Here at Belly Bandit HQ, a women-owned and operated company, we believe in celebrating the success of all women in business! Our “Moms Who Made It” series is our way of honoring Mompreneurs who inspire us every day.
This week we're thrilled to be featuring Kate Torgersen, Founder of Milk Stork, the first and only breast milk delivery service for traveling moms. The service was born of Kate's desire to continue breastfeeding her twin boys while traveling for business. Milk Stork provides moms no-fuss, refrigerated, overnight shipping of their breast milk back to baby at home - now that's a game changer!
Describe your business philosophy:
I’ve got an idea, what if…
What inspired you to go into business?
In 2014, when my twins were eight months old, I had a four-day business trip. The trip introduced difficult trade-offs personally and professionally. The twins and I had overcome so many challenges with breastfeeding, and I wasn’t willing to jeopardize their progress for a business trip. At the same time, professionally, I was back on the job and “all in” - I wanted to take the trip.
To make it work, I ended up adding pumping sessions to my schedule weeks ahead of time to create an “extra” stash of milk. Then, while I was away, I pumped relentlessly around the clock to maintain my supply. By the end of the trip, I had two gallons of breast milk crammed into the hotel mini-fridge that I had to lug home - through TSA and onto the plane - and I had to have to keep it cold the whole way. It was a nightmare.
I got home from the trip and was determined to find a simple solution to this incredibly annoying problem that so many working moms face.
When did you know you, “made it?”
Every time I hear from a working mom that Milk Stork has been a game changer for her. It’s even better when she tells me that her employer is providing Milk Stork as a benefit. These are the winning moments that make the adventure worth it.
Who is your mentor?
My mentors are Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, the owners, and founders of Clif Bar. Before starting Milk Stork, I worked at Clif Bar for 18 years. Through Gary, I have learned that if you have a great idea, you’ve gotta act on it. He’s also taught me to always trust my gut. Kit has taught me to embrace entrepreneurship as an adventure - to learn by asking questions and staying open-minded and to embrace the uncharted path.
What’s your #1 tip for moms interested in starting their own business?
I have two tips: Focus on what excites you, and get from the ideation-phase to the making-phase as quickly as possible. The reality is that you are going to have to invest your “me time” into starting your business. To keep the momentum going through sleep deprivation and endless dirty diapers, you’ll need to focus on the stuff that you like - that way, you’ll look forward to working on your business and it won’t become another chore.
Also, too many great business ideas never see the light of day because they got stuck in someone’s head. I always tell people to spend less time thinking about the business idea, and more time making it. If not you, who? And, if not now, when?
What does “me” time mean to you?
Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep - actually, make it nine! - and going outside for a trail run or a hike. I also love evenings in the backyard with my kids - we do campfires in our fire pit and make s’mores - sometimes we even do it on school nights.
What‘s on your bedside table?
My night table has a short stack of half-read books from my neighborhood book club (I cannot keep up with them!), loose earbuds because I fell asleep last night listening to a podcast (99% Invisible) and pulled them out sometime the middle of the night, and a HotWheel.
Words to live by - Share your favorite quote!
“I am fast, smart, strong and brave!” - my 4-year-old daughter, Zoë.
Zoë came up with these words to describe herself and declares them multiple times, daily. I’ve adopted it as my mantra.
To learn more Kate head to, www.milkstork.com.