The bottom line
Why keep cheap, quality products to yourself?

by P.J. Harston
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 13/96) - Like all new mothers, Shana Turner wanted the best for Colton when he was born eight months ago.

And like many mothers, she turned to cloth diapers for her newborn son. They're better for the environment, some argue they're better for baby's tender skin, and in the long run they're cheaper.

"I sat down and figured it out one day. If you buy disposable diapers, it's going to cost about $2,500 from birth to the end of potty training," said Turner.

On the other hand, cloth diapers -- including water for washing, detergent and power costs -- only cost about $1,000 over two-and-a-half to three years, she said.

But, when Turner went looking for cloth diapers in Yellowknife, the selection was limited.

"I ended up ordering some from down south, but that almost always turns into a hassle," she said.

That's when Turner came up with the idea to start her own diaper-supply business.

"I didn't know what I was getting into at first, but I had what I thought was a good idea, and I was doing it for the right reasons," she said.

Baby and Me has grown in eight short months from a business devoted solely to diapers to include vitamins and skin care products.

"Right now I'm just finishing paying down the debt I went into to get things started, but business has been good," said Turner.

A licensed business owner, Turner said filling out the forms to make sure Baby and Me was legal within city limits wasn't as painful as she expected.

And starting up a business of her own has provided her with more time for Colton.

"I take him with me when I make house calls, unless it's in the evening, then he stays home with his dad," said Turner.

Formerly a waitress, retail worker and child-care teacher, Turner said she thinks she made the right move -- not just for herself, but for Colton and her customers.

"I feel bad charging people a lot of money for something they need.

"Maybe it's because I haven't been in business that long, but I don't see why I need to put a huge mark-up on these products," she said.

Turner promotes her business by putting posters up around town, making the rounds of pre-natal classes and breast-feeding groups and by word of mouth.

But her message is never: "Buy my product and support my business."

Instead, it's: "Do what's best for you, you're baby and the environment."

After all, said Turner, "you can never go wrong with a positive message."