Angelina Jolie owns one, as do Jessica Alba and Katie Holmes. In fact, Brad Pitt was even seen using one regularly after the birth of his daughter.
I’m not talking about fancy cars or even buggies; the product that has grabbed the attention of these A-list stars is the Storksak – a baby changing bag that has become such a popular accessory it has a long list of celebrity fans.
“It’s always wonderful to see a parent carrying one of our bags,” explains Suzi Bergman, who co-founded the company with her friend Melanie Marshall in 2003.
“However, seeing celebrities who are famed for their style carry our bags, especially when they have access to any bag they choose, feels particularly special.”
The Storksak changing bag is the envy of any new mum and it is easy to see why. Just like other baby changing bags, it has space to hold nappies, changing matts and baby bottles, but what sets it apart from the others is its quality of design.
“As young mothers, both myself and Melanie were finding it hard to find a bag that offered all the features we needed,” recalls Bergman. “It was then we discovered there was a gap in the market for stylish, good quality and highly functional baby changing bags.”
The women, who are both in their mid-40s, set about trying to do something about it. “There was such an obvious lack of fashionable changing bags available in the shops,” says Bergman. “Our initial idea was to design not only a very stylish bag, but one that people could invest in for years, rather than get rid of it when it became out of season.”
And more than 10 years on, that is exactly what has happened, with many parents still using their bags long after their children are grown up. For the designer duo – who have five children between them – seeing their bags become so popular is a dream come true.
“When I met Melanie at our kids’ school gates, I never imagined our initial idea would be so successful,” admits Bergman. “Before setting up Storksak, I was a lawyer and lecturer in law. Melanie comes from a background in fashion design, so our combined backgrounds have worked together perfectly for running a fashion business.”
The women, both of whom work close to their north-west London homes, carried out plenty of market research in the early days to discover what people wanted out from a change bag. Their feedback proved fashion and style were extremely important.
“Finding inspiration for our bags comes from all over the place. We get a lot of ideas for our designs by keeping an eye on current fashions and what we see women wearing. Customer feedback and opinions from parents are very important to us.”
With more than 72 Storksak bags currently available – the range includes a variety of leather and non-leather styles – the women would seem hard pushed to add another design to their range.
However, with a recent collaboration with famous baby brand Bugaboo, the launch of their new leather bag on 1 September is sure to be a sell-out.
“Our recent decision to join forces with Bugaboo to design a bag has been a fun and challenging time,” explains Bergman. “The new bag we have designed together has made us very proud.
“We hope to widen our audience by joining forces with such a well-known company as well as gain from a collective press exposure.
“We know that both Bugaboo and Storksak share many customers, so the connection between both brands seemed like a good fit.”
Reflecting on the success of Storksak, the women have every right to feel proud that their bags have become so popular. After all, the women filled a gap in the market that was much needed and have maintained a strong working partnership and friendship throughout.
“Working together and building what we both love to do over the past decade as friends as well as business partners has been wonderful, as well as getting into new markets and maintaining our position in our field,” explains Marshall.
“I think as well, for both of us, we feel proud that from a decade ago, when we were running our business from the kitchen table in Suzi’s house, we now have our brands sold in 24 countries around the world.
“And, finally, the key thing is that we have retained a healthy work balance as we have always both ensured we leave enough time at the end of the day to spend time with our families.”