Our Story

For parents whose kids are up & about, i.e. creating a ruckus:

Lil Helper Inc. was founded and managed by university buddies Mohammed Gandhi & Nader Abu El Samid and is based in Toronto, Canada.

For the rest of us whose kids are asleep:

The germ of this venture was sown when my wife, Sophia & I (Mohammed) went to baby stores to look at cloth diapering options for our unborn child.

What we saw, we liked but on further research found that most cloth diapers were not very functional and personally, I found them appallingly expensive and lacking some function or the other.

My passion for getting the best value for my “hard-earned” money combined with an inherent curiosity drove me to design a more functional & affordable diaper that we could use on our baby.

Nader was sucked into it since he also had his evenings free and is a faster CAD monkey than yours truly (yes, we design all our stuff on CAD software).

We were trying to solve our own problem and realized that this quandary is probably being faced by other parents who want to do the right thing for their children as well as the environment, without having to sell their right kidney. In our own minds, we had magnanimously thought of ourselves as Cloth Diaper Men, who were trying to save the world from the evil paws of global warming by single-handedly preventing landfill waste created by disposable diapers.

Did I mention, that both Nader & I, hold a bachelor’s and a masters degree in aerospace engineering and take particular offense when we are not considered the biggest geeks in a room?

Lil Helper took form over two years (2009-2011) when Nader & I would meet in the evenings and weekends, after our regular day jobs working in the aircraft and space industry and obsess over tiny details of how to construct a reusable cloth diaper and other baby stuff that would be convenient, affordable, sustainable and fun. This activity was commonly perceived by our significant halves as a convenient ploy to get away from household chores and familial duties, which was not always true.

Once we had a working design for a cloth diaper, we started looking for suppliers to get the raw materials and got it sewn by a professional seamstress, who made us realize that everything that can be drawn cannot be stitched. After a few iterations, we arrived at our first design, which has also evolved with time and feedback.

As the name of our beloved company (coined by Sophia), Lil Helper is built around a simple philosophy to make products that provide a lil help to all that are involved- the babies who are our end-users, the parents (uncles, aunts, grandparents, Santa Claus, etc.) who purchase our stuff and the environment at large.

Another important premise of our business, even before it had a name or a ready product, was to set aside a portion of the profits and divert it towards a cause that would help somebody who is not as fortunate and privileged as we are. The Baby Do Good section of our website is an avenue for us to explain what we are trying to achieve as well as account for the funds we have pledged.

Please feel free to contact me (mgandhi@lilhelper.ca) with any suggestions, questions, comments, concerns or simply to point out grammatical mistakes. I love to receive mail and promise to personally read and reply to each message I receive, until an upper limit of 100 million customers. By that time we will acquire a thought reading machine.

Our Mission

  • Offer quality products at reasonable, affordable prices.
  • Provide great customer service throughout the life-cycle of the product.
  • Refuse to sell or endorse anything that we are not comfortable using on our own children. Period.
Badge
  • Allot little or no funds to extravagant luxuries like marketing or advertising, but rather to go the extra mile on customer service and let our happy lil helpers (you and your lot) be our cheerleaders.
  • Creating awareness about the benefits of cloth diapering and letting parents know that what works best for their child is also good for our planet.
  • Make our Baby Do Good program an essential part of our philosophy of doing good by doing business, as a testament of our commitment to the larger community, not a marketing gimmick.
  • Make and provide products that we are passionate about, not just because it makes a good business plan.
  • Provide products that give value for money.
  • Strive to make and promote products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Diaplant

More importantly, Lil Helper was 🙅NOT🙅 established for the following things:

  • Destroy the disposable diaper companies: We have never been deluded to think that at any point of time we will convert each and every parent to cloth diapering. All we want to do is provide the information and the resources to parents who are either thinking about it or have already committed to cloth diapers.
  • Make a quick buck: Almost everybody that we met in the baby products industry warned us against wasting our time in developing new products, especially cloth diapers, thinking we are starting it as only a get-rich-quick scheme. Luckily, we are driven by things that are far more important to us.
  • To change the world:  But perhaps by empowering enough parents to do the right thing we can collectively make that dent or at least a smidgen of a scratch.
  • Making you lose weight: Claims made by some rogue babies who are of the opinion that our products make their parents look extremely slim are false. These distortions might be due to the fact that the toddlers have yet not reached 20-20 visual acuity.
  • Improving your sex life: Stop spreading wildly insinuating rumors about our innocent products. You know who who you are. Stop.

Bios

Mohammed

Mohammed Gandhi

If you happened to call us and heard an accent on the other line – rest assured, we haven’t outsourced our customer service to India – it’s just me. Apart from manning the phone at Lil Helper, I also baby-sit my lovely daughter, Zara, and upon gentle persuasion carefully critique the wonderful cooking of Sophia, my beautiful and talented wife; she has also graciously accepted the thankless job of photography for this site in addition to being our official idea bouncer.

I am an avid reader, have never been impressed with any adaptation of books into movies, practice recycling as a religious obligation, scream like a little girl when scared, addicted to Ricky Gervais’s humor, stay-up to watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, absolutely adore my dad (my personal super hero), feel that it is essential to be nice to people at every station in life, cannot drive without listening to CBC radio and my GPS, love to write elegant code, don’t like sci-fi and live on ghazals. Most importantly, if you absolutely love any or all of our products- I deserve 50% of the praise; if you happen to disagree with them – I take 100% responsibility.

You can reach me at: mgandhi@lilhelper.ca

Nader

Nader Abu El Samid

I’m an aerospace engineer by profession, and have worked most of life after high school solving major technical issues for some of Canada’s most influential companies. What drives me more than anything though is finding ways to tie business together with a worthy cause.

Away from work, I love travelling, and one goal of mine is to visit every country on the planet. On a whim a few years back, I decided to pack my bicycle and go on a trek from southern Spain to Rome, Italy. It was during this time that my travel goal was almost cut short, because I never knew when one of those crazy drivers was going to knock me off a cliff, sending me careening into the Mediterranean. Fortunately I’m still here to tell the stories.

I live in Toronto, Canada, with Aileen, my charming wife. One thing we really enjoy doing together is cooking cuisine from places we want to visit or have already visited, and it is through this effort that I’ve discovered my favorite dish: sea urchin fried rice- I highly recommend it. And when I’m not going on suicidal journeys or aspiring to be a top chef, I direct my creative energy towards my passion for art through drawing portraits and landscapes, but lucky for our customers, I don’t plan on selling any of the work on our site.

You can reach me at: nader@lilhelper.ca

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