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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Group Customs, stocking, drawing, and auctions! :)

Lots of stuff going on this week! :)

1 - Today is stocking day - make sure to check out previews on facebook!  Stocking is at 2pm EST, with wool at 2:15.

2 - Today is also the last day for the MS Society charity auctions - the bidding so far has been utterly amazing.  It has far exceeded our expectations and we can't thank you enough for helping us make a difference this way - as always we are in awe of the generosity and giving spirit of our customer family.  As I write this the total bids are at $1,126.

3 - Tonight into tomorrow we will hold another custom slot drawing - make sure to check out the FB page for info this evening! :)

4 - And finally - we will be drawing Group Customs this week!  See below for full info! :)

March Group Custom details - please read carefully

We will be drawing groups this Friday for the March Group Custom slots! :)  We are going to follow the exact same process we did last month - please read the information below thoroughly so that you don't miss any important components! :)

*If you are new to twinkie tush, welcome!  Please note that this is not the only way to purchase one of our diapers. ;)  Read this page for lots of basic twinkie tush information!

Additionally please note that this process is as complex as it is ONLY in order to meet the needs of customers, both new and returning.  It is designed to be fair, not to be purposefully maddening. ;)

We are planning to post the March Group Custom entry thread on facebook this coming Friday (3/30) between 7:45 and 8:45pm eastern.  (The thread will then be open for 5 minutes only.)

We ask that for this month you stick to a maximum of 2 groups per household.

When the entry thread goes up on facebook, please comment on the thread to enter your team!  You may only enter on behalf of one group (but may appear in up to 2 groups).  Your entries should look like these, in which the flying whizbees are entering for the first time in the current month and the skullies have entered in two previous months as well as in the current month:

The flying whizbees: 1 month. Kate, Megan B., Amanda, Karen, Jessica, Sarah, Melissa, Henrietta, Pamela, Megan Z.

The skullies: 3 months. Susan, Mike, Allegra, Sarah F., Sarah P., Bess

Also within the alloted time (5 minutes) you will need to send an email to twinkietush@gmail.com. The email subject must read something like “Group Custom Entry: Team Name (eg The flying whizbees)”. Your team name MUST be included in the subject line of the email. All group members must be cc'ed on this email.

The email must contain a link to a google spreadsheet or an attached Excel spreadsheet (please do not C&P in the body of the email) containing the following information for each group member:

1 - Full member name
2 - Member name as it appears in paypal account
3 - Member contact email
4 - Member paypal email
5 - serged or T&T preference.

If any of those elements are missing (no team name in subject, any info missing from the spreadsheet, missing team member cc's, etc.) your group will not be eligible to obtain the slot. (This is just to keep things fair, as the Group Custom drawings are pretty competitive.)

Once the entry time has expired, we will review all information and announce the eligible groups for the month. We will then hold 2 drawings as follows:

Drawing 1: Every team that has entered for at least 3 months, including the current month, will be entered in this drawing.

* Each team in this drawing will receive one entry slot for each month they've entered. That means if you've entered for 3 months including the current month, your team is given 3 entries. So for example if there are 5 eligible teams for this drawing and they all have entered for 3 months, with the exception of teams Abby and Darkside who have each entered 4 times, the entry list would look like this:

1 - team Abby
2 - team Abby
3 - team Abby
4 - team Abby
5 - team Boyish stripes
6 - team Boyish stripes
7 - team Boyish stripes
8 - team Cat Lovers
9 - team Cat Lovers
10 - team Cat Lovers
11 - team Darkside
12 - team Darkside
13 - team Darkside
14 - team Darkside
15 - team Elliot
16 - team Elliot
17 - team Elliot

We will use random.org to draw the winning number.

Drawing 2: Every team who successfully submitted their information in full is entered in this drawing, with the winning team again being selected by random.org.

* For this drawing, all teams receive 1 entry slot regardless of the number of months they've entered, giving an equal chance to all who are enter whether they are brand new or have been entering for several months.

Please note that even an attempted entry counts when tallying your group's number of entries. In other words if your group got the email and FB comment in within the alloted time for a given month, it counts even if some info was missing and your group wasn't entered in the drawing(s).

It is also important to review the information below, which covers general Group Custom policies:

* If your group is selected you will then receive a confirmation email in response to the email you sent in. That email will contain a link to your group custom slot, which will be available for purchase at the store. You will have 24 hours to purchase the slot. If a group fails to purchase the slot in time a new drawing will take place using the same list and a second winner will be drawn.

*Anyone from the group can email us, as long as they are willing and able to serve as group rep (the person who collects payments from other group members and communicates with me about velour preferences, etc.) The group rep is also responsible for forwarding information from us to the group as needed and assuring that the group is aware of payment deadlines, etc. Please do not email on behalf of your group unless you are willing to take on the group rep responsibility.

*All members of the group must be copied on the initial email so that we can reach individual members if needed.

*Once the spot is purchased it is reserved and you can send your fabric in as quickly or slowly as you like! The listing will include the cost of the diapers but not the cost of shipping to each individual group member.

*After the group rep pays for the group listing, each individual group member will need to pay individually for their shipping cost. This is not something that needs to be done to reserve your spot but it will need to be done in order for us to ship you your diapers ;) This system is just to facilitate an easier and smoother shipping process on our end which means you getting your diapers more quickly!  After your slot is paid for we will send an email to the group or group rep with a link to a store listing where you can pay for shipping individually.

*After purchasing the slot, the group will send us (at the group's cost) adequate yardage (usually 3-5 yards) of the chosen print fabric and all diapers will be cut from that yardage. All other materials will of course be provided by twinkie tush.  All velour and snaps will be uniform. We will work with the group on velour choice (contingent on availability) and snap colors will be chosen by us.

*Should you want any remaining fabric mailed back to a group member or members, please let us know within 24 hours of securing the slot.  We are always very happy to return fabric but we need to know right away to avoid going back and forth trying to determine where to send remnants at a later time.  Please note that the cost of mailing extra fabric will be added to shipping cost(s) and that will need to be determined before the shipping listings can be set up.  Should you decide not to request that your fabric be returned within 24 hours of securing the slot, it will be considered a donation to twinkie tush and will likely be used for stocking at a later time.  We appreciate fabric donations very much, but they are not required or expected.

* Group size can range from 5-10 people. Each group member will choose between a serged or turned diaper. We do not recommend serging with woven fabrics. The price for this SYOF order will be $33 + shipping per each diaper.

*We are now opening up the Group Custom entry process to groups that are seeking SYOF twinkie tush night-nights.  Your group will need to provide several yards of velour (7 yards for a group of 10, as an example).  While we are not able to help groups extensively in the search for cotton velour or organic bamboo velour we will require that your velour choice be approved before it is sent in.  We require this to ensure that it is of the highest quality so that we feel comfortable using it to make twinkie tush night-nights, and can stand behind the absorbency.  The cost per person for a Group Custom twinkie tush night-night will be $36 plus shipping.

*All diapers will ship out to the group members 4-6 weeks after we receive the fabric (pending shipping payments of course).

Please let us know if you have any questions about this, and thanks so much! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another special charity auction

While we don't plan to run many charity auctions directly on our site, this month there happen to be 2 special causes we feel extremely strongly about.  A couple weeks ago we ran a March of Dimes mini group custom auction - see the blog post below for more information on that event.  With the incredibly generous bids put forth by the amazing mamas who participated in the auction, over $500 was raised for March of Dimes.  We are so grateful to have been a part of something so meaningful and can't thank Danielle, Kylee and Taina enough for their truly incredible generosity.

We are now prepared to hold another charity event, which will run from tonight through Wednesday night.  This set of auctions will be for the benefit of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  All funds raised, minus paypal fees and shipping costs, will be donated directly to the MS Society.

The following was written by Mike, to shed some more light on why this cause is so very important to us.

"My Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about 30 years ago. As a young child, I didn’t really have a clue what that meant other than that my mom would need more help carrying in the groceries than my friends' moms did. And sometimes she would need to go into the hospital for a few days. As an adult, MS is still as puzzling even with all the research and studies they've done. MS presents itself in so many different ways. And for most it’s progressive. For my mom it first affected her right side; initially showing up as blurry vision, then difficulty holding a pencil, and then trouble using her leg.  She was a career middle school teacher for as long as she could stand in front of her class, and then a private tutor until that too was taken from her. As her MS progressed it spread through her body and today she needs constant care and attention.  She’s gone through several types of treatments including daily injections of potential slowing agents, but at this point nothing can cure MS. She uses a motorized scooter to move from room to room and needs assistance doing all the tasks I often take for granted.

My mom’s spirit cannot be matched. She brings her loving and incredible energy everywhere she goes. The day I married Gretchen, it was an honor to kneel in front of my mom with You Raise Me Up playing in the background in lieu of a traditional mother/son dance. My mom is truly my rock and has always provided me with what I most needed - a constant source of love and understanding that I would always be taken care of. Being a grandmother, or YaYa as she is called, brought an even greater zest for life to her. The proud YaYa doesn’t even begin to describe how she feels about M&D. She adores them beyond words. M&D feel the same way about her, and often wish I had a chair they could ride around on. :) While MS has made it impossible to do some of the traditional YaYa things I know my mom wishes to no end she could do, she showers her grandchildren with never-ending love and support.

She is the reason why the national MS Society has such an important place in our hearts and we are honored to take a part in raising funds and awareness for this cause."

Since this event is so important to us, we are bringing back some favorites for the auction:

1 - Je T'Aime.  

This is probably my absolute favorite print, ever.  I have been saving some scraps of this fabric for almost a year, and have enough for what I believe will end up being 2 diapers, both seamed midway.  This diaper, with pink cv and a single seam as visible in the photo, will be up for auction for the National MS Society beginning tonight.  (The second diaper will not be auctioned, but will be up for drawing or stocking at a later date, TBD.)

2 - Any Colour You Like.  

This wildly popular and totally amazing print is another favorite which will make an appearance for this event.  We will auction a custom ACYL - you choose velour and finishing style (serged or turned).  This is a print which we also have plans to restock in the next few months, for those who are not able to participate in this auction.  

3 - When in Rome.  

This truly lovely print is a favorite of many and is even more gorgeous in person.  We will auction a custom When in Rome - you choose velour and finishing style (serged or turned).  This is also a print which we have plans to restock at some point in the future, for those who are not able to participate in this auction.  

4 - twinkie tush night-night 3-pack.  

This will be a slot for 3 semi-custom twinkie tush night-nights.  You can choose to coordinate with others for this slot or you can go it alone in order to build a stash of night-nights.  The diapers do not all have to be the same - we will try to accommodate velour choices and will ask that you give us your top few so that we can choose from what we have in stock.

5 - Custom slot.  This slot can be used for any single diaper - in stock, send your own fabric, or twinkie tush night-night.

Thank you so much for helping us make a difference.  We are so grateful to be a part of something so special.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A couple very special charity auctions

Hi everyone! :)

As you may already know, Mike and I are very committed to helping with charity events as often as possible.  We allocate a certain number of diapers each month for charity auction donation and we feel truly honored by how often we are approached for donations.  We believe that it is part of our purpose as people and as a company to give back and to raise awareness as well as funds.  Of course we are limited in the number of donations we can participate in each month, as much as we would genuinely love to do everything that we are asked to do.

This month will be the first time that we will host charity auctions ourselves, via our HC store.  We are incredibly excited about this, as we are working with two charities that are incredibly near and dear to our hearts.

We wanted to give you a heads up that these events are on the way, as they may require some planning for those who choose to participate.

Today we will be listing an auction at our store for a 3 person mini group custom slot.  The final bid amount, minus only shipping and paypal fees, will be donated to the March of Dimes via Team Three Cheers for Babies.  Our good friends Brooke and Joe DiGiuseppe run this team on behalf of their triplets, Charlie, Lily and Annaleigh, who were born 15 weeks premature.  The triplets were two weeks old before Brooke and Joe were able to hold them.  Machines breathed for them for the first month of their lives.  They were fed with tubes because they weren't strong enough or coordinated enough to suck.  They received the best possible care, for which Brooke and Joe could not be more grateful.

Charlie and Lily, who weighed 1 lb 8 oz and 1 lb 13 oz at birth, spent 95 and 99 days in the NICU before coming home with their parents.

Charlie, with Joe's wedding band

Tragically, Annaleigh did not come home.  She passed away at 8 weeks old from NEC, which is an intestinal infection found in premature babies.
Annaleigh, 6/27/2009 - 8/22/2009
We mourn her loss and we hold her in our hearts each day, while simultaneously celebrating with a deep awe the miracles that Charlie and Lily are - now thriving, strong, healthy, and happy as a result of the wonderful care they received after birth.  They are amazing in every way, and we are so blessed to know them and to count them among M&D's very best friends.
Charlie and Lily
Lily and Charlie as Princess Peach and Mario and M&D as Bonnie and Clyde, Halloween 2010

Every year, half a million babies in the United States are born too soon, too small and very sick - that's 1 in every 8 babies. Since 1981, the rate of premature birth has risen 30%, and in half the cases it is not understood what went wrong. The March of Dimes is leading the fight for answers, and ultimately, prevention.  We are honored and excited to be raising money for such an incredibly worthy cause.

The auction will be up later today and we will announce it here and on facebook.  If you would like to participate, please make sure to look over the auction information carefully - this is a mini group custom slot (3 diapers to 3 addresses).  It will require coordinating among 3 people, with one person bidding on behalf of the group.  Your bid will reflect the total for all 3 mini group members, not a per person amount.  In other words if everyone in your group would like to donate $100 to the March of Dimes via this auction, your bid would be $300.

Later in the month we will be hosting another charity auction event and will have details for you very soon.  This event will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  This charity is very close to our hearts.  Mike's mother was diagnosed with MS 30 years ago and battles the effects of this horrible disease every day.  She is a truly amazing woman, mother, mother-in-law, and Yaya (Greek for Grandma).  We will be running the event in her honor, and in honor of National MS Awareness Month.  We will have full details for you very shortly.

We are so grateful to be able to use ourselves and our skills to benefit these causes, and so grateful for the generosity and charitable spirit of our customer base.  We can't thank you enough for helping us contribute in any way we can. :)