The last time Stix cofounder Cynthia Plotch bought a pregnancy test, she ran into her boyfriend’s mom.
Cofounder Jamie Norwood had a cashier sarcastically wish her luck.
The pair knew they weren’t alone in these uncomfortable experiences, so in early 2019, they launched Stix, a pregnancy and fertility startup that ships tests directly to a customer’s house and offers a subscription service.
“We started the company after having some pretty terrible experiences buying those products,” Plotch said. “And now, more than ever, access to women’s healthcare is so important and it’s being limited across the country.”
Plotch and Norwood — both former Venture for America fellows as well as produce delivery company Hungry Harvest’s former director of markets and director of customer experience, respectively — participated in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York City last year, and currently work out of coworking space Offsite (you know, when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic).
The current health crisis highlights exactly why mail-in access to women’s healthcare is so important, Plotch said. While women around the country have to stay home, they can still access testing and schedule tests to arrive for the foreseeable future.
The company has seen a recent spike in sales in places like the Midwest and South, where access to women’s healthcare can already be tough to navigate, and especially so during a health crisis.
And during this time while we all resort to connecting virtually, the pair have set up what they’re calling “The Sanity Series,” a collection of virtual talks, twice a week for the next month and a half touching on health topics like therapy, postpartum wellness, stress relief and even couples counseling.
“The series is focusing on expanding our mission of ‘having peace of mind,'” Plotch said.
On Thursday night, the team is going live with therapist Alyssa Petersell of MyWellbeing to have an honest chat about “what it means to seek therapy and mental health services during this time,” per the event.
Other sessions throughout the next month and a half include “Keeping your hormones in check,” “Advice from a couple’s therapist,” and “Running a business during COVID-19.”
Viewers of the talks will either tune in via Instagram Live or Zoom; the latter allows participants to keep their identities private if they wish. The sessions will run on either streaming platform every Tuesday and Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. through mid-May.
“Right now, there’s so many things that are out of our control, so many things that are anxiety-inducing,” Plotch said. “We’re committed to providing access during this time.”-30-