In June 2005 the first bumGenius product was born and it wasn’t the now famous One Size Pocket, it was the snap down One Size Microfiber Insert. Jenn Labit, owner of the cloth diaper online store Cotton Babies wrote on her website- “The Cotton Babies One-Size Microfiber Insert happened one night when I was sewing some inserts up for a customer. I had a snap press in my sewing room and late one night, totally on a whim, I added a snap to the insert to make it shorter.”
It wasn’t long until Jenn Labit designed a diaper to work with her new one size microfiber insert. Jenn was no stranger to cloth diapering, having run her online store for many years selling best sellers like Fuzzibunz, Kissaluvs, Wonderoos, and Swaddlebees. Her pocket diaper incorporated a somewhat new feature- a 3×3 Snapping Grid to adjust the rise. It was a “birth to potty” diaper that saw immediate success. The first reviews appear in January, 2006 and all refer to buying the diaper in December 2005. It is unclear if the first reviewers were testers, though that is likely the case. Today bumGenius is the best selling pocket diaper and has released their bumgenius 2.0, 3.0, and the 4.0. They expanded their product line adding fitteds (then discontinuing them), Sized All-in-Ones (then discontinuing them), Organic OS All-in-Ones, and Stay Dry OS All-in-Ones, and added sister brands like Flip and Econobum.
In more recent years bumGenius, once known for their universal and accessible pocket diapers, started designing and launching “limited edition” prints. The first print line was launched in October 2010 and called the “Artist Series” and featured artwork by Chelsea Perry. Next their “Genius Series” launched with the Albert print. Both lines have expanded with two new prints being added to the Artist Series and 15 prints have been added to the Genius Series at the date of this edit (03/15). Two of the prints were not available in all retail stores- Harper was an Abby’s Lane Exclusive and Alicia is a MommyCon Exclusive.
The prints have changed the face and feeling of the company dramatically. In 2008 when I began cloth diapering the company had the reputation of being an accessible, reliable, every day diaper that fit most babies well. It was a great beginner diaper and most families had at least one or more bumGenius diapers in their stash. In 2015 the company’s prints and their very limited availability have spawned a collector’s craze. It’s been a successful business model but not everyone is happy about the limited availability of prints and the high prices asked of certain prints on the resale market.
Now that bumGenius has announced their new exclusive print collected for Babies r Us for 2015 it looks like the brand is trying to also cater towards a mainstream audience. It will be interesting to see how bumGenius grows and balances satisfying their loyal, cultish following that obsesses over each Limited Edition print and their new target Babies “R” Us customer.