Stork Land is the largest baby store between Oklahoma City and Dallas, Texas. For 42 years Stork Land has offered Wichita Falls and the surrounding communities the top quality in juvenile products and service.
We display and sell nursery furniture, strollers, high chairs, car seats, pack and plays, children’s gifts, educational toys, and the most sought-after fashions in children’s wear for girls from preemie to size 16 and boys from preemie to size 7. We also serve our customers through our ever-changing website.
What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?
In 1974 when we were expecting our first child we realized that there was a very poor selection of cribs to choose from. We found only one white and one brown crib in a dusty old furniture store in downtown Wichita Falls. When the crib was delivered the mattress did not fit the inside of the crib by 3 inches. This was definitely a safety hazard. After some time we visited StorkLand of Dallas, a juvenile specialty store established in 1949. We had been discussing opening a business of our own, and the decision was made to open Stork Land of Wichita Falls.
Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?
After researching other juvenile retail outlets, we found a location. We got a loan from a bank. We went to market in Dallas, and we remodeled our store location. We did all the remodeling ourselves except for installing the carpeting. Our store opened on August 15, 1979, complete with 20 top-of-the-line cribs, mattresses, soft crib bedding, nursery decor, nursery essentials, and clothing for both boys and girls from birth to 24 months.
The only way to stay ahead of consumer trends is to attend every product-related show and market that you can. Not attending means stagnation.
The store was very successful from the very beginning. Parents, grandparents, and families were looking for quality furnishings for their children. We expanded to larger size clothing within the first year from demand from our customers. We added strollers and car seats to our inventory. The demand and our store grew quickly in the first 7 years. We added maternity clothing. Then we added more space to our existing location and started selling children’s shoes. After 15 years we moved the store to a larger location in a busy shopping center. We increased our square footage and our inventory offering everything for children but food and diapers. After 15 years we purchased a location on the main retail street in Wichita Falls. We have been in our current location for 11 years. We continue to fine-tune our product mix according to consumer interest.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Because of Covid 19 and the changing buying habits of consumers with the renewed commitment to buy local, StorkLand and Kids Too is thriving today. We are very fortunate to have our second daughter, Anne McGaha, and a dear family friend, Vikki Holcomb that have taken on a big part of the responsibilities of StorkLand. The future of StorkLand is now in their hands as we now serve the third generation of babies since our opening.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
We found it was very important to get involved in a peer group of like retailers so that we could learn from each other. Create a solid relationship with your banker and with your suppliers. The only way to stay ahead of consumer trends is to attend every product-related show and market that you can. Not attending means stagnation.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?
Whatever you do, you must have a passion for it. If you choose to go into retail, your passion must be in providing goods and services that your customers need.
Where can we go to learn more?
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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