Owner Speaks Out After 'Distasteful' Adult Baby Store Viewed as 'Fetish' Shop Sparks Outrage in Community
The owner of an adult diaper store is speaking out after being met with a wave of backlash over its storefront that appears to cater to a community known as the Adult Baby Diaper Lovers (AB/DL).
John-Michael Williams is the owner of Tykables, the company that recently opened a brick-and-mortar store in the Mount Prospect suburb of Chicago.
But in a recent town hall meeting, members of the community expressed their distaste to the concept of the "immoral" store, arguing that they may have deceived the city when Tykables opened its doors.
According to Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek, Tykables owners applied for the property located only blocks from an elementary school to be used as an office for their online and in-store sales for adult diapers, as well as housed trade show props like an 11-foot-tall crib, giant high chair and ball pit and other items.
In a statement to InsideEdition.com, Tykables owner John-Michael Williams wrote that that is in fact the intention of the storefront, despite the YouTube video uploaded by the store just hours before its grand opening, that features the Williams speaking clad in a T-shirt and an adult diaper.
"Not everybody has access to a nursery," Williams, who also currently serves as a National Guard in the army, said in the video, "so we wanted to provide one."
He pans the camera as he walks through the store, which also includes a 5.5 foot tall rocking horse and adult size tricycles.
For privacy, floor to ceiling windows were covered by multi-colored blocks, and doors are locked, unless a customer rings and requests to come in.
"I chose the wrong words in our YouTube video as it was ad lib," Williams later said. He clarified to InsideEdition.com that even though he showed off the features of the office, "we do not intend for people to stay and play."
He also encouraged customers to come by and schedule a photo shoot in the video, but later said photo shoots were only to be conducted after hours, with models for the store's products.
Tykables has been a long-running online store, specializing in selling adult-sized diapers, which are shipped around the U.S. and Canada as well as internationally.
"We strive to express the innocence of childhood back to our adult lives," their company website writes. "As adults, we have so many things going on in our lives that warrant real world stress. A kids' biggest concern and stress should be what Santa is bringing them."
While they cater to the AB/DL community, they also take pride in serving adults with disabilities and incontinence.
Their online store even boasts 18 raving reviews from a variety of customers. Some write that the fit and design is preferable to other adult diapers catering to the AB/DL community, while others write that they wet the bed and their wives are grateful to the brand.
Despite the long history and strong online presence of Tykables, members of the suburban community in which they opened their storefront feel they lied on their application to open their business.
A mom raised concerns that because the store was located within walking distance to a nearby elementry school, kids would be exposed to an immoral lifestyle, even though the Mayor Juracek reassured that their windows were covered at all times, visits and photo shoots were by appointment only, and the doors are always locked with a sign that states, "ring bell for service."
Another man spoke up about his property possibly being devalued because of the clientele the store might attract.
But the mayor said in the town hall that because it does not violate any laws, there is likely little the community can do to evict it, and compares Tykables to a "restaurant with scantily clad waitresses."
Furthermore, one man who spoke up in favor of the storefront said he decided to pay the shop a visit before deciding his position on the issue.
"Today I went to the store and met the owner who was in the video," he said, addressing the community. "He was fully dressed, looking very professional. The office was immaculate. It was an empty facility for a long time, and this is a multi-million dollar business that's moved into the facility."
He continued that he was told the owners of the business were veterans, and they cater to a clientele that might be suffering from PTSD or other traumas associated with war.
"I know pedophilia is a big concern, but these people like to pretend they're infants — literally," he said. "They're not having sex with their diapers on. They're having people feed them, and act like a baby.
"Maybe these people are hurting," he said.