Can you tell us a little about yourself? AND What exactly is Bwom?
Hi, Im Estrella Jaramillo, cofounder of B-wom. Im originally from the South of Spain, and I Graduated in Translation and Interpreting, English German, Masters Degree from IE Business School. I have lived in 10 cities for the past 10 years, in Spain, Germany and the US. I am very passionate about women’s health and empowerment, and about the connection between the brain and the body. I believe in the importance of self-care and want to help everyone out there have resources to be in charge of their own health.
And this is exactly what we do at B-wom. We offer women a digital coach that will guide them through the different changes and symptoms their bodies experience in a lifetime. Our users download the app and take a test, then we can create a personalized care plan with exercises, tips, recommendations, habits and a tracking tool. We focus on very common issues su as incontinence, sexual discomfort or recovery after childbirth.
How did you come up with the name?
B-wom comes from putting together the words Be and Woman. We wanted to make a statement about being confident on who we are as women, and being proud of EVERY single stage of being a woman: from puberty to menopause, going through the changes entailed by pregnancy.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t know if i can say there is such thing as a “Typical day” in my life anymore. I am currently based in NYC and travel a lot to San francisco/Silicon Valley, so one day i’ll be working on client proposals in my office at the Center for Social Innovation in Chelsea, and the next one a plane and heading to an event or panel discussion about women’s health or technology. There are other days where I just commute all over the city to attend an investor breakfast, meet with specialists or potential partners and start collaborations.
What is your favorite part about running B- wom?
I always say jokingly that it is “having the opportunity to say the word vagina in front of large, mostly male dominated audiences
But there’s many other things i love about it. I’m meeting hundreds of incredibly inspiring people, like my B12 cohorts and the team and mentors at Women’s Startup Lab. It’s the greatest growth and learning period I’ve had in my life. It’s changed my professional and personal life, and granted me the opportunity to travel this country while raising awareness about issues that are important, and growing a business that will change the way we women look at our intimate health. Just as an example of a moment when I really feel fulfilled: Sometimes when I present numbers from our aggregate data, it creates a WOW effect. Mos audiences are not aware of the fact that 2 in every 3 women will suffer mild to severe female health symptoms (incontinence, painful sex, etc) and that they mostly suffer in silence.
How do you keep yourself feeling confident?
As a foreign entrepreneur, there are certain barriers that you need to overcome: English is not your first language, you don’t have a college and prior job network to rely on, so it’s harder to open certain doors, you have to invest time in learning how to negotiate or engage partners in a foreign culture… So there are many sources of insecurity in your day-to-day life. I try to always look at it as a learning process. Every time I didn’t get to the result I wanted or was expecting, I try to find the lesson in the situation and apply it. Also, I keep reminding myself that the fact that I am trying so hard already means that I care, and that’s what really matters.
How do you balance your work life and your personal life?
It’s a fine balance that it’s hard to lose sight of. As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to get carried away by the urgency of the business: everything needs to be done by yesterday, every day new opportunities and needs to tend to arise, and the more you do the higher the chances of success. We’ve all been there. It is fundamental to keep in mind that, if we get sick or hit burnout, we won’t be productive, creative or efficient. I’ve learned what works for me, so that I can be productive and also get the mental breaks I need to keep going. This is not a sprint, this is a long run, and you need to make it! Do physical activity, meditate and take breaks for yourself and your loved ones.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman who wants to start her own company?
I’m still learning. I’m at a very early stage in my own path, but from my experience I’d tell them to surround themselves with people who are positive and will encourage you in the toughest times. Build a network of people who either have been through what you are experiencing or who are currently in a similar phase. It is crucial when encountering the challenges that will test your resilience and endurance. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to your health. Many times I made the mistake of thinking in “Sprinting” terms, until I realized that this is a long term run. Having a coach will also help guide you through the frustrations that will inevitably arise in this adventure…
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