From Storksak Designer to First Time Mum

Tell us a little bit about you…

Hi, I’m Sherina. Senior Designer & Creative Marketer at Storksak, and mum to 16 month old Alex. I have always been interested in anything art, design and history related from a young age, and dreamt of becoming a model/ interior designer/ archeologist. Sadly that job didn’t exist, so settled on exploring design at London College of Fashion where I graduated with a degree in product design, specialising in accessories. Currently I am navigating parenthood with my partner Mike, our cats Heidi and (the recently adopted) Loki.

How long have you worked at Storksak?

I have worked for Storksak for over 10 years. We are a close knit little family and over the years I have done a little bit of everything. From design, testing our products, content creation and a little bit of DIY when required - we used to build our own stands at trade fairs, which was always fun! While my first love will always be designing bags, recently I have moved more towards the graphic design and content creation side, which is an exciting change, as I am always interested in finding new ways to apply my design skills.

Did working in the baby industry help you on your journey into parenthood?

Yes, definitely! Being at industry trade shows, where you constantly see new baby related products, brands and stores, you absorb a lot of information which helped me focus on what I really wanted/ needed for our little one. It stopped me going too far down the research black hole while in lockdown, especially for things like buggy’s. It helped that I had seen a few buggy brands up close, and had had the chance to see their features in person. Which took a lot of the guesswork out while scrolling online.

Which Storksak bag did you choose as your changing bag?

I chose the Eco backpack. I might be biased as this is one of my designs but it is a great bag for days out. I like to carry a lot to cover all eventualities and this bag really allows you to cram it all in. The soft construction means that you can really fill it up to the top and the drawstring will keep everything in place and prevent it from spilling out. The stretchy side pockets allow quick access to essentials, like Alex’s water bottle. Now that we no longer need to carry as many nappies and milk bottles, it is still great for fitting all his stuff plus a lunch bag for long days out.

What is your top tip for a new mum looking for a changing bag?

Consider your lifestyle, how you like to pack/ organise, if you like to carry a lot like I do, a backpack might be better for you, so you don’t strain your shoulder. If you are planning to have the bag attached to the stroller most of the time, then you could go for a shoulder bag. The landscape opening will allow you to see everything in your bag quickly while it is hanging on the pram.

What is the one thing you can’t leave the house without (apart from your bag of course)?

Snacks! Now Alex is an active toddler, running around all over the place, I need to make sure he is fully fuelled at all times. Even if he has just had lunch and ate well, I will still carry a snack, as it is surprising how quickly they can go into a hunger meltdown, especially if you don’t have anything on you. They have a sixth sense!

What was it like coming back to work after maternity leave?

Surprisingly, it was quite a smooth transition. Having had a year off, I was nervous that a lot would have changed. But I found that most things were the same, and I was quickly brought up to speed on anything new. I am still getting used to our new routine, some days are more hectic than others, but working from home most days and having support from my parents, Mike and nursery, means the work life balance isn’t ever too far off.

How do you juggle motherhood and working almost full time?

I find the morning and bedtime rush the most stressful, so sharing tasks with Mike, even small things like, getting his bedtime bottle ready while one of you gives him a bath takes the pressure off, and asking for help if it gets too much. You can’t do it all. The key is to manage expectations. Some days you will be on top form and totally organised, and others you will forget something, run late or just want to be able to sit down and drink a warm cup of tea!  Most importantly if it's not urgent it can wait. That bag of toys strewn across the front room doesn’t need to be tidied away immediately. 

My top tip for anyone getting ready to go back to work, would be to try and organise your and/or little ones bags/lunch/snacks etc the night before. This way it's less likely you will forget to pack something. Plus you have time in the morning to quickly look over what you have and add in anything you have forgotten. That second run through has saved me on numerous occasions.

What was the most important piece of advice you were given going into motherhood?

Every baby is different! This is very easily forgotten when you're in the middle of a development leap or sleep disturbance and you think that all your friends babies are able to do/ stop doing X,Y or Z. It’s good to check in with others, but ultimately you need to follow your little ones lead and you will get there in the end.