Interview: Storq Founder Courtney Klein
How one fashion entrepreneur is doing her part and redesigning pregnancy
by Ami Kealoha
Don’t make useless crap. With this simple design philosophy, Storq completely reimagined maternity clothes with the launch of their line in 2014. The San Francisco-based brand started with basics, like a black triangle bra in the softest jersey that quickly became our go-to undergarment for pregnancy, labor and nursing. Other items, from the long white tank to the black pencil skirt, all share Storq’s principles of supreme comfort and extreme function seen in consideration of key details like fabric weight (the skirt is extra thick) and tagless construction. In other words, all wardrobe staples too.
With a keen eye to how “needs grow and evolve from motherhood onward”—their latest offering is a wear-anywhere caftan designed for breastfeeding—we’re excited to watch and wear the brand as we start our own parenting journey. Because Storq’s approach so closely mirrors Cool Hunting’s when it comes to products for having kids, we connected with founder Courtney Klein to learn about what makes her company tick, a better breast pump and tips on baby gifts.
Why are clothes for moms typically so poorly designed?
It’s tough to justify temporary purchases. I think some brands get caught up in the problem-solving aspect of maternity and nursing at the expense of good design. They’ll end up with pieces that feel hyper-specialized which can alienate women who have a strong sense of personal style. We think it’s important to design pieces that look and feel like things you’d normally purchase, but also happen to be super-functional for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What personal experiences made you want to design this line?
I started working on the company before becoming pregnant the first time. My husband likes to joke that I was making a really long play for decent maternity clothes. In truth, I had lots of pregnant friends and family complaining about the lack of appealing clothing options. They were the original catalyst for the business.
What inspired the stylistic choices?
I was thinking about ways to let women put their own stamp on a maternity wardrobe. So much of what’s out there imposes a really specific point of view fashion-wise. I wanted to emphasize that these pieces are incredibly versatile and demonstrate how everything can be styled according to your individual taste.
How does your business model fit into your design philosophy?
Our goal is for customers to feel a genuine sense of value in the pieces they purchase from us. From design to production to making a purchase on our site, we do our best to offer accessible, high-quality items you actually need as efficiently as possible without making aesthetic compromises.
What other parenting product would you like to see redesigned?
There’s an awesome company called Moxxly founded by women who are working to create a better breast pump. Any new mom will tell you breast pumps are begging for an upgrade.
What's your go-to baby shower gift?
The kid inevitably gets tons of loot at the baby shower, so sometimes it’s nice to focus on the mama for gifts. I’ll do a prenatal massage, a facial or a nice bottle of wine (good for the partner, too)! For newborns and kids, I consult the Storq Qrib Sheet, our newsletter, which always has at least one or two great gift ideas for the little ones.
Images courtesy of Storq