Welcome to my my blog! 

Here you can read news about EcoBrats in Ireland and about my personal (and continuing) journey in setting up this business. Originally I had also intended to post information and advice relating to ethical living and a number of green parenting issues but I have subsequently decided to set up a website dedicated to this purposes - more information coming soon!

Green parenting is not something to be practiced by an elite few with money to burn but an economic, practical solution to increasing prices, dwindling natural reserves and a polluted environment.

I believe firmly that we should give our children the best start in life possible and here at EcoBrats we strive to provide some of the tools required to do this.

I am available to give real nappy demonstrations and talk on a range of topics, in the Limerick area. If you would like to book a demonstration/talk, please don't hesitate to email or alternatively call on 061 748498.

01 March 2009

Orgasmic Birth

Now here's a curious thing I came across today.

I have read numerous books about natural childbirth and come across the fact that many women can experience childbirth seemingly painlessly. But what I came across today takes it one step further; women who actually experience pleasure, akin to an orgasm, whilst giving birth.

My first thought was, "only in America", but having watched the trailer (and yes, there is a film!), I can completely see myself buying into something like this! I'm even considering selling them on the website if the documentary is all its cracked up to be.

I was all up for trying the au naturale way with DS but unfortunately, due to some complications, I had to be under consultant led care in a hospital, plus DS was already 16 days overdue (so water birth was out), and one thing led to another, yada, yada, yada... c-section and huge dissapointment!

If I ever manage to get pregnant again, which is a long shot via egg donation route, then I am determined to have a natural birth. Fingers-crossed, with baba 2 there will be no complications (no pesky ovaries left to interfer with matters!), which means that I can have the kind of birthing experience I have always wanted.

All I need to do now is get pregnant and find a midwife willing to help with a VBAC home waterbirth - simples!

28 February 2009

So many things, so little time

I'm sure everyone feels like this sometimes; you have so many things that urgently need doing NOW, that you sit down and think carefully how you're going to prioritise these important jobs, then before you know it, the whole day has gone by, and still not a thing done!

This is pretty much how I've been feeling for the last couple of weeks. Got a great response from the slot on TV3 a couple of weeks ago, but as well as bringing in the orders, it also highlighted essential changes that need to be made to the website and my business practices generally. Add to this a house that doesn't clean itself, dinners that never cook themselves and a 17 month old monkey running wild around the place, is it any wonder I'm having difficultly getting organised?!?

I've been putting off organising the last little bits of my June (6th) wedding for so long, that I now think it is too late to order the bridesmaids dresses I have been coverting for the last 6 months. And somebody tell me who's idea it was to make their own wedding invites?!?!?!

13 February 2009

Undercut By Aldi!

I couldn't believe it when I found out yesterday that Aldi are going to have Ecoballs 150 on special offer from Sunday.

For only 7.99 Euro you can buy genuine Ecoballs, good for 150 washes, which I retail at almost twice this price. I think that fair competition is fine, don't get me wrong, but there is no way that I can compete with this. I'm not even sure if I got them this cheap wholesale! On the plus side, perhaps I should use this opportunity to replenish my stock! :-)

My only hope is that this will create a buzz that will continue long after Aldi's supplies run out and that I can capitalise on this. A small part of my also hopes that people will value my excellent customer service and want to support a home-grown business; unfortunately, it is hard to ignore the pure economics, especially in times of recession.

Great news though for everyone that wants to save money on their laundry and be kinder to the environment. Its a good job Aldi don't sellt he refills as well!

11 February 2009

5 Minutes of Fame on Ireland AM!

Thanks to a very friendly producer on the Ireland AM breakfast show on TV3, I was able to get a 5 minute slot last Friday, talking about going green and saving money.

Given that I only had 5 minutes to speak and the fact that I needed a range of products to show, I decided to go for the real nappies (and a couple of alternatives to conventional washing power) over eco cleaning products and making your own cosmetics/baby ointments - saving these for another show! :-)

The staff at the studio were really friendly and I was enthused by the fact they were all asking me questions about the products before [and after] we went on air.

I got a great response from the segment, with more people looking at the website in one day than I had, had in the last 2 months combined! A few sales were generated and some really valuable enquires. It's also great to see that other people are starting to talk about EcoBrats on the internet, not just me.

All in all a great experience and definitely worth the trouble of sending the initial email.

15 January 2009

Now what?!?

This is the first time in ages that I have posted, following my initial enthusiasm for setting up a blog.

I took time away from everything, working non stop for weeks in an effort to get EcoBrats.ie up and running for the end of November. I thought that once I had it all up and running that the rest would be plain sailing - how wrong I was!

Getting the website online is just the beginning of it!

I thought that at the start of a recession, cloth nappies would be the way forward for many from a purely economical point of view but I seriously underestimated the need for people in Ireland to be educated about modern reusable nappies.

Even getting my website to the top of the Google organic search is no good if people aren't searching for real nappies - here's were the real work begins!

So my website is up and running, now what?!

I have serious work to do to get my site up the Google organic rankings and advertising is a potential minefield for me with not much money to invest after obtaining my initial stock. I had lots of ideas but everything takes so much time! Watch this space!

09 October 2008

EcoBrats Featured in Limerick Today!

Very excited that EcoBrats got its first mention in the local press yesterday!

The article is about people starting out in business during a recession and it came about as a result of a course the I am doing at the moment, run by the Limerick County Enterprise Board.

The section about EcoBrats didn't come out exactly as I intended, so I just wanted to address a couple of points here and re-emphasize what I meant:

"Claire believes the fact she is selling products aimed at boosting babies' health should mean everyone possible can get hold of products."
Claire really believes that everyone should be able to access the tools and equipment needed to give their children the best start in life and she aims to supply some of these items in Ireland, particularly focusing on making them more accessible in the Limerick area.

"She is planning to hold events in Limerick, and will try and give families on low incomes a discount."
I am happy to demonstrate/show any of my products in the Limerick area and will be implementing a discount scheme for families on low incomes (details to be confirmed - watch this space!).

Quote "For people on really low incomes (low income would have done!), when you tell them there is a cost saving, that's wonderful, but if they are buying disposable nappies, its a few euros each week, and that's manageable. But with cloth nappies, its a huge chunk (its not a huge chunk - just a bigger chunk than buying disposables every week!) all at the beginning, which is something that people may struggle with."

"To this end, Claire is planning a 'part-payment' scheme to aid people."
Claire will be implementing a deposit scheme in the Limerick area, whereby people can pay for their cloth nappies over a period of time (usually during the pregnancy). When baby is born there will be a two week nappy trial (nappy trials on a rental basis will be available in addition to the deposit scheme) after which someone can either commit to their original order or receive a full refund, minus a small amount (typically less than 20 Euro) usually charged for the trial.

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