The Interview — Courtney Klein, Founder of Storq
Welcome to Talking Top 10, a recurring series in which we feature the founders, CEOs, creators, and leaders who are shaking up their industries. Ahead, read our Q&A with Courtney Klein, and keep scrolling to shop her Top 10 must-haves.
Courtney Klein grew up in Salt Lake City and holds a degree in Political Science and Dance from Haverford College. She relocated to New York in 2005, where she held a position in brand strategy and account planning at Razorfish. A few years later, she became partner at Hard Candy Shell until 2013, prior to launching Storq in 2014. Courtney is a mother two and currently resides in San Francisco. Follow Courtney on Instagram for more info and be sure to check out Storq, too.
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How did the idea for Storq come about?
I launched this business in San Francisco after spending nearly a decade in New York. I knew I wanted to go in a different direction with my career and start something new. After a lot of research and hemming and hawing, I saw an opportunity in the maternity space that I felt like I couldn’t pass up, so I jumped in.
What separates Storq from other maternity brands?
We’re always guided by great style and a love for fashion, but at its core, Storq is about designing pieces that solve problems and make life easier. Becoming a parent means everything is about to get more complicated, and having classic, go-to wardrobe essentials makes getting dressed and getting out the door every day that much easier.
View Courtney's Essentials
You founded the brand before you had kids. Has your perspective on maternity clothing changed at all since becoming a mother?
Becoming a mother myself definitely helped me feel more confident about the brand we are building. When I put on our clothes for the first time after becoming pregnant, I felt the immediate difference in style, quality, and comfort that we had been working to create.
What inspires Storq’s designs?
We always work backwards after identifying a need. From there, the goal is the merge that functionality with something genuinely chic you are excited to use or wear, day in, day out.
What’s your all-time favorite item from Storq and why?
The Basics Bundle, hands down. It got me through both of my pregnancies looking and feeling like a human. I got more compliments on my outfits while pregnant than any other time in my life.
Storq did away with retouched photos and faux baby bumps last year. What led to this change?
This is something we had been planning to do for a while and it coincided with expanding our size range up to 26/3X. There isn’t enough representation in retail as a whole, but it’s particularly bleak in the maternity market. Many brands don’t even use actual pregnant models! Pregnancy makes shopping difficult enough without having to navigate through unrealistic representations of what your body looks like during this time. We wanted to become a place where any woman, at any stage of her pregnancy or postpartum, could arrive at our site and feel like these things were designed for them.
What’s your favorite way to rest and recharge?
Reading is my way of resetting after a long day.
Is there a typical workday for you?
Not really! It’s a mix of running around for meetings, long facetime calls going over product development and production with my remote team, working on finance and marketing, and traveling.
What’s your best advice for a woman looking to start her own business?
Do your research and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Then, accept that you can never really know, and just do it anyway.
What’s next for Storq?
We have a few exciting things in the works, particularly in the nursing category. Stay tuned!