What inspired you to create Storq?
Neither of us was pregnant at the time, but we were at the life stage where friends and family were starting to have babies. We were hearing so many complaints about how hard it was to find decent maternity clothes that it seemed worth looking into. After some research, it was clear that there was a huge disconnect between what pregnant women were really looking for and what the big maternity brands were selling. The demographics were shifting as more women were having babies into their 30s, they were working longer into their pregnancies, and they wanted pieces that looked the same as what they would normally wear. It felt like the right moment to jump in and fill that gap.
What do you hope to add or change about the pregnancy market that you found to be missing?
Understandably, there is a lot of resistance to spending a ton of money on a temporary pregnancy wardrobe. You’ve got a baby coming and a lot of new expenses to plan for. Whereas some brands have solved for this by offering fast fashion styles and cutting back on quality, we’re focused on creating timeless, comfortable, high quality essentials that are designed to become daily wardrobe staples that will carry you through pregnancy, nursing and beyond. We want our customers to be able to get the most value out of their purchase as possible, and to bypass the guilt and frustration women typically experience when shopping for maternity and nursing clothes.
What has been the most insightful lesson during your journey of launching a business?
That there is really only so much planning you can do and control you can have. We could really iterate forever. But at some point you just have to decide to put yourself and your products out there and keep moving. Nothing will ever be perfect, and that’s ok.
You have a wonderful recycling program and partnership with Homeless Prenatal Program in SF, can you tell us about that and the effect it has?
Maternity clothes get passed around a lot among groups of friends as they become pregnant at different times. We wanted to open up that same opportunity to women who may not have the benefit of a social network to give them access to maternity wardrobe essentials. We make sure that all donations are laundered and in wearable condition and send them directly to the Homeless Prenatal Program, an SF-based non-profit that distributes them to families in need. It’s been a great way to get involved with our community and help close the loop to extend the life of these garments.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up? What is the last thing before bed?
Grace Kapin: First thing, try to find the single airpod that fell out of my ear the previous night because I fall asleep watching late night comedy shows on youtube in bed (can’t sleep any other way). Last thing, pouring a giant glass of water and turning on my humidifier because I am desperate for any and all hydration.
Courtney Klein: First thing, let my kids under the covers so we can snuggle before everyone starts their day. Last thing, I make a cup of valerian root tea and put on a Headspace sleepcast.
Do you have any secrets to the best night’s sleep?
GK: My secret is being exhausted by my two tiny children. After they finally go to sleep I am so tired all I want to do is get right into bed. At 7:30pm. Any sleep is the best sleep these days.
CK: No, I am a terrible sleeper. Someone help me. There are not enough eye masks or weighted blankets in the world to keep me asleep.
What is the one Brooklinen product that you feel is most crucial to your sleep routine?
GK: White linen sheets and white linen duvet cover. Because I just love them and what can I say, I also love a maintenance challenge.
CK: Same. Also white linen sheets. I think it promotes a calming sleep environment and every little detail helps.