Amy Upchurch of Pink Stork: “People always assume that you have to have it all figured out”

I believe women are naturally gifted when it comes to multitasking, and as a founder that is all we do. Feminine energy needs to be presented more in business. The world needs more female energy and vulnerability. I believe many businessmen often lack emotion and vulnerability, but learning your consumers and showing emotion can be […]

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I believe women are naturally gifted when it comes to multitasking, and as a founder that is all we do. Feminine energy needs to be presented more in business. The world needs more female energy and vulnerability. I believe many businessmen often lack emotion and vulnerability, but learning your consumers and showing emotion can be a good thing to bring to the table.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Upchurch.

Pink Stork Founder & CEO, and mother of five, created the brand after experiencing and overcoming her own serious health struggles. Through the power of faith, research, and natural, organic products, Pink Stork was born. Amy felt a calling to help women everywhere and created a brand to inspire hope, where women could feel confident, supported and empowered both physically, mentally and spiritually. Pink Stork offers a wide product assortment making women feel and look their best, inside and out.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Thank YOU so much, it’s great to speak with you. Well, Pink Stork was created after overcoming my own health struggles. I grew up with health issues my whole life, but while my husband Thomas was deployed in the military, and during my pregnancies, I was diagnosed with severe hyperemesis gravidarum. During my first pregnancy, I was told my baby and I had 24 hours to live. But I didn’t feel like it was my time, and I’m here today so we know it wasn’t. I just knew there had to be a greater purpose behind all the suffering. I truly believed that God wouldn’t put these challenges into my life without a reason, I had to trust in his plan. My faith and support system of doctors, friends and family pulled me through. I started to do research on my own about what I was putting into my body and began taking natural herbs and organic products. Because of this experience, I knew it was my calling to help other women, as many women as I could, and inspire hope.

Pink Stork provides health and wellness products for women in all stages of life including: PMS, fertility, pregnancy, lactation, menopause, and general wellness.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

It was our first order into Target, and so exciting for us. Two weeks before our product was due in the warehouse, they called and doubled the order size! We didn’t know what to do so we got in the car and drove fast to our tea manufacturer in Philadelphia. It’s funny because at the time, we could openly use the facility, but we had to do the work ourselves…. We ended up using a couple of guys we knew from the Marines to help us, and the order got to Target on time, plus we still made it to my son’s birthday party!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I ever made, oh boy…. was when I took a big risk and lost a LOT of money investing in a new idea I had to try. It was a fail. Looking back on it now, I can laugh because it was a great opportunity for me to fail and learn how to bounce back. . To this day, I still encourage my employees and my children to do the same, because every mistake is truly a learning experience.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mom and my dad have always been two of my biggest supporters. As a nurse, my mom has always been a natural-born caregiver. My mom played a big role in the creation of Pink Stork, because she spent countless hours researching new solutions during my pregnancies that ultimately changed my life. She helped me learn to trust my body, and showed me the value in making your health and wellness a top priority.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

Money is definitely one of the biggest challenges for women wanting to start new companies. They tell you the opportunity for a new business is always there, but I learned that it is definitely hard to break into a male-dominant business world as a woman. We must continue to change the narrative, and emphasize that anyone can start a business, if they have the passion. We need to continue to grow this mindset in children, and focus on teaching young women how to be confident in themselves, and their abilities… and believe they can accomplish anything they set their minds to!

Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?

One important thing we as a society could focus on more is teaching children, how to think and not what to think. Furthermore, educating young women and inspiring them to be more confident and to think for themselves is something I hope to see as more of a priority in the future. Allocating more educational resources and grants is important so that people can follow their dreams and passions.


This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

I believe women are naturally gifted when it comes to multitasking, and as a founder that is all we do. Feminine energy needs to be presented more in business. The world needs more female energy and vulnerability. I believe many businessmen often lack emotion and vulnerability, but learning your consumers and showing emotion can be a good thing to bring to the table.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder. Can you explain what you mean?

People always assume that you have to have it all figured out, but you really don’t. You are always learning as you go. Another myth is that you can’t be a working mom and a CEO: Being a mom is very important; and so is being able to separate your life outside of the company, you need to understand the bigger picture, the bigger plan, life…. and that helps to prioritize your professional life and your personal life. You have to find the balance.

Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?

I’ve come across many people that value security, they set a path, set goals and follow the path.. I respect people who stay on their path to achieve their goals. That doesn’t always work for founders, you can’t have it all planned out because the path is winding and sometimes you are led down many different paths… as a leader, you figure it out. X and Y does not always get you to Z, it almost never does. Learning to be sure of yourself and what you’re doing — you have to figure it out no matter what. There’s no safety net so it has to.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

There are so many things I wish I would have known then, what I know now. I think you have to learn from experience, and that’s the life of an emerging entrepreneur. I’ve made mistakes… Top of mind, since I’m working on this right now…I wish I knew then how important it was for a brand to be intentional… logo, color, and design would have saved us a lot of money, as we’re about to rebrand again. Many times, there is just not going to be a right or a wrong answer, and that’s okay. And sometimes you have to learn a painful lesson, for example, I tried to partner with Sears years ago, and we lost a lot of money when they closed.. You have to go through the losses to learn valuable lessons.. As an entrepreneur, finding the right team is so crucial to success. People are very important to the culture you create and I’m learning that as we’re continuing to grow and build the team. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what skills someone has if they aren’t the right fit for the team and environment. One bad hire can sour the entire team, and you need to acknowledge it right away. Last thought, time. I often think about what makes a person successful in life, and I think it’s having control and balance of time. Balancing work and life allows you to gain multiple perspectives, and in turn, grounds you for better decision-making and overall happiness.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

Every day! My main mission, through Pink Stork, is to help women and inspire hope. We have our Acts of Service and are involved in many philanthropic programs. We also started an ambassador program and have a community of women who support each other. It’s amazing to see. We don’t just sell products, we genuinely bring people together and support them physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s also our priority at Pink Stork to stay closely connected to our customers in our community and are always designing new products and concepting ideas to help women look and feel their best in every stage of life.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

My entire mission for Pink Stork, and for me personally, is to help women (as many as I can) by providing them with hope. You don’t typically hear an emerging entrepreneur say their main goal is to provide hope, right?…you can’t sell hope. Something extraordinary happened to me, and I feel that I am absolutely where I am meant to be. I want to inspire faith and belief that good things, better things, can and will happen, if you continue to have faith. I think at the end of the day, I’ll be the most successful if I stay focused and follow my path.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Fellow Florida girl, Sara Blakely — I’ve always admired her drive, as a person and as an entrepreneur…. how she tackled the big guns with a big idea, and never backed down. She’s been at it for over 20 years and probably has so many great insights to share, or just words of wisdom and experience. It would be such an honor to take Sara to breakfast or lunch. Maybe next time she’s in Florida!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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