This Female Founder’s Pregnancy Subscription Is A Favorite of Celebrity Moms And Supports Other Women Entrepreneurs

#PEAlum, #PEIntensive17, Advice, female founders, Monday Motivation, subscription services

Mondays can be rough—sometimes we need a little motivation to get the week started. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from Project Entrepreneur Alumnae—female founders who applied to the Project Entrepreneur Venture Competition to attend our two-day PE Intensive and join a nationwide community of hundreds of women entrepreneurs. Get to know more about the PE Community and #beinspired by how these women motivate themselves each Monday to tackle the week ahead.

Ericka Perry is the Founder and CEO of The Stork Bag, a pregnancy subscription bag that meets mothers’ trimester and postpartum needs. Ericka is a mother herself, and her company is unique in that the products included in the subscription bag are sourced by other mothers and created by women entrepreneurs! We spoke with Ericka about the personal need that led her to create The Stork Bag, the challenges of curating products for a subscription service, and how she’s building The Stork Bag to disrupt the prenatal wellness space.

Ericka Perry is the Founder and CEO of The Stork Bag, a pregnancy subscription bag that meets mothers’ trimester and postpartum needs.
Photo courtesy Ericka Perry/The Stork Bag

What inspired you to start your business?

The Stork Bag was born out of a personal shopping experience as I shopped for a first-time mom, I discovered a gap in the market and decided to fill it with The Stork Bag. I’ve always been very passionate about helping women through service and providing ways to make motherhood a little easier, especially during such an important time in their lives. The strength of a woman as she enters motherhood drives me to create and serve [mothers] in a way that hasn’t been done.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

I’ve faced many challenges, but through each challenge I’ve learned what not to do and how to handle [similar] situations in the future. One of the main challenges that I’ve faced in my business is [navigating] the subscription model’s dynamics as they relate to product curation. For us, it is important to ensure we are providing value and consistency with our Stork Bags, [but] as we scale, product curation and planning poses a new set of challenges. When the brands we partner with unexpectedly go out of businesses, we are forced to scramble to find a replacement product, which can pose an issue if we aren’t prepared.

Ericka Perry is the Founder and CEO of The Stork Bag, a pregnancy subscription bag that meets mothers’ trimester and postpartum needs.
Photo courtesy Ericka Perry/The Stork Bag

What’s been the greatest reward?

Flexibility—the ability to create and serve without restrictions is a great reward. Also, when thinking of the most rewarding part about entrepreneurship, I would say the leadership aspect is equally rewarding for me.

What changes would you most like to see in your industry, and how are you working to make those changes happen?

I believe pregnant and postpartum women should have more options when it comes to self-care during this particular stage in their lives. I would also like to see a shift in the way we see mothers in entrepreneurship and corporate America—with the focus centered more on our innate leadership abilities. I will continue to innovate and serve this population while highlighting other female/mom entrepreneurs and opening up more opportunities for them to lead and create.

Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?

Customers, family and passion. Each time a customer informs us of how much she loved her Stork Bag, this is great motivation. I also heavily rely on the support of my husband and kids, and they not only keep me motivated, but grounded as well. Lastly, without passion, I probably would’ve stopped when I suffered my first setback.

Photo courtesy Ericka Perry/The Stork Bag
Photo courtesy Ericka Perry/The Stork Bag

Can you provide a few updates on what’s new with your business or what you’ve accomplished since you attended the PE Intensive in April 2017?

My company has grown tremendously. We have served customers in every U.S. state as well as 13 different countries spanning 5 continents. We’ve also garnered the attention of a few celebrity moms and learned how to diversify the offerings that we provide to our market. We’ve since partnered with professionals to build and nurture a community centered around motherhood, and we’ve also created a few more products including five new branded Stork Bag products.

Can you describe a problem you solved in your business that other early-stage entrepreneurs face and tell us how went about solving this problem? How can other early-stage founders repeat your success?

One of the problems that I faced in the beginning was not paying close enough attention to the details of running a business. As an early-stage entrepreneur, I believe it can be easy for us to get bogged down by the external frame of our project and neglect the internal pieces. Really getting an understanding of your market, your business, operations and strategic planning is so important to the health and future of your business. I would encourage all early-stage entrepreneurs to have a strategy, to study their market and to have an understanding of the little details that go into running their startups.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out?

Like Nike says, “Just do it.” If you have an idea, start somewhere. Whether it’s buying the domain or learning all there is to learn about your industry, just start.

For more motivation from our PE Alumnae, check out our interview with Manal Kahi is Co-Founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat, which provides catering of off-the-beaten path meals that are conceived, prepared and delivered by refugees resettled in NYC. Her company has been featured in Eater, Newsweek, Fast Company and The Huffington Post, and since attending the very first PE Intensive in 2016, Manal and her team have tripled Eat Offbeat’s monthly sales. We sat down with Manal to discuss what motivated her to start her company, creating a common company culture for a multicultural team, and her advice for early-stage founders who are still figuring out how and where to spend their limited resources.