gDiapers is one of the most recognizable names in the reusable diaper category. As a global brand, found in nearly every major baby retailer, these disposable inserts are eco-friendly and growing in popularity. Started by Jason Graham-Nye and his wife Kim after the birth of their first child, gDiapers is striving to help the environment and be a cost effective alternative to traditional diapers.
Graham-Nye is the father of two boys, one Aussie, one American, and in our interview he talks about the shocking statistic that became the catalyst for creating gDiapers, how he stays connected to his family while serving as CEO, and the loose meaning behind the “g” in gDiaper.
What was the inspiration behind starting gDiapers?
Our first son Fynn arrived 12 years ago and we were just stunned that 95% of the world used a single-use plastic diaper that end sup in landfill for 500 years. We were not entrepreneurs not were we product engineers but it just seemed totally illogical.
Where did the name gDiapers come from?
g stands for global, genuine, green, goo goo, gaa gaa - whatever you want it to mean!
As a dad, launching a product in a space more traditionally known to moms, what obstacles did you have to overcome to be successful?
I think as parents our experiences are universal so there were not too many obstacles. For Mums and Dads looking for an alternative diaper as we were, we can connect and converse pretty easily.
How did those experiences help shape your approach today?
I think the key is to be genuine - Fair Dinkum as we say back home in Australia. As a company we have shared the experience warts and all and I think that is appealing to Mums and Dads who are used to being sold to. We are big fans of spotting “magical thinking” in marketing and de-bunking it. For example - “Drink this beer and you will be popular”. The more genuine you are, the more real the relationships we have with our suppliers and our customers, the more trust can be built over time.
Are you seeing the parenting industry change its approach to dads, as they become more engaged in the parenting role?
I think there is a bit of an effort but it is still 90% Mums. Our society is so poorly structured to incorporate Dads into child-rearing. Rare is it to hear about “paternity leave” for example.
Since starting gDiaper, how have you seen fathers become more involved in selecting diapers and baby products for their children?
I have seen a small but growing shift of Dads getting more involved in diapers.
As a father and CEO, how do you balance running a company and still connecting with your family and children daily?
That is a daily exercise and includes a little meditation and running to get myself sorted out before attempting to be fully present to the kids before they head off to school. As my wife is the President / co-founder, we are in the fortunate position of being able to share the journey of building a company together. More broadly for our team, since we launched the company we have had onsite daycare, 6 months paid maternity leave, 4 week PTO all in an effort to have our team be the best parents they can be while being a part of g.
What’s next for gDiapers?
Kim & I are developing a program around mindfulness for our gMums and gDads that we are really excited about. It’s not about how to parent, rather it gives people the tools to discover their own best approaches to parenting. It’s about turning up the volume on your own intuition so you can be the parent you were born to be. More to come!
In a recent blog post on gdiapers.com, Jason acknowledged the difficulties of running a small successful business. Indicating the need to find new capitol, trying to avoid being a “mainstream” company, and expansion into new markets. It highlights the difficulties of being a small business owner and trying to create products that live up to the morals and standards you believe. It’s an insightful read.
This interview is part of our ongoing series with leaders from companies involved in parenting products or issues. Who would you like to hear from? Leave a suggestion in the comments below.
You can subscribe and download the “Dads Who Diaper” podcasts on iTunes here.