Here’s How One Working Mom Turned Her Own Challenge Into a Unique Business

Milk Stork founder, Kate Torgersen of Lafayette, Calif., poses outside in front of greenery.

Kate Torgersen of Lafayette, Calif., based her firm, Milk Stork, along with her father Mike Torgersen in 2014. Milk Stork helps working moms pack and ship their pumped breast milk after they’re away from their little ones. Eric Kayne for The Penny Hoarder

Kate Torgersen got here up with the thought for her firm after dealing with a troublesome working-mom problem.

The married mom of three needed to journey for work again in 2014 when her twins had been about 7 months outdated and nonetheless relied on her to supply breast milk for them.

Determining learn how to package deal and ship two gallons of pumped milk or journey by means of airport safety with the liquid gold — all whereas ensuring it stayed cool and didn’t leak — was a significant battle.

That’s was when it hit her: There needed to be a greater method.

Thus, Milk Stork was born.

A Resolution for Enterprise-Savvy Mothers Who Nurse

Kate Torgersen works with her father and business partner, Mike Torgersen at a table with Milk Stork boxes.
Kate Torgersen works along with her father and enterprise associate, Mike Torgersen, on February three, 2018. 
Eric Kayne for The Penny Hoarder

Milk Stork helps working moms pack and ship their pumped breast milk after they’re away from their little ones.

“Milk Stork actually alleviates the logistical challenges concerned in breastfeeding and enterprise journey for working mothers by giving them the whole lot that they should simply — within the easiest attainable method — in a single day their milk residence,” says Torgersen, now 44.

The corporate works with each particular person mothers and employers who supply breast milk transport as a office profit for his or her staff.

Torgersen, who lives in Lafayette, California, created her firm from the bottom up over the course of a couple of yr, along with her father serving as co-founder. Whereas working full time and elevating three children, she constructed the enterprise little by little when she had a spare second — which meant throughout pumping periods and when the children had been asleep.

Kate Torgersen, center, hangs out with her family in their Lafayette, Calif., home.
Kate Torgersen, middle, hangs out along with her household of their Lafayette, Calif., residence. Eric Kayne for The Penny Hoarder

Milk Stork formally launched in the summertime of 2015, however Torgersen held on to her day job till final spring. She now runs the corporate as her full-time endeavor.

“The choice to go full time required cautious thought,” she says. “Being an entrepreneur, you’re getting into a riskier proposition versus working for a longtime firm.”

Torgersen wished to ensure she might pull her weight financially for her family earlier than making the swap. She additionally wished to attend till her oldest son made the transition to kindergarten.

Although she earns much less operating her personal enterprise than when she was a full-time worker at one other firm, Torgersen says there have been some precious trade-offs.

An vital one: she now not has to endure the 45-minute commute, which saves on journey bills.

“By lowering my commute, I used to be additionally lowering the variety of hours [my children] had been in baby care,” Torgersen says. “Three children, two hours a day much less in childcare makes a distinction.”

Charting a Course All Her Personal

Kate Torgersen, talks with her daughter Zoe Morantes.
Kate Torgersen, talks along with her daughter Zoe Morantes. Eric Kayne for The Penny Hoarder

Earlier than arising with the thought for Milk Stork, Torgersen says she by no means considered turning into an entrepreneur.

“I particularly didn’t intend to be an entrepreneur after I had three children beneath the age of 5,” she says. “However as soon as I had the thought, I felt completely compelled to see it by means of.”

Torgersen says she enjoys operating her personal firm as a result of she will get to tackle the journey of doing a bunch of various issues day-after-day. She additionally appreciates having the ability to work side-by-side along with her father.

However being your personal boss does include its set of challenges.

“I believe the problem of entrepreneurship is that there isn’t any off swap,” she says. “It’s so much like being a mum or dad. You’re at all times on.”

Nonetheless, being a mum or dad has helped Torgersen handle the calls for of operating her personal enterprise.

“I believe, really, parenting ready me for entrepreneurship, as a result of parenting is relentless, and entrepreneurship is relentless — however it’s additionally extremely gratifying,” she mentioned.

Torgersen says serving to working moms keep their dedication to breastfeeding is what she views as her enterprise’s largest success. She additionally finds satisfaction in normalizing breastfeeding and bringing consciousness to what it means to be a working mom.

Kate Torgersen shows the Milk Stork packaging which includes a cardboard carton, cooling unit, and Styrofoam insert.
Kate Torgersen exhibits the Milk Stork packaging which features a cardboard carton, cooling unit, and Styrofoam insert. Eric Kayne for The Penny Hoarder

Torgersen advises different mothers who’re contemplating entrepreneurship to “simply go for it.”

Just like the widespread saying, “There’s by no means an ideal time to have a child,” she says there’ll by no means be an ideal time to change into an entrepreneur both, so that you simply have to leap proper in.

“Mothers at all times have these nice concepts for fixing issues and addressing these ache factors, however it’s very easy to form of simply dismiss them whenever you’re as much as your elbows in soiled diapers and also you’re sleep disadvantaged,” she says.

Torgersen’s suggestion for mothers getting into entrepreneurship is to “give attention to the half that excites you probably the most.”

That, she says, will assist create the mandatory momentum to get the enterprise up and operating.

Nicole Dow is a employees author at The Penny Hoarder.

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