It’s not often that we associate menopause-related products with high-end retail outlets like Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdale’s but that’s the feat achieved by Amy Buckalter, the visionary featured on this episode of the Busine$$ of the V. Hosts Dr. Dweck and Rachel get the full rundown on her burgeoning company Pulse, which has developed a bespoke dispenser for lubricants that is drawing fans well beyond its originally intended target audience.
“Gone are the days of cheap plastic tubes that look like they belong in the drugstore,” says Amy, who is founder and CEO of the Seattle-based business. “(Lubricants today) are in shapes, sizes, colors and materials that really feel like a beauty product.”
Pulse is revolutionizing the consumer experience in personal care and beauty with an innovative, hygienic new dispensing technology for liquid formulations including oils, lotions, creams, and gels. Using recyclable Pulse Pods, it’s an easy, touchless dispenser that is not only esthetically pleasing but adaptable to uses beyond the bedroom. Think convenient, mess-free, touchless access to your favorite formulations, whether in the kitchen, bathroom or nursery.
Best of all, Pulse products are designed with only premium ingredients – no harsh chemicals or irritating fillers. You’ll learn about how Amy has lofted her personal health care product squarely into the beauty and self-care space, and what lies ahead for Pulse’s bounds-breaking business model!
About Amy Buckalter, Pulse CEO:
An inspiring brand leader, growth strategist, and operational game changer, Amy has three decades of expertise in consumer products. She thrives on creating winners and is passionate about being market disruptive. She owns a consistent record of building high-performance teams, while leading dramatic P&L improvements, turnarounds, and accelerated revenue growth for privately held, publicly owned, and VC/PE funded organizations.
Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.
Watch The Interview with Pulse CEO Amy Buckalter
Topics Covered in Today’s Episode with Amy Buckalter
- About how Amy migrated from sports and luxury brands to vaginal wellness, prompted in part by her own personal experience going through menopause.
- The “Aha” moment: Amy spoke with friends and looked at the marketplace. Why wasn’t there a solution or some better alternative to messy, cold lubricants?
- Dr. Dweck positions vaginal dryness among the array of menopausal symptoms and observes that Pulse fills a big need for women.
- Amy demos Pulse, explaining its features and showing the ease of use, esthetically pleasing design and practical benefit.
- Discussion about lubricants is “all the rage” in the gynecological community right now, says Dr. Dweck, which is why she’s especially curious about the Pulse formulation.
- Pulse Pods were formulated based on tapping expertise and getting feedback from knowledgeable sources in the medical community. The goal was to deploy healthy, soothing, hydrating, luxurious, hypoallergenic ingredients.
- About Ph balance and both balance and volume of fluids – specifications that Pulse used in the development process, including minimizing a huge range of harsh chemicals.
- HOT FLASH: According to one study, more than 50 million Americans used personal lubricants in 2020.
- About the Pulse business model: Products are available at their website as well as through Amazon and at bricks-and-mortar Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Goop stores.
- How Amy moved her product beyond the medicinal marketing sector into a premium, self-care space that emphasizes holistic wellness.
- Retail beauty has embraced lubricants as part of overall personal, intimate health, pleasure and sexual well-being.
- Sustainability is a key differentiator for Pulse, which from the outset incorporated recyclable materials and other ecologically positive practices.
- Not for Women Only: Men can find Pulse and similar products in the “Men’s Grooming” section of their favorite retail outlet. Or via a few clicks around the web.
- Pulse was built for “women of a certain age,” but has turned out to be wildly popular across a variety of demographics, including young people and gay men.
- More about the ingredients: Pulse has very deliberately refused to include any of the endocrinal disrupting agents so common among women’s cosmetic ingredients.
- On the Horizon: Pulse is currently focused on optimizing and expanding use cases for its elegant, precise device, which could be adapted to men’s needs, bathrooms, nurseries and other uses.
Quotes From Pulse CEO Amy Buckalter:
(00:50) – “Menopause is a hot topic of the day and for years and years to come because it’s no longer being hidden. People are talking about it.” (Dr. Dweck)
(01:00) – “One symptom of menopause that is disturbing and distressing to women who want to age gracefully and continue with their intimate lives is vaginal dryness.” (Dr. Dweck)
(06:35) – “Pulse is a very elegant device … You just insert a hand underneath and out comes a perfectly warm portion of soothing lubricant.” (Amy)
(11:14) – “We wanted to make sure that even for the most sensitive of tissues (our formulation) was not going to be an irritant. We looked for the quality, premium ingredients that would yield those results.” (Amy)
(15:53) – “One of the things we’re seeing in women’s health is the intersectionality of all aspects of our life: mental health, physical health, emotional health, skin health …It’s exciting that these large retailers have extended this to beauty.” (Rachel)
(17:56) – “The products are just becoming stunning. Gone are the days of cheap plastic tubes that look like they belong in the drugstore. (Lubricants today) are in shapes, sizes, colors and materials that really feel like a beauty product.” (Amy)
(23:45) – “With customers from 18-65, we’re pretty equally split – younger, middle and a little bit older. And they all have different needs – whether it’s for menopause, just for pleasure or solo play or whatever.” (Amy)
(26:49) – “Anything that comes in a liquid goop – a lotion, a cream, a gel – that you would like served up warm, we’re going to be applying our product to that.” (Amy)