JillIt’s been a busy time! Between talking to women, running a business, living what we preach (e.g. the Elvie challenge—more on that in a mo), and meeting with investors, well, maybe it’s not so surprising I went to the airport for a 7:30 AM flight, only to discover I’d booked it for 7:30 PM (oops).

But even with all the discussions I’m having with all these different people, one thing is becoming more and more certain: our mission to help women feel confident and fabulous in their bodies, no matter their age, is the right one.

Woman to woman. We’ve coined the title “Chief Vagina Officer” (CVO) for me, and since I’m the first, I get to write my job description! The best part of what I do is talking with women—lots of women, of all ages and backgrounds. Sometimes customers call in their orders, so I take the opportunity to ask how they use our products. For some, it’s every day, while others call with a rush order because they’re heading out on vacation and want to be ready for “vacation sex.” Yes, it’s true! (aloha!)

Last week, I had the opportunity to pitch to potential investors at the LA Women Founders Network. Even though I know the 1-in-3 statistic, I was still astonished by the number of women who came up afterwards to chat with me about the dryness and/or feminine health care issue they faced. They were taking our Gennev samples home with them, excited for a better day (and some better nights), and it made me profoundly happy to think Gennev can be a part of their better futures.

I love every story—especially when we can help. One woman called me the “vagina whisperer,” which made me smile. The reality, however, is so many women really want to talk about their feminine health; they are seeking solutions, information, and listening ears, and too often, not finding them. At ,Gennev we intend to be that trusted, understanding place, and I’m glad to represent it.

genneve's mission

Taking care of business. Gennev and its mission to help women be confident and feel incredible in their bodies is taking root. Reviews about the products are uplifting and reinforce that we’re focused in the right direction around vaginal health and sexual wellness. This one on Amazon from “Wisdom Seeker” really says it all:

“Menopause changed me and my body more than I expected. I am grateful for this product for increasing my enthusiasm to be intimate with my partner. I love that it not only helps me in the moment by its smooth lubrication, but it also moisturizes over time. I’ve used at least three kinds of lubricants in the past, but none that I (or my partner) like better than this one. In all openness, do I wish I had my 20-something body back and didn’t need any products? Yes. Do I wish I could get off the couch without groaning? Yes. That said, I want to keep my playful nature and make the most of the body that I have and this product helps me do that.”

On living what we preach. At the start of October, I had the opportunity to speak with Tania Boler, CEO of Elvie, a device that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor. Why is that necessary? To help with uncontrollable peeing of the pants and increasing lower core strength. While I haven’t birthed a child, I am an avid runner, and as a 42-year-old woman, the pounding and pressure of miles on my feet have taken their toll on my organs meant to hold pee and poo inside. Believe me, I’ve got stories!

So, I took up the Elvie challenge and started using the device to strengthen my pelvic floor. It’s a little device that you insert into your vagina like a tampon. Three times a week, I activate it, the app pops up on my phone, and I go through a series of exercises programmed just for me. Takes five minutes. I’m still early in the program, but already I can see improvements. First and foremost, I now know what a proper Kegel feels like. I get it when my Pilates instructor says to “lift upward” with my internal pelvic muscles. I’m pretty good at the long, strong holds…in fact, I achieved a fab 96%! It goes to show, I’m in it for the marathon and the long-game. The shorter burst-like workout Elvie makes you do challenged me. I couldn’t react fast enough to hit all of the dots on the screen which means my reflex and quick-twitch muscles have some improvements to make.

(For readers who aren’t concerned about incontinence just yet, there are other benefits of pelvic floor exercises which are more about pleasure than peeing, if you know what I mean. Stay tuned for the next time of the month, and I’ll let you know how that’s going.)

Ahem.

[Are you taking the Elvie challenge? You still have a few days to participate and enter to win a FREE Elvie!]

In closing, I mentioned I spend a bunch of my time talking to investors, because, well, Gennev is still new. We’re growing like mad, but like most startups, we need ongoing capital to deliver on our broader mission for women’s health. New product R&D and building our community of “Gennev-ers” takes investment and supporters that want the same outcome.

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the LA Women’s Founders Network Fast Pitch competition, and they do something really unique: they bring in a super-talented group of junior judges—high schoolers—in addition to the adult judging panel. When the Junior Judges got up to speak and select their chosen winner, they called out Gennev as a runner-up–the first time the juniors have ever selected a runner-up. Why? They loved our mission centered around positive stories and healthy products focused on women feeling confident and fabulous in their bodies at any age. Even as young as they are, it resonated with them that body positivity and confidence-building in girls and women is a need. And it starts with girls helping girls and women helping women.

It was an unexpected bright spot in my quest to impress investors that evening. It was proof that our mission is what’s most important.

genneve wins fast pitch competition

Gennev takes home the grand prize in the Women Founders Network Fast Pitch competition!

 

We’ve got your back, ladies! We want you to feel great, be sexually fulfilled, and love the relationships you’re in. We also want you to be healthy “down-there,” so we’re going to keep bringing stories of women overcoming feminine health challenges, we’re going to bring educational health information, and we’re going to try and make you laugh every once in a while.

My challenge to you: talk to me. I want this to be a two-way engagement, because together, we’re going to get women’s taboo health issues out of the shadows and into the mainstream. Because when things are talked about, better solutions come to us in our quest to age not just gracefully, but gloriously and joyfully.