The Face of Competition

As I encounter more and more of the amazing variety of women who make up this world, I have seen something, over and over again that bears mentioning here.

That face.  The look on the face of a business owner who just discovered their idea, their creative work, being used by someone else.   Entire essays plagiarized with a few words changed. The same portrait pose, in the same place, with the same lighting.  The same business, two doors down.  Product concepts copied.  Blog design stolen.  Hard fought ideas. Truly new creative content.  Taken in the blink of an eye… by someone who said, “Wow, that’s a great idea! I should do that too.”

If you make something.  If you sell something. If you write something. If you are creative at all, you’ve felt that sinking feeling and then thought the next thought.

“How dare she…”

Maybe you’ve typed the words.  Maybe you’ve been told.

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

You’ve encountered the beast of Competition.

Sometimes Competition is a fair beast.  She’s always thinking. She never seems to go away. She creates new things. She’s inconvenient, but you know when she was right.  She competes well.

Sometimes Competition is an innocent, sweet beast. She doesn’t know the playing field yet. She’s a good person. She was just trying to get started. She had an idea and wanted to try something.  She’s learning the importance of research, sometimes the hard way.

Sometimes Competition is a bold, vindictive beast.  She doesn’t care. At all.  She’s going to do whatever she wants to do and she dares you to stop her with veiled threats about what happens if you try. She might not care about laws. Trademark, copyright, patent, intellectual property? What’s that? Isn’t everything free? No law governs her. Anarchy is her rule.

Behind that face, no matter what form she takes, is a person.  And that person is what I want to write about today.

As we encounter the face of Competition, we forget that she’s a behavior.  She’s an action. She’s the result of knowledge – or the lack of it.  She’s isn’t, however, the definition of a woman.  She doesn’t describe the future of the woman. And most importantly, she can’t define you. It’s easy to identify the beast across the street.  It’s not quite so easy to realize, or even acknowledge, that the same beast you see in her… lives in you too.

Competition can be beautiful.  She creates amazing things.  She rockets cultures and societies forward.  She innovates.  She pushes.  She chases.  The process is hard. It creates stories out of long fought battles. It’s inconvenient pressure. Without it, we might be free of one type of distraction, but we’d never grow as people or as businesses.  True economic productivity happens when we learn from Competition.  She forces us (as individuals and businesses) to move forward at a faster pace than those who will always follow.

Behind every competitive act is something or someone who wants to succeed.  She has wins.  She has losses. She progresses. She has to abide by the law. Sometimes what she does (or doesn’t do) catches up with her. Maybe she is part of your growth process.  Maybe you’re part of hers.  She may not be destined to be your friend.  But even when she isn’t your friend, she is first a person.  And Competition second.

I hope you’ll choose to think of the real person she is and, with that in mind, let your next move reflect and further define who you are, instead of what you think about what she just did to you.  I hope you’ll press on. I hope you’ll let it make you better… not bitter.  Most of all, I hope you’ll promote peace, be it through your words or through your silence.

None of us are perfect.  But we are all the same. Human.

Over 1700 diapers available for needy families in St. Louis

Diaper need is a silent epidemic in the United States. According to a recent study by Huggies, one in three families are forced to choose between household necessities and diapers.

Diapers are one of the most expensive costs associated with raising a baby. No government assistance exists to help families in need with the cost of diapers. Diapers cannot be purchased with WIC or SNAP benefits. Yet, diapers are a basic necessity to keep a baby clean and dry. Without an adequate supply of disposable diapers parents resort to rationing by leaving them on babies longer and to drying soiled diapers to reuse them. This can lead to a heartbreaking array of problems such as rash and infection for babies and significant emotional stress for parents.

In response to this growing epidemic Cotton Babies, Inc., created Share the Love, a cloth diaper bank, which has since grown since 2012 to include 125 locations nationwide. Share the Love brings hope to struggling families by offering reusable cloth diaper loans to qualifying families.

Due to a recent influx of cloth diaper donations, the St. Louis locations of Share the Love have over 1700 diaper changes available for distribution. These donated diapers have the potential to save local families the purchase of nearly 400,000 disposable diapers this year alone. Parents can visit for information about applying for a cloth diaper loan from Share the Love.

For more information about the Share The Love cloth diaper bank and how you can help, please email

Does Cotton Babies have patents?

Details on the utility and design patents that are applicable to Cotton Babies patents, the products those patents apply to, as well as product origin can be found summarized below.  Actual issued patents are public record and are available for download at the USPTO.  This information may not be a complete summary of all intellectual property held by Cotton Babies or it’s owners.

Cotton Babies is unable to answer questions about whether or not a product infringes on these patents. We recommend that you consult an attorney for patent advice if needed. Licenses may be available under certain circumstances.

bumGenius 4.0
U.S. Pat. 7,629,501; 8,777,915; 8,062,276; 8,518,007.  Other U.S. and International patents pending.
Diaper made in USA of domestic and imported materials.
Insert made in China.

bumGenius Freetime
U.S. Pat. 8,409,163; 8,062,276; 8,777,915; D708,319; D708,320; D708,321; D708,739. Chinese Invention Patent No. ZL 201280044006.8. Other U.S. and International patents pending.
Made in the USA of domestic and imported materials.

bumGenius Elemental
U.S. Pat. 8,992,498; 8,062,276; 8,777,915; D708,319; D708,320; D708,321; D708,739.  Other U.S. and International patents pending.
Made in the USA of domestic and imported materials.

Flip Diaper Covers
U.S. Pat. 8,518,007; 8,062,276; 8,777,915; D708,319; D708,320; D708,321; D708,739.  Other U.S. and International patents pending.
Made in USA of domestic and imported materials.

Flip Potty Trainers
U.S. Pat. 8,430,857. Canada Pat. 2,844,249.  Other U.S. & International patents pending.
Made in USA of domestic and imported materials.

Milk Daze Nursing Pads
U.S. Pat. US D736,909.
European Registered Community Design 001400246-0001
Made in USA of imported materials.

Jennifer Labit is the Founder & CEO of Cotton Babies, Inc. She created bumGenius, a world-leading brand of cloth diapers. Here, she writes about everything from her experiences in the baby industry to her journey through merging motherhood with full-time corporate leadership.