Give me some brief context. What is MPowder and why did you decide to set it up? What was the initial spark?
MPowder is the result of a personal journey that became a very public mission!
My own peri-menopause was very bumpy. I became so unwell I had to take time away from my business. Getting well meant me doing the homework myself and, as I learned more about my biology and hormones, I became fascinated by what we can achieve in terms of health, happiness and longevity. I also became very angry about how little we are taught about the tools available to us!
I felt I had a responsibility to share my story. And once I did, I felt I should do something with everything I had learned. Looking back it was a huge decision. I closed the doors of a successful consultancy born out of years of experience and trained to start something entirely new on the back of lived experience.
But it felt very easy. I had found my purpose. I didn’t know then what MPowder would become: just that I didn’t want anyone else to feel the way I had.
Today we are a co-creation community: working with medical and holistic practitioners and individuals in midlife to formulate, test and refine products and programmes to help us ‘meno-well’.
Our ambition is to reframe Part 2 as a stepping up point, not a fading away.
Imagine a world where we are no longer tripped up by our biology, where we participate in society fully at every life stage rather than having to take time away because our hormones are seen as a hindrance rather than a superpower. Balancing the gender health and data gap is the only way we will achieve equality in society and the boardroom.
And the world needs that equality more than ever!
Give us a flavour of a typical day in the life of you as founder.
I’ve been a founder of two businesses prior to founding MPowder, but both were within the service industry so very different to my current set-up. And my typical day, although full of variety as I worked with numerous clients, felt comfortable as I had years of practice and learning.
In contrast my typical day today is outside my comfort zone about 70% of the time! I could be looking into capsule formulation, funding for the business, the anticipated impact of environmental events on our goods in six months’ time, the fact that a DPD delivery has gone astray or writing our weekly newsletter!
It is a constant balancing act.
What has been your favourite moment so far?
The favourite ongoing moment for me is customer feedback. We’re here to make a real difference: and when people take the time to tell us we have, it makes everything worthwhile.
Apart from founding it what do you personally bring to the company? What is your superpower?
I think the lived experience I had has helped us: but it is my background as a researcher that is perhaps the most useful skill I bring to our team. I’ve spent a lifetime working with big international brands and encouraging them to put the customer voice front and centre to everything rather than just playing lip service to it. And now I get to walk the talk. We’re the first co-creation community in the menopause space. We’ve opened up our business to allow our customers to drive its direction of travel. This takes time. And it comes with risk. But I genuinely believe it is the only way to build brands with purpose.
Setting up a company obviously has its ups and downs. What has been your biggest challenge to date?
As a female in her late 40s my odds were already suppressed! But I am also building a global business focused on a life-stage that research tells us 75% of the population feels uncomfortable about. I’m in an emerging, cloudy market. I’m making stuff rather than proposing a ‘femtech’ play. I’m passionate about community and co-creation. And our company raised funds at two of the most challenging periods for investment in recent history.
But, I wouldn’t change the shape of our cap table. We have the right brains around our business and that is critical.
When get too much how do you reboot yourself?
Having experienced burnout during perimenopause, I try to have an embedded routine that is always ‘on’ rather than relying on the reboot! I meditate before I clean my teeth. I journal. I work out. And, if I need to pull the emergency chord, I take myself off to a flotation tank or the Banya. Water, heat and time are my swiftest way back to myself.
Anything you wish you had done differently over the last few years? What advice do you give to others starting out?
I wish I’d had someone who could help me understand the investment landscape earlier on: the profiles, motivations and evaluation criteria of players. I’d advise anyone at the start of their funding journey to speak to other entrepreneurs who are a little ahead of you. We’re always happy to share.
What does the future hold for MPowder and yourself?
We are focused now on expanding our portfolio of products and services, continuing to refine our award-winning formulations based on efficacy data and building on our educational programmes. We want to become the global destination for midlife community, collaboration, support, solutions and insights. And to be wherever our audience needs us.
For me, post our latest raise, I am focused on adapting our company structure to reflect ambition and raising the profile of our brand.
Who is your founder or leader hero?
Anita Roddick for rocking uncommon business practices before the rest.
And finally, if you were to give ONE tip to mid-life women what would it be?
Push your health up your to-do list, you’ve earned it! And focus on how you digest stress. Our hormones are significantly impacted by external stressors: and midlife, and menopause, hits at a time when we’re often juggling the most.
Small interventions can make a big difference.
Thank you Rebekah