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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | HEARD ON THE BEAT / SMALL BUSINESS

New Diaper Service Brightens Bottom Line for South County

May 31, 2000|Marc Ballon | Marc Ballon covers small business and entrepreneurial issues for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-7439 and at marc.ballon@latimes.com

When Tidy Didy Diaper Service made its final run in late January, Orange County customers living south of Irvine were left with two stark choices. They could either clean mountains of dirty cloth diapers themselves or switch to disposables, which many cloth diaper enthusiasts view as bad for babies' bottoms and the environment.

Tidy Didy had been the only diaper outfit that serviced all of Orange County.

In May, though, Dy-Dee Diaper Service began delivering cloth diapers to Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo residents. The Pasadena-based company expanded there after receiving a rash of phone calls and faxes from former Tidy Didy customers requesting the service. So far, only 11 Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo families have signed up, but the company is planning an advertising campaign to drum up more business, Dy-Dee owner Brian O'Neil said. If business does boom, Dy-Dee might expand to Dana Point and San Clemente in the near future, O'Neil added.

Laguna Niguel resident Shawn Shannon, a 43-year-old jewelry expert at Nordstrom, said she is glad to have Dy-Dee in the neighborhood. Until recently, she had been washing as many as 100 diapers a week to keep son Jake in cloth, she said.

"Think of all the diapers that aren't going to end up in the landfill because of this," Shannon said.

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