Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meet The San Diego Mama Behind...

Growing up as the oldest of 9 (yes, 9) children, I helped out a lot with my younger siblings...which included changing the occasional diaper. My mom used cloth diapers for most of her children, and I remember the yucky task of rinsing them out...ewwww. Cloth diapers became almost extinct after that for many reasons, but they have since returned as the most eco-friendly way to diaper babies. And for Linda Byerline,the mom behind Happy Heiny's, medically necessary for her daughter.

Check out San Diego mom Linda Byerline who is helping moms nationwide find great alternatives to disposable diapers.

How long have you lived here?
All my life

Why did you start your business?
I founded Happy Heiny’s in 2002, in response to the birth of our daughter, Sarah Grace. Sarah Grace was born prematurely and developed chronic lung disease from the ventilator that helped to save her life.

Heeding our doctor’s advice, we began using cloth diapers. Miraculously, after switching Sarah Grace to cloth diapers, Sarah Grace’s doctors documented a 50 percent decrease in her need for hospitalization and medication. Unable to utilize disposable diapers due to Sarah Grace’s medical condition and allergies, I designed and sewed my own cloth diapers that fit my daughter comfortably and didn’t cause diaper rash.

As I continued to sew cloth diapers occasionally I would have extra’s that I would sell on eBay. Much to my surprise, the cloth diapers were quickly selling on the site for as much as $250 per diaper! My husband and I quickly realized that other mothers could benefit from safe and easy-to-use cloth diapers and thus, Happy Heiny’s was “born.”

What is your favorite thing about writing running your business?
My favorite thing about running my own business is kind of a hard question because there are so many favorites. I love making the rules, this means if someone walks into the store and they really need something but can’t afford it I can decide to offer that item at a price they can afford and it makes me feel good in the long run. I get to make the hours and the days off. I get to decide if I want to go on this school field trip or the next one or maybe I just want to go hang out with the kids at school on their lunch break. I also get to allow my employees (who are all mothers) to do the same. I know how good it makes me feel to be able to do that with my kids so I know how good they feel getting to do it as well.

What is your all-time favorite thing about living in San Diego?
The weather! Now is there any other answer? We love playing in the snow and at the beach on the same day.

Where is your favorite place to eat in San Diego?
We are rather boring when it comes to the food. I love Por Favor in El Cajon on Main St. For nice dinners, we love Donovans. But most of the time we head out to the trusted Soup Plantation, Chili’s, Olive Garden, or Rubios.

Where is your favorite place to go with your child/children in San Diego?
I really love going to some of the local hidden areas. Like out to Mission Trails Park in Santee by the old dam. It’s a lot of fun to go by the river and see how fast it can run. The trails are perfect for kids, they have both short and long trails depending on how long you want to be out. There are a lot of animals all over the place and the plant life can start some great conversations. The other favorite we have is Silver Strand Beach in Coronado. We love going out there especially during low tide to go sand dollar hunting. They are all over the place out there as are the huge clams. This beach is almost always quite empty so it is great for local family time.

Where is your favorite place to go without your child (with your husband or girlfriends)?
You mean we are supposed to go out WITHOUT kids? That is one of those things that I do not quite understand. We have very few trips out in the pubic without kids and usually if we do, we just go to dinner and the movies. A great girls day out is shopping, of course, and getting a mani/pedi.

Any insider San Diego secrets to share?
You have to try the real Mexican restaurants. Not taco bell or a drive through but a real Mexican restaurant. The food at almost all of them is great. The valley has the best shopping malls in my opinion but the East County malls have the better prices or you can go to Viejas for a great deal.

There are lots and lots of great places to go and see that will cost lots of money. Save some of your money and go to the hidden areas and see how truly beautiful San Diego is.

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