If I ask you what is your favorite feature on any cloth diaper, I guarantee that a vast majority of you will say Rumparooz inner gussets. My answer always includes them. They’re that good.
On April 23, 2013, Kanga Care was granted a patent for the invention of Dual Inner Gusset Technology by the United States Patent and Trademark Office!
This is a HUGE accomplishment. I could not stop smiling when I saw the announcement last week. I know how hard Julie has worked (fought) for this. Julie kindly agreed to share with us a bit of the long journey to achieving a patent.
How did you come up with the Dual Inner Gusset design?
Early customers of the Rumparooz will recall various versions of the inner gussets and the materials the diaper was made out of. The way that the inner gussets function today evolved from a single thought that came to me one night when I was drifting off to sleep. The idea of making my own diaper for Autumn (my 2nd daughter) was new to me. I had just began the process of making my diaper pattern and figuring out the design. I was experimenting with the rise and tab shape and how to better keep the blow outs in the diaper. I was frustrated with the number of leaks and amount of laundry I was running. It was embarrassing when we were in public.
It was in this moment, just before sleep, that I had an idea for the inside of the diaper. I immediately got out of bed and went to my sewing room. I grabbed a scrap piece of flannel and roughly sewed together my idea. In the morning, I was up and about for a few hours before I remembered what I had done. It was almost like a dream so I went to investigate what I may have left on my sewing machine. Before I could reach my sewing room I had a rush of ideas, thoughts, and patterns to try. Within a couple hours Autumn was wearing the first dual inner gusset diaper. The blow outs were history.
When did you begin the patent process?
I knew from the beginning that I had something unique and original no one had seen before. I also knew that a patent was a big undertaking, not to mention expensive. As the popularity of the Rumparooz grew, I re-invested everything I could back into making the diapers. This included setting a portion aside on every sale so that we could eventually look into filing a patent application. I had exactly one year to decide if we were going to patent my invention. It didn’t take long before stores began contacting me to set up accounts after hearing rave reviews about my leak-proof technology, the dual inner gusset design. Once I started receiving interest from retail stores to carry the Rumparooz, we knew it was time to begin the patent process.
What were some challenges you faced in this long journey?
It wouldn’t be a road worth traveling if you didn’t have to stop and repair a flat tire a few times, right? We have had our ups and downs. I started this business out of the kitchen in my apartment, just a few short years ago. I was excited to have created something that was helping other families and it gave me the opportunity to stay home with my own while still contributing to our financial needs. Working for myself has taken dedication and discipline. On one hand, owning your own business means never getting a day off, or even an hour. I have never had the luxury of clocking out and going home. On the other hand, I have been able to create, design and develop these products that have made a difference to my family, my friends, my customers and our planet. One challenge in this process was when the creation of the diapers was passed from me, making each one, to a local manufacturer. At this time I had made over 2,000 myself and giving this responsibility to someone else was stressful and took a lot of troubleshooting. In the end that manufacturer did not work out and it took us 4 more manufacturers before we found a quality company that could make the diaper as well as I could. In the end it all came down to family. Our current manufacturer is a small, Danish, mom owned company who just so happens to be one of my best friends.
Do you recommend a patent to other WAHMs that create a unique design?
Absolutely. It was only a couple years ago that I was a WAHM in the cloth diaper forums and was over the moon with excitement when someone would place an order. If you know you have something unique and original you won’t have to question yourself if it is the right choice – your customers will confirm that for you. My first piece of advice is to be patient. It takes a long time (6 years for me!) but the reward is well worth the wait.
Any other Kanga Care news you’d like to share with the cloth diaper world?
Since you asked so nicely I suppose I could let you in on a little secret. Although, these kinds of secrets aren’t likely to be kept long… we are expecting a baby! Little baby Ekstrom #5, this November. In celebration of, I think it is time for some new prints as well. What do you think?
I think that’s a fantastic idea!! Just send them my way first ;)