Bummis began as the proverbial “kitchen table business”, started by three mothers who were using cloth diapers on their own babies and were inspired to create the products they themselves needed. That was way back in the 1980’s. It remained a home business until it grew too large to fit into any home! Since then, Bummis has grown and prospered while staying true to the vision that inspired its inception and the values that fuelled its growth.
We believe that once parents see how easy it is to use cloth diapers, they will use them! So we focus on making it easy – through the products we design and distribute, the washing and using information we disseminate and the customer service we are so passionate about.
We also believe that the bottom line is not only about money and profit – but that it is also about the well being of our company and the people who work in it, our suppliers, our clients, and our community - both our local community and our industry. We believe that the way we do business matters, and that business can be an important vehicle for social change.
We live on a wonderful little cloth diapering planet here at Bummis that we and our employees have created. Both our factory and our office are lovely spaces with lots of plants and natural light. We have a beautiful retail store in Montreal where we sell cloth diapers, baby carriers and breastfeeding accessories. In addition, we have a shipping warehouse and a small staff in upstate NY, in the very scenic 1000 Islands. We all really enjoy working on our special little planet refuge at Bummis, and we have a great team - all of whom care passionately about what we do and how we do it.
We produce everything we can in our factory in the Montreal area, and we use North American components as much as is humanly possible. For the products and components unavailable to us here in North America, we work with our long-time, reputable partners in the UK and Pakistan. Everything – both manufactured here and imported - is tested for non-toxicity and also where relevant for good biodegradability standards.
As soon as we were able to do so, we switched our cloth diapers to GOTS certified organic cotton. Even though our prefolds by the dozen are now slightly more expensive than non-organic options, we feel that it is completely worth it – both for us and for consumers. Using organic cotton further reduces the carbon footprint of using cloth diapers, and it protects everyone in the chain – from grower to sewer to baby. It also protects the earth from the chemical overuse that threatens soil, air, water and biodiversity, and promotes a more sustainable way of life.
Shirley and Betsy have been working together since 2000, and have made it their mission to establish Bummis as a sustainable model of business - one that supports community in many different ways. And community at Bummis means more than just local - it involves employees, clients, suppliers and fellow industry members. Their focus is on the impact of their business on environment and community - in a social, ecological and spiritual sense.
Biochemistry was my original calling in life. But once I had children, I wanted to be there for them and my job as a biochemistry specialist, installing systems in hospital laboratories and performing statistical analysis, did not allow this. So I started my own business in the basement of my house - manufacturing baby accessories.
One of my best customers during this time was Boutique Bummis! Betsy and I developed a close relationship and eventually decided to join forces. Since that point, although my primary focus has always been my children, promoting cloth diapering has become a big part of my life.
My two boys have grown, as has Bummis, and they are now teenagers with a love of school, each other and hockey. Family is my greatest passion but I also love great food and wine, hockey and building business in an ethical and eco-friendly way. I have been an active volunteer in my local community and have managed many of my sons’ minor sports teams.
I am responsible for the production, design and research & development departments at Bummis.
I’ve been working on Bummis since 1988! I was born in the US but have lived in Montreal for many years, and am a dual Canadian/US citizen. This has led to Bummis having a strong presence in both countries.
With a background in Art History, I had to learn about business in a truly gritty fashion – from the ground up! I started working on Bummis as a young mother and first developed products by experimenting on my own babies and those of my friends. Over the years I have been a passionate user and advocate of cloth diapering, baby wearing, alternative medicine, VBAC and home birth, and alternative financing. I compost and recycle, and buy local and organic foods wherever possible. My husband and I home-schooled our 3 sons - and so like many business-mothers, I grew the business slowly but steadily at the same time as raising my family. It was pretty wild at times! But the phenomenal growth and success of Bummis is mirrored by these 3 now enormous and lovely young men we raised. I love to kayak and travel – and I am deeply grateful that I am able to earn my living by selling cloth diapers.
I am responsible for sales, administration and retail operations at Bummis.