The Stork News Story: Humble Beginnings
The Tasteful Gift Alternative Provides A Creative Business Opportunity
Ideas, we all have them. But only a few possess the genius, timing, or the will necessary to manufacture a product nationwide from a simple idea. Cheryl Young is one of those rarities.
Who would have thought that a brainstorm from the legend of the stork would trigger what has become a lucrative and ever-growing business? Not even Mrs. Young. But it happened. The result is Stork News® of America Inc., which not only proclaims the births of babies all over Fayetteville , NC , but all over the nation.
It all started when Mrs. Young found her children growing older and her husband urging her to go to school or get a job with her extra time. She felt comfortable with neither and enjoyed her creative time at home.
About that time a new baby was born in the neighborhood and the proud parents had put the traditional bow on the mailbox. Interestingly enough, Mrs. Young had recently come across an antique leather post card that had a stork on it with a baby riding on its back. The idea blossomed and she began sketching out her creation. Her artistic ability had always been a strong attribute, but this was obviously her masterpiece. The stork was then transferred from its sketch-status to an eight foot piece of plywood. After her husband cut out the form, Cheryl brought the first stork to life with color!
As luck would have it several ladies were attending a coffee next door, and they came over to take a look at this latest creation, which had piqued everyone's curiosity. One of the women had a friend who had just delivered a baby and she asked if Mrs. Young would put the stork out for her friend. Cheryl was thrilled, and in a very short time the stork was out on the lawn to welcome the mother and her new baby home from the hospital. As the new parents arrived home this large stork welcomed them with their daughter's name in beautiful script lettering, along with her birth weight and date of birth. The other side of the bundle said "Congratulations," and showed the parents' names. The stork soon brought other people in the neighborhood out to see this interesting display. People would stop their cars and get out to get a closer look. At the end of the week Mrs. Young decided that the bundle plaque would be the couples' keepsake, and they were tickled pink.
From that point, Mrs. Young's mind began to really work. She purchased some bubble gum cigars in pink and blue, Then she had some stickers printed with her phone number and the name of her new business, "Stork News." She wrapped the stickers around the bubble gum and passed them out where ever she went. This brought a smile to every face along with the inevitable question, "What is Stork News?" Everyone was curious about this crazy idea, as it grew and grew.
The calls were coming in and storks were being made. From this time on, Stork News became a full-time commitment for Cheryl Young. She would stay awake as many as three nights in a row to get enough storks ready for orders. When her husband came home from his full-time job he would find himself right beside her constructing, painting or sanding storks. He helped with developing business plans and activities, and then they saw a lawyer to copyright her idea. Shortly after that, franchising came into the picture.
Within a year of her idea, someone who had received a stork had a brother very interested in taking the idea to Iowa . Although reluctant to move so fast, Mrs. Young did sell her first franchise. Today there are over 130 franchises in the United States , Canada and Puerto Rico , and the business is still growing. It all happened with very little advertising. There have been a few magazine articles and stories, and now Entrepreneur lists Stork News as one of the top 20 low investment franchises.
It was nice that Mrs. Young's desire to stay home worked out, but that didn't last very long. Her work area soon outgrew the office over her garage, where she carried a few novelty items and passed out candy, expanding into a large, beautiful retail store that looks and even smells like a little baby heaven! It has everything from bassinets to heirloom christening gowns, and has further expanded into maternity clothes and clothing for toddlers and young children. She also has a warehouse where the storks and bundles are manufactured for the ever growing numbers of franchises.
Cheryl Young is a warm and loving person and her business portrays that same feeling. She loves what she does, and she gets to deal with happy people on a one of the happiest of life's many ups and downs.