I started a love business in my kitchen. I had four kids running around and we had to move the dining room table against the wall to make space for labeling and packing boxes. Every evening I would load the boxes in the mini vans with my preschoolers and we would all carry the boxes into the post office. Then we would move the dining table back and make dinner and do bedtime. Fast forward twenty years and that little kitchen business just made the Inc 5000 list.
If someone were to ask me how to build a business then or now, the only thing I could tell them about would be the why. In truth, the why is what gets you going in the morning and also keeps you coming back regardless of the problems you face. I needed products that were not available in the market to sustain my marriage and sex life. I started and keep coming back to the business with my own very real need for intimacy products that didn’t hurt me and this why lead me to learning the science of the vaginal microbiome.
In 2012 when our signature lubricant was named the safest products in its class, I began in earnest, my journey into the study of women’s health. Early on when I was making better for you organic products I believed that I had a personal allergy to the vast majority of sexual lubricants on the market. As I learned more, I came to understand that the vast majority of personal lubricant products on the market are fundamentally bio-incompatible.
Learning about how many products were actually making women sick instead of well emboldened me even more and was the driver behind our Bio-Match product line. Hearing from our customers every day about how these effective solutions change their life keeps me tethered to my why. Women’s health has been tragically ignored in medical research for decades, so although I never imagined I would be leading the way, I am proud to be bringing together some of the most passionate scientists and clinicians to better understand the important functions and optimal conditions for vaginal biome health.
Although I am not much of a business planner and still don’t do very well with Excel forms, I am an passionate founder devoted to finding real answers for how women can feel better every day and have agency over their personal health. That why, I believe is what landed us in the INC 5000 list which showcases the 5000 fastest growing private companies in America. It is a list that I long coveted each time I passed the magazine in an airport shop on the way to another tradeshow or sales meeting.
For a long time after starting my business, I never made any money, which my son used to love to tease me about. Running a business without enough money is challenging when you have a bigger purpose, but is impossible if the only goal is making money. It was the aspiration of the work, the coming closer to real effective solutions based in scientific research that mattered to me then and still does today. Being recognized now on this list of 5000 businesses is meaningful today because it means that we have been able to reach so many more people and change so many lives.
Remembering the cottage industry that this business was for so many years, helps me to appreciate what this success really means, that you don’t have to be a business pro with an MBA to succeed, but that a dream to solve real problems can often be enough.