In our “Starter Story” series we invite femtech founders to share their stories of how it all began. How did they come up with the idea? Where did they meet their cofounders and what was the hardest part of going from 0 to 1?
In today’s Starter Story we get to share VagiPlug’s founding story as told by Founder Teneha Brown. Vagiplug‘s mission is to help women who suffer with recurring vaginal infections due to use of bathing fragrances and other irritants that enter the vaginal canal and cause PH alterations.
When did the idea for your startup first come up?
The idea was an idea from God that came about Fall 2016 while I was lounging in the bed one morning before class.
When and how did you take the decision to take the plunge and turn your idea into a business?
I brought it to fruition in June 2018. The decision to take the plunge was based on FOMO. I knew other women were experiencing the same problem and I didn’t want to be sitting home one day 20 years from now and see MY idea on television, being advertised, being monetized, making someone else rich. I knew I had to act or someone else would. So I researched the steps to inventing & patenting a product/device. I made a few phone calls seeking a patent attorney in my area and then the process began.
How did you meet your co-founder?
I met my co-founder at birth, lol… My co-founder is my mother. She is the person that fuels me to keep pushing, she’s the person that I was bouncing all my outrageous, multi-million dollar ideas off, she’s the person that has been the greatest help to me. Sometimes, I think she knows the product better than I do.
What were the biggest challenges for you personally and your company going from 0 to 1?
My biggest challenge personally was pushing past the rejection, especially rejection within my immediate circle of family and friends. I just knew this group would be my biggest supporters, but some of them were the loudest naysayers. Learning to develop thick skin to bare the brunt of negative comments and rejection helped me and the company grow from nothing to something.
Do you have any advice for others, who are just getting started?
In the infamous words of Nike, JUST DO IT!!! It won’t get LESS hard by not starting. As a matter of fact, the longer you wait, the MORE difficult it’ll be to begin because life will continue to happen around you. There will NEVER be the right time to do it, so just GO FOR IT!!!