YourDoulaBag.com is a great source for all kinds of useful and just plain fun doula stuff. It’s owned and operated by Katie Rohs, who lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
Tell me about you.
When I became a doula in 2011, YourDoulaBag was one of the first resources I found that solely catered to doulas and their business needs. In fact, I still have the Doula bumper sticker on my car! YourDoulaBag has been a shop I returned to frequently for my doula bag supplies. I was so thrilled to acquire YourDoulaBag in late 2018 from founder Alice Turner. I consider myself an “accidental entrepreneur”. I didn’t intend to own my own business(es) when I was young, but after my twins started elementary school I found myself wondering what other meaningful work I could do. A series of fortunate events later, I became a doula. I treasure working with families, learning about their hopes and dreams for their birth, and supporting them through growing their family.
Tell me about your business:
I am fascinated by the intersection of birth and business. I like to use the skills I learned starting and running several successful businesses and non-profits, along with my MBA-by-marriage from my husband’s education to grow my businesses. In addition to running YourDoulaBag and my own doula practice, I am Penny Simkin’s right-hand woman. I also took over the products portion of Penny’s business in 2019. I could not be more honored to carry on the wisdom and products that Penny has developed over her career.
What is your most popular product? What do customers like about it?
My most popular product is my doula name badge. It has always been popular but it became really popular once the COVID-19 pandemic started limiting visitors in hospitals. When doulas have a badge they can show hospital staff that they’re a doula, and not “just” another family member, it can give them greater access. (Of course, limiting any visitors is problematic in terms of equity and access to support, but I digress.)
What product in your catalog do you think is underappreciated?
Honestly? I think my Off Call Wine Glass is just fantastic! Who doesn’t love to sit back with a glass of wine when they’re off call?! As far as labor tools go, however, I think the backpack in my shop is one of the best around. It’s incredibly roomy and has great smaller pockets on the exterior for storing my keys, my badge, and my phone.
What advice do you have for a new doula and/or for doulas who want to revitalize their business?
You can totally do this. Think of yourself as running a business from Day One. Get yourself a great client contract, find other doulas to connect with and who support you. There’s lots of talk about identifying your “ideal client” or your “target market”, and while I think there’s a LOT of value in this, a lot of times new doulas don’t know what kind of clients they enjoy working with! Be open to working with lots of different folks. It took me five or six years to really get comfortable with who my ideal client was, and I could only do that by working with lots of folks. Stay open, stay flexible, and always remember, “how will they remember the day they gave birth?” (Penny’s motto.)