Pregnancy and becoming a mom is a beautiful time—but it’s not always easy when it comes to clothing and fashion. Many expectant mothers find themselves alienated to a sad rack at the back of stores, with no good options to express their style. How is Storq providing a solution here, and what trends in the market inspired it? How do the founders of Storq make sure they stay true to their core values and make a difference for women?
On this episode, I’m joined by the co-founders of Storq, Courtney Klein and Grace Kapin who share the story of their brand.
3 Things We Learned From This Episode
Changing trends and shifts in motherhood (02:44 - 03:13)
The age of first time moms is increasing year after year, and there are more kids being born to mothers over 30. This is a market of women that are in the workplace and have more disposable income, but don’t always get the service and attention they deserve from the fashion world.
How the identity aspect plays into motherhood (09:19 - 10:02)
A lot of women experience a loss of identity when they get pregnant and have children. The world expects them to be fulfilled by motherhood alone, and they can be made to feel like something’s wrong with them if they aren’t.
The Storq values and how they serve women (18:20 - 21:47)
Pregnancy fashion isn’t always portrayed in a way that caters to comfort for women. This is what drove Courtney and Grace to build a brand that would become a solution-oriented resource for real women and mothers to get through their day without having to struggle with what to wear or feel invisible because of their clothing.
It’s so important for us to build a world that is conducive to mothers so that they can feel celebrated, understood, and valued. The result is a world of moms who can find fulfillment in different places, and happier moms mean happier children, which is great for all of us.
After hearing countless complaints from friends and family about the lack of chic, simple maternity options on the market, Courtney Klein set out to create a one-stop online resource for chic and practical maternity essentials. As a former partner at design agency Hard Candy Shell, Courtney worked to build digital products for companies like Disney and eBay prior to launching Storq in January of 2014.
Shortly after the launch, her pal Grace Kapin came on board as Creative Director. Having worked in fashion for nearly a decade, Grace immediately understood that pregnant women were overlooked by the fashion industry at large. A few months after diving into this project, Courtney learned she was pregnant with her first child. Four years in, the Storq team now includes three semi-productive, unpaid baby interns ranging in age from 8 months to nearly 4 years old and the company-wide napping policy is correspondingly permissive. Go to https://storq.com/ for more information.
It’s difficult to maintain a work-family balance when we are trying to get a new business off the ground. How can professional support help us? How does entering business awards help structure our business? How can we inspire our children to be entrepreneurs? In this episode, Stacey Morgan shares how she maintains her home life alongside her professional life, and explains how entering awards changed her perspective on her business.
Some days I’m a really good business owner, some days I’m a really good mom, and some days I’m a mix of both—and that’s ok. -Stacey Morgan
3 Things We Learned From This Episode
Don’t rely on support from your family only (04:57- 07:15)
We often feel the need to put on the façade of ‘everything’s going great’ when speaking about our business to our family because we don’t want them to lose confidence in us. We need to have a community of professionals in the same position as us with whom we can speak openly and honestly about the challenges we face.
It’s not natural to be a 24-hour mom (7:17-9:30)
We are inclined to think that if we don’t want to spend 24 hours a day with our children we are bad parents. This is not true to even previous eras of parenting. We need to balance the time we spend parenting and working to avoid feeling exhausted and resentful, and so that we can make the most of the time we have with our children.
Applying for awards helps you structure your business (13:41-15:35)
As business owners we keep a lot of information in our heads and hardly ever communicate it to others. Entering business awards puts us on the spot in terms of all aspects of our business and it forces us to answer questions we have never considered. We stand to gain a well-rounded perspective of our business, see where we’re doing well and what we need to work on.
As mothers and business owners, we need to distinguish between our two roles whilst also recognizing where the positive overlaps are. Our family should not be our only source of support for our business, and we shouldn’t feel like we are neglecting them by not being there 24/7. We need a professional team and support structure so that we can take the time for our families. We must also make time for opportunities that can help our businesses grow, even when their value is not immediately evident. Entering awards is an extremely useful exercise as it makes us take a closer look at how our business is performing.
Stacey Morgan, Founder and Principal of Port Macquarie Performing Arts (PMPA) and Podcast Host, is a passionate dance educator from Wauchope, NSW. She has received numerous awards at the Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards, namely, Excellence in Technology 2012, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, 2015 and 2016, and Excellence in Innovation 2015. Stacey grew up dancing under the expert instruction of Francessca O’Donnell and gained her Associate Teaching Diploma from the British Ballet Association. She went on to dance professionally overseas and in Australian productions of musicals like Grease, Gypsy and 42nd Street. Stacey has a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Dance and a Bachelor of Education in Drama from the Queensland University of Technology, and she also has her Masters in Arts Education - majoring in Dance Teaching - from Deakin University. Prior to opening PMPA, she was Education Manager for the Royal New Zealand Ballet where she facilitated a nation-wide education program for dance. Stacey is the co-host of Miss Bossy Boots, a podcast inspiring leadership for Women in Business.
Moms have a lot on their plates, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We all know that juggling children with a career can be tiring, but could there be another reason we’re feeling overwhelmed? What can we do to work around it all? Join me on this episode as I talk with the star of reality show Hannah, Help Me! and founder of Mom Mastery University, Hannah Keeley. Hannah shares how she has made a career of teaching moms and tells us how to excel in all areas.
When moms learn to work with the way that their brain is wired, amazing things happen. -Hannah Keeley
3 Things We Learned From This Episode
Stay present and be strategic (08:55- 10:51)
Zone in on one thing at a time. When you’re with your kids, stay completely in-tune with them. The same goes for business: in the time you allocate to work, focus fully on the tasks at hand. You need to adhere to separate business and family time parameters to make the most of both.
Moms work differently (13:50- 16:45)
Mom’s brains are wired differently from everyone else. The gift of multitasking sounds great- until your inability to focus on singular tasks starts to affect your work results. You’re not alone in this: it’s something most, if not all, moms experience. The first step you need to take is acknowledging that motherhood changes the way you approach everything- then you can start finding ways to work with it, not against it.
Work like a woman (17:32- 19:48)
Women have been conditioned to believe they need to put their womanhood aside to do well in business. That kind of thinking is not only inaccurate, but can even lead to lower levels of productivity. Work with your womanhood in mind, and leverage it.
When you become a mom, a lot of things change. Business is no exception. However, being a mom doesn’t mean you have to stop doing business: it just means you need to adapt. Stop pressuring yourself to work less like a mom- or even less like a woman in general. You’re wired differently and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Hannah Keeley is the founder of Mom Mastery University. With a background in behavioral therapy- and the experience of being a mom to seven kids- Hannah is passionate about teaching mothers how to excel in business and at home. She believes the key to unlocking amazing potential comes from moms realizing that they’re wired differently, and need to work accordingly.
You can hear more from Hannah on her podcast: https://player.fm/series/crazy-blessed-with-hannah-keeley
You can also find out more about Hannah on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hannahkeeleyfriends/