As a niche-player Kinder Cloth Diaper’s story is an inspiration for ecommerce stores on Shopify in finding ways to compete against larger retailers. Niche retail is all about building a base of advocates who can help spread the news about your products and finding cost effective ways to do it. We sat down with Krystal Keller, founder of Kinder Cloth Diaper Company to talk about diapers, confident moms, community, and (of course) baby registries.
MyRegistry: We want to learn more about Kinder Cloth Diaper Co. What is Kinder Cloth Diaper all about and how did you get started?
Kinder Cloth Diaper: We had our first baby in 2020. And I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers. But when I saw the cloth diapers that were available, I was unimpressed. I come from a graphic design background, and I thought I could make prettier ones. I wanted to put my art on the diapers. That's where this started, I got this crazy idea to put my own art on the diapers, found manufacturers and suppliers, and it all kind of took off.
From there, we started working with other independent designers to put their work on the diapers as well. Now our goal has shifted a little bit, not just making beautiful products, but also getting more into the advocacy space where we build confident parents. We help them learn how to cloth diaper successfully. We are with them throughout the process, help them troubleshoot, and really build confident cloth diapering parents, who are excited to talk about it with their friends and stuff, too. Once they trust us, then they buy our products, as well, which is nice. Most of our customers are not local, we ship all over. We do support them, educate them, and teach them how to use the product. We offer a great product and support.
MR: Baby registries are a big thing for new moms. What opportunities did creating a baby registry of your own open up for your business?
KCD: We had a lot of people asking us the best way to add our products to their registry. Of the big players in the game, Target, Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, and babylist, only one of them really supports having our products on their list. So the best way for us was to own the registry ourselves. To get it into our site so that we could say, “Hey, you can build a registry right within KinderClothDiapers.com.” And you can just send your guests there and they could purchase diapers, alongside their other items.
I went to the Shopify App store and looked for an app that would support our Shopify store and for one that seemed to have good reviews. So far, we are really loving my registry. It looks like it's part of our platform. I checked this morning; it seems like we had like 500 registries created which is amazing. Obviously, baby registries are very valuable, I don't want to lose a customer in our space, because someone else's product is more accessible on a registry. We want to own that a little bit on our own.
MR: Are you focused more on push or pull marketing tactics when it comes to driving awareness for Kinder Cloth generally, and more specifically the registry? How does having a registry help you in strengthening your relationship with the community?
KCD: We have a pretty significant TikTok following at about 55,000 followers. We have a Discord community, which is just like other brands’ Facebook groups, where there are different channels that people can connect. We win a lot of people over when we start to educate. I think there's two entryways to our product. There's the, “hey you have more options” besides the disposable diapers that you can get at the big box stores. And there's also “hey, you're already using cloth diapers, but you're having trouble” and helping them figure out what's causing the problems. I find that once I've established that relationship, even if they're not using my product, once we've established that relationship as someone they can go to for help, then they just tend to become customers naturally.
Regarding the registry, if someone asks a question, I'll respond and say, “hey, we have a registry”, but we haven’t made specific content around it. We don't advertise the registry, but it is in the main navigation on our website. Anytime someone comes to shop, they're going to see the registry front and center. Just having a registry requires minimal effort, but it obviously helps, that’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see so many registries signed up through the app.
MR: Interesting. How has your experience with the MyRegistry Gift List Solution for Shopify?
KCD: It has been easy. As far as getting it set up and plugged in, it's user friendly and works seamlessly on the backend. The learning curve to use it was small for both us and our customers. In the beginning, people were buying things and they weren't being removed from the registry. We educated customers about how to properly take items off the registry once they were purchased and we added it to our FAQs on our chat feature.
MR: Oh, that's great. When you look at the future, is the registry part of your growth plan?
KCD: Yes, I think so. I think that it's valuable, especially in that new parent, new to cloth diaper space, to be able to have the registry on the website. It gives us a little bit of an edge over our competition. A lot of our competitors aren't in the registry space. They direct consumers to babylist and then link to their website, versus owning the registry. On our website, you can see all the products listed on the person’s registry and shop them all at once.
MR: At MyRegistry we always say that a registry is not just a list of stuff, it's really about who you are. Are there commonalities between people who shop at KinderCloth Diaper?
KCD: There are a lot of reasons that people choose cloth diapers, I think the three most common are one, environmental impact. Then, some kids have really bad sensitivity, so it can be a health reason. They can't wear regular diapers. And the third reason is to save money.
For some families it’s cost prohibitive to use disposable diapers, so they come into it as a necessity more so than a choice. Yes, I think it's great, like you said, I do find that our customers all have a lot in common. The ones who are choosing this for environmental reasons tend to have other things that they kind of fall in line with too. A lot of people who cloth diaper also choose to homeschool their kids. We're building more of a community around it too. It's interesting that you say that the registry sort of becomes a personality because I think for a lot of our customers, cloth diapering kind of becomes their personality for a few years, whether they come in for the environmental, the cost, or the health reason, they all kind of find something in common with one another.
If you have any questions in particular or want to learn more about managing your registry data, we can always be reached at email@example.com