Every woman has or will go through menopause in their life, so why is there such a gap in information and lack of education and products on the market that are clean and accessible to women? We don’t have the answer to this question, but we do have a solution.
On today’s episode, we welcome our guest Sally Mueller, founder of Womaness from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coming from a long and successful career in fashion and design with Target to building her own company in skin care, Sally’s vision changed after going through the life-altering experience of menopause.
After searching for products to help with her menopause, she was unpleasantly surprised that everything on the market had toxic ingredients or, oddly enough, was masculine in nature. So she took it upon herself to create Womaness to put clean and innovative products on the market to help nurture and essentially celebrate women at this stage in life.
Sally’s goal is to ensure her head-to-toe products are affordable and accessible so that all women can benefit from her clinically proven solutions to a natural part of being a woman. Sally is a trailblazer in women’s health, where she has created a community around her products while providing education about menopause to help women worldwide.
If you are a woman, this episode is for you. So make sure to tune in to hear how Womaness is making waves in women’s health!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- How and why Sally founded Womaness
- Womaness’ mission
- The importance of skin and body products for menopause?
- Clinically proven supplements in Womaness products
- The different products offered by Womaness
- What happens to a vagina during menopause
- Education materials provided by Womaness
- Creating a community around Womaness
- Where to find Womaness products
To learn more about Womaness, head to their website or follow on Instagram!
Check out our other podcast selections for valuable info on health, wellness, and more. Continue the conversation in the Hero Moms Social Group on Facebook!
Connect with Checkable Health:
Connect with Patty Post:
Checkable Health is revolutionizing healthcare with fast and accurate at-home test kits, telehealth services, and a line of wellness supplements designed to keep you feeling your best while saving valuable time and money. At the forefront of home healthcare, Checkable is developing the first FDA-approved at-home strep test. Paired with a proprietary digital telemedicine platform to instantly connect consumers with healthcare professionals, you can skip the doctor's office and start treatment fast, right from the comforts of your home.
Along with the at-home strep test, Checkable offers an array of wellness supplements and many resources, including podcasts and blogs, to help keep consumers in the know about different aspects of their health from top to bottom. And with more home tests coming soon, Checkable puts treatment options at your fingertips, so you can focus on getting better.
This episode was post-produced by Podcast Boutique www.podcastboutique.com
0:00:04.5 S1: Welcome to the Checkable Health Podcast where we're helping everyday moms rethink how their healthcare starts at home for themselves and their families.
0:00:14.6 S2: This podcast is for moms to school-aged children, born in the 1900s that would buy an at-home strep test to check their child's sore-throat symptoms from home. Hi, I'm Patty Post, your host. I'm founder and CEO of Checkable Health. I'm a mother of two amazing teenage sons and one tween daughter, and I'm wife to Andrew, and we've been married almost 20 years. I believe that we all should be empowered to make clinical evidence-based decisions from the settings of home, and this podcast will equip you to make better health decisions for you and your family from home. I'm interviewing clinicians, thought leaders and experts in the field of health, so you are educated and equipped to live a healthier, better life. Sally Mueller, it is so nice to meet you.
0:01:09.6 S1: Thank you, I'm so excited to be here.
0:01:11.7 S2: So today, I have Sally Mueller, who is the founder of Womaness, and you are joining me out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
0:01:19.1 S1: Yes, snowy Minneapolis.
0:01:22.1 S2: Well, that is where I’m from, that is, my heart is, so if I could be with you in person, I would love to be. But I'm not shocked to have a CPG founder that is in Minneapolis and you are doing amazing things in women's health, so I first wanna begin to say thank you for the work that you are doing with Womaness.
0:01:42.6 S1: Oh, thank you. That really means a lot. I really appreciate that
0:01:47.1 S2: I first found you actually on LinkedIn, you have an amazing way of positioning the company, and I think in the space and time that we're in right now, you have... You should be getting attention and I'm glad that you are, because there hasn't been a lot of attention in women's health and especially in the menopause space, and I read something the other day where you were saying that you're proud of being a Gen X-er and I am too. So yay for Gen X-ers.
0:02:16.6 S1: Right? Absolutely, I'm almost a baby boomer, I just missed that cutoff, but I am proud of being a Gen X-er and all the things that all of us amazing women are doing, right, advancing women's health or all the different industries that we're in.
0:02:33.0 S2: So tell me about Womaness. How you started it and really what that story is behind it.
0:02:39.1 S1: Well, I spent a good part of my career building brands for women, mainly in fashion, a little bit in beauty, but had an amazing career at Target for almost 24... Almost 25 years, I should say, oversaw like the designer program, that made Target really, I guess, put on the map for fashion and design. It was a phenomenal career. Left 12 years ago to start my own business. And in that 12 years had the unique opportunity of bringing several brands into retail, one was Who What Wear, which is a fashion brand, and then another one was Versed, which is a clean skincare brand that's now sold at Target and versed.com and Walmart, and so many other places. So again, had a lot of experience building brands, but Womaness really came about my own personal journey through menopause. So I was in my late 40s, I think maybe 47, 48, as I recall, going through... I knew I was in menopause, like perimenopause, but I didn't know menopause was more than hot flashes. I thought it was... I thought it was just hot flashes, which I wasn't experiencing, but I was experiencing all these other symptoms, and after a couple of years of struggling with sleep issues and libido and just all of the changes that a lot of women experience, I thought I'm gonna finally sign up for a physical. And I wasn't getting a lot of good response from doctors that knew a lot about menopause, so I thought I'm gonna go to the best...
0:04:15.2 S1: I'm gonna go to the Mayo Clinic, which isn't too far from my home, and the doctor was super knowledgeable about menopause, and she recommended that I try some products available on Amazon. So I went home at night, checked out the products, and that was for me just an aha moment of thinking, Oh my gosh, there is nothing out here that even appeals to me. I can tell the formulations weren't necessarily made with clean ingredients, the names of the products were very off-putting, very masculine, everything about it was just un-appealing and I thought, Oh my gosh, someone has got to tackle this space, and it should, you know... I should do it because I've been looking for white spaces my whole career and building these brands, but never for women my age. So that was really the start of it. And then Michelle, my co-founder and I were getting together in New York just for drinks, and I mentioned the story to her and she became super excited about just the stage of life that all of her friends were in, and how they were leaving their jobs to start something new, and there was this all kind of like this renewed sense of empowerment, and so we took that insight and my experience came really up with Womaness, which is all about innovative products, information and inspiration. Because women need to be celebrated during the stage of life, and then they really do need the support through a community and they need...
0:05:47.5 S1: They deserve, I should say, clean, innovative products.
0:05:51.6 S2: And in the phase of menopause, I think in our minds, we think, Oh, it's just like this short period of time, but it can last a decade.
0:06:00.3 S1: Absolutely, in fact, perimenopause can last four to seven years on average, menopause can last a decade, but you're really technically never out of menopause. A lot of women will say, I'm through that. Which you are through maybe the worst of it, but once you're in menopause, you're always kind of in menopause. And you spend about 40% of your life in menopause when you really add all of that up, so now it's a big chunk of your life, and there's no reason to go through it not talking about it, feeling alone, feeling stigmatized, so that's why we're here to really change the conversation. And women do wanna talk about it, they do wanna be celebrated, and they're excited about the stage of life, so we're really flipping it on its head, and we're all about what we call “menopausitivity.”
0:06:53.4 S2: Oh, I love that. Menopausitivity, that is a great one. Reenita Das, I interviewed her and she calls it the She Economy. Yes. And that there is such thing as the She Economy. We're over 50%, we have 50% of the buying power in the world, and we should have more emphasis on the things that we go through. What you're doing in terms of, you went to Mayo Clinic, that's crèmè de la creme of healthcare. And not everyone has access to that. Not everyone has access to supplements. Supplements can be extremely expensive, and that a lot of us are on a budget, so when you... Can you tell me about when you created this line, about some of the factors that you considered when developing the product line?
0:07:48.5 S1: Yeah, so we did a lot of research with women before we started product development. We had our own idea of what we wanted Womaness to be, which was a total solution to menopause, so we wanted to tackle the major symptoms, but in that process of talking to women, they told us, please make the line affordable. And of course we were going to, but it was so important to hear that to reinforce why we needed to make sure that our pricing was still very accessible, we wanted to be available in all the major retailers, so that she did have access to the product. But women told us, I wanna buy multiple products for multiple symptoms and I can't do that if the products are too expensive. So everything we offer is under $40, there might be a few products on our site that are just kind of testing that are a little bit more like an expensive, more expensive vibrator, but they're still very affordable. But the core line is all under $40, and we really tried to bridge the need of clinically proven ingredients that are gonna be more expensive, and putting those ingredients and at the most active levels with keeping our retails at the lowest level. So in some cases, I'm sure you have some people following and listening to this that are good business people, they understand like, Oh, your margin must have been squeezed.
0:09:15.6 S1: And absolutely, our margin was squeezed, but we felt it was so important to offer products that were affordable, but still very useful. We knew that they were gonna be efficacious, and that's really the whole crux of the product line, is to make sure that we really always achieve that balance between affordability and efficacious-ness, or efficacy I should say.
0:09:36.9 S2: Yeah, well, and part of efficacy is that... Can you use it for the duration? And if you can only afford it for two months, you're not gonna see any of the effects.
0:09:46.6 S1: That’s right, Patty. That's exactly it.
0:09:49.1 S2: So that makes a world of difference when you think of a subscription that, gosh, I can only afford it for three months out of the year, well, that really doesn't do you anything when we're talking about a time in our life where you would be on something for 10 years plus. Right. So what are the different categories? So you have the category Womaness, but what are the different products that fall within?
0:10:12.2 S1: We have about 16 products, and half of them are skin and body products because your skin changes all over your body, not just your face, and a lot of women don't realize that their skin on their body changes, it's almost like until it’s changed. It's a dramatic change when you go through menopause because of the drop in estrogen, so we really focused on building out a line of skin and body products. Then we have three supplements, and those supplements are for all-around menopause. So we have our Me. No. Pause supplement, and that has pycnogenol in it, which is a clinically proven ingredient; really incredible supplement. And then we have a sleep supplement called Let Me Sleep, that has a timed-release melatonin because you have trouble staying asleep, not as much going to sleep in menopause. And then we have a hair, skin and nail, and joint supplement called Active Glow, and that has a clinical version of turmeric, among other ingredients. But yes, I hope your audience checks them out on our site, we have a ton of information, and then the last part of our line is sexual wellness. So we have two vaginal moisturizers, one is a water base that includes hyaluronic acid, and that is called Daily V Soothe, and then we have Coco Bliss, which is our newest vaginal moisturizer, it's a coconut-based oil, which a lot of women like how rich and creamy it is.
0:11:43.7 S1: It's just really hydrating. And then we have a vibrator called Gold Vibes. Love these names. And then we have a couple of personal... Yeah, I know, all the names are supposed to be kind of fun and cheeky, and then we do have incontinence pads called Go Go Liners because a lot of women experience incontinence, especially menopause, but even postnatal, a lot of women start to experience incontinence issues. And they're really great, Go Go Liners, and then we have wipes that are pH-balanced and good for the environment and that kind of thing. So our line is really... We say it's three categories, but I would say the sexual wellness is kind of slash personal care as well. It’s head to toe. It’s head to toe and everything in between.
0:12:30.0 S2: It really is, and some of those things that…so I interviewed, and you were on a panel with Dr. Lyndsey Harper, founder of Rosy, and women's sexual health, I think is obviously an area that is underserved as well, and very nice to see that in general, it's underserved, but as you are moving into menopause that actually is drastically underserved because there's a lack of awareness that your libido will drop, that you will experience vaginal dryness and some of these things that you're entering into this phase of life, and there's no awareness of it.
0:13:09.5 S1: There's no... And you start to think, Is it just me? Right. And then it affects your mood, affects your self-confidence, your communication with your partner. It's like a vicious cycle. So yes, we worked... We loved Lyndsey Harper, she was participating in a panel with us, and we also worked with her friend, Dr. Javaid, and Somi Javaid, who owns her MD, and she's done a great job, even with our community explaining what happens; your vagina walls really change with a drop of estrogen and it thins out, and it's very... It could be very... A source of why there's so many complaints about painful sex. And so vaginal moisturizers really help in that whole process, but if women are still experiencing painful sex and it's really preventing them from doing, having sex more, I recommend that they look into other options too. On our site, we have a lot of educational material, but we know some really incredible experts that are there to really help women and do offer a lot of other treatments. That's excellent.
0:14:22.1 S2: Do you or your child have symptoms of strep throat, such as sore throat or fever? Do you want to help an innovative startup validate their at-home strep test? Checkable Medical is currently enrolling children ages five and up, and adults for strep throat study. Go to www.testforstrep.com to see if there's a site near you. Again, that website is www.testforstrep.com.
So you have in your messaging, you also talk about that education and how important it is. Absolutely. Where do you direct consumers to, is it first to social or newsletters? Tell us about that.
0:15:06.2 S1: Well, we have a blog that is on our site called The Ness, and it's where all of our... I don't think you could miss it, it's right on our site, but it's where we house all of that content. So we have interviews with Dr. Javaid that I mentioned, we have interviews with Dr. Kapoor, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic; a sleep expert that has worked with us that is just phenomenal. And we have all of these different experts that have worked with us that have provided original content, and we're really proud of our content because it's vetted, it's broken down in bite-sized pieces as well. We have a YouTube channel that houses a lot of the interviews we've done with all of those experts that I just mentioned, and then social, it's difficult to get in a long-form social, so many times it's just to direct to our blog or to our YouTube channel. But our newsletters or emails, I really encourage your audience to sign up for it. We do, I think, a really great job including a lot of educational materials in our newsletters, and a lot of women really compliment us for that information, and so that's another way to get access to all of the educational materials that we're publishing.
0:16:23.7 S2: I think from a consumer standpoint, when I see a brand that is investing in the thought leaders that have the education and the experience, and it's not always self-promoting of the product, but of the indication, it just gives me a sense of I trust that brand. And when I look at your brand and read what you have and where you are in this space, I mean, an incredible amount of trust there. And in the space that you're in, it definitely demands more trust than my jean jacket, when you're putting it on your body, in your body, you wanna know that you're doing that research, so that’s really, really cool.
0:17:02.9 S1: Absolutely, it's so important to build that trust. And I think that trust comes from our ingredients that we've chosen, we have a lot of information on our site about our ingredients. Obviously those experts that I mentioned, but also a lot of other reviews from our customers, we get constant feedback from our customers about our products and sometimes we don't always even publicize those 'cause they're just emails directly from the customer to maybe me or Michelle. But we know deep down that our customers are loving our products, and that goes a long way, 'cause they're probably telling their friends about our brand and our products, so it creates that groundswell that we want... That we wanna continue to create.
0:17:49.5 S2: Well, definitely, I think that when you think of talking with your sister or your girlfriends, we don't have access to healthcare providers where we can just pick up the phone and call them, so a lot of it is that table talk, that coffee talk, wine-talk conversation, and if you can get your products being used by one person, one woman, then that goes really far.
0:18:14.0 S1: Yeah, absolutely, we keep saying we're building this brand and this community one woman at a time, and we really believe in that because it's such a personal journey. And we love that personal connection, so we really encourage our customers to reach out to us and we're happy to do one-on-one consultations. We're not doctors, but we know the basics, and we can also refer women to different experts that we work with. Our sleep expert that I mentioned, Dr. Shelby Harris does telehealth services too around sleep, so a lot of women at events line up to talk to her, and she's so great. It's helpful to know there's options out there, and like you said, that they're accessible, they're not... You're not gonna get on a four-month waiting list
0:19:09.0 S2: Right, because you're having the symptoms every day. Right.
0:19:11.9 S1: Yeah. They need it now, you need it now. When you're not feeling great and you're having issues, you want solutions very quickly and you deserve them.
0:19:21.2 S2: Absolutely. So what's next for the company? Are you working on new products or anything exciting that you can share with the audience and then look forward to?
0:19:33.6 S1: Yeah, well, we launched at Ulta Beauty in May of this year, so we're really looking forward to building a deeper relationship with that organization. We did events with them in October, we did this whole Menopaustivity tour, we went to Dallas and Chicago and LA. So we wanna continue doing those kind of panels where we bring in experts, and so we have some fun ideas planned for the spring, so we'll keep you posted so you can share with your listeners. In terms of new products, we do have a few new products coming out in the spring, which will announce soon, I would say we also just continue to bring in more experts and really deepen our relationship with our existing experts in the desire to really help educate more women. But I think with women wanting to be more physically... We call it “in real life” at events in-person, that's such a great opportunity for us to go on these road shows and bring our story and our experts out to the everyday woman. So yeah, hopefully we'll be able to do more of that. Beyond even what we're doing with Ulta. In an ideal world, I would have a bus, and I would just go from market to market. The problem is I have to also get work done, so I would need someone, if anyone wants to drive me to these different markets…
0:21:03.4 S1: I'll take you up on the offer so I can just sit back and work and then I can meet women and then get back on the bus and go to the next city. But we love it, we love meeting our customers and just hearing their feedback, so it's so rewarding. I'm sure you feel the same way with your business.
0:21:21.1 S2: Oh my gosh, it is so rewarding when you can touch someone's life that there's that positive testimonial there, there's nothing better, and it seems that it always happens in a time when you are down, too. You're like, oh, I needed that. Thank you so much. Like they helped you more than you helped them. Exactly. Well, thank you for tuning into the Checkable Health Podcast. That was such a great interview with Sally, what a fantastic founder, and I love that story of founding a company because you experienced a gap. And if you haven't heard from other episodes that we've done about menopause, we've had Tammy Lee, we've had Reenita Das, we've had Dr. Somi Javaid. We talked a lot about the phase of menopause in a woman's life. Thank you, Sally and Michelle for starting Womaness. as you can find their products, as she said at Ulta, you can also go to Womaness.dot com, lots of education there. Highly recommend seeking out what they have provided as well as all of their supplements and their personal-health products, sexual-health products. The other piece that I find really cool is that they do have a Facebook page, if you search up Womaness, they have a community, so we will link to that in the show notes.
0:23:00.1 S2: And if you would like to join the Checkable Health Facebook community, we do have our Hero Mom's group, so join that group on LinkedIn, we're talking about all things moms, we throw some funny in there, we throw some health and wellness in there too, but really a community that can come alongside each other and support each other in this time of momming. And with that, if you are looking for your next gift to give to a loved one this holiday season, check out checkablehealth.com and use the code Welcome for a 10% discount. All of our supplements, my favorite that I like to give to my family is our melatonin with Passiflora, you get to sleep as well as stay asleep and you don't wake up groggy. So with that, until the next time, I'm Patty Post, founder and CEO of Checkable Health. And thank you for joining us on the Checkable Health podcast, where we’re empowering you to make evidence-based decisions and educate yourself on how to thrive for yourself and your family at home.