Meet four CEOs on a mission to help women feel healthy
December 28, 2022 — While great business ideas often emerge from personal experiences, when a health issue prompts a business to grow, the results can be incredible for both the founder and the clients. Such was the case for these four CEOs who turned their own personal health journeys into businesses that helped so many women along the way. Read on to discover their stories.
Helping women find the right method of contraception
In 2020, when 26-year-old Dallas Barnes launched Reya Healtha personalized birth control matching and tracking app, birth control advice app is the result of years of trying several different birth control options and experiencing a host of unwanted side effects ( and serious).
“I developed ovarian cysts, chronic urinary tract infections and lifelong vaginal bacterial infections from a birth control method I tried,” says Barnes, who is based in London, Ontario, Canada. “The side effects were so debilitating that I had to go to the hospital – twice – and soon realized that I was not alone in this experience.”
Her goal is to help women choose the right contraceptive option through the algorithms of her digital platform, something she says can take an average of 2 years to find, thanks to the plethora of options, from the birth control pill to the IUD, patch, and ring.
“I want women to know that this can be a tricky and frustrating process,” she says. “It’s important to remember to be patient and kind to yourself along the way.”
Ultimately, Barnes hopes her app will help women focus on the best option for them.
“It’s important to learn what you need and how to defend it,” she says.
Create an innovative breast pump
When Samantha Rudolph, 41, a former serial entrepreneur at ESPN and now a mother of two children aged 3 and 7, came up with the idea for a new breast pump, she was on vacation with her husband, children in young age.
“You’d think I used a pump and hated it and wanted to create something better, but that’s not my story,” says Rudolph, founder of Babyationa St. Louis, MO based company that started selling their pumps 8 months ago.
Instead, it was in 2014 that Rudolph came across an article about breast pumps and woke up her husband, an engineer.
“I remember him saying that breast pumps aren’t that complicated and he went back to sleep,” she says, “but the idea of creating a very different breast pump from what was already on the market was something we couldn’t get rid of.”
The couple began developing plans in 2015 with the aim of offering a pump that minimizes breast shields on the body, is app-controllable, battery-powered and, in the process, the entrepreneurs have racked up 27 issued patents on its suction. innovative.
“When we developed the product, discretion became our North Star,” she says. “We wanted something incredibly quiet, and looked to science to understand how a baby sucks and gets milk from the body.”
Innovation continues in the sound of the machine, comfort (the funnel is silicone rather than hard plastic), there are fewer parts to clean, and moms pump straight into a cooler.
For Rudolph, who is also a certified lactation consultant, there is tremendous satisfaction in upping the breast pump game.
“Every day I walk into our office, I pinch myself,” she says. “When I walk through our 10,000 square foot factory and see everything we’ve designed, innovated and paid for, it’s so satisfying!”
Paying special attention to a woman’s vulva
Ask Thérèse Clark, founder of Lady Suiteand she will tell you that the vulva is the most neglected part of a woman’s body during a gynecological examination.
Clark, who spent 2 decades developing and launching clean skincare lines, also founded the company “Intimate Skincare Meets Sexual Wellness” due to his own personal struggles, including a chronically irritated intimate skin aggravated by hypothyroidism, or when the thyroid gland is not functioning. produce enough thyroid hormone.
“There was no one to help me or talk to me about it,” she says of the stigma of issues such as dry vulvar skin and frequent yeast infections. “My mother is a nurse-gynecologist-obstetrician and she didn’t tell me about it either.”
So in 2018 Clark, now 46, launched a line of products that tackles issues like itching and odor, ingrown hairs and bumps, dryness and chafing. Interestingly, the demographics of women who respond to her collection, which includes an intimate serum and a rejuvenating botanical oil, range from women entering their childbearing years to those entering perimenopause.
“We launched when the millennial movement was strong and the women in that demonstration wanted better care when they became moms,” she says of her Los Angeles-based company. “Also, because grooming is popular with young people, most of the time our products start when you have an ingrown hair and then work through hormonal changes to stress.”
These days, the herbal products — with premium earth-peach-colored packaging that’s meant for display, not tucked away on a bedside table — are available through their website, at select outlets. retail and in medical offices.
Clark remains hopeful that through her companionship and advocacy, the vulva can finally get her due.
“The vulva is such an important part of our immune system,” she says. “I want women to be more aware of this part of their body. I really see the vulva as a gateway to our holistic health.”
Heat up when you need it
Shortly after Kristen Carbone, 40, underwent a preventative mastectomy with implant reconstruction in 2013, her breasts were constantly cold. After conducting interviews with hundreds of women in the breast cancer community, she learned that she was not alone in facing this relatively common outcome of implant reconstruction.
“After countless failed attempts to jerry-rig something that would warm me up, I decided to design a lasting solution to help women like me feel better physically,” says this mother of two, ages 12 and 14. years, based in Providence, RI.
Finally, after several years of research and development, Brilliantly warm, a heated bra insert has become available for women, especially those with breast implants. The app-controlled wearable has a simple, yet important premise: it delivers full-body heat at the push of a button, slips easily into any bra, has three temperature settings, and sits straight on your skin.
What’s really exciting for Carbone is that the heated clothing market isn’t limited to those with breast implants.
“After talking to customers, we learned that women who are already using our patent-pending technology include breastfeeding mothers and women who get cold while doing specific activities like skiing, going to the movies or even working in a cold office,” she said. said.
The need to stay warm has spread to even more women.
“Nearly half of our users place Brilliantly Warm in their pants to relieve menstrual cramps,” she says. “We plan to be the go-to wearable technology for women from the time they have their first period through menopause.”