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Sunday, September 22, 2013

A year in review, and looking forward! :)

Here we are in mid September and I’m just sitting down to write the year in review blog post I have been mentioning since late August! :)  The fact that I have not had a moment to get to it until now is a testament to how busy things are around here, and how much has happened in the last 12 months!

On September 7th of 2012 we loaded a moving truck and began a huge transition for twinkie tush, taking what then seemed like an impossibly enormous load of the fabric, snaps, machines, shipping supplies, and SO much more that had been filling our house in NJ, and moving it up to our new studio in Ithaca, NY.  The days of our company bursting at the seams in our small house-turned-one-woman-manufacturing-plant were over.  It was the biggest step my little home-grown company had ever taken.  And on September 10th we began training the team that would evolve into the amazing group of fellow diaper-makers I work with now!  I cannot describe how grateful and humbled I am at the daily opportunity to lead this team, to bring jobs to the community we now live in, and to allow the team members’ individual expertise to drive the company forward as well.

In the past year we have followed through on our goal of increasing diaper production.  In fact we have increased production by over 400%.  We are so thrilled to be offering so many more diapers via stockings and custom opportunities now!  If you were with us before the expansion you will remember the days of groups waiting up to 10 months to secure a Group Custom slot!  Now we are delighted to accept the majority of groups who enter each month!  We continue to offer the unique prints and high quality we always have, and have explored new sources for our materials, refining and improving on our diapers all the time.  I am so proud of the fact that such an enormous production increase has in no way negatively impacted our well-known exceptional customer service record, nor our open communication and accessibility.  I am so grateful to be in direct communication with our customer community on a daily basis, to feel that I know so many of you so well and to meet more of you every week!

In the past year we have also introduced new products!  Shortly after our expansion we began offering replacement soakers, and you also met 2 new diapers: our newborn diaper, the twinkie tush teenie tush, as well as twinkie tush simplify, our line of solid cv and obv diapers!  We have made twinkie tush night-nights more accessible via our pre-order night-night 4-packs, and we will continue to explore ways to get night-nights into the homes of those seeking the best overnight solution!  More recently we introduced FUSION, our new hybrid fitted, and have been blown away by the positive response from our customer community!  This past summer we began offering wipes, and just last week we introduced twinkie tush blankets!  All of these are things I am incredibly excited about and I’ve been so thrilled to see you enjoying them as well!

We have some new products in the works, but I can’t spill the beans about them just yet. ;)  Let’s just say that within the next 12 months we plan to bring you a lot of surprises, along with more of what you already know and love!  I can’t thank you enough for the opportunities you give us every day, to grow and to evolve into the very best company we can be. :)

In January of 2013, the incredible amount of work that we (chiefly Mike) and our web developers put into building our web site finally allowed us to realize our goal!  We launched www.twinkietush.com, a one of a kind cart system that has improved our stockings immeasurably and allowed us to stand on our own two virtual feet for the first time! :)  We are so thankful for the hard work that went into the site, and so grateful to be using it every single day in all of the ways we do!

This past year we have continued to offer charity auctions, and in fact we have a charity event running on HC right now to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Make sure to stop by and get your bids in!  Thank you so much for helping us make a difference!

In writing this blog post, I read through the late August 2011 and 2012 blog posts, both of which reflected the state and the goals of the company at the time.  It has been amazing to look back at where we came from.  In August 2011 we were on the verge of introducing stretch fleece, developing a Group Custom drawing process, adding a part-time team member to help me with snapping, and getting ready to roll out the famous Harry Potter theme stocking!  In the post I said "twinkie tush has already grown beyond what I had ever imagined it could."  In August 2012 we were about to load the moving truck for the big expansion. :)  Both of those blog posts included an announcement about a price increase and I am excited to report that this post will not! :)  Throughout the history of the company we have only raised prices when absolutely necessary and I’m very happy to say that at this point we are able to maintain our current pricing structure.

The thread that weaves through each year’s post is one that has only grown and matured as the company itself has grown.  It is a love for cloth diapering, for unique and captivating prints, for finding our place in the world as individuals and as a company, for quality, honesty and integrity.  I said this recently on facebook, but it bears repeating:  As ever, I am brimming over with gratitude for our amazing customer community. Your support, your love, your feedback and your humor inspire us and propel us forward. Big things are coming in the next 12 months. I am so excited about everything that is in store, and so grateful for everything that has come so far. If you've known me for a while you know I can get a little mushy, but that is because every day of my life I have to practically pinch myself to believe that this once small dream has come true, and continues to realize itself in new ways every day. None of it would be possible without you.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

What’s next? See you Tuesday for previews! <3

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