The everlasting bag: an interview with Storksak
Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. Suzi and Mel – the two women behind Storksak – made a point in delivering baby changing bags that are not only practical but also fashionable and, more importantly, they last. Following a hint from one of their customers, they have also launched the brand Marshall Bergman, aiming for a wider market other than mums-to-be.
When did you found the brand, Storksak?
We founded Storksak in 2003 and launched our first collection at Selfridges in London in 2005. Since then it has gone on to become a global brand with bags being sold throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. We also launched a high street brand, Babymel, and more recently a workbag line, Marshall Bergman, that we presented with an exclusive collection for Apple.com
How did you come up with the idea?
When we met, we both had young children and at that time there were not really any stylish changing bags on the market that met our requirements. With our shared experience in design and business, we knew straight away that we could work together to fill the gap in the market.
How do you work out the balance between fashionable and practical?
Storksak designs are often inspired by contemporary fashion, but we don’t follow this too strictly as our customers generally want to invest in a more classic style. We mix design and durability and we aim to give our customers a high quality product that will survive the rough ride metered out by modern parents.
What’s the concept behind your latest collection S/S 13?
Our S/S 13 collection was a colourful celebration of our 10th Anniversary, so we introduced the Elizabeth Chalk limited edition with a white rose lining, and the colour block Tote bags, which are vibrant and fun. We also brought in the Ashley, a feminine version of the unisex Aubrey bag, for mothers who prefer a more casual changing bag.
Have you ever thought of expanding the market and broadening the range of your products and of your customers?
We launched Marshall Bergman in the autumn of 2011, after our customers told us that they were using their Storksaks as workbags after they no longer needed them for their children. We probably have our work cut out at the moment. However, we have recently launched a range of Babymel kids’ bags, which have been received very well so far, and which we are adding to next season with some great new styles and prints.
Why did you choose leather for your bags?
The Elizabeth was introduced in S/S 07 as our first luxury leather bag, and sold incredibly well. I think what makes leather so special is that it epitomises the “changing bag/handbag” ethos of Storksak: it’s tough and seems to fit the bill for many mothers.
What pushed you to get involved with charities?
Many of Storksak’s employees (including Suzi and Mel, the founders of the company) are mothers themselves, and we were all keen to support an organisation which helps newborns and parents less fortunate than others. We’re involved with Women and Children First and Flowers of Justice.
Where do you see the label in the next five years?
We hope to be doing the same – creating beautiful, high quality bags which parents can enjoy long after their child is born. We are also working on some new, luggage type bags for longer distance travelling.
For further information on Storksak, click here.
For further information on Women and Children First, click here.