We recently caught up with Teneha Brown, CEO of VagiPlug, a startup focused on addressing women's vaginal health issues caused by irritants we may encounter with bath and self-care products. Teneha, has been active recently on Clubhouse, various podcasts and other forums educating others about challenges women face with using and creating products that are designed for our bodies and healthcare challenges.
What is your "Why" for launching your company, VagiPlug?
My "why" for VagiPlug is that women's health matters, my health matters. I was an all too frequent suffer of vaginal infections and I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. There wasn't anything on the market to address my issue, so I needed something and it wasn't yet invented, so I invented it. As Ghandi said, "I was the change that I needed to see".
What is femtech and why is it important?
Femtech is the convergence of feminine health care + technology. Technology can be an app, a device, a method of doing something; it's all about more modernized feminine health care. The term was coined in 2016 and the market has grown exponentially ever since. It's important because for far too long, we've been overlooked and pushed to the back. It's time for the attention to be directed to our needs. Women matter and if we don't make the world pay attention, it never will.
What excites you the most about the future of femtech?I
I am excited about the future of Femtech. Women are on the minds of the world. Technoology is being created specifically to meet our needs. This is an exciting time in the world, we are finally in the forefront getting the attention that is deserved.
What is it like being a woman business owner in New Orleans?
New Orleans is a vibrant, lively, fun-loving, festive town and the charm of the people is like none other. The mood is laissez-faire, which means just go with the flow. That being said, it's easy to get distracted and get caught up in the fun and festivities here in NOLA; the living is easy here. Maintaining your focus is important, there's always a party or a get together happening somewhere. Additionally, when I compare New Orleans to other areas or cities, the entrepreneurial community is lackluster and relatively small. Although, since the Black Lives Matter movement, it seems to be thriving a bit more, I hope that trend continues.
What advice would you give to a Black woman business owner who is seeking to "get the bag"?
GET THEE A MENTOR... that's my advice. Most mentors have been there, done that and are able to point you in a direction to avoid the pitfalls that they and others may have encoundered. Additionally, most mentors come with a network, so that's a big WIN-WIN; you get the mentor and their friends.
What is your #1 goal for the rest of 2021 and how can our Get The Bag audience support your journey?
My number one goal for the remainder of 2021 is TO GET MY PRODUCT ON RETAIL SHELVES. Currently, we're beta-testing the device for market viability and we are hoping & praying to be on the shelves or gain online space by September 2021.
I'd love all support from the Get the Bag Community! It could include, feedback on my device, assistance with market research and connections to funding would ALL be phenonmenal.
Our theme for this summer is Boss Beauty. How do you define beauty or beautiful?
I define beauty as self confidence, self worth, tenacity, grit and women empowering women. 'Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down"; often times as entrepreneurs we're in this thing alone or at least we feel alone. And we take the blows that make others cower and retreat. When I see a female business owner that is not cowering, backing down, empowering and lifting up others and pushing forward; that's beauty (beautiful) to me.
About Teneha Brown - The Woman's Health Warrior
Teneha is New Orleans resident and graduate of the University of Louisiana with a B.S. in Chemistry. She founded VagiPlug in 2018 and has some stories to share! Learn more about her in this interview with Tagan Horton of Founder's Get Funds.
You can connect with Teneha on Clubhouse, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. More information about women's health solutions and the launch of her product can be found by subscribing to her newsletter at www.vagiplug.com.