S4 2021 - Episode 2


I chat with Hannah Samano, Founder & CEO of Unfabled. My favourite takeaways from our discussion are...

~Why it's important to re-write the period care story (3:51)
~The evolution of personalisation to meet the demands of consumer lifestyles (8:04)
~Whether community building is part of the new D2C playbook (14:09)
~Why being impact-led helps with customer advocacy and loyalty (19:29)
~Why LinkedIn and Clubhouse were successful platforms for investor outreach (30:58)
~A robust debate of our favourite Tony's Chocolonely flavours (41:55)

A quick word on my sponsor...

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Transcript

Tim Richardson 0:05
Hannah, welcome to the podcast. How are you? And where are you?

Hannah 1:29
I'm very well. Thank you. I am in my flat in Bethnal Green currently in East London. And yeah, looking forward to another podcast with you equalise podcast, extraordinary as

Tim Richardson 1:42
you know what so you are one of one. So I've not had anyone on the podcast twice. And this is your third appearance.

Hannah 1:51
Damn, I feel very proud right now.

Tim Richardson 1:56
I think it's kind of out because there's something in obviously, we've known each other for a while. But like there is this kind of like, interesting journey touch point, if you were to listen to those three podcasts. And yeah, it was one of the most exciting to be talking to you. So without further ado, I'd love to understand. Let's talk about on fabled. How did it start? And where are you at?

Hannah 2:15
Of course. So Unfabled is the world's first marketplace for menstrual well being and we curate sustainable and ethical brands for menstrual care, menstrual symptoms and for self care throughout the month. And I started working on it in January in lockdown, and I had just finished working at we make websites and few and had seen these problems in the consumer space to do with menstrual care. And the problem that I had mainly seen was that menstrual care is excluded from the wellness industry. And even though 50% of the population will have a period during their lifetime, and that we will probably have a period for 40 years of our lives. And that will be on our period for 10 years of our lives. That experience is just not being met by the wellness space. So I kind of quit my job knowing that I wanted the full full amount of time to solve this challenge. And as you know, we kind of knew each other from the Shopify agency world. So I quickly cobbled together a Shopify site. And by the end of February, I was ready to start testing this idea. And I'd brought maybe 12 brands onto the site, I was reaching out to brands, Hey, can I buy your stock at a wholesale price, I was storing it on my flat. And then I launched on fabled at the end of February, really not knowing what to expect, and whether this was even a good idea and sold out of everything in the first week. So stepped into March with this website with no stock left. And since then, it's just been this frantic whirlwind of an experience and sort of march through to May was rapid testing, gathering a lot of interesting data and customer feedback about what they were wanting to buy, what were they coming back to buy again, already getting some really interesting stuff on repeat rates, probably makes sense that there's something with a monthly cycle is probably well set up to have interesting repeat rates from an E commerce perspective. And then, sort of through the summer was really fundraising. And I closed the funding round in September. So I'm speaking to you now as I have just moved all the product into an actual office. And I've just hired two brilliant people full time. And it feels like it's moving from being an idea that I was testing out in my living room to now a small fledgling startup. So it's really exciting.

Tim Richardson 4:49
That's quite the journey in such a small space of time. I'm I'm curious to know, you touched on some really interesting stats there at the start of the kind of journey discussion. But like, Why do you think it's important to rewrite the period care story now?

Hannah 5:05
Yeah, so my main thesis is that when a shopping experience is substandard. And so for example, in period care, typically, we would find period products in the supermarket in the aisle next to pet food, or next to cleaning products. And in fact, that was one of the kind of lightbulb moments I had, where I went to Tescos to buy like my tampons, and they were next to dog food in the supermarket aisle. And I just thought then and there, actually, there's, it's not surprising that I feel ashamed by my period when the consumer experiences setup like this. So I think that by rewriting the consumer experience, and by creating one that is beautiful, modern, enjoyable, God forbid, that we can start to reframe how people are thinking of feeling around their own menstrual cycles. And we can start to debunk stigma in doing so. So so that's really what I'm holding on to is that by turning the consumer experience on its head, we can start to change the stat that nearly two thirds of people with periods still feel embarrassed by them.

Tim Richardson 6:19
The consumer experience is very interesting to me. And that's a fascinating kind of insight into where this kind of space is at. As part of this podcast series, I'm sort of exploring these ideas of impact brands and the growth and journey and you know, what its effect on consumerism is, and I saw an interesting business of fashion article that suggested the new four P's of marketing are a pyramid of purpose positioning, partnerships and personalization. And I'd love to understand, how do you think, what do you think of that? And how do you potentially fit into that mix?

Hannah 6:53
Yeah, I definitely think that those are four super important tenets now to creating anything. The two that speak most closely to on fabled right now, definitely, purpose and personalization. So I'm fabled is built on purpose on wanting to do business that is good to the world and good to people's bodies. And so sustainability, it runs to the core of everything we're doing, we only curate sustainable brands for menstrual care. And a lot of the brands we work with, in fact, our purpose brands themselves, so many give five 10% of their profits to charitable causes. Many of B corpse. In fact, all of our brands are female founded apart from Tony Shakur only, but was definitely struggling. But yeah, accidentally all of our brands are female founded. And so we were finding now that I'm fabled is very much this kind of activist brand. And we are supporting women owned businesses, we're supporting sustainability, you know, women's bodies, and gender decline, moving the needle on the conversation around gender as we use inclusive language when talking about periods. One thing that's important to know is that non binary people and trans men may have periods. So we find that our purpose to be gender inclusive is is really key to and I think now, without having a strong purpose as a brand, I think consumers are aware of that. And we've been through this a park of, you know, a mushrooming of lots of DTC brands. And then a sort of, you know, a bit of a death, you watch some of these brands rise and fall and, you know, the, the likes of the aways of this world and some of the mattress brands and, and actually, we start to see that without a long term vision for purpose, and what is this brand really here to do? What's going to keep the customer coming back again, and again, and again, because they're loyal, not to the brand, but to the purpose. I think that now, without having one, you're just probably not set up to succeed long term. And then the other thing that I love to speak to is the personalization piece. And, again, I think we're coming out of this really interesting time in the DTC world where customers have almost been given a bit of a one size fits all a brand is a subscription service, or a brand is a marketplace or, you know, it fits into very neat categories and lies. And actually, I think what the modern person is looking for and the research that I do with with our customers and community is that there isn't a one size fits all and that some people no matter what, how technologically pro they are as millennials or how tech averse they are. Some people just don't like subscriptions and some people really love them. So for me personalization, it's not just about having someone's name embossed on the packaging of a product. It's a you really personalising your offering You know to suit what that person wants to suit their lifestyle. So for I'm fabled, I'm really wanting to build this in a way that is catering to each individual's preferences around their menstrual cycle. And also, you know, people really experience periods in different ways. And that's what I want to try and solve for you. There are so many categories now of menstrual care products, we've got tampons, pads, liners, and we've got more innovations and kinds of period cups and reusable pads and reusable tampon applicators and the list goes on. And there's so much choice in a space where typically, people haven't been offered that choice. And so really, right now we're thinking about how we can continue to evolve on fabled to offer products in a personalised way to meet each user's needs when it comes to serving their menstrual symptoms, and their wellness preferences throughout the month.

Tim Richardson 10:53
So interesting. A really, the subscription piece resonates with me, in what you've just said there and myself and another ECOM store what Luke Hodgson from E commerce thinking and high cohesion. Shout out to those guys, we were discussing this very thing the other day. And I think that that, that the subscription model is great, I think from a conceptual business perspective, but it's actually really difficult technically. And I think that maybe part of that is why DTC brands see as such a favourable consumer touchpoint, or engagement sort of piece, because it makes sense from a, you know, income perspective. But yeah, I think flipping it on its head and asking whether the consumer does want a subscription? Do they really want to be involved in that kind of transaction? Or are there other ways of engaging with them? Exactly. So I suppose following from that, I don't know if you've experienced that thus far, and maybe have maybe haven't, because you're early on to the journey. But I'd love to understand how, if you have experienced it, how do you balance the kind of impact purpose and profitability or, you know, eu for seeing that that's going to be a thing you're going to have to tackle at some point in the future?

Hannah 12:06
I think, you know, the honest answer is that right now, because we're so small, and because we're we're a long way off turning a profit right now, we're not in a position to offer, you know, these, these kind of slightly grandiose, you know, commitments saying, I will donate five to 10% of our of our profits, because that that margin isn't there yet for us. But what I will say is that, if for me, that's the most important thing businesses can do. And the most sustainable thing businesses can do is to build a profitable business model, and to build a business that isn't going to haemorrhage money for years. And so that's my goal is to build a really sustainable business model. And once that is in place, then I think that paves the way to being able to truly give back. And as soon as we're in a position where it's looking like we're going to be able to get back to then absolutely, I mean, I'm so excited to think of the opportunities there. And, you know, brands today, like who gives a crap, you know, they donate 50% of their profits to water sanitation projects. And that kind of like truly impactful purpose driven brands and significant donations to spaces that matter. That is definitely the space that I would be wanting to think about and figure out from fabled, what does that look like because we speak to so many causes, we speak to you, period, poverty is unfortunately on the rise in the UK. And then, you know, there are a lot of sustainability challenges with current medical care and pollution of water and and of land that can have ramifications on marine wildlife and all sorts of ecological structures. So there's just a whole plethora of spaces that we could be thinking about wanting to partner with charities or organisations that are really doing fantastic work in those spaces. I think that, yeah, as I've mentioned, the first priority is to get the business into a state where we will be able to continue and have a long term impact and partnership in these important spaces. Whereas if we create a business that crashes and burns quickly, then that's not going to be good to anyone long term. So that's sort of where I'm sitting right now not committing a specific contribution because the contribution isn't there yet, but as soon as it is, I'm really fortunate that the investors on board and the people we work with all have a very conscientious approach to doing business and are all investing and available as well because they see the problems and they want to support someone and you know, organisation solving for them. So I know that I'll be able to put heads together with my investors and kind of board at that stage to discuss when Do we want to really support organisations? who are working in the spaces we care about?

Tim Richardson 15:07
You touched on it before, but I want to talk about community building. And I'm, I'm wondering, is it part of the new DDC playbook? Or is it always been there? And then I'd love to understand like, how are you guys approaching community?

Hannah 15:22
So I think that, I don't know if it has always been there. Because I think rolling back a hot minute, brands were able to acquire huge customer bases on Facebook in the early days. And we know now that acquisition costs have gone up dramatically. And that actually, it's much harder now as a brand to target people effectively, even on Facebook, which is conversation for another day, that's probably for the best, right. But for businesses, it's proving challenging. So I think that as it's become harder to get those good acquisition costs, brands have been thinking about a more long term play of creating an audience. And, yeah, community is the way to do that. And so I think that community building is now 100%, part of the DTC playbook. And if you don't have that, then you don't have something that people necessarily will be coming back to. And, you know, acquiring customer to kind of potentially buy once and then never come back as it's what's expensive for the bat brand. But also, that's surely not why we're in business, you know, we want to create really loyal people who will come back. So you know, whether that's an Instagram community, or a really strong mailing list, or now, you know, tick tock communities, the list goes on, I think what's important is that, as brands, we try not to spread ourselves too thinly, and that we focus on the spaces, the channels, that it makes sense to build a community in. You know, for example, for some brands that might be really focusing on Facebook, you know, sort of the boomer generation, live much more on Facebook than Gen Z, for example. So it's really thinking about where's your audience? And then how can we build a community that speaks to them in that space? And from fabled, you know, we're really at the start of that journey. But absolutely, it's a priority for us. So Instagram, in many ways, was the way in which um, fabled took off in that first week, you know, it, it sold out, everything sold out in a week, and it was all through Instagram. So people would buy from unlabeled. And then the unboxing experiences, you know, it's nothing. Life changing, but it's better than Amazon we make. I was writing handwritten notes and putting in small Tony's chuckle, only chocolates, and it's nice tissue paper that's non toxic and recyclable. And so the unboxing experience was lovely. And people were sharing it on their stories and tagging on fabled. So it had this slight domino effect, then more people were seeing on their friend stories, and, oh, great. This is a really small business. And, you know, in London, female founders, let me support. So I already saw in that week one, that Instagram for us had this enormous potential to get people around the mission and people who also were looking for an alternative for their period care. And so from them, we kind of continued on the Instagram. And actually, when I say we, that's a thing. I think a lot of early stage startup founders do. And it's just one person. It was just me, but I say we to try and make it look better. Yeah, I mean, luckily, now when I say we, there are actually more people than me. But back in those days, you know, it was me on Instagram. And I was starting to explore things like reels and putting myself out there, which, you know, felt a bit bumpy at the start. But actually, once I pushed through that wall of self doubt, insecurity, I realised, actually, people do want to hear from me, and that when I'm putting content out videos, stories, Instagram lives, it's getting people, not just followers, that's not the thing I really care about. It's engaged followers. So then people would be DMing me like, oh, my gosh, Hannah, you just said something that really resonated with me. And actually, I've had these issues with my period, but I've never really spoken to anyone about it. So what became really apparent to me was that us being, you know, really transparent, and me, just speaking to the community authentically was then building trust. And then people were telling me as well what brands they were looking for what were their pain points with their menstrual cycle, and I was able to start building that so you know, now the first full time hire I've made which she's just joined the team this week. The first full time hire is social media and community manager. And, you know, some people think, Oh, well, why didn't you hire kind of, you know, someone maybe more on the growth side or a CEO or what all these things but for me, the community to growing that through meaningful content and meaningful connection, is how, as a marketplace, you know, we don't have IP, we don't manufacture that is going to be our moat. That's how we build that stickiness. So the audience and the community building is the number one priority from Facebook right now.

Tim Richardson 20:21
So I'm keen to explore that just a little bit further, and you touched on some of the points there. But you mentioned getting some customer data and everything that you've just discussed around your community. But from your perspective, do you think that being kind of impact and purpose driven is helping with your customer loyalty and brand advocacy?

Hannah 20:41
Yes, 100%, I think there's no doubt. And one of the things that was really exciting in the first three months of trading, let's say that, that set me up well to fundraise was that as I was speaking to investors, I was already seeing really strong repeat rates, you know, from our first cohort, over 50%, had already come back. And it was kind of nearing that for the second cohort. And I think that, you know, firstly, the, I would hope the experience on fabled was a positive one, and that people enjoyed the unstable experience and the products that we sell, I'm very, very selective about the brands that we would curate and put onto the platform, what we are really seeking to do is to do the legwork for our community, and find them the best sustainable and ethical brands, so they don't have to spend 10 hours on Google. So all the brands we list are honestly incredible, like I would be so proud to share them with anyone. So that I hope that the product offering is strong, but I definitely think the brand side and and then knowing that it's a small business, and they feel connected to that. So, you know, I'm personally thanking them writing them, because they see me show up on Instagram, they see pictures of their own orders. And I think that feeling of of actually businesses, just people, and I'm seeing, I'm investing my money here, I'm spending, let's say 30 pounds on an order. And I feel really good about that, because it's going into a business that I'm watching, bro. So I think there's a satisfaction almost. And then I think, you know, again, our community feel really positive about all of the brands that we're listing because they are sustainable, they are ethical. And on on fabled, we have a section on every product page, it just says why we love and it's a, you know, a customised this mini essay about why we've chosen that brand and why they're an incredible brand. So I think our community and our customers, they really know what is good about what what they're buying. And, you know, there's probably some kind of, I'm sure someone who works in urology would be able to come at me with something positive that's happening in their brain as they know, they're clicking on something that's doing good in the world. But yeah, I think it feeds into wanting to come back and keep supporting and keep discovering sustainable and ethical brands. So yeah, I'm really grateful that we have strong repeat rates so far. And I think without a doubt, having purpose and impact woven into our core is enabling that.

Tim Richardson 23:24
You've touched on it a few times there. And you you mentioned it again. But so how did it start with the brands that you work with? Like, how did you just go out to a bunch that you were kind of already affiliated with by being a consumer of them, or just knowing them being in the kind of like space that you're in? And have you kind of got loads knocking on your door right now? How does it work?

Hannah 23:46
Yeah, so Oh, gosh, the first few weeks, so when I was in my flat in January, peak winter peak lockdown, just me thinking about this idea, and starting to send emails out to brands. I had nothing to show them at that stage. I didn't have a name. I had no branding, absolutely no website. You know, it's just my personal email address. Hey, I'm thinking and building a marketplace for menstrual well being accurate, sustainable brands would love to have you on board. What do you think? And I started really with menstrual care, because that was the backbone for what I was seeing is that there are a number of really exciting, independent, sustainable menstrual care brands, but they're all DTC. And they all kind of live in their own website and I wanted to bring them into one place because someone might prefer a CBD tampon. Someone might prefer a cup. Someone might actually just prefer normal pads and tampons that are sustainable, but wanted to give people have bird's eye view. So I started reaching out to the medical care brands and had an overwhelming response and had you know, I didn't have any nose. All the brands said yeah, I love this concept. You know, here's my wholesale price list, whenever you're ready, just you know, let's get going. And then I also started kind of reaching out to the wellness brands, CBD brands, skincare lifestyle, saying, This is the concept, you know, and I would love to position your bands alongside sustainable medical care. And I probably had more doubt they're wondering whether brands that aren't menstrual care would want to be seen in that space because there's a stigma that is still in society, or periods, you know, maybe that doesn't go hand in hand with my luxury CBD brand. But again, I was just completely taken aback, I didn't have a single No, all of the brands I reached out to work really excited, really supportive. And I think for those brands, actually, whether it's CBD or skincare or wellness, like aromatherapy, for them actually being positioned alongside menstrual care is exciting, because that opens up a whole other audience for them or almost kind of a target a solution to their products, let me say so, you know, CBD, for example, has a huge wealth of benefits for Women's Health IT It relieves, it can relieve pain, it can relieve inflammation, which can be really helpful for menstrual cramps, it can help with sleep, pain, anxiety and stress. So actually, as a CBD brand, being in a space that is speaking directly to the period experience, I think is a is a cool concept. So yeah, it was just really overwhelmingly positive. As I mentioned that I ended up having products stacked against most walls in my flat. And now we're at a point where I haven't actually done brand outreach in the last probably four months because that the the wait, tipped in that now brands are reaching out to unfaithfuls. And that started once we'd launched and they almost you know, they DM on Instagram, hey, you know, we'd love to be on and fabled. And then they tend to drop us an email. So it's it's really exciting. We've now got loads of amazing brands reaching out to us and, and then also I've just been able to bring on an E commerce assistant who's fantastic. And so she's now also thinking more strategically around brands and doing more outreach again. But yeah, so I think we've been really lucky with the reception we've had in the b2b space.

Tim Richardson 27:27
I want to switch gears slightly. And it's something I'm kind of posing to everyone in this podcast series, because the series is a is a theme of impact brands and purpose led brands. And it's very obvious to me that greenwashing is a is a topic and I appreciate in your space, it it kind of touches it, I suppose there might be another way of looking at is like Corporate Social Responsibility washing as a general sort of way of thinking about it. But what's your take on it? Do you think it's better that people are being exposed the idea of conscious consumerism and sustainability? Or do you think it's dangerous that companies are potentially piggybacking these ideas for their own personal game?

Hannah 28:08
I think that's such a good question. And what it really comes down to is the individual like me, you're the consumer being educated enough that we know what to look out for and when to see greenwashing. And I think that that is probably still quite difficult, because sustainability in the mainstream is quite a fresh thing. But it is, it's absolutely something to be mindful of where I see it, and it distresses me is, is in the mental care space, where the brands that have been dominating for decades and decades that are toxic to women's bodies, and toxic to the planet, because they're bleached that they contain microplastics they contain rappers and applicators that can take 500 to 1000 years to decompose. Now, some of these bands are starting to create product lines that are more quote unquote sustainable. And, you know, whatever that is sometimes just throwing around words, like sustainable or eco friendly, organic as well as one of those words that you know, sometimes it's just interchangeable with sustainable but that's that's not true at all. So I see that now. And I want people to be really cautious of that, you know, brands that have really perpetuated problems, particularly the menstrual care space now, probably going into boardrooms and seeing your market opportunities and and also potentially changing tide and consumer appetite. And I think that's it when when sustainability is being driven by profit as opposed to doing business in the right way. I do think it comes through because it looks a bit Fatty. And again, it's easy to go back and look into a brand history and find out what they used to do. So I just think that as much as consumers can, for us to be a bit wary and have our eyes open, and as well, you know, with independent brands, when they say sustainable, like, let's really find out what that means, you know, does that mean that it contains plastic, but it's recyclable? Or does that mean that products are fully biodegradable? Does that mean that actually they're using bio plastics, which is, it's still a plastic, it's, it's probably it's less toxic than typical plastic. But there are a lot of layers to this. And I think the best thing is for all of us to just take a bit of time in, in educating ourselves and knowing what red flags might be. But again, I think that's where it just all comes down to trust. And it's the brand's responsibility to try and build trust with your audience. And I think when trust is broken, it's quite difficult to gain it back. So, you know, brands have to be so careful now about really kind of walking the walk. Because I think that in today's day and age, they will be called out at some stage. And we see that your brands have PR disaster. And then, you know, it can be really, really difficult for them to worry about.

Tim Richardson 31:22
Yeah, I find it so fascinating that the amount of money and, and talent that sometimes in these brands, you know, corporate headquarters or whatever, and still they they don't manage to avert some of those PR disasters. Yeah, it's it's quite amazing. And you've touched on your fundraising journey. I'd love to understand how it's been going. Maybe some advice for anyone else embark on the fundraising. But I'd love to touch on, you mentioned that you've managed to get on board fundraisers that really believe in what you're doing, or investors rather sorry? How has that gone? About? Like, what was it again, similar to the the brands that you kind of were curating. When you went out there was a good response? Or was it slightly more difficult? Like how did that work?

Hannah 32:11
So the the people who have ended up investing and the people that I would want as investors and I'm fabled, they are sold the minute, I show them the idea, and I showed them my pitch deck, and they see immediately what we're solving for, and they're on board, then there are people who immediately have a lot of questions and a lot of doubt. And they, I have to explain, you know, that period on a niche, I have to explain the market opportunity and femtech. And, yes, it's absolutely my role to try and share the good message and the good word and bring people on this journey with me, but at the same time for the cynics. And for people who still want to think that you know, Women's Health is a niche, they're probably not going to be the right investor. And I'm fabled actually. So I found that it was an interesting journey for me in that in the start, I started fundraising and speaking to people getting connected to some people through my network. But really the majority of people I connected with and who ended up investing came from me doing a lot of cold outreach on LinkedIn, it came from me being in clubhouse a lot. Guys remember, q1, q2 Back in, when my boss was a real thing? You know, it worked for me, because I was just in there in rooms speaking about, I'm fabled. And, you know, it was it was just a very modern fundraising journey where I, you know, attracted people through clubhouse through LinkedIn, did, you know, the groundwork myself, but found, you know, quite quickly found people who were in, and I think the purpose driven element helps, I think that being the first market helps. So it was, it was it was a really warming experience from that side. But then I also grew in confidence throughout the journey. So at the start of the fundraising, I attracted a few people who, you know, they talk to big talk, and they were wanting to invest quite large ticket sizes. And then as things evolved, they were they, they were really trying to undercut me on valuation. And that didn't feel good. And they were it just, I'm gonna say it felt very Dragon's Den. It felt very, like, we're here actually, to try and shock you. And for a few weeks, I thought, okay, maybe that's what investments gonna be like, okay, yeah, she got the TV show. It's easy. Like, I guess, yeah, this is this is business. And then, and then I continued meeting people and it was a bit of a snowball effect, actually, because then I was attracting investors who were 100% Like aligned and then they were bringing people on And so that's something I really recommend is often if you find someone who's sick, who wants to invest in you, they are brilliant because they can bring in whether it's angels or people that they know from their network. And so, as that was happening, and I was attracting more people who were aligned, I finally kind of got the Hertzberg to say to these other earliest days, the investor side attracted at the start, you know, actually, this isn't the right fit, I don't think this is going to work out. And so I ended up turning some investors away. And that felt really scary to do at the time. And now looking back, it was just 100% the right thing. And you know, the round ended up being oversubscribed, I ended up raising your quite a lot more than I was planning on doing. And I feel super grateful for that. And I think it was just probably not swaying on fit. And, you know, someone said to me, and it really stuck with me, you know, actually your investors, choosing the right one is more important than choosing he married because with marriages divorce, but with investors, there's there's no such thing. So you know, these people are going to be with you for the ride. So I think that that was just really something I had, I had to get there by myself really realised no my worth realised that there were people who wanted to invest on the valuation that felt right to me. And there are enough people and then there were too many people. And so you know, don't settle for people who are trying to kind of Yeah, undermine your value, essentially.

Tim Richardson 36:31
That's really sage advice. That's really interesting about the marriage concept. Yeah, I'd say that the investor divorce proceedings are much more difficult. Much greater legal costs.

Um, on top of all of this, I don't even know I don't know, you're you're sleeping or, you know, it seems like to me, you're working 24 hours a day, but you've been accepted into a Femto into FEM tech labs accelerator programme. Tell me a little bit more about it.

Hannah 37:01
Yes, this is been very exciting. So some tech lab is the world's first startup accelerator that is focused on femtech. So femtech is the word for this industry, which is technology companies in women's health and wellness. And you know, it's a huge $60 billion industry, kind of projected by 2027. Some estimates now say that by 2027, it's going to be a $1 trillion industry. So femtech lab saw this opportunity, and I am really, yeah, it was grateful that we were accepted onto the second ever cohort. So they select 10 startups from around the world. And on fabled was one of them. And it started in September. And it's been brilliant. And it feels a bit like going back to school in some ways. I've got classes and advisors, but I feel like they're my teachers. Yeah. So it's been really positive. And, you know, after from January until August, it was like I was almost swimming at the sea, just swimming at sea. Looking around, there was kind of no one no, no boys, no ships, just a lot of sky and a lot of water, and sometimes a lot of waves. And since I've joined the startup accelerator, I feel like, there's always gonna be a life jacket. And now I can kind of see the island in the distance. And I'm, like swimming towards it. There's an objective. And so it's brought structure into an otherwise like fairly undefined, early stage startup experience. And just having that structure and having a community of other startup founders and advisors is incredibly valuable. Because sometimes as a founder, you feel like, oh, my gosh, I'm so alone, actually. You know, this is really nuts. And then you speak to people and you realise, no, actually, a lot of people are having the same challenges, like how much to spend on laptops for your early employees, how much to spend on getting out your office, you know, like, what Startup insurance to get. It's just a lot of kind of niggling small things. But as a founder, they can, they can build up and it can feel like you know, a mountain and when you just have even WhatsApp groups or slack groups are the founders, you realise that it's these things are the easy things. So yeah, it's been great to have that support. And it finishes on the first of December, it culminates in a demo day. And, you know, I think it'll be a great opportunity for people to be put in front of more investors and hopefully foster some relationships and connections that will mean when we're looking to fundraise again for our next round. We know who to talk to.

Tim Richardson 39:40
I love the out to see in a slight storm and finding and getting a life jacket, maybe acquiring a pair of binoculars. Yeah, sure, exactly. But analogy. Um, we've done a lot of looking back in current I'd love to sort of round out by looking forward. What does that fable look like in 2023?


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