Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet Shannon, the Proud Papa behind Knickernappies!

I had the opportunity to interview Shannon, the daddy behind the diapers!  I thought it would be fun to get to know him a little better since he's such an important part of Knickernappies but mostly stays behind the scenes.  Let's find out what makes him tick and what he really thinks about cloth diapers and the future of Knickernappies! 

When Heather first mentioned that she wanted to use cloth diapers what were your initial thoughts?  Is she crazy?  Too much work?  When Heather first approached me about doing cloth diapers my very first thought was World War II, hang it out on the clothes line, poky pins, white cloth diapers, and I think I even said out loud, "Cloth Diapers, WHY!" Heather was prepared for my resistance and patiently explained that cloth diapers had changed over the years. I believe the first diaper we tried was a SnapEz, I still love SnapEz, a shout out to Ruth who runs a top grade company. Once I actually changed a cloth diaper I loved them. Really, come on, everyone has to admit that cloth diapers are cute as a button. Most buy because cloth is cheaper over all, but I still say the cute factor has a lot to do with the masses of mothers choosing cloth.

Honestly, were diaper changes easy?  Did you avoid them or had you become a pro?  Having ones first baby is extremely intimidating no matter what diaper a parent uses. Choosing cloth over the marketing machine work of the disposable entities out in the market place seems outside the norm. However, changing cloth diapers reinforced my self confidence about choosing cloth diapers. In other words I felt more and more strongly that I had made the right choice. Nobody is a pro when it comes to changing diapers, but as a parent you know when you've made the right choice for your baby and with each diaper change I knew I had made the correct decision for my baby.

After becoming a cloth diapering family and acquiring the Knickernappies business, how much of a leap of faith did you feel Heather was taking and did you ever expect that you'd eventually both be working full-time for the company?  Everyone reading this has to remember one thing. Everything about cloth diapering your baby is good. Good for your baby. Good for the environment. Good for your families pocket book. Heather and I are business people and working in a business that is all about good was an easy step. Yes, I believe that our company will continue to grow and hopefully some day our children will want to take over. But for right now I get to play-wrestle with my kids in between working on and for our business. It is a dream come true.

What do you like best about being a work-at-home family?  This may surprise most people, but I love being able to go to my daughter's events. All those activities that a child does while growing up are almost always attended to by one parent. Heather and I both get to attend our childrens' daily events. I have worked for other people and I know how difficult it is to ask for time off work to be involved in simple activities. A recent example was the first day of school. Our daughter is five and she was very nervous. We went as family to see Camille off to school and I believe it helped give her confidence. Please, don't misunderstand me, we still work very hard. There are lots of hours that we encourage/tell our daughter that she has to play by herself while we finish our work.
What are your goals for Knickernappies in the future/where would you like to see the company in five years?  Goals are huge with me. This is a very key question in anyones life. Just exactly where do we want to go with this company? We have achieved our primary goal of making a living from our business while working at home. I would like to see our company continue to build a symbiotic relationship with locally owned retail stores. Its not just business. People are real. Their money is real. I keep in mind that someone has left their family at home in order to go out and earn a paycheck. I want to see our company remain personal to retailers and people that buy our product for use. Easy to say and difficult to achieve, however I believe it is a worthy goal.

What product are you most proud of and why? or what is your favorite KN product?  I don't have a favorite product, but I am very excited about some new products we are designing. I believe we will see these new products released sometime in the next six months.

Is there a Knickernappies accomplishment or milestone that you're most proud of?  I am amazed at Heather. To everyone reading this, please know that Heather is incredible. She is the force behind Knickernappies. Our faith in Christ is our ultimate foundation, but I believe God answered my prayers when he sent Heather to me to become my wife. We have been married ten years and she still makes me shake my head in amazement. Knickernappies accomplishments or milestones are all achieved because of Heather.

Since the birth of your new son Colby, how has this affected the way Knickernappies and the way you and Heather work or the roles you take?  Our son Colby is three months old and has become a constant disruption to our daily work. I would not have it any other way. We had infertility issues and a miscarriage prior to Colby. Colby is a blessing and we are glad he is here to muck up our lives a bit.


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