We have an important announcement! Please watch this video or see the transcript below.
Hi. It’s Kristina and Elizabeth. We have an important announcement regarding The Changing Table and we want to include you all in this.
I know some of you have been on this journey with us since we had our first cloth diaper class in the fall of 2009. We started with a few brands and a devotion to helping local families succeed with cloth diapering. It was our passion. We both left successful careers to pursue this dream.
For those who are newer friends, you may not know, but we started out as a home-based business. We held classes in our living rooms and had a store set up in each of our homes on the north and south sides of the city. We put everything back into the business to grow our inventory so we could offer you more options. Three years later, we outgrew the home business, and after urging from many local clients, we opened a brick and mortar in south Oklahoma City. It was wonderful. It was fun. We were able to educate people. We had the largest selection of cloth diapers in OKC. We became Certified Babywearing Educators, Certified Breastfeeding Educators, and Child Passenger Safety Technicians. And then came the commodification of cloth diapers. For those who may not know what I mean by that . . . as cloth diapering became more prevalent, many people began putting quantity over quality. You can buy cloth diapers straight from China. Many are similar in look to popular US brands because they do not have the same copyright laws and we have in the United States. You can buy black market products that infringe on intellectual property rights for cheap . . . think – a Mickey Mouse printed diaper or a knock off Little Joey. This has greatly affected not only our store but the entire cloth diaper industry. So we changed our offerings to stay in business. We still saw ourselves as a cloth diaper store, but we added more babycarriers, breastfeeding supplies and diaper bags to stay sustainable.
Then in the fall of 2015, Taryn of Thrive Mama Collective approached us about opening a retail front to her new birth collective. Our lease was up at our south side location, and we saw this as a great opportunity to be able to work together to offer even more education opportunities for our clients.
We moved to the Plaza District that fall. The Plaza is an amazing area. It is full of local businesses working together to add value to our local landscape. We continued with our cloth diaper, babywearing, and breastfeeding education. People love our classes. It’s not unusual to have someone praise the help and support they receive from us as they are also saying they can’t wait to receive the diapers they just ordered online. Amazon does not have the one-on-one customer service and expertise you find in small shops, but it’s currently typical to see people using a business for its education and not supporting that business with their purchases. So we continued to change our product selection to accommodate the needs of our clients while still staying sustainable. But, as I alluded to before, this is the age of Amazon and online shopping. Recently we’ve heard about not only hundreds of local shops like ours closing but also big box stores closing. And if you’ve come in to our store lately, you’ll notice that our cloth diaper section (our original reason for having a shop) is shrinking while our toy and clothing section has increased ten-fold.
Make no mistake, we LOVE what we do. We LOVE the families we have met. We LOVE watching your kids grow. We’ve been in business for 7 ½ years. That’s a long time for a small business. Our successes are measured by the friends we’ve made and the families we’ve helped throughout the years.
So what is the future of The Changing Table? As of the end of April, we will be closing our brick and mortar. It is not sustainable for us to stay in business with the changes happening to the retail industry as a whole. We are not surviving.
What does this mean for you? We are still here for you. We have dozens of clients scheduled for cloth diaper trials this year. We will continue to support those families. Remember, we were home-based for three years. We will go back to that model while fulfilling any outstanding commitments. We still have our website and can special order items for you. We have three HUGE KicKee Pants orders coming from now through the end of the year. We will fulfill our commitment to them and to other manufacturers and hope you will continue to support us through this transition. We will likely consider trunk shows and pop up shops throughout this year. We will also continue our cloth diaper bank through Cloth Diaper Oklahoma as long as we still have donated diapers to pass on to families.
What does this mean for Thrive Mama Collective? They won’t be able to see our beautiful, happy faces every day. But seriously, Thrive Mama is continuing to grow, offering midwife and doula services, prenatal massage, birthing classes, breastfeeding classes & support groups, and therapy services. They are a separate business, and we know they will continue to be an amazing asset to the local birth community and to the Plaza District.
For the immediate future…we are going to have a party! We would love to see you April 22 at the Natural Parenting Expo and Great Cloth Diaper Change. The Great Cloth Diaper Change will be held in our space at 11 am but the Expo lasts from 10-3. We will be there, and we hope to see you there, too. And to answer your most burning question, yes, we will have closing specials throughout the month. Watch our Facebook and Instagram pages, and subscribe to our email list. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions, comments, or concerns. Love you all!