Recently, I sat down with Katherine Estrada and her twin cuties to talk about Duke and Dukette, a local business that handcrafts a variety of products designed for babies and Moms.
When I arrived at Katherine’s home, I found her measuring a thick white fabric and carefully cutting sections to be sewn into inserts. She explains the process from start to finish, meticulously working while the twins nap. She knows each customer personally and has formed a community of cloth diapering Mamas online in form of a Facebook group. Having known Katherine for over seven years, I’m seeing a much softer side to her for the first time.
Katherine has lived through several tough moments, including being homeless for much of her pregnancy. I have watched her metamorphose from a dark, fallen person into superwomen within the last two years. Even throughout her darkest moments, she has always maintained her heart of gold and remained a very special friend.
Question 1: “What was your inspiration behind Duke and Dukette?”
Katherine: After the twins were born, I found myself without financial support from their father and was struggling to make ends meet, let alone buy diapers. Things got so bad that I reached out to a friend to see if they could buy a pack of diapers for me. My friend was an angel and bought the diapers for us but also suggested that I look into cloth diapers as a more affordable alternative. I started buying inexpensive diapers that didn’t hold up in the wash and looked super bulky under the twins clothes. I was already sewing my own inserts and my oldest son asked why I wasn’t sewing my own diapers. He’s really the inspiration behind the diapers.
She believed she could, so she did. – R.S. Grey
Katherine began stitching hemp inserts and cloth wipes, then moved on to sewing high quality cloth diapers using fabrics with a funky fresh vibe. She’s now extended her line to include cloth diaper covers, breastfeeding pads, and maxaloones. Most recently, she has added Mama Cloth, an Eco-friendly reusable feminine pad made from the softest fabrics possible.
Question 2: “How do you work?”
Katherine: I work whenever the twins nap and after they fall asleep in the evening. It’s tough because there is two of them and only one of me but somehow I manage.
Question 3: “What sets your diapers apart from others?”
Katherine: From what my customers tell me, the quality of my products as well as the fabric designs that I choose. I spend a lot of time sourcing unique fabric designs; some of the fabrics I choose are a little cheeky. I’m also able to work with each Mom and customize the diaper to work best for her baby, whether that be adding an embroidered diaper cover or snaps. I really pride myself on giving excellent customer service to each person I work with.
As we continue discussing cloth diapers, really my first glimpse into this diapering world, Katherine explains the wicking process for her diapers. She sources only the best wicking material so the fabric can quickly absorb moisture and liquid away from baby’s skin.
Question 4: “What diaper variations do you offer?”
Katherine: I offer several cloth diaper options, a list can be found in the files of my Facebook group. I will say that I am known for my Tsunami Solutions style of diaper. Nothing will escape that diaper.
Question 5: “What tips do you have for the new cloth diapering Mom?”
Katherine: I always recommend to buy a little bit of everything to see what type of diapers works best for your baby. Always shop American and WAHM (work at home mom) made, not a cheapie that is mass produced. Last, choose quality over quantity because you really do get what you paid for.
Question 6: ” What is your Mom motto?”
Katherine: There’s no such thing as too much affection.
Question 7:” What can we expect to see from Duke and Dukette in the future?”
Katherine: I’m going to offer children clothes soon and have been hand dyeing my own fabric. I’m also experimenting with embroidered diaper covers. Recently, I was accepted into Melanin Made Market, a predominantly women of color Online Marketplace/Congo where WAHMs can feature their handmade items to a larger audience. Mama Cloth has really taken off and I’m having a lot of fun with that.
Where to find Duke and Dukette
Katherine currently sells all of her products exclusively in her Facebook group, Duke and Dukette BST & Chat. You can find it here. Make sure you join the group or miss fun giveways, coupon codes and exclusive sales.
To say I am proud of Katherine and her company, Duke and Dukette is an understatement. Not only is she caring for her twins as a single mom but she has created a flourishing business and continues to study accounting in her spare time. I swear she must not sleep. If you are curious about cloth diapering or currently are a #fluffbutt lover and want to know more, reach out to Katherine.
Have you ever considered using cloth diapers?