will be heard or read by many more people above and beyond the person who originally asked the question, so keep that in mind as you reply. Your play date friend may strike up a convo with another mom about it down the road. And on social media, if your account is public, many more people will read the conversation on your post than you realize. If you stay POSITIVE, it WILL be contagious!
Let's play pretend for a minute. Imagine you just posted a picture of your darling in the latest print you've obtained and someone comments with, "Wow, that diaper is adorable! I wish I could do cloth but it just seems like so much work. My friend tried it and she said she was CONSTANTLY doing laundry." :::Insert fed up non-smiling emoji here::: It looks like someone who didn't read this blog post has already been spreading their influence. But fear not! Positivity is much more powerful!
Now let me give you two sample replies, and you choose which you'd rather see be contagious. Because they both will be, no question.
Response option #1: Yeah, the diapers are super cute, but the laundry can be tiring if you let it get out of hand. It's worth it, though!
Response option #2: Yeah, aren't they cute?! I was actually nervous about the time commitment when we started with cloth, but it's been a lot easier than I expected! Just a few extra loads of laundry a week. If you ever want to give it a shot, just let me know! I'm happy to help.
Both responses are honest, right? But just that slight lean to the negative side can be very off-putting. Response #2 is only worded a little bit differently than #1, but it makes all the difference in motivating and encouraging someone who may be on the fence.
And while I am applying this quote and this concept of influence to cloth diapers, it's honestly something that applies to all areas of life. "We all have more influence than we realize" so let's choose our words accordingly.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Let's Try Something New! {$100 gift card GIVEAWAY!}

We love giveaways. We really do. And we especially love when we combine our love of giveaways with our love of spreading the word about cloth diapers to help #makeclothmainstream. So, that's why I've been wracking my brain lately trying to come up with a fun and NEW way to accomplish this!

Earlier today I went live on our Facebook page to crowd source some ideas from you, and of course, you took my crazy, hair-brained idea and refined it into something that makes sense! So, using your suggestions, here's what we came up with:

Basically, the point of this challenge is to show the general public on social media that cloth diapers can be easy, cute, and fun! You can enter as many times as you'd like (well, up to once per hour) on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Pinterest. Just share your photo, tag @spraypal, and on Instagram be sure to use the hashtags #spraypalgiveaway and #makeclothmainstream. Please note, the photo prompts do not need to be in any particular order, and if you feel like repeating any of them, go right ahead! Just keep in mind that the mission of this challenge is to show people that cloth diapering is cute, easy, and fun, so let's keep the messages in the photos nice and positive! :) Also, while you and I may understand that poop is just part of the picture when you have a baby...the general public may not want it to be a part of *your* picture if you catch my drift. ;)

YouTube video entries can only be submitted once but will earn you 10 chances to win since we know these take more time. If you're in the mood to create a video, feel free to cover any or all of the prompts we've given. Or, you can freestyle it and just talk about your cloth diapering routine in whatever way makes sense to you! You have complete creative license there, just be sure to tag Spray Pal in the description so we can show your video some love!

IMPORTANT: Once you've shared your photo or video, make sure you come back here to get your entries on the Gleam giveaway widget below! The winner will be selected there, so you MUST complete this step to have your entries counted.

Contest starts May 27, 2016 and ends on June 5, 2015 at midnight. All content (photos/videos/etc) shared must be newly posted/uploaded during the giveaway time period to be counted. This giveaway is open worldwide and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to our shop. You can use this toward any "in stock" item we carry, including our cloth diaper exclusives! Spray Pal will notify the winner within 48 hours of contest close, and the winner will then have 48 hour to reply. If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! Let the #makeclothmainstream games begin! Enter below:

Spray Pal's #makeclothmainstream Photo Challenge Giveaway!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Our Thoughts on Cloth Diapers at Mainstream Baby Expos

On May 14th and 15th I attended the New York Baby Show along with Melissa Huynh, founder of Lalabye Baby Cloth Diapers. This huge, mainstream baby expo took place right in the heart of NYC, and they claimed over 20,000 people were in attendance. I can't verify those numbers, but I can say it was definitely crowded both days. Now that I'm home and I've had some time to reflect, I have a few thoughts I'd like to share.

Huge crowds at the 2016 New York Baby Show.
1. The New York Baby Show was definitely well attended, but I was shocked by how few people knew about modern cloth diapers. Many people walking up to our booth assumed we were selling reusable swim diapers, and in fact, some people bought some Lalabye Baby diapers solely for that purpose.

When we would start to explain that they were modern reusable diapers for everyday use, we would get a very mixed reaction. We had a few looks of, "Wow, really?!" followed by more questions on how they worked. Unfortunately, I'd say the most common reaction from the surprised group was, "Oh. Nevermind." followed by a quick spin on the heels and a shuffle to the next booth.

2. Some families were actually interested in learning about cloth! For every family who walked up surprised to learn that these were not swim diapers, there was another family who walked up with an eagerness to learn. They had seen our brands listen in the show program or had seen our posts on social media and started off with, "I'm so excited you guys are here. We've been thinking about using cloth diapers, but there's just so much information out there that we were feeling overwhelmed." 

This is huge. And it's actually the reason we paid the hefty price tag to attend this event. Rather than selling, we were educating. I can't even tell you how many time I must've given the spiel on using cloth diapers. Let's put it this way. My voice was pretty much gone by Sunday afternoon. ;)

This was one of a small handful of families who came by our booth and was actually already using cloth diapers at home! They bought the Spray Pal shield on the spot to make spraying their diapers easy and mess-free.

3. We weren't the only ones to notice that there was a noticeable absence of major cloth diaper brands. 

It seems in the past few years the focus by cloth diapering brands (including ours) has been attending shows like MommyCon that cater to a more natural parenting mindset. And don't get me wrong, we still love the concept behind MommyCon and are still attending a few so we can interact with our amazing customers! But this year, after a very successful cloth diaper resource booth at the 2015 Miami's Ultimate Baby Affair, we decided to make an effort to test the waters with the more mainstream events.

Our goal is not to sell product, although it's always great when someone makes the decision to switch on the spot and buys what they need to get started. In fact, we didn't even ship anything in for this show, we just brought what we could fit in our checked bag so we would have items to demo with. Our goal is to reach families who don't already know about cloth diapers and show them that it's easier than they think. Mission accomplished, I hope!

On the other hand, the disposable diaper brands along with big box stores are always at these events in full force. I hope that by having more of a presence at events like these, we can show families that they have options when it comes to diapering, and cloth diapers don't have to be intimidating!

If you have a big baby expo taking place locally that you feel could use a little more "fluff love" and cloth education, please let us know in the comments! We'd love to check it out and help #makeclothmainstream. :)