💊hi gray: Stix, Empowering Women’s Health Discreetly
hi gray Q&A #10
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Stix, a New York City-based health brand, is focused on delivering doctor-approved health products that are judgment-free, clear and empowering. The female-founded company has products ranging from pregnancy and ovulation tests to urinary tract infection (UTI) tests and pain relief medication.
Women who had crossed any one of these health situations in their lifetime know how urgent and unpredictable they can be. Stix aims to help alleviate as much of the discomfort a possible every step of the way.
Stix has raised $1.4 million in funding since launching in 2018, according to Crunchbase.
We caught up with cofounder Cynthia Plotch to understand how they got the idea to create Stix in the first place, the competition, and how branding plays a role in what they do.
Hi Gray: What inspired the creation of Stix and its focus on women’s health products relating to pregnancy, urinary health, etc.?
Cynthia Plotch: A few years ago I ran into my boyfriend’s mom buying a pregnancy test (yes, that really happened). I called my friend and colleague Jamie to tell her about the experience and we both griped about the terrible experience of buying a pregnancy test. We decided there had to be a better solution. So, we started by interviewing hundreds of women and found that pretty much no one had a good experience with buying a pregnancy test.
Beyond that, many women felt that they were constantly confused about their health, didn’t know what products to buy, and generally felt a lack of confidence. So, we founded Stix to give you the products, education, and space to confidently manage your health.
HG: If you could describe the company in two sentences, what would it be?
CP: Your health should be on your terms. Stix brings peace of mind to your health journey, wherever you are on it, starting with pregnancy, fertility, and UTI products.
HG: Can you tell me a little bit about your (and your cofounder’s) background, is it in women’s health — how did you go about starting a business in the digital health space? Walk me through those early days. Did you raise capital, etc?
CP: Jamie and I met as Venture for America fellows in 2015 and both became members of the founding team at Hungry Harvest. We both have experience building and scaling consumer companies and are passionate about building things from the ground up. Neither one of us had a formal background in women’s health other than our own experiences before founding Stix. We work with incredible medical advisors and mentors every day!
HG: Tell me more about the industry/sector you are in -- what’s demand like? what’s the competition like?
CP: When we started Stix, we originally only sold pregnancy and ovulation tests and found that due to our pregnancy-agnostic branding (a.k.a. no baby's faces in our marketing), we attracted a 50/50 split of customers actively trying to get pregnant and customers actively trying not to get pregnant. Since we’ve launched into the UTI space, we’ve found what we long suspected — there is a major overlap in various women’s health stages.
For example, you may need a UTI daily protection supplement at the same time that you need a pregnancy test. As we continue to grow, providing our customers all the tools to manage their health, without any assumptions of when and why they’ll need the products, will be our key differentiator in the space.
HG: Describe Stix's target audience.
CP: I would describe our target audience as anyone who wants to understand their health a little better. I know that sounds incredibly broad, but at Stix we believe that everyone’s health is unique and personal, so we’re building tools that help you manage your own health. We don’t make any assumptions about who you are or why you need our products.
HG: Tell me more about how your company is structured.
CP: Right now, our full-time team is 6 people based out of our Philadelphia HQ. We’re a small team, so have a very flat structure. Regardless of title, everyone is both working on strategy and execution. Also, we’ve onboarded our whole team remotely due to Covid, meaning we all put in extra effort to build personal relationships that exist outside of Slack. Each morning, we have check-ins and coffee and we have a weekly lunch. Everyone knows that maintaining and building our culture is key to our growth and success.
HG: What are the next growth opportunities for Stix?
CP: When we think about growth opportunities, we think about our customers and what they really need to confidently manage their health. This comes down to three key areas: expanded physical product lines that help you manage every life stage, digital products that increase ease and peace of mind, and education that helps you learn about your body. You’ll be seeing more from us in those three key areas over the next year.
HG: Lastly, I think this is always a great question: how did the name “Stix” come about?
CP: When we were naming the company, we wanted a name that made our customers feel taken care of with accessible and effective health solutions. We landed on Stix because it was simple, sweet, and to the point, just like our company.
👋 Curious about Stix? Read and interact with them here.
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