Historically, it's been tough to start a business that caters specifically to women. Investors have often been reluctant to invest in a business focused on menopause, for example.

But that's changing, with female entrepreneurs leading the charge, forming partnerships to support one another and the women they serve. 

A Chat With Handful Active Wear CEO Jennifer Ferguson On Supporting Women

In this podcast, Health Coach Stasi Kasianchuk talks with CEO of Handful Active Wear Jennifer Ferguson and CEO of Gennev Jill Angelo about women, business, and the business of supporting women. 

Love Handful? We do too! Listen to the podcast for a special code to save on Handful.

If you'd like to watch the video of their conversation, visit (and subscribe to) our YouTube channel.

 

 

Are you an entrepreneur or interested in becoming one? We'd love to hear about your trials and triumphs, so join us on the Gennev Community Forums!

TRANSCRIPT

Stasi Kasianchuk, Gennev Director of Health Coaching

I am Stasi Kasianchuk. I'm the registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist and Gennev’s Director of Health Coaching. And I am absolutely thrilled to have both Jennifer, the CEO and owner of Handful Bras and Jill, Gennev’s CEO here today. The story it's been an evolving process, this collaboration for this webinar and podcast. And I have to say I happen, you know, working for Jill. I know about her story and starting Gennev and obviously I work for the company and when I learned about when I learned about Handful Bras and their mission and read about Jennifer on her website, I was like, I gotta get to know her. And so and what ended up happening that when we'll talk about this today we have some collaborations with Handful as the pandemic rolled out over the past several months and saw this opportunity to really come together with other women supporting women businesses that support women. And as I talked with Jennifer and knowing Jill, I was like this, we got to get these women together. So we're going to do that today. So welcome Jennifer to our Gennev wellness pod, podcast and webinars that we have weekly, sometimes more than once a week. And can you just introduce yourself to our audience, give us a background on you and who you are. So we know more about you and Handful.

Jennifer Ferguson, CEO and founder, Handful

My name is Jennifer Ferguson and I'm the founder and CEO of Handful, which is active wear that supports you to grab life by the handful. And I have a background, I've just grown up active my whole life and then have been a group fitness instructor for over 20 years. And I was frustrated with the amount of changes I needed to have in my gym bag to try and keep up with my active, versatile, on-the-go lifestyle. And so after searching in vain for a base layer that could carry me from weekend to work to work out, launched Handful over a dozen years ago. I mean, we're coming up almost on 15 years and come to find out other women were looking for these versatile items. And then we've grown from our bras, which were the hero to bottoms and tops as well. So thanks for having us.

Stasi

Excellent. Great. Well, I look forward to hearing more about Handful throughout the webinar. Jill, can you, for those of our audience that don't know about your story and starting Gennev and, and your background, can you share?

Jill Angelo, CEO and co-founder, Gennev

Yeah, for sure. First of all, Jen, welcome. It's fun to have other women entrepreneurs who are doing things for women. It's just always fun to come together. So it's, it's really awesome to have you with us today. I'm Jill Angelo. I'm the co founder of Gennev. We started back in 2016 so about four years ago. And Gennev is, you know a virtual clinic and community for women in menopause. My story is, you know, I've spent my entire career in the tech space. I've had 20 years’ experience working in technology. First for a small software company that got acquired by Microsoft and I was at Microsoft for about 15 years. And you know, coming out of that experience, my personal passion has always been on women and girls confidence specifically and their development. And I was on a sabbatical from Microsoft, met my co founder who is credited with building Neutrogena.

And she really had, I think, a clear vision around menopause and how little women were served and how much they suffer in silence. And from that, you know, we, one thing led to another and you know, we decided to start Gennev because my experience working with women and senior women at Microsoft. I was as the chief of staff to the CMO, I did a lot to nurture our senior women's networking group. And as we, as I heard their conversations transition over time from, you know, having babies, worklife balance, you know, postpartum to, well, my body's changing, you know, I'm really tired all the time. Or has anyone had a hot flash? Like some of these things started to come out. It was something in the workplace we had never ever addressed. And so as I met my cofounder and we started to talk about menopause we saw a real opportunity to address something for women that just isn't being met today. And so we found it. I founded Gennev we, and it's gone from there into into what we offer today is as full range telehealth services for women, products and community and education all around menopause.

Stasi

Excellent. Yeah, that's a great, just gives a good background and still in the story again around women and how much we do need to support and we need companies that support women as well. Jennifer, could you share your story on how you started Handful and where, what the aspect of focusing and supporting women, where that comes from for your company?

Jennifer

I as I mentioned earlier, I wasn't feeling like I was being properly supported by my equipment, my, my active wear. And I was tired of sacrificing fashion for function, for feel. If something was fashionable, it certainly wasn't functional and it certainly didn't feel good. And if something did feel good, it, it didn't look good. And as women, you know, we deserve to have our cake and eat it too. And so Handful really is stemmed from what we call the Handful High Five, and it's the F words. We swear by fashion, function, feel, fun, and fight against breast cancer. And so our products are versatile to be worn, as I said from weekend to work to work out and it supports us literally and figuratively.

We have an optional modesty padding, a hidden pocket that is also for the one and eight women still getting diagnosed with breast cancer. And so you can wear the pads, not wear the pads, you can stack them up, you can also stash essentials. I've got my handy dandy lip gloss in there. Because women want to be hands free. So we want things that are functional, that are also fashionable and also feel good and also support a bigger cause. And so I started just after searching in vain for a product that I was missing and then I grew the team. And less than a handful of years ago, we decided to go full time. And I have brought on CFO, COO from Intel. Interesting. When you're telling a story how a lot of the big corporation you'd get your experience and then you find your passion and you get to use it there. So I get to work with Jody our, our right hand woman, Tina manages the behind the scenes shoot, the silent but deadly accounts receivable, payable, et cetera.

And then we brought on Cary Goldberg, who's our Director of Survivor Relations and she was a late stage three over a dozen year survivor and she is double mastectomy, no reconstruction, and she wears three pads on each side and is physically measuring half an inch taller. And it's really such a metaphor for all of us of having proper equipment that feels good. It has us open our heart literally and figuratively to the world and stand taller. And that is just so important. That Handful is 100 of that a hundred percent about support. And then we've grown our team from there since then and we worked with a lot of amazing independent contractors. Our internal sales woman, she is a fitness instructor. Her motto is when in doubt dance it out. And we have, we take ourselves our products seriously, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously. So we have fun color names. So we're all about the fun and the feel and the function and also the fight against breast cancer.

Stasi

That's awesome. And such, I like the, you know, both of your stories interesting. They have technology backgrounds there, but that there's also this idea that women don't, we don't need, shouldn't be suffering, we shouldn't be suffering. We should be supported. And when there's something that you, both of you saw an area, a gap that had potential to be filled with a service and then you built a company that aligns with that, with that support as the focus. The whole company is built around that. So that's fabulous to, to see. For both of you thinking your, your career, was it there always, was there ever an idea of when you started out as a working woman that you would be the leader of companies like the ones that you are right now?

Jill

For me? No. I'll start there. I, you know, I grew up in a pretty entrepreneurial family. I grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota and it was like, you know, all hands on deck all the time and we had people that worked with us as well and I thought, I never want to be responsible for someone's paycheck. Like, that's too much responsibility, I could never do that. I want to work for a place where I can get out in the world and I don't have to, you know, be so concerned about everything all the time. That was kind of my feeling, just having grown up through that. And it's interesting how you come full circle because you know, I spent 20 years in kind of corporate, a corporate space and it was awesome. I loved it, but I was ready.

I was ready to do something with a big impact. And that's what drove me to this, not because I desired to really start my own company or to, you know, think about, you know, the, the, the PNL or, you know, hire a team and so forth. I love all those things now. But it was the mission or the this needs to change sort of thing that really moved me to start this. And and I guess, and now more than ever, I kind of draw on my roots. So I don't know, Jennifer, how it was for you, but I certainly, this was not in my plan. But now I'm, I'm really, really glad that I'm here.

Jennifer

Well, it's interesting. I was born and raised in Montana and we also had a ranch, I did not grow up on the cattle ranch, but there were three times more sheep than people. And so if something needed to get done and you had a pulse, you know, I actually had someone in the South, you know, they talk about opening the doors for women. And I said, Oh, well, I, I, my family, we opened doors if someone's hands are full. And this person said to me, Oh, that's right, and you're from the do it yourself state. I mean, if I sat there and waited for someone to open the door for me with three times more sheep than people that I might be standing there a while, and I didn't realize it, but I, yes, it's always been do it yourself and figure it out.

But at the same time, I've always been very passionate getting to work with a team. I've always been a team sport person, but I was fortunate, I didn't really grow up with the labels because there were so few of us. I played on the boys soccer team. I got to play on, on basketball, gymnastics, anything that required. So it didn't matter what your height was, what your, your age, nationality. I mean if you could participate, jump in and play. And so I feel really fortunate. I did grow up, I was one of the first people in my crew to get a computer. I mean, it was like the size of my body, of course, my first computer. And so I think I thought, Oh, I want to be the first female president of IBM. I mean, I just thought, you know, technology was so exciting and, and I just, I grew up with raised with a can do attitude.

I wasn't, you know, told Oh women do this and not. So I always was very driven about getting to work with a team and work hard. And so I, that was always what I thought. Of course from here to there is never a straight line. So a couple children later, I've always taught fitness classes and then missing products that were versatile had led me to be launching this particular company. And then getting to work with an amazing team. It definitely goes with that. If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life. So I definitely feel very fortunate to have amazing team I get to work with and the amazing customers as well.

Stasi

That's awesome. Yeah. No, I think I like what you said too about having that can do attitude of this is what we can do this. And I think that that's something that talking with a lot of women, especially during menopause, when things are changing, things are different. And when that question comes up of I'm in either I'm in a different body or I'm in the same body feeling different. Can I do the things that I used to be able to do? And I would say that's what we, a lot of conversations on. Yes, you can and it may look differently, but how is that going to, what is it going to look like now? Because you still can do those things. So I appreciate you emphasizing that can do piece. I think more women need to hear that because we can do things.

And we need that support to do that. Exactly. Excellent. Well, with my next question for both of you, it kind of along those same lines, is why is it important to support other women? And maybe generally. And then more specifically during this time around COVID 19. It was interesting when I reached out, I think I got in contact with Syd Sydney on your team, Jennifer. And she said, you know, it's interesting. I reached out saying, how can we support you? What can we do? And she came back and said, we're doing the same thing. We actually have some other things in the works around this with some other women run companies. So obviously that, that train of thought came up. Why, why do you think this is important right now?

Jennifer

Oh, I mean, one of my favorite messages now more than ever important is asking for help doesn't mean you're giving up. It means you're not willing to give up. And I think that's so powerful. And I think, you know, you look at people, you don't always know what's going on with them. And so I really encourage us to be really clear with what we need help with, how we can help, women love to help. And I mean that's what has us get up and do what we do every day at Handful is supporting women. And the stories we get from people, I mean just Jill talking off camera beforehand, your running group wore Handful. And if a friend was getting married and, and that's what we do. We come together, we celebrate. And I just, there's an analogy when you run, if you run a mountain, you're, you're not supposed to look at the top because you just want to lay down and take a nap and it just doesn't seem possible.

So you give yourself a little mile markers, you go, Oh, there's, there's that tree and Oh, there's that sign. I'm going to just, that's, you know, it's the journey and one step at a time. And definitely having that support is priceless. There's statistics that having just one friend, how important friendships and support is better for your health than quitting smoking. Of course, that is also, but like exponentially, it makes a world of difference. And so that is really what, what we're all about is, is providing support for women. We receive it. Cary, our Director of Survivor Relationships has this amazing motto of you make it through the fire and you reach back through to pull someone else through. And so sometimes when I go outside of the fire, you know, looking for a hand and other times we're back pulling through. So you know, that's, that's just why we get up and do what we do every day.

Jill

Yeah. I love the Director of Survivor Relations. I just think that's really it says, it says it all in her title. You know, just to add on to your points around women supporting women, especially right now in these moments. You know, we often say women are on the front lines in many ways, so they're essential workers. That term has become a new, you know, kind of a new term right now with women in healthcare with, with workers on the front lines, anywhere, men or women. And, but in particular what we're watching right now is obviously women going through the menopausal transition. They, you know, hormonal changes creates mood changes and anxiety and stress in and of itself. It creates challenges sleeping in and of itself. It creates changes in metabolism and eating habits in and of itself.

You pile on COVID 19, and the stress and all the things, the uncertainty that's related to right now, it just compounds all those things. So oftentimes when you look at, you know, the resilience of a woman that is headed into menopause and hand or has, you know, just started to experience some of those symptoms and is really figuring out how to manage them so that she can kind of take control of them and preserve her quality of life. The preparation women have done for menopause in many ways kind of almost has prepared them for quarantine or for this moment I think of extreme uncertainty because those things are just amplified. So I think in any case women who are managing their menopausal symptoms the more that we can support them and also help them through this moment because we've got a lot of those tools. Those programs though, you know, women who work with Stasi as our Director of Health Coaching with our HealthFix membership. We're working with women on these sorts of things every single day.

And the more that we can, you know, double down and do that with more women during this time who might be suffering from those aspects of what, you know, uncertainty and this pandemic has brought the better. You know, one additional thing that we've done to support women during this pandemic was to expand our services. So our physicians are all OB GYN and they have obviously incredible experience in menopause and gynecology. But many of them have primary care experience as well. So we've expanded our telehealth services to also address primary care concerns.

Cause we've had women who come to us wondering if I'm having a hot flash or is it a fever and should I be concerned. And so there's again, a heightened sense of, you know, concern and questions and anxiety right now. And the more that we can be here to support women through that transition and to partner with companies like Handful to have collective good in our work together. That's all goodness. And that's, that's what we love to do. It’s what makes what we do even more meaningful.

Stasi

Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. No, I think both, you know, both of you mentioned just really the importance of coming together and recognizing that asking for help is a strength. To your point, Jennifer of there could, there's messaging in cultures you know, our culture sometimes that that becomes, that's a weakness. When in fact it really is a strength to capitalize on, on leaning in on each other.

And like you said Jennifer, the reaching through the flame when you've gone through the flame reaching through to help someone else come through. And that's similar in menopause, you know, whether it's someone that's trend is gone through the process of menopause and has insight to provide and can support other women or as we are learning from on the coaching side and our telemedicine side. Let us give you the resources to help you be successful. And there's no shame in asking for that help. We're here to support you and all coming together to do that. I always think I have this vision of that. Like if we all hold hands in this world, it's just going to be a much better place. And so especially on, you know, when there are things that women have in common, having that, that support is really important.

So that's excellent. Well, with you know, some of the things that we have done too now working together we've been able to you know, with Handful we have a giveaway coming up that brings on other companies. Handful has generously offered that if you use the code GENNEV, you can get 20% off of their products. What about these companies coming together and women women run, women supporting companies coming together. How do you see that supporting the industry as a whole and making a statement? You know, we usually, we see so much competition and territorial and people are in silos and we're breaking down those silos. So I'd love to get your vision on those, on that concept.

Jennifer

Yeah. Okay if I jump in here? I actually just got off a call right before this with this amazing group. They call them Movers and Makers through Title Nine, which I don't know if you're familiar with that amazing company, but Title IX was a legal bill that was my parents were fighting for me. I remember the picketing to give with a girls equal gym space. And so when I grew up being from such a small town, our basketball season was a totally different season because the men's were a certain season and we didn't have enough gym space. So we, we played in a different season. So my best friend was this amazing basketball player and scouts could not scout her because she played during a totally different season. And so Title IX of course has changed that. And if there is a voice team, you have to have a girls team at the same time and equal space.

So this amazing company Title Nine led by this awesome CEO, founder Missy, she 30 years ago, one of the original gangsters, I say just, you know, women supporting women and being active and they have our group, they have a group of us together right now. And oftentimes our brands would compete as you've mentioned. And yet we're coming together. How can we, I mean I definitely together we're stronger, you know, the acronym TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More. I definitely agree with that. And I think there's a different place for all of us. And I oftentimes I'm on network panels and they say what's it like to be a woman in business. I, I pretty much everyone I work with are women. You know, our customers are women. We're women you know, it’s obviously about supporting women. So there's other genders and pronouns that support women as well, but predominantly, and I do really we work with women around support and so that's what we work with.

And so even around the whole COVID as we were mentioning, and you were all were talking about working with physicians. I mean we have physicians that wear our product, I mean life's a sport that profession, certainly a sport about being scrubbed up and one of the nurse, you know, bra strap would fall down and the, the surgeon’s like, why aren't you wearing Handful? And so, so it's great to give a code for people to be introduced to, to our product. And then also for the first responders this month because that was a huge thing. You know, the first week this happened, I felt like I got whiplash. I think it was a metaphor for all of us. You know, we're just driving down the road, we slam on the breaks, we get completely rear-ended. And so we're all kind of not sure what to do.

And then all of a sudden I was just overwhelmed with, you know, heaven forbid a company goes under, I mean, we've got to go under clawing for support. We've got to be supporting people to the very end. And so how can we help these first responders? And so we looked at what some of the other amazing women companies were doing. This other awesome women company email. They were giving a code for their bras and then they shared how the program they use. And then we piggyback. So now we're giving  40% off for first responders so you can get on our website and we're and then like breast cancer survivors, we give 30% off year round. I mean, we're just all about people that are you know, dealing with extra challenges. We just know that that high five helps people keep going when they need it the most. And so a hundred percent banding together. And the big topic on our last call that I just haven't stopped thinking I'm going to keep thinking is, you know, what do we all stand for and how can we come together to support that in a bigger way? And how can we be more inclusive and hold hands with more people of different ages, shapes, sizes, nationalities. So that's definitely a goal of ours and we appreciate you bringing us all together to just keep that conversation going.

Stasi

Yeah, yeah. A great thing to do. In terms of just being able to, like you said, different companies coming together, we all have a role and we can highlight each other's strengths and pick each other up. Sorry, Jill, what were you gonna say?

Jill

Yeah, no, I, you know, and I think one thing I love about even the, the fun, the great kind of partnership and promotion we're doing together, Jennifer this week or in this period of time around, you know, just offering discounts and support to women across our different solutions and products. We typically tend to think about partnering, you know, like for us with brands focused on the menopause space or whatever. And I think stepping back to say, what do women in general need right now? And how can we support them better?

I think from a partnership perspective, you always are able to serve more. Like, why not do the work for the consumer to see other supportive products and/ or services that she's going to need versus her having to go out and quote unquote shop for it or do her own research. When we come together because we have like-minded missions and we have different aspects of what we do, whether it overlaps or even if it doesn't in our products and our services, I think it's just so, so women are have enough to do already. So the more that we can again come together to give her a curated set of mission driven women. So, you know, you feel good about doing business with them in the first place as a consumer. But second of all, she didn't have to go out and research all that or she's also feeling supported in whatever benefits or discounts you're providing her.

I just, I that's just the right way to do things. I think as well, you know, coming from the corporate space where in an era where women really, we all had to, there weren't as many of us or you know, it wasn't the kind of climate where women lifted each other up because the way performance reviews were done or whatever. That's an era that's starting to evolve and change. I think, especially as entrepreneurs, you know what it's like to be alone and to build your business alone and you don't wish that on anybody. And so you start to really bind together because I kind of get what some of the struggles or some of the things you had to go through Jennifer, to start your business and to get it to where it is backed by a mission that you have. And it's just such a community is so important no matter what change you're going through. And as we even build businesses, as business owners, I think the coming together, while it's good for the consumer it's really good for us too because it gives us just a sounding board and like-minded group of people that get us that we can share the challenges with as with as well as the successes. And if we all win together, that's a really amazing feeling too.

Jennifer

Yes. I, I heard a thing once that something which all practice my whole life is to be the most enlightened you wish upon others what you wish upon yourself. And it's so amazing to get to celebrate the wins and sometimes it's not you getting the win, but how great to to reach out and celebrate each other. And I think if we can take each other's wins upon us as our own win and you know, there is really devastating compare-and-despair that's out there, especially, you know, on the, in the social media world. And you know, just wish it was more of a high five celebrating each other rather than like, Oh man, I know she did that and how come not me? It's like, well, high five she did that even though I haven't done that, I might not ever do that. So I really try to come from that. I feel like I can come from that place of celebrating others as if it were my own win, I'm just better for all of us. So it's, it's great to get partners with likeminded support.

Stasi

Yeah. And I think that's something too that can be hard for women in menopause when I'm working with them is that they are compare, they're either comparing to their self from before or other women and that that experience is unique. So how can we help focus on, you know, changing that conversation to celebrating the wins of other people and celebrating our wins. We have wins too. Even if they're not, they don't look exactly like someone else. How can we celebrate our own wins? And then together collectively, that positive energy, that forward mode, that forward movement. Is is good for everyone as a whole.

Jill

Yeah. It's just like what you see on the news right now when they wheel a COVID patient who was really ill out of the intensive care unit and everyone comes around and celebrates them, they're all feeling obviously great for that patient. But they're also celebrating the work they had to do together to, to keep them healthy and get them back to health. I just think that that is just, you know, it's, it's unfortunate that it takes moments of challenge and sadness and difficulty to bring out the best of human beings in our collective nature to want to be together, celebrate each other, you know, but you see so many examples of it right now, which is super motivating. So if there's a silver lining that's, that's one, that's a big one right now.

Jennifer

Yeah. Well, and you mentioned earlier though, it's kind of like your friend getting married. I mean, you were celebrating, you know, so I do think it is an important reminder, especially as entrepreneurs like any, anyone, you know, we always feel like the inbox is exploding. And there's so much to do, but it's so important to stop and celebrate what you have accomplished. And, and yeah, I think bringing people together to do that is exponentially powerful. And I just love that we're, we're talking about menopause. I love that we live in a day and age where we can, we talk about things. I'm the youngest of four, so I'm always saying like, now when did you guys go through it and when did Mom go through it? And just trying to give myself an idea. And I just, I feel so grateful that we live in an era where we can talk about those things because I do think to all your point, the support and the resource, I need to just have to figure all this out in private is, yeah, no, we, we've all got too many other bigger, better things to deal with that if people like your company and our company can hand them resources so that they can accomplish what's really important to them, that day, you know, high five.

Stasi

Yeah, I love that.

Jill

You know, I should let everyone in on the, the backstory around the running group and the Handful bra. So we're not like talking inside baseball. So, you know, I think you started your company, Jennifer in 2006. Okay. Okay. Okay. And I think in like 2008 or 9 it was, I bought my first Handful bra and I was part of a women's running group. We call ourselves the Divas and one of us was getting married. And it was, it was customary, we would always do like a bachelorette run together and this particular time and, and you know, I got married in the group at one point too and I had to wear a tiara. You know, we just kinda did whatever. Well in this particular time, Handful bras were being sold at a running store here in Seattle. And so the owned by a friend of mine, so we all bought pink ones and the bride bought a white one and we went on a run with our Handful bras on as a little bachelorette. I have a picture of all of us.

So it's just amazing that we're coming back full circle here today. Because that was just, it was a great moment. And it was, yeah, it was a true moment of women lifting women up and, and having a good time at the same time.

Jennifer

Yeah. It's so great. We recently had, that's what I love. You know, you plant the seeds and it's like, I love the bamboo story. I mean, sometimes people get tired. They, they're too, they get tired of waiting for the little sprout. But you know, once that sprout happens, it can go big quickly. So we've all been kind of, you know, planting the seeds and, and throwing love to the garden. And we just had another women's running group and they did a, I can't remember what the theme, but it was basically like it was bare naked. So they wore our beige bras and they weren't, and they did a run and it was all, it was like the naked run. And so they, and then they ha, they came around with a story. I think one was a breast cancer survivor and she's maybe a different size now. So she was chatting with Cary, our director of survivor relations. And you just go, Oh, I remember those women wearing those beige, you know, we used to call the nude, but of course we all have a different nude so they’re beige, I remember them wearing the beige bras. And I remember seeing pictures like your bachelorette, whether it was exactly yours, but that can be common. And that's always just our biggest honor is when people think of their besties and Handful is in the mix and we can support and then there's fun and celebrations. Really awesome.

Stasi

Jennifer, you've mentioned a little bit about the director of survivor relations. And I know you have a program specifically for breast cancer survivors. I think if I'm remembering this correctly, can you share with our audience a little bit more about that? Cause it's an amazing program.

Jennifer

So one in eight women are still getting diagnosed with breast cancer in the U S and so we donate 12.5 and one divided by eight is 4.5% to the Young Survival Coalition. YSC on any of our battle cry peak colorways. We currently have two styles are our top two sellers are adjustable on our Y-back styles in BattleCry pink. So year round, you know, the fight against breast cancer for us is not just the month of October. And Cary’s personal story, she was in her young thirties when she got diagnosed. And so when she went to an average group and people were talking about, you know, losing their husband, she wasn't resonating as much cause she was, she was so young when she was diagnosed. And so she launched a local version of the Young Survival Coalition and just connected with the most amazing women, curious, been featured in this amazing book called The Scar Project.

And it's just bringing awareness to breast cancer survivors and the fight that they go through. And so that was the philanthropy we chose was YSC out of New York and they, they're very active. Cause that's a big thing for us. I mean our person obviously is active and Cary really attributes being active to why she's alive today. You know, we, it's important for all of us to move and when you've been diagnosed with cancer, you know, exponentially more important to just find that regular movement. And, and even Cary, she being flat and fabulous. She, I just could just stare at her in a yoga class. She has so much amazing mobility and sometimes when you get a reconstruction, it can decrease that mobility and people can get frozen shoulder. And so some people don't even know that that's a choice to be flat and fabulous and keep your mobility.

And so Cary’s really a pioneer and an inspiration for all of us to keep moving for health and wellness. And so if you are a breast cancer survivor, you can find on our website, you just click and you'll connect with Cary and she'll set you up with the survivor code. And you get, you can use our leggings, you can use our tops. We want to make sure you have product and equipment to be active, that you feel pretty. And it's the same product we all wear. It's very important to us. When Cary got diagnosed and fitted, you know, she had to go to a separate area with prosthetic legs hanging there. I mean terrible. And so we want survivors to go to the same running store that Jill went to. We want an a lot of women aren't ever going to talk about it.

There were, there's a lot of people we don't know are breast cancer survivors and so we as a brand want to make sure we have products for them online at a good price. And then if a woman has lost a breast to cancer, we will give free pads for life. So Cary literally like puts pads together for people. I mean, we've been to trade shows. I mean, to watch her, these women take their clothes off, she sculpts them, they put their shirt on and they just start crying because it gives them lightweight shape and balance and it's affordable. So yeah. So Cary, Cary is amazing. I mean, the mountains, she's moving the letters. People are constantly, she shares her story in there and tears because, you know, they didn't know there was someone else experiencing the same thing. And same with Gennev.

That's what's so great that we're sharing these stories and, and that's my dream is that they're more public. So that in the middle of the night at two in the morning, if I have a question, I can go here to find those answers and support. When Cary got diagnosed, she couldn't find anyone else that chose to be flat and fabulous. And now it's a common choice. And so the more our companies can be getting that information out there. So thank you for this opportunity to share ours and for us to be able to share yours.

Stasi

Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. Again comes back to the collaboration and women supporting women. And we can do great things when we all come together.

Jill

I like the flat and fabulous. That's just fabulous. Really, really sweet, really awesome.

Stasi

Well, Jennifer, how can our listeners, you've given us some ways to get in touch with Handful. How can our listeners get in touch with the product? Is it only running stores online? Where's the best place? Cause we do have listeners from all the country.

Jennifer

Awesome. So our three current categories are group fitness, outdoor and running. I mean, running kind of, kind of is outdoor. But so really those are the three categories that we're in, retailers all over the country when they get to reopen in, in those, those three categories. So group fitness, you know, whatever the instructor is wearing a class, people, the clients want to go out to the lobby and buy the product. So we're in a lot of group fitness classes around the country and then also running stores and outdoor. So our website has a list of our online retailers. And of course we really do well with the people that share the story. And so that's why it's really great with Title Nine. They're so passionate about, you know, supporting women and they're really passionate about sharing the story because there's a lot to buy, but we all want to know what's the why and, you know, so be able to be able to share our why and have it resonate with people.

And that's what's been so great. The fight against breast cancer, unfortunately I've never met anyone that hasn't been affected by breast cancer with someone they know and love and it has more people want to buy the product. You know, younger women they know someone and so they think, Oh, this brand supports that. I want, if I get to choose two things, I want to, I want to get the brand that supports what's important to me. So that's really exciting. We have our website, which is Handful.com. We also have Instagram and Facebook which is Handful, so you can just add Handful on Instagram and on Facebook. And I think on Twitter we might be Handful bra, but the website can lead you to things. We'd love the community on social media. So we'd love to have you connect with us on Instagram.

I mean, that's really where most of our peeps are connected and posting because you know, you can post a story and tag each other. We're really growing our influencer program, as I mentioned. We have found that our person is, she doesn't come up as a number. She's not a height, a weight, a shape, a nationality or an age. She's an attitude. She's what we say bad ass. So we have “ambadassadors” and usually I would be in an airplane going around the country meeting with our retailers and going to trade shows, but all that has been canceled. So it's freed me up to have more time to connect directly with our ambadassadors and our influencers. And it's just been so amazing to get to talk to all the different women that really provide support. And that's what I love. A brand … we might need to be a little more vanilla about things, but then people can go find the ambadassadors that, you know, are a little bit more in their lane of what's important to them and then they can represent you in their way.

So it's been super exciting to get to work with anywhere from young athletes to mature actresses and just everyone rocking Handful and showing that we're an option. I recently just learned, it kind of blew my mind, you know that women like to have permission to wear your product. And so, you know, you see people wearing something, you go, Oh, that's not me. So we're really working on getting as many groups visually. And I thought, did that make sense? That Oh, I know I don't typically think about permission like that. Oh, no. Ideal. The other day I had our high-waisted leggings on and, and our Handful Bra, we have this crop top and I put it on, I bet. Ooh, should someone my age be wearing this? And yet I see my young adult daughter and her friends all shapes and sizes wearing it. And so, but seeing someone my age wearing it, then it gives me permission to wear it. And so we're really working at Handful to give, to be more inclusive. We want more people to feel like they have permission to wear our product. You're active. We want you wearing Handful.

Stasi

Yeah. I love that. Jill knows that we've been talking about this. A theme that I've seen a lot with the clients I'm working with is this idea of giving permission of led it, reassuring women that we can give ourselves permission. Yes, seeing other women doing things gives permission. But it's such a reminder of that if you want to wear that crop top, give yourself permission to wear it, and go for it.

Jennifer

We posted yesterday on Handful. You know how when people get engaged, it's like comes across on an airplane. And so our amazing social media women, she posted I love myself. Yeah, awesome. You hire an airplane to roll out. And so yes, we're all about, you know, self-love and how important that is. And what if we get really say like, have you ever just loved someone so much you'd do anything for them? Well, we hope you feel that about yourself. So I really love, I'm going to add that to my, to my we talk about, you know, you can, you need to work on your heart health, but between your ears is made to work a hundred times more. And so I'm going to add that, you know, give yourself permission. And I think that's really important.

Stasi

And it takes practice.

Jill

Yeah. And I think it goes back to this notion of no rules and also not caring about what others think of you. You know, cause I think we, especially as women, we're more inherently thinking about judgment or are people at, will I be judged? Will I be judged if I wear the crop top, you know, will I be judged if I say the word menopause, you know, will I be, you know, whatever. And until you see others doing it. I know my analogy of that in the menopause world is really talking about menopause, like saying the word, it's still kind of a taboo word, word or talking about my own experience moving into perimenopause, having night sweats. It's just not something that we generally talk about, but I think the more that women see others talking about it and then dealing with it and then thriving through it it makes it okay.

So I think that that notion of role model or ambadassadors, you know, like, I just think that's awesome. Because it is all about seeing it and then that kind of quote unquote makes it okay. I just, I think that's so important and it goes back to the women helping women standing up for what you believe in and what you do. What you want to do is just the more we can empower women to do that. I think that's just such a good thing. So love that. I love your influencer program. Very cool.

Stasi

And Jennifer, we did get a question from one of our pan or one of our audience members of how can they find a retailer in their area and if they buy online, how do I determine which size to buy? And then also just take this time if anyone has additional questions. We're going to be wrapping up here in about in the next 10 minutes or so. So feel free to put them on the chat or the Q and A section.

Jennifer

Great. Awesome. Thanks. Those are great questions. We do have a dealer locator and you put your zip code in there and it can show you. Unfortunately I, we're finding a lot of people haven't updated their websites during this time, you know, so I, I am not yet sure which States are opening which things. A lot of our retailers either have an online website and, or they're doing like a curbside pickup or they're doing an Instagram live shopping. So I know, so that's just something to maybe make a phone call because who's online saying they’re open right now. I don't know if that's accurate. So that's kind of the first fuzzy, clear as mud answer on that one. And then the second one, as far as size, thank you for asking. We're actually a size disruptor in the industry.

We do not believe in telling a woman that a measuring tape knows more about her body than she does. And we hear on a regular basis that women say, I, someone measured me and said, Oh, you've been wearing the wrong size, you should wear this size. And they said, I have never worn that size, but they felt bullied. So they bought it and they brought it home and then they never wear it. So for us, what we say is Handful is true to shirt size. So what's a shirt you typically wear is most likely what you would wear in our bra. And that might sound strange because we've kind of overcomplicated sizing sometimes in my opinion. But like for instance, like you think of the Hood to Coast team in Portland, Oregon, you have two bands of six and you leapfrog each other from Mount Hood to the coast.

And if we ever did t-shirts, we would ask our women what size they were. And sure enough, our little tiny gal, she'd say, Oh, I'm a size medium. And it would fit her like a little dress. And she said, that's perfect. I love it. And then our tall, strong busty woman, she'd say, Oh, I'm an extra small and it'd be this little crop top. And she'd love it. And they both run down the street happy. And so we have found, you know, some people like to be real packed in some, not as packed in. I mean, I have fit so many women over a dozen years, three different shapes would walk out of her Handful booth with the same size because one person liked to be real packed in; the other one doesn't like to be packed in. And so we and even in like the running world, there's these really high tech ways to measure your gait and what shoes you should wear.

And women are like, well, I'm not wearing that size, nor am I wearing that color. So, you know, we feel like a woman, she gets to wear what she wants to wear. So it's that's just get on. If you're usually a medium, you're most likely a medium in our brand. When you get to know our brand a little better, some people especially that require an extreme amount of support. They might wear a certain style for their 20 minute jog  and then they wear a different style for their every day. So we've got about a dozen styles with bras and shirts and bottoms and some are adjustable, some have stronger bands with a little more real estate for a little more support that have been featured by Runner's World. So you can kind of navigate through the website to look at those options. And our leggings, we've got some high-waisted, some mid-rise with pockets, et cetera. So we're you know, the universe is changing. So what we were 10 years ago is, is shifting a little bit and, and I'm sure it'll come back around again, but we greatly appreciate feedback. So customerservice@Handful.com. You know, shoot us a note if you've got any questions. On the survivor front, you can reach Cary from our website as well et cetera. So hopefully answered a couple of those questions.

Stasi

And I think if I recall that I'll put out there, I love my Handful bras and leggings that I have — very comfortable. And the one, the other thing that helped me in the sizing when I bought the first one was that it was free returns within a certain time period. Right. So there was no, for sure. Yeah. So that, that was like, Oh, okay, I'm not going to have to be like paying all this money to ship things back and forth just to try them on. It was like, all right, if it doesn't work out, which it ended up working out and the shirt size was true for me.

Jennifer

Yeah, because a lot of companies go free for 30 days. Technically we can say that.

Stasi

That's true. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah, I've been very happy with those, so thank you.

Jill

Well, and it really, it really is a bra that can go from exercise to every day. You know, I, I'm a runner and so I, yes, exactly. You know, I've worn my sports bra like that, you know, I wore on a run throughout the day and it's just like after a while you're just in pain, you know, just kind of sucking you in and I don't, I want to be somewhat packed in but not beyond the, the actual time where I really need packing in. And so that's one thing that I really love about how you've thought about a woman's life is from activity to non or if I'm not active, but I really just love a, you know, just relaxed, kind of non-structured bra if that's what I prefer. You figured it out, you know, you're more than a bralette you know that. I think a lot of other lingerie companies do for kind of the everyday thing. So I'm also a fan of Handful. And just love what you're doing.

Jennifer

Well, thank you. And especially with menopause, I mean I, my daughter is 19 and she can wear different things than I can wear being premenopausal as well. And yeah, I've been at boutiques where I've needed to try one of those on and like, well this isn't going to help me buy a single shirt in the entire store. So definitely we kind of thought at one point maybe or clients would want the pads sewn in, but come to find out women like choices. Imagine that.

Jill

I took mine out. I did. I, you know, I don't need extra when I'm exercising.

Jennifer

We're actually launching, we have thin pads as well, but we're starting to put them in certain stuff. Actually, the style I'm wearing, which is our double down, it's this fun little double strap. It is thin pads. So sometimes people want, we call them our life, your lights out pads. So sometimes you might want to have concealment, but without having that little bit extra, I mean the padding can also be support so you kind of decide what feels comfortable. But you know, if I'm going to do a high impact, I like a crisscross. Nice and tight and pads or maybe no pads, but on a Friday night, maybe a couple sets of pads. When I wear my high heels, I'm not really that tall either. Same with eyelashes. I mean, women, we like to have choices. Sometimes we want ‘em, sometimes we don't.

And so that's what's been really exciting is to hear how people use them for different things. And, and we kind of say it's great from wake up to worn out and now I'm like, I want it for worn out to wake up what day and I'm wearing it for business, for workouts and and honestly it's really my uniform and it's how I have less of a footprint on this universe. I just get a few items and I just wear them all the time. And if I get invited to a business meeting, I mean if I can't dress up leggings with a blazer, like just don't even invite me.

Stasi

So that's great. Well, as we finish up here Jill, do you want to share a little bit more on Gennev and HealthFix and Telemedicine offerings and what we offer? For our, our product side for women.

Jill

Absolutely. You know, while women are getting kind of their, their fit and function with Handful we hope that we can support women based on their internal needs as well as, you know, kind of head and heart. And body is where we go. So across tele-health you know, obviously tele-health is becoming the new form of healthcare and seeing a doctor. We're specialists in telehealth. We offer tele-health for primary care as well as gynecology, specifically for women and menopause. And our telehealth is up month over month as I think our world shifts around how you interact with a physician. In addition, our HealthFix membership, a lot of women have said, Hey, I also want someone that can help me more on the lifestyle side, sort of my health. Help me be accountable to eating habits and sleeping habits and how do I manage my stress and anxiety.

Many women just want an accountability and a support partner as they go through this menopause transition. And that's where Stasi as the director of health coaching really manages our whole HealthFix offering. It's a membership and you can work with a coach. You can also see our doctors and we see more and more women really leveraging both the medical and the lifestyle part of healthcare. And that's the best formula that we have found for women going through menopause. And then of course we have as well our products. We have supplements. We launched this week Vitality, which is our first ever kind of multivitamin, multi nutrient supplement for women 40 plus. So just like we're getting our food and nutrition and much of what we can get from what we eat and we're moving to try to stay healthy.

Sometimes you just can't get all of that. And so our supplement we developed it in partnership with a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Wendy Ellis, who's worked with women in menopause for years. And that supplement is really focused on keeping you healthy on the inside and giving you your vitamin A and D, which are really great for immunity support right now as well as other nutrients. Important in menopause as your hormones are shifting. And then finally, education and community, you're getting a dose of it right here on our weekly webinars series. But there are so much we find with women and menopause, just understanding what's going on with these, am I in it, where am I at? Is this normal? Those are the first few questions we always get. And providing that education and community is, is kind of foundational to our mission. So that's Gennev. You can find us a GENNEV, truly all online. And again we are, you know, just loving partnering with organizations right now, focused on women. And Jennifer, it's been awesome to have you join us today.

Jennifer

I'm excited to have you as a resource and I've been sharing that as well, so it's exciting.

Stasi

Well, thank you both of you for your time. I know you're both really busy and, and just to close out or a reminder that if you want to use the code, GENNEV, so G E N N E V all capital, when you check out at Handful bras to get 20% off your purchase. So check that out. And then we have an upcoming giveaway that's going to launch soon. I believe it's tomorrow, so pay attention to Handful social media, @MyGennev social media and emails from Handful and Gennev for more information. Just a little foreshadowing. It's collaboration with Handful, Gennev, OXB studios, Momentum jewelry, Lily Trotters and The Break. So lots of products women owned companies. So I'll let you all check out those companies, check out their websites and find out what they have and a collaborative giveaway will be coming your way soon.

So exciting things there. So thank you so much for everyone in your participation with this webinar. Our next one will actually be next Tuesday. We're adding one to next week and we're going to be talking to a group of women based out of Corvallis, Oregon that have started an IOU It's On Us campaign to raise money to provide meals for people in the community and support local restaurants. So that will be the next topic. Another example of women supporting community and what we can do when we come together. So that will be Tuesday at 12 noon Pacific time, three, 3:00 PM Eastern time.

Jennifer

And Stasi, if people were not able to tune in live, can they find this afterwards?

Stasi

Yes. So we will this will be on our YouTube channel and so we'll make sure to send this out to anybody that registered and didn't watch it as well as getting it out to the Handful of community and our Gennev community as well. So that you can, they can find them. Yes. Excellent. Great question. Thank you. Keep doing all this great stuff you're doing, Jennifer.

Jill

Thanks everyone.

 
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