Post my Shark Tank appearance I had an outpouring of support by friends, family, retailers, our Facebook followers and the most rewarding... complete strangers. I also had people give me some constructive criticism which I have always welcomed. I am truly grateful for both and thank all of those for thinking of FuzziBunz so passionately.
The hard part here is to acknowledge that handful of people who haven't been constructive at all... and in fact downright hurtful, sarcastic, hateful and vulgar. I've often pondered why some people feel so compelled to throw insults at me, my company and my employees. They don't know us. But to give you a little perspective, we are real people with real feelings. Sure, I have my personal faults, but I am a mother, sister, daughter and friend. The people who work with me are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, spouses, etc. We are real people. We do not merely exist behind a computer screen.
Here's more perspective. I am very proud of the fact that FuzziBunz employs more than a dozen people. I am also proud to be now putting more people to work in the United States and creating jobs where there were once none. We are all grateful to have such wonderful jobs despite these tough economic times. Plus, FuzziBunz is sold by hundreds of other business owners who employ hundreds of other people. Thousands of families use FuzziBunz and have saved tons of money doing so too. FuzziBunz fuels our economy and puts food on many tables each night... that is why I am not giving up or giving in. There are too many livelihoods at stake.
A little more perspective... what I'm not so proud of is that the ugly part of my business is being discussed so rabidly by people who know very little about our journey or know bits and pieces. Not one of those people has walked in my shoes. But this post isn't meant to be a woe is me thing. It's just to simply meant to give perspective. I admit it. I have had manufacturing troubles. Earlier this year a batch of our diapers went out unbeknownst to us with manufacturing defects. We replaced any diaper we knew about with money out of our own pockets. The factory did nothing to compensate our loss. Our customers were of our utmost concern - nothing else. We even changed our warranty to protect our customers against future defects.
More perspective is to remind everyone that watched Shark Tank that you saw a 3 minute cut of my appearance on Shark Tank (even though I was in the tank for a lot longer). The cut was about the patent dispute. It made for great TV. For anyone worried about the future of other cloth diaper manufacturers, I'm certainly not looking to put anyone out. I'm just looking for companies who have created diapers using the innovation I patented to do the right thing through licensing and that will be pursued in due time.
The patent problem is far bigger than the general public understands, especially with the $4.00 diapers coming directly from Chinese manufacturers being sold on Ebay. This hurts the entire cloth diaper industry - not just me - however as the patent holder I am the only one that can take action to stop that and when I do the entire industry will benefit because they too will stop losing sales. I am not only thinking of myself.
I, too, am disappointed that I let my emotions get the best of me in the tank as many of you have noted. It's a heated moment, incredibly intense and in time and the sharks bring out everything - the good, the bad and the ugly. You can't help but feel emotionally-charged. I was defending a business I have loved and spent 12 years building and loving. Not everything was positive, as you saw, and I kept my cool in the tank. When you're passionate about your business, you get fired up. It's just human nature. I can't and won't apologize for being human.
Remember, life is all about how you choose to look at things. I choose to continue to make an amazing diapering product for the families of this world and I continue to improve upon it. I choose to keep fighting for what is rightfully mine. I choose to fight for FuzziBunz. I choose to give a little perspective.
Thanks for listening.