Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi! We’re Cynthia and Jamie, the co-founders of Stix.
Tell us more about your background!
We met four years ago and instantly became friends. We then went on to join an early-stage produce delivery startup on a mission to fight food waste. There, we saw the team grow from 5 to 50 employees. It was a wild ride!
We always knew we worked well together. Cynthia is absolutely amazing at all things marketing and growth, and Jamie is a whiz at the operations and product side of the biz. More importantly, though, we both have a passion for improving the lives of women.
Looking back what would you say to 16 year old you?
Be kind to yourself.
Where did the idea for Stix come from?
Last summer, Cynthia was buying a pregnancy test in her neighborhood drugstore when she ran into her boyfriend’s mom (yikes!). After running out of the store, she called Jamie in tears. It turns out, Jamie had had some terrible pregnancy test experiences herself. They started talking to friends, acquaintances, and then strangers and found that every woman had her own pregnancy test horror story. So they decided to fix it.
Do you have any advice for women who may be going through something similar?
If you’re starting a company, our best advice is to do it as a part of a great community. Jamie and I are lucky to be surrounded by a network that inspires, mentors, and supports us. We also have an amazing community of Stix customers who motivate us every day.
Were you scared to start the process?
Of course! Going out own your own is daunting. It’s scary to build something new in the world. But it is also incredibly fulfilling to be able to make women’s lives just a little bit better.
Has anyone ever doubted you in your career? How did that make you feel?
We’re both really lucky to have such supportive family and friends. But like any young women, we’ve been doubted all the time! We heard a lot of ‘no’s before we heard ‘’yes’s. As hard as that is, it makes all our ideas better because we have to prove them and it makes us work harder to prove ourselves
It looks like you’re proving them wrong! What keeps you going?
Hearing from our amazing customers! We love hearing from women how Stix has made their lives better. It makes us excited to come into the office every day and helps us push through the late nights.
Is this one of the reasons you started Stix?
We started Stix because the pregnancy test industry is broken. We’re fixing it.
Throughout this process, what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Doing it with the right person matters. Jamie and I have been friends, coworkers, and co-founders. We have deep trust in each other, which has lead us to where we are today. But this goes so far beyond just us. We were so lucky to be a part of Venture for America after college and are now part of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. Through both of these programs, we’ve been able to build amazing and supportive networks.
What advice would you give women who are trying to build their own business?
First, you’re amazing, keep going. Second, ask for help. As first time founders, we’ve been totally amazed by how generous everybody has been! If there’s somebody who you think could be helpful, just reach out and ask! (That includes us, of course.)
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
Stix is built on a culture of learning. We’re constantly learning about the business, our customers, and the space. That’s allowed us to keep growing every day.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
We’re lucky to have many different mentors. They’ve taught us more than I think could fit in a blog post. Maybe the best way to sum it all up – they’ve taught us how amazing and valuable great mentors are.
If you had a mentee, what would you teach them?
To surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and to know that at the end of your day, nobody knows your business better than you.
As you’ve grown personally and professionally, what message do you think every woman should hear?
You can do it. As women, we’re so often taught to doubt ourselves (helloooooo imposter syndrome). The truth is, you are brilliant and capable. You can do it.
Rapid Fire Round:
Cynthia – “Never underestimate the power of 10 minutes”
Jamie – “There is always something left to love.”
Cynthia – I know it’s not a movie, but I’ve rewatched Parks and Rec too many times to say anything else
Jamie – When Harry Met Sally
Cynthia – Chocolate (totally counts as a meal)
Jamie – Sushi
Cynthia – The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jamie – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Cynthia & Jamie – Try now, worry later
After Jamie Norwood & Cynthia Plotch both had terrible experiences buying pregnancy tests, they set out on a mission to create the easiest and most empowering pregnancy test purchasing experience out there.