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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Expansion details!

Over the past few weeks you’ve probably seen me mention an expansion for twinkie tush.  Today I’m ready to give you details! :)

Let me begin by reflecting on the growth of the company thus far, specifically over the past year.

As you may know, twinkie tush launched in December of 2010.  We stocked 30 or so diapers on Hyena Cart every 2 weeks.  In those early days I did everything myself, and I quickly learned that I could not meet the demand alone.  Over a short period of time we grew to add a few part-time team members who cut fabric and operated our snap presses out of their own homes as well as ours.  Mike took on a larger role and while twinkie tush remained a WAHM-owned company (and still is today), he became a General Manager and CFO. :)  We joke that he works for me but the truth is that our business partnership has deepened and strengthened our marriage and I am so grateful to have him by my side as we grow twinkie tush.

Last August I wrote a blog post which indicated what we hoped to accomplish in the near future. I am very happy to be able to say that we have made huge progress on all goals and exceeded most of them.  In the past year we have increased production as we set out to, introduced stretch fleece in knits and longer wings in woven diapers, introduced the twinkie tush night-night and twinkie tush little tush, and we’re on the verge of rolling out the twinkie tush teenie tush, our newborn line!  Additionally, we are incredibly close to launching our own website, www.twinkietush.com.

Now we find we are at a jumping off place.  We have grown too large for our house in terms of storage and production needs, and we have increased production all we can with part-time team members and me working at home.  A few months ago Mike and I had a very serious discussion about the next steps for twinkie tush.  We both feel passionately about the company’s continued growth and we decided to follow our instincts and begin to research expansion costs and logistics.   We secured our first investors and a production space, and we began looking for a full-time team of employees.  I am thrilled to report that we are on schedule for the expansion – our space is being prepared for a mid September move-in.  Our team will begin training mid September and you should begin to see the promised production increase sometime in October!  We want to move efficiently through the next few months but first and foremost we want to be meticulous in ensuring the quality you have come to expect from twinkie tush.  For that reason, stockings in September may be lighter and we may even need to take another week or two off so that I can devote myself to getting the new production space up and running.

As you can probably imagine, this expansion has a substantial impact on our operating costs.  From offering a fair living wage to our employees to the expense of leasing and maintaining a production space, we are looking at a huge change in overhead.  The only way we can maintain this increased level of production is by adjusting our pricing structure.  Mike and I talked at length about the best way to handle this and we both felt strongly that it was important to offer multiple price points rather than to increase prices across the board.  It has always been extremely important to me that we be open and honest about pricing and that we only adjust prices as needed.  Currently, things like Euro knits and exceptionally expensive prints are priced higher.  We have only ever adjusted prices like that based on what we pay for the prints themselves.  While our pricing changes now are based on increased production costs, it is in that same spirit that we will change pricing as follows:

One size and little tush prints

At stockings there will be 4 price points for one size and little tush prints (there are currently 3). 

Level One: $35. 
Less expensive (level one) prints will be priced at $35, so that we can continue to offer multiple prints each week at that price point.  Some examples of prints in that price point are Johnny Blue Eyes, Botany, Amelie, and Landslide (among many others).

Level Two: $42. 
Next level (level two) prints will be priced at $42.  Most of these will be imports, some domestic, that cost much more for us to buy than the level one prints.  Examples of prints in that price point are Invasion, Boardwalk, Aphrodite, and Strong-Arm (again, among many others). 

Level Three: $45. 
We will continue to offer Euro knits and other more expensive imports, and those will be our level three prints.  Examples include Two by Two, Travels with Friends, Tell No Tales, and Duchess.  These prints will be priced at $45. 

Level Four: $48. 
And finally, there will still be offered, on rare occasions, diapers made with extremely expensive prints.  These diapers, most of which were previously offered at our highest ever price point of $45, will now be $48.  Examples are Any Colour You Like, Mutiny, Round Table, and Seeker.  These prints are extremely hard to find and extremely expensive, which dictates this highest price point.

twinkie tush teenie tush

We will follow a similar structure with the twinkie tush teenie tush, offering price points of $27, $29, $32, and $35.

twinkie tush night-nights

twinkie tush night-nights will now be priced at $43, with a diaper from the Wildest Dreams series occasionally popping up at a stocking and priced at $48.


We won’t be able to offer a discount for customs any longer as they actually require more in terms of time and production than stocked diapers do.  Customs, whether individual, mini group, or large group, both in stock and SYOF, will be priced at $36 for one size and little tush and $28 for teenie tush.  SYOF twinkie tush night-nights (offered via Group Customs) will be priced at $40.

Shipping and Handling

In addition to these price adjustments, the cost of shipping and handling will go up $0.25 across the board.

Wool and HCJ 

Wool and HCJ prices will not change with this expansion.

While we know we need to make these pricing adjustments in order to facilitate our expansion, we are very happy to be offering 60-65% of our diapers, including in stock and customs, at the $35-$36 price points and we hope that this new structure works well for everyone.

We plan to introduce a few changes and new product lines over the next several months:

1 – First and foremost, you can expect to see a significant increase in production over the next 2-4 months!  We will focus first on offering more ready to ship diapers at stockings, which is what the majority of you told us you prioritized most when asked on the facebook page.  We are so excited to know that that will make stockings more pleasurable for all!  Once we have established increased availability at stockings we will work on increasing opportunities for large groups and mini groups! We are looking at a very large total production increase which will mean more and more opportunities to purchase twinkie tush diapers of all kinds!

2 – We will be launching www.twinkietush.com within the next couple of months, further improving the stocking experience and making all aspects of the brand more accessible and user-friendly!

3 – We hope to decrease turn-around time on large and mini group customs over the next few months.  We are currently at 4-6 weeks and hope to cut that down if at all possible.  More information on that will be forthcoming!

4 – In order to increase efficiency with what is anticipated to be a much larger number of group customs, we will no longer be able to return extra fabric for large and mini group orders.  All fabric sent in for groups, large or small, will become property of twinkie tush.  We will provide specific information via the blog by September’s Group Custom drawings so that you can tell exactly how much fabric you will need to send in for your group, based on width and directionality.

5 – By popular request, replacement soakers will be offered in the very near future!  They will be priced at $17.

6 – We will introduce the “twinkie tush simplify” line of cotton velour solids within the next 3-6 months!  These diapers will be $35.

7 – We plan to offer accessories like wipes, wet bags and blankets over the next year as well. :)

Amid all of these changes, there are many things about our company that will not change with this expansion.  Our open communication and accessibility will not change.  Our attention to quality and record of exceptional customer service will not change.  We will continue to do things like the twinkie tush wish list, photo contests and random.org drawings, and will explore the possibility of future theme stockings and fan page trivia.  We hope to extend our charitable contributions further in the next year, finding more ways to make a difference for families and organizations that we feel we can help. 

Over the next few months you will hear more about the expansion, and I will share more about the production space and twinkie tush team!  To say I am excited about this move wouldn’t begin to describe it.  I find myself choked up thinking of the growth of what began as a small WAHM company, named in honor of our then 16 month old twins.  I found that the work I put forth was loved and appreciated and it made me want to do more, and better.  From the very beginning the twinkie tush brand has included a community of the most amazing customer families I ever could have imagined, and that community continues to grow and inspire and support and challenge me.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your part in the growth of twinkie tush.  For holding me accountable for a beautiful, quality product, and for your support, your warmth, your creativity, your positivity and humor.  It is you who makes all of this possible, and I don’t have the words to adequately thank you for it.

With gratitude and respect,


  1. Oh, fantastic, Gretchen!!! Congratulations, it's all fabulous!!!

  2. I am so happy for you and Mike. You deserve it!


  3. Congratulations! This is amazing! In such a short amount of time you have accomplished so much. I'm looking forward to seeing everything roll out.

  4. Congratulations on all of your success!