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40 Under 40 - Class of 2018
Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 1 year ago

Ericka Perry, 32

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CEO, The Stork Bag
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Ericka Perry says being a mother has made her a better businesswoman, and being a businesswoman has made her a better mother. 

“I use incentives for my kids. They want to do certain things, now, because if they do, they know certain good things are going to happen," she says. "My business, my personal brand, my company — everything is kind of intertwined.”

Perry has made it a goal to align her personality with her purpose, and in doing so she’s inspired mothers who want to be successful businesswomen. But at first she didn’t realize she was building a powerful brand when she would give interviews and speak at conferences about The Stork Bag — her 4-year-old entrepreneurial venture that provides care packages for pregnant women.

“When women become mothers, they typically don't think outside of motherhood,” Perry says. “But for me, being a mom and an entrepreneur go hand in hand because I am always multitasking, so I innately started to talk about how motherhood fits in with entrepreneurship.”

The company’s Stork Bags are modeled on a care package Perry personally assembled and sent to one of her friends who was having a difficult pregnancy. Perry found it hard to believe there wasn’t a similar product already on the market, so she filled the gap, selling 100 Stork Bags in her first three months in business and hitting her goal of $100,000 in revenue much faster than projected, “all without outside investment,” she says.

“Now, each time I see an order come in or my staff shipping out boxes, I think to myself, ‘These are people who are buying into a dream that I had,'" says Perry. "I put this idea on paper and then I worked day and night on it. So much blood, sweat and tears have gone into it.”

 

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