Sooo FRUSTRATED at my community...pump me up please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello mamas!

I am so frustrated, and this was the first place for me to go...thank you for being here.

I have a CD biz, and am reaching out to the community. I get hit or miss responses and decided to start going to hospitals so that I can reach more people. I have been doing workshops with individuals (successfully) all along but I want to expand.

We are in a small town and there is one hospital here. I approached the nurse educator in charge of the parenting classes/childbirth classes. She strung me along for a couple of weeks even after I gave her the bare bones outline for my class.

I finally reached her today and she said that she thought my website was "cute" but that she didn't think CD education had "any place" in her classes. I was totally floored and told her that I equated CD education to breastfeeding education. Five years ago no one in our community had breastfeeding education and now we have LC's in reach. I told her that mothers can save money, natural resources etc etc. I asked her to please let people in the community know that there is a cloth diapering educator here in town. She said "ok!'...yeah right!

Argh...some people just don't even have the open mind! They won't even see me (I offered to come to give them a class myself)!

I'm so frustrated!

Please pump me up! I am going to write a press release here in a couple of days and now I am so much more motivated to make this head nurse eat her words! I called the LLL leader here in town and she didn't have the interest to see me either.

Off to make more opportunities for myself and CDing...but back me up girls, I need it right now.

Much love,
Tif
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#2 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 03:51 PM
 
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Can you post your website? I can't believe LLL didn't show interest. Sounds like you will have to sponsor your own classes. Can you make contacts with different playgroups? Are there any alternative birthing classes in your area? Bradley instructors? What about yoga classes? They might have more like-minded folks. That's all I can think of off the top of my head!

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#3 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I have introduced myself to anyone alternative or maternal/child organization here...but I am not going to give up!

So funny how when one door closes, a window opens.

After I posted I called the executive director of the perinatal council here. (key: executive director) and I convinced him to take the time to talk to me. I just sent him my outline and he will get back to me in a week and a half. Cross your fingers. (funny how much more ball-sy I can get when I'm fired up...normally I am fairly easy going)

You're right though...I knew that I would have road blocks, but the conversation with that lady just made me so mad! I think what bothered me most was her tone.

I am not giving up!
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#4 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 04:36 PM
 
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Bummer.

But in the LLL leader's defense... cloth diapering doesn't really have anything to do with breastfeeding. And the LLL organization cannot/ does not endorse any outside organizations AT ALL= no mixing causes. That's not to say that she can't pass on your info outside of LLL meetings... Although LLL tends to attract crunchy mamas, it's not the leader's place to promote your business.

it's tough to start a new business.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.
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#5 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I totally understand about LLL not wanting to endorse. I really wasn't wanting for her to advertise for me. And while cloth diapering is unrelated to breastfeeding, I was hoping for a welcoming ear from her. LLL has always been a refuge for me. We are military and travel quite a bit and most of the time leaders go beyond breastfeeding and endorse natural family living. I switched to CDs because the LLL meetings passively promoted it (because the leaders CD'd themselves, and influenced the mamas in the group...just by CDing)

I guess was hoping that she could help me in this new community by steering me in the right direction.

To clarify. I am not mad at the LLL leader, nor am I really mad at that nurse. I just have to raise the playing field, and realize that not everyone will be on the same page, or even enthusiastic for this cause.
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#6 of 17 Old 08-05-2004, 11:36 PM
 
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gosh, it sounds like you live in my town. I set up a table in the farmers market every other week. I have had some sales of liners, but none of diapers. People are interested they just don't take the next step. Your experience sounds exactly like what we've been going through with trying to get interest in doulas. It's frustrating but it makes me more stubborn and determined.
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#7 of 17 Old 08-06-2004, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for letting me vent yesterday everyone. I awoke today with a better perspective.
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#8 of 17 Old 08-07-2004, 12:51 AM
 
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Why not give the military moms and more mainstream group a try? How about posting flyers around town on free bulletin boards (grocery stores, churches, etc)?

Starting a new business is very hard. DH and I started a landscape business right out of college by hanging flyers on doorknobs all over town. We couldn't afford print ads, and didn't really know anyone, but we wanted to work for ourselves. It only took one (very cool) homeowner in a new development to take the leap, and we got our business off the ground...

It'll happen, just keep trying...
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#9 of 17 Old 08-07-2004, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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.

I have my flyers everywhere here and I have also dropped them off at local businesses to introduce myself.

I'm actually going to be a vendor at the main army post exchange so I will be a mobile diaper-shop...LOL. That will be about once a month.

Aside from that I can't really tap into the military and solicit too much on post. It's part of post regulations due to ethical issues. (i.e...my dh might be that woman's dh's boss and therefore may feeel pressured to buy etc.) For this reason I am not even able to go to the military clinics to talk about cloth diapering because I am a business entity, nor can I hand out my business cards on post. : I'm sure people do it, but I don't want to over step my bounds because of my dh's position. (He works for the HQ of the division). In fact, I had to consult the legal people here on post to see what I can and can't do.

So unless I know for sure that they are in the same ranks, I don't hand out a card to another military wife. Anyhoo...

I got a call today from another hospital at the next town over. I have a trial workshop to do with her next week and she will let me know if I can participate in the parenting classes . So I am crossing my fingers! The reason why I am trying to go through hospitals is so I can reach the mainstream community.

I am part of a women's guild here in town (they are my support group IRL) and we are going to have a powow in a week to talk through their contacts. They have grown and lived here in this town so I may have a better in through them.

Thanks for the engouragement. I am not giving up for sure. I totally believe in what I am doing!
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#10 of 17 Old 08-09-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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It's hard to fight ignorance!. I am in Canada and had both my dd's with a midewife and I know they are very supportive. They displayed lots of info in the office. If you have a midewife in your area let her know. I also see our early childhood education office has a bulletin board. What about the health food store? Good luck.
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#11 of 17 Old 08-09-2004, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!

Wish me luck because my workshop with the town childbirth educator is tomorrow morning...if i do well then I will get to do a workshop every month with that hospital...yeah!
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#12 of 17 Old 08-10-2004, 09:33 AM
 
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Good Luck Tif!! I'll be thinking good thoughts for you...I also live in a small town. My kids docs were so shocked when I used cloth dipes, they passed them around the office. Think I'm the only one in town that does it. Hope you can do the hospital workshop...keep us posted.
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#13 of 17 Old 08-10-2004, 09:47 AM
 
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Sounds like you're working really hard at raising awareness! Good for you . I do wonder though if the nurse educator was concerned that your class might be more like a sales pitch. Because if people like the diapers you show, who are they going to buy them from? You. I can see why there might be some hesitation on her part, like she might be compromising the integrity of her health message by allowing a vendor to give a presentation. (Not that that doesn't happen with formula and sposie handouts anyway, but people sort of have a blind spot with that, seems like.)

I like your farmer's market booth, but I wonder if there is a way to target pregnant moms more directly. In my town the local hospital has a maternity/birth "fair" a couple times a year and I think vendors can come set up tables for their products. Do you have anything like that? My other thought would be approaching OB offices about putting your flyer out on their counter or somewhere in the waiting room. I know every doctor's office I go to has a bulletin board or end table with those sorts of materials.

Good luck!
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#14 of 17 Old 08-10-2004, 11:53 AM
 
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Aw! THat's too bad your community is so close minded! I haven't even really gotten my business started yet. I've just announced to some friends that I was quitting my job (last day is this Thurs!!! Woo hoo!!!) and then I was going to finally start making more diapers, this time to sell (I've been making ds's diapers and peiople have been bugging me to sell). So acquaintances and friends here in the community have been spreading the word that I'm going to start selling cloth diapers and I've had people come up to me and tell me I need to come and do a demonstration at this or that childbirth class taht they teach, or to make them a brochure they can hand out to their students/patients. I'm almost overwhelmed by the positive reception. And the LLL leaders during the announcements part of the meeting always say, please stick around after the meeting is over to hear an announcement from so-and-so, who is going to be a doula, or sell cloth diapers, or is starting a whole foods co-op, etc. That way, people who are interested can chat after the meeting and the leaders can say that all discussion happened after the meeting ended. THat's the way it should be. Keep trying! I'm sure there are people out there who would LOVE to hear from you!
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#15 of 17 Old 08-10-2004, 12:38 PM
 
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Lovingit!

This is OT and I'm sorry to butt into your thread, but I am trying to start a workshop business similar to what you are doing. Would you mind letting a newbie pick your brain? I've spoken with an advisor at our local Chamber of Commerce, but I have some more questions about how you do things. If this is too much of a conflict of interest, I totally understand. Anyway, my email add is khoch@spyder.com

Good luck to you!
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#16 of 17 Old 08-10-2004, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Let's do the happy dance!

I did a private workshop today with the childbirth educator at the next town over...and she has recently adopted an 8 mo old cutie. She was primarily interested in CD'ing herself, but it was also an "audition" for the childbirth education class for the hospital for that town.

She has converted! And more importantly, I have a spot to teach mamas how to CD every month! yeah! A captive audience!

Thank you everyone for your encouragement! I knew I would get it here!

wakeupMama...I totally understand about the sales pitch issue. She did bring that up with me, and after I reassured her that I would give her resources of other cd retailers, I also pointed out the diapers and formula, and how they promote these brands (sometimes inadvertedly) during discharge teaching. Before I was a WAHM, I was an Army nurse (L&D) and I remember! Anyway, she couldn't rebut...but still declined. Oh well...on to better places! I actually have a few shows lined up, some at craft shows (I make bags) and at an informational fair, so I will have some CD's available to touch and feel etc...I go wherever they will let me in!

Kim...pm me anytime! I'm always willing to hash info and ideas with other WAHMs! There's no conflict of interest in my book. There's an entire nation to CD! LOL

Wendy and Julie...and everyone...thanks for the encouragement! I will keep hitting the pavement!

Much love mamas!!!
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#17 of 17 Old 08-11-2004, 02:44 PM
 
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I suggest getting a hold of her email address and ever so politely yet WEEKLY send her information/reminders on CDing (statistics and such) so that she knows you won't give up on her. She will eventually figure out that it will take more energy to keep brushing you off than giving in to you - she must have some inclination that you are right, no?
Good for you!
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