As individuals who love to create, there is nothing we love more at Pale Blue Dot than helping others do the same. Stork and Co is the brain child of one of our good friends Nicola Faulkner. Former marketeer and a mother of two, Nicola has a formidable skill set that is very obvious when you see Stork & Co’s beautiful muslin swaddle blankets. Design couples with practical use, in this case seeing is believing and you really need to see the blankets in person to feel just how soft the bamboo fabric is. Although designed with babies in mind, don’t be surprised if you see some of your friends sporting these as an accessory this year.
It was a pleasure to work with Nicola on the packaging design for the brand and we are very happy with the end result! As you can believe being a mother of two and running your own company can certainly keep one busy. Luckily we managed to catch Nicola for a few moments to ask her a few questions about the brand-
1. Could you tell us a little bit about the back story to Stork & Co?
After having my second daughter Chloe, I found myself in a situation that I am sure many people can identify with – I needed to have an income but with the ever increasing nursery fees for two children, I couldn’t afford to continue working full time. I also didn’t like the prospect of not seeing my girls between 8am and 6pm every day, so I realised that something would have to give.
I’d always liked the idea of being self-employed so I could work flexibly around the girls, and the idea behind Stork & Co. came about whilst I was visiting a baby clothing trade show in London. As a mum I was already familiar with muslin squares, but I’d never seen the large muslin blankets before and they really caught my eye.
With many of my friends having babies, I am always on the look out for stylish and practical baby gifts that are a little bit different and I just loved how versatile these blankets are. They come in handy for years and not just a few months, which is often the case with many new baby products.
When I returned home after the show, I decided to do some more research into them. The blankets were relatively new to the UK with only a small number of brands on the market, but they seemed to be a firm favourite with parents outside of the UK, particularly in the US and Australia.
Having worked in the marketing industry for over 17 years, I knew I had the skills and contacts to be able to develop my own product, so I decided it was time to give it a go for myself. After weeks of talking to potential manufacturers and bending the ears of anyone who would listen, I decided to take the plunge and so Stork & Co. was born.
2. Is there a tale behind the name ‘Stork & Co.’
I wanted a name that would be synonymous with babies and Storks have long been associated with the arrival of new little bundles of joy wrapped in a special cloth, so I thought Stork & Co. would be a fitting name for my blankets. It’s also generic enough to allow me to potentially extend my range beyond the blankets in the future.
3. Your product is a stunning ‘muslin swaddle blanket’ for those not familiar with a swaddle could you explain a little bit more about what it does?
Muslin has been around for centuries and it is one of the purest and most gentle fabrics available. It’s open weave means it’s lightweight and breathable, which makes it the perfect fabric for a baby blanket.
They are brilliantly versatile and come in handy for all sorts of things. The size means they are ideal for swaddling, which is an age old technique that many parents swear by to help their baby feel secure, but they can also be used as a lightweight blanket, buggy cover, changing mat, burp cloth or nursing cover. I have even seen mums wearing them as scarfs and sarongs – the list is endless!
4. Your product is made from bamboo. What are the benefits of bamboo?
I decided to use bamboo fabric for my blankets, as it has a whole host of unique benefits. I often get funny looks from people when I tell them that bamboo is one of the softest fabrics on the planet, but it really has a luxurious feel to it. It absorbs water three to four times better than cotton and is hypoallergenic and thermo-regulating, so it’s perfect for young sensitive skin. Studies have also shown that Bamboo helps to naturally block the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun so it makes the perfect cover up in warmer weather. It really is clever stuff!
5. What is next for Stork & Co?
It would be amazing to see my blankets available in the shops but developing wholesale relationships will take time and a lot of hard work. I’d love to introduce some new designs soon and also think about extending my range to other related products. I have big dreams for Stork & Co. but one step at a time!
You can visit Stork & Co’s website here to purchase your own Rainbow Rain muslin swaddle blanket.