We were delighted to speak to Dublin sisters (and mums), Sophie Caffola and Dr Vicki O’Dwyer, who set up The Stork Box - a company that offers prepacked maternity bags and boxes that cover the essentials for mothers and babies.

 

What made you think there was a market for this product?

"Both our personal and professional experience led to the idea. Vicki is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, she sees pregnant women on a daily basis and a question she frequently gets asked is "What should I bring in my hospital bag?" This got us thinking, when we were preparing our own bags we didn't start to do it until we were about 34 weeks pregnant...actually, it was about 30 weeks for Vicki as two of her babies were premature. We were both working, we were tired and totally overwhelmed by all the things we needed to get. We remembered we couldn't find anywhere that sold all the essentials together, or even better, somewhere that you could order online and have it shipped to you. So this was what made us think there was a gap in the market for The Stork Box. We felt we could help"


What's a typical 'day in the life' for you at the moment?

"We are up early getting the kids ready and then head off to work. Each day differs for Vicki, she could be seeing women in the clinic, doing ultrasound scans or delivering babies. No two days are the same but every day is rewarding. I am in The Stork Box office, doing the day-to-day running of the business, working on the marketing, researching brands, talking to customers. We touch base with each other throughout the day on different things and in the evening when the kids have gone to bed we are working on our computers, we do try to enjoy the odd glass of wine here and there too"

How do you find running your own business while being a parent?

"Tiring! It is extremely exciting though. We both love being Mums and love creating something that our kids can be proud of. Don't get me wrong it is extremely tough to start a business, to take an idea and actually build a brand around it isn't easy, it takes a lot of time, thought and energy but to see it all come together is so rewarding and having your sister beside you through it all definitely helps!"

 

What's the response been like to The Stork Box?

"Extremely positive! We are so delighted that people like the idea and the products we created. It is daunting starting a new business, you pour your heart and soul into creating a brand and products for people to enjoy so to get such positive feedback from the get go is really amazing. Even a few of Vicki's colleagues said they wished they'd come up with the idea."

 



Any advice for other mums who might feel like they have a good business idea?

I am a big believer in trying new things but be smart about it. Ideas are key, but be sure there is a market for it. Talk to people who you think are your potential customers, ask their opinions, get feedback, do a survey, research competitors if there are any and one really important aspect for me is to think long term, you need to be able to grow the business well past just one idea. My Dad always said to me "when you start something you never know where you are going to end up" so give yourself room to grow!


Do you find the flexibility of having your own business useful when you're a parent?

Yes and no. It is great to be able to able to take an hour here or there to attend something or just spend quality time with your child and not be tied to set hours but then there is the downside of never really switching off. 

 


Why should people buy your product?

We offer simple, stylish yet practical products. Each box has thought behind it. Our Hospital Box was designed to take the time and stress out of preparing your hospital bag while also providing the very best products to help make the hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Our Gift Boxes were created with both Mum and Baby in mind; each baby box has a bonus gift for Mum too as it is important not to forget about everything Mum has been through! 

 

We wish the girls all the best with their venture.

 

For more details on The Stork Box check out their website here 
 

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