I'm a mom. I'm a designer. And I love snow cones.
My name is Aisha, and I'm that lady behind Diaper Dawgs. Our team is mostly me, my mad resourcefulness, my husband, and a few others from time to time.
My parents came to this great country of opportunity as immigrants from Panama. When my father joined the U.S. Army, he brought my entire family over to the United States. Since I wasn't a "planned" child (up to 13 years age gap with siblings), I was the only natural U.S. born citizen and the only child never taught Spanish. So from birth, I was already unique :o)
I was born after my father retired from the military, so I grew up with him working as a city sanitation guy, aka "a garbage man." I guess you can say that's where my fascination with all things poopy & sanitary got started. My mother worked at a gas station for over 20 years. She died a few years ago from lung cancer. She never smoked, but we figured her years working in a gas station with cleaners and among smokers attributed to her death. With only high school educations, my parents worked like dogs...but we never struggled. They inspired me to make something for myself, to be my own boss, and to also work like a dog. But unlike them, I wanted to do something that I loved while providing for my family at the same time.
Fast forward to 2003 when I met my wonderful husband. He's a computer guy and works outside the home while I do this entrepreneurial "dance" with Diaper Dawgs. His family is Portuguese...that makes my full name that much more complicated to say! There was even a time when my sonographer looked at my health chart and said, "Whoa, there are a lot of vowels in your name." Ha!
I began Diaper Dawgs at age 28, a few weeks after my maternity leave of my first son. I just suddenly became aware of my dislike for separating his cloth diapers and saw no type of "grippy" things other than full-size gloves or plastic bags that could help me. My husband was surprisingly supportive of the idea. With the last of our family savings in hand, I followed an instinct. As I worked my day job as a graphic designer, I picked up my son in the evenings and when he was put to bed or my husband could watch him, I toiled into the wee hours of the night trying to get Diaper Dawgs off the ground. It. Was. Exhausting.
To make matters worse, I began to see financial distress in the corporate office I worked at. I hung in there until I was let go. I was pregnant with my second son at the time. And since my job carried the family health insurance, stress escalated quickly. No one wants to hire someone needing maternity leave in the next few months. Paying for prenatal care out of pocket was no walk in the park, and at times I was forced to choose which appointments were most important. The Spray Collar was also in development and then launched at the same time. Top it off with my first son beginning to show some developmental delays...those times were definitely a struggle. People who didn't know what I was going through made it a bit worse (albeit I'm a private person). Add that in with the typical hormones of pregnancy and let's just say, I've had better days. ;)
But everyone goes through struggle. It's a part of life. It has to rain before you see a rainbow. My family persevered because, well...God had us!
Like you, I'm trying to design a better future for my family. I do that by helping yours. :) I take concerns in the cloth diaper community and develop products that either deliver a new concept or innovate on an old one. I love marketplace choices, and my main aim is to provide more choices for parents that choose cloth.
There's a ton of hidden meanings behind how we brand Diaper Dawgs. I've managed to infuse my family and values into Diaper Dawgs in numerous ways: At one time, we had four Chihuahuas – that's why I chose "dawgs." Our family is interracial – that's why Diaper Dawgs come in two different colors. Of course our children are of many races and ethnicities – that's why the Spray Collar is a beautiful mix of four unique colors. When we brand, every product is infused with some sort of a connection to dogs and/or my family.
Dogs are "man's best friend." Helpful, loyal, companions that guard you when needed. I hope Diaper Dawgs' cloth diaper accessories continue to be your best friend when cloth diapering. Clean, Quick, and Sanitary – that's the name of our game. You chose cloth for your child. You're a phenomenal parent – let Diaper Dawgs guard you with phenomenal poop protection products that clean crap in a snap!