Who doesn’t want to know more about a company whose mantra is: Joy and pleasure are your birthright? On this episode of Busine$$ of the V, Dr. Dweck and Rachel offer robust conversation about an intimate skincare company that embraces self-love. Christine Marie Mason, founder and CEO of Rosebud Woman, shares her journey from successful B2B tech startup guru to femtech entrepreneur.
Rosebud Woman makes effective, sustainable, beautiful products designed to enhance satisfaction and reduce suffering across all the stages of a women’s sensual, sexual and reproductive life. Built with an integrative approach that includes bio- and psycho-social elements, this product line has been growing exponentially. Why? Because it offers an integral, organic, non-toxic approach to women’s health and well-being. It also emphasizes a body-positive, sex-positive, normalizing and liberating ethos that is part of what Christine believes is a necessary, transformational movement.
Where women have historically felt compelled to “flatten” themselves (in every respect) while dealing in male-dominated board rooms, Christine is helping to spread a new model that holds space for mindfulness and soulfulness within a business context. She believes we can take recent strides as a hard-won silver lining legacy of Covid19, which forced our homes and work lives to intermingle in a way that was humanizing across the enterprise.
Tune in for this fascinating conversation that covers everything from women’s empowerment to the social and sexual impacts of trauma to exciting new low-cost lending models that are lowering barriers of entry for entrepreneurial efforts like Rosebud Woman. Primarily sold direct-to-customers in all 50 states in the U.S., their products are also available at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and clean beauty outlets nationwide as well as in Canada and Australia.
Today’s Episode is Sponsored by Kindra
To learn more about estrogen-free peri/menopause essentials for women like you, check out our sponsor Kindra here. You can also take a quiz designed to help you prepare for, manage and embrace your body’s natural hormonal shifts by clicking here. And if you’d like to purchase products, be sure to use the code BOVPodcast to save 20% off your order or subscription.
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- Learn how it was that Christine transitioned from working in the world of tech to the world of femtech, including her early experimentation with homemade products and the personal journey that coincided with the start of this entrepreneurial journey.
- Once Christine identified a core group of common needs among the cohort of 3,000 women she surveyed, her path forward was clear.
- Why is the work world not designed to allow the fullness of women? As she aged and watched her daughters coming of age, Christine pushed back against the impediments to expressing the feminine.
- Dr. Dweck discusses the bio-social and psycho-social element of women’s sexuality, focusing in on the many factors that impact female libido.
- Christine shares issues commonly raised by the 3,000 people she surveyed:
- Lack of moisture (menopausal, trauma-related and medication-induced)
- Irritation, itching
- Arousal, lack of sensation
- Cleanliness and concern with odor
- The results of her survey formed the basis on which Christine developed her forerunner products.
- Rosebud Woman ingredients were developed based upon knowledge culled from traditions (Chinese, Ayurvedic, South American shaman, North American white witches) familiar with herbal properties based in thousands of years of human experience.
- Christine worked with her chemist to get the balance and molecular sizing right.
- All about scent: Rosebud’s are subtle and pure (not a smoke screen for toxic ingredients).
- Odor is an important window into general health; not something simply to be masked.
- Down to business: Where Rosebud Woman is focused at this point:
- Coming up on the third anniversary of 2018 founding.
- About $700k in sales the first year, a couple million the second year and a doubling of revenue this past year.
- Retail distribution at stores like Saks, Nordstrom and 70+ spas, OB-GYN and online sites.
- Completely self-funded (with friends and family).
- Christine is also enthused about new plug-in debt financing instruments like Clear Bank and Shopify Capital. They’re providing the lowest cost capital she has seen in 30 years of business – a game-changer in terms of growth.
- Competition is heating up with other concerns backed by big commercial companies with decidedly different business models and goals.
- Christine reflects on the books she’s authored and why. Writing has always compelled her as has a desire to address topics on a deep level. Her books have tackled subjects such as indivisibility, activism, social justice, body love, self-healing and the second half of life).
- Mindfulness and Marketing: People are starting to bring their whole selves to the board room and hold space for soulfulness. Christine believes Covid19 humanized business by intermingling it with people’s homes and personal lives.
- On the horizon: Products in development, including a lubricant, a topical euphoric/relaxant and more podcast and book production.
Christine shares thoughts about the mandate for a founder such as herself to hold her vision – especially in a fluid and increasingly competitive market.
Quotes from Christine Mason:
(05:57) – “There was something about the way people responded to the quality (Christine was developing in her kitchen) and how just giving them these products opened up a conversation around sensuality and sexuality.”
(08:16) – “Just because I have an idea doesn’t mean that I’m representative of a big market, so I better find out and validate by asking questions.”
(10:26) – “I would find myself in situations where I was the only woman in a roomful of men over and over. And I learned that if I just smooshed my boobs down and took on a very linear, analytical framework that I could make it. But there was no room for me to have an expression of the fullness of my cyclicality.”
(14:55) – “In working with the formulation I wanted plant-based, organic things that actually work and have studies against them. That was a really fun process and very carefully done.”
(17:59) – “I’m trying really hard to tie together super-effective and beautiful products that look like beautiful objects and desire that you want to keep out on your nightstand with the message that your nature, your sensual and sexual and reproductive life is totally healthy and whole and worthy of reverence.”
(20:47) – “I’m seeing competition heat up … people who have more of a corporate approach, and I don’t want to be left behind. So we will raise capital in the fall, but so far it’s just us!”
(22:45) – “There are lots of collaborations and partnerships to be made that either shorten the timeline to get where you’re going, help you avoid the mistakes somebody else has made or maybe make them more quickly and get to the next stage with a few less bruises and scabs.” (Rachel)
(24:58) – “If you have a vision for what can be created, and you can hold the vision and pull five or seven people around you, it works – it has a contagion to it.”
(27:01) – “Mindfulness and embodiment and an analytical mind – all that stuff can live together. My spiritual self can live inside my marketing job. They don’t have to be separated.”
(29:53) – “As a founder, one of the biggest challenges – not just in this business but other businesses – is to hold your vision and not be reactive to everybody that’s coming into the space.”
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