Trust your gut- So many successful, veteran CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors would give us long lists of advice and challenge us on strategies or product choices and then in the same breath would sum it up with, ‘but also! Ignore me- follow your gut.’ I can’t even count how many conversations wound down that way, and ended with laughter. From the highest paid, to still the spark of an idea, a gut chuck can be the most valuable tool.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eden Laurin of Nyssa.
NYSSA is a new wellbeing company dedicated to addressing women’s needs during times of physical and emotional transformation. The company launched in 2019 with a focus on postpartum, also known as the Fourth Trimester. NYSSA has completely redefined the landscape of postpartum recovery with Fourthwear® underwear, empathetically-designed undergarments that support a woman’s comfort and care following delivery.
Leveraging feedback from a robust advisory board that features mothers, OBGYNs, doulas, pediatricians and midwives, NYSSA is addressing the changing climate of motherhood with products that serve the needs of women while fostering a like-minded sense of community and open dialogue about what really takes place after birth.
Following the success of the brand’s initial launch, NYSSA has recently released their latest VieWear™ collection for period pain, endometriosis, discomfort during fertility treatments, pelvic abdominal surgery recovery, and more. Fitting in line with the company’s mission to enable ease and efficiency for women worldwide, this collection is designed to help take control of your recovery and get back to feeling better.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Angela Davis said, ‘I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.’ This is what led to this career path and how I became a part of a women’s wellbeing brand that wants to change the way we look at the realities of womanhood. My background was in food in beverage, formulating and ideation for brands and clients of all sizes. And even with designing beverages, there is a solve required- which is exciting and highly addictive. And then, I had my son- and after a 30 hour delivery, was handed a pair of one size fits all mesh underwear that hung between my legs from the weight of an ice pack. After the stun of the postpartum experience wore off, I started to consider the magnitude of our gender’s centuries old ‘suffer through it’ mantra. And I thought of times in my life that I have bled, been in pain, ‘suffering through’ without the language or any products that recognized that we live while hurting and there should be products that help us do more of the living. That we needed to solve for this space and create solutions around these realities was obvious, and we started Nyssa.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Building a portfolio of products that are meant to last, empathetically designed to the multi-faceted body, and solving around the ‘unmentionables’ or hushed realities of womanhood. And we are female owned and operated, with 96% of our vendors identifying as female. No offense to any males.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
All of them! But they all felt like the world was crumbling, every time! When you are starting out, there is so much weight on your shoulders- you are taking a gamble for yourself, your friends, your family members that vouched and helped you along while learning a million lessons at the same time.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I am extraordinarily fortunate to have a massive amount of tappable advisors around me: from the wisdom and extra hands of my Mother, to my Partners in Nyssa and The Violet Hour, the loads of female entrepreneurs that share their time, network and resources. The space for accessible help with starting and growing a business has expanded exponentially in the last few years, and I am so grateful for it.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
I find the concept of disruption fascinating, isn’t it just evolution? Examples of when it is not positive would be if a product or service is capitalizing on vulnerability, or creating something that does not actually improve a design or functionality. Or if a product out in 2020 is not thinking of the ecology of what they are adding to the world.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1. Trust your gut- So many successful, veteran CEOs, entrepreneurs, investors would give us long lists of advice and challenge us on strategies or product choices and then in the same breath would sum it up with, ‘but also! Ignore me- follow your gut.’ I can’t even count how many conversations wound down that way, and ended with laughter. From the highest paid, to still the spark of an idea, a gut chuck can be the most valuable tool.
2. Get a lawyer- Eeek, a lot of awkward conversations and painfully expensive paperwork can be avoided if you start with a legal counsel that advocates for you, communicates effectively and are people that you trust- right from the beginning.
3. Remember to celebrate- not my specialty but it’s the truth. Just like you will never get to the bottom of your inbox, there will always be a crisis around the corner, something that will need your attention, something to strategize against. Take a moment and celebrate the wins when they come! It makes the ridiculously long hours that much easier.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
Nyssa recently celebrated the one year anniversary of our first innovation. Over the course of our first year, we’ve been able to reach women as far and wide as France, Israel, and Australia. In 2021, we have our sights set on destigmatizing women’s health and well-being through mindfully crafted products and meaningful conversations at The Unmentionables Podcast.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
The doubt. Women disruptors are often asked what they are doing to make a change, but don’t try to be too much to too many, but do you have enough market relevancy? Will you stay ‘committed’ to the company? Do you have what it takes? … The old tropes go on.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
The Unmentionables Podcast!
Honestly, I have a pretty substantial list. I have always leaned heavily on inspiration, resources and mentors for learning, both for spaces that I already am familiar with but also even more so when entering new areas like as we continue to build Nyssa. I read three newsletters and have three podcasts that I listen to daily, that range in political to social and business news, including The Journal by The Wall Street Journal, The Daily by the New York Times and Hustle. I love Business Wars, some Trevor Noah and am currently listening to Sula by Toni Morrison. I consider myself currently ‘studying’ business in life but balance is key!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I believe that part of the reason that women are still so underserved, with less rights and equitability in most aspects of our culture, is because we historically have not had access to the tools for self-advocacy. I think that women need to create these tools — language, products, ‘solves’ — and with them, next generations will be empowered to make the change that we need to see. No one is going to do it for us.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Best way to answer this and to end, is with a quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
How can our readers follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!