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How Rejecting a Dream Offer from Investors Saved MoxyPatch’s Future


Securing funding from investors can stabilize your startup operations and accelerate growth, but it can also derail your business’s future if the investors are not the right fit. In this episode of the Harvest Growth Podcast, we talk with entrepreneur Remy Warren, who turned down an enticing investor offer - one she had initially worked hard to secure - after carefully reading the fine print.


Remy has since successfully bootstrapped her startup, Moxy Patch, into a thriving, fast-growing enterprise. Her flagship product, the MoxyPatch™ bladder leak prevention kit, is becoming a market favorite, helping women with stress urinary incontinence prevent mild-to-moderate leaks.


Remy shares why she declined the investor offer, how ignoring her mentors’ advice was a game-changer, and how this experience has better prepared her for future funding efforts. We also delve into her marketing strategies, particularly on Amazon, where she sells the MoxyPatch™ and the impact this has had on her business. This episode is packed with valuable insights and fun moments you won’t want to miss - so tune in now!



 

In today’s episode of the Harvest Growth Podcast, we’ll cover:


  • Why entrepreneurs must scrutinize prospective investor offers before signing on the dotted line.

  • How to select the right business partners and advisors for your startup.

  • Benefits and drawbacks of selling on a third-party e-commerce marketplace like Amazon.

  • A common mistake to avoid when using product sampling techniques to penetrate the market.

  • And so much more!


 

You can listen to the full interview on your desktop or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



Or, click to watch the full video interview here!



 

The MoxyPatch™ is a patented technology that prevents - not absorbs - leaks caused by stress urinary incontinence. Loved by pregnant women, new mothers, and women previously suffering from this silently persistent discomfort, the MoxyPatch™ can help you become free of embarrassing moments and boost confidence at all times.


To be a guest on our next podcast, contact us today!


Do you have a brand that you’d like to launch or grow? Do you want help from a partner that has successfully launched hundreds of brands that now total over $2 billion in revenues? Set up a free consultation with us today!


 

Prefer reading instead of listening? Read the full transcript here!


Jon LaClare [00:00:00]:

When you are launching a new business, investor funding can help you grow much faster, but there can be a downside to working with investors, so its important to understand all of the ramifications. Todays guest worked hard to secure a deal with a group of investors, but once she understood how it would change her business for the worse, she turned it down. If you are contemplating bringing on investors, then this is a must listen to interview.


Announcer [00:00:24]:

Are you looking for new ways to make your sales grow? Youve tried other podcasts, but they dont seem to know the growth potential of your product or service as we share stories and strategies that'll make your competitors nervous. Now here's the host of the Harvest Growth podcast, John Leclair.


Jon LaClare [00:00:45]:

Welcome back to the show. I'm really excited to be speaking with Remy Warren. She's the founder and CEO of Moxie Patch. I'll let her describe the product. She'll do a much better job than I can. But I will tell you, I've gotten a sample of the product. You'll understand why in a second. I have not used it personally, but I have shared it with others loved ones in my life that have had this need for this product, and it's phenomenal.


Jon LaClare [00:01:09]:

It's a breakthrough product that can really help a lot of people, specifically women, especially Remyni, I first want to invite you welcome to the show. So thanks so much for joining the show.


Remy Warren [00:01:18]:

Thank you so much, John. I'm honored to be included.


Jon LaClare [00:01:22]:

So tell us, what is the moxie patch? I'll let you describe it better than I can.


Remy Warren [00:01:26]:

Sure. Yeah. Moxie Patch is an over the counter device designed to prevent the unintentional bladder leaks due to stress, urinary incontinence, and adult females.


Jon LaClare [00:01:38]:

And if you could describe, I guess, a little bit more about how it works specifically and maybe what that problem means, I think a lot of people are probably familiar with the words you use, but if they're not just to describe it in maybe more layman's terms as well, sure.


Remy Warren [00:01:53]:

Yes. Yeah. So, stress incontinence, you might hear a lot of women joke about peeing themselves when they laugh or run or cough or whatnot. And it is something that happens surprisingly, too, about one third of all women. A lot of people do start to find symptoms of stress incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth. So it's often termed something like mom bladder or whatnot as well. And so even though a lot of women joke about it, we're just not talking about it enough. And so as part of my development of not just the product, but in terms of building the audience and community around this.


Remy Warren [00:02:31]:

We really want to get women talking about it so that more women realize and have a better understanding of what solutions are available out there for them. Because a lot of women, they may or may not know about pelvic floor therapy. They may be a candidate for surgery. They might not be a candidate for surgery. Some women have even had multiple surgeries for this and still experience bladder leaks, unfortunately. And so I feel like a gap truly exists in the market for products like this, especially, that are more environmentally friendly, that actually prevent the leaks versus just absorbing them once they've already happened. Like, a lot of women really want to have these solutions, and they want to be able to have the freedom to go about their daily lives without having to worry about leaks.


Jon LaClare [00:03:20]:

Well said. And it's, you know, it is a very common problem that I'm very familiar with just from loved ones in my life that, you know, after, like you said, childbirth, it's a very common thing. And I know a lot of friends have talked about it as well, where there are quote unquote solutions. But surgery, as you mentioned, it can be very expensive. There's always risks with surgery as well. And I've talked to a few that, like you, you said it doesn't always work or either have to do it multiple times or it just doesn't take. It doesn't necessarily solve the problem. So this becomes your product, becomes an easy solution that, as I understand the physics of how it works, and again, you can maybe describe the actual functionality better than I can, but I would say it's like 100% success rate.


Jon LaClare [00:04:02]:

Right. It's just because of the way it works. It's going to solve the problem while you use it or while you wear the moxie patch. Is that true?


Remy Warren [00:04:09]:

Yes. Yeah, that's right. And that's why we feel that moxie patch is so effective, because it actually covers the urethral opening. So where urine exits the body, it actually covers it directly with a gentle hydrogel, medical grade adhesive as well. So you can wear it for up to 4 hours. You do have to remove the moxi patch prior to intentionally urinating, but that's what we believe makes it so effective, and then you can actually replace it and use it again. So the base of the device is made out of a solution, soft silicone. So almost like a gummy bear feel.


Remy Warren [00:04:43]:

It's very hard and even in pictures to kind of demonstrate or show just how soft the actual device is itself. But it works along with the hydrogel patches that come included in the kit. And it comes with the 25 patches I can actually show. I'm not sure if you can actually see this here or how well, but you can see how soft and pliable the material is. And it even warms, you know, becomes even more pliable with when it's on your body as well. So it actually is quite comfortable to wear and to use.


Jon LaClare [00:05:15]:

And it's, again, hard to convey in pictures or even video from the website. But it's tiny, right. So it's not, I would say, non invasive, very lightweight. I held the sample, so I'm familiar with the product. Haven't used it, of course, for obvious reasons, personally, but just holding it, you can see it can be very comfortable and really non invasive, as it were. So one interesting thing that I know about your business is that the product is HSA and FSA eligible, which is interesting. So for those that don't know what that means, HSAs are health savings accounts. FsAs, I can't remember the acronym.


Jon LaClare [00:05:49]:

What does that stand for?


Remy Warren [00:05:50]:

Yeah, I believe it's flexible savings account, as far as I know.


Jon LaClare [00:05:53]:

Yes, similar to an HSA. So anyone who has that, you can use funds to purchase the tax free or pre tax funds to buy medical products. So it could be glasses, it could be your doctor appointment, but this applies. And I've always assumed, like, well, I thought it had to be something that was FDA approved, you know, true medical, you know, approved medical device. What was the process for? For moxie patch to go through and get approval?


Remy Warren [00:06:19]:

Yes. Yeah. So in general, incontinence products are eligible to be covered under a lot of these HSA and FSA plans. Because moxie patch is a medical device, we do have to be registered with the FDA. It's a different terminology, I guess, depending on the device class or the type of regulatory approvals that are needed for each type of product. But because moxie patch is considered an over the counter, class one medical device, at least in the United States, we are 510 exempt. But because it is an incontinence product, these do tend to be covered under HSA FSA plans. Now, in terms of the path of how we became HSA and FSA eligible are able to use that claim, it was actually done through Amazon.


Remy Warren [00:07:11]:

Surprising enough, there is a third party regulatory board called Sejis, I believe it's called, or SIGIS. I might have to research that afterwards just to confirm that. That's correct. But I believe it's called Sejis. And so Amazon on our behalf with our listing. We applied for that HSA FSA eligibility and then Amazon in turn, it took a few weeks, but they actually put that information or transferred that information to SEGIs. When we applied for that HSA FSA call out directly on our Amazon listing. And then a few weeks later Ceegis came back and said, yes, this is an approved medical device that's also an incontinence product.


Remy Warren [00:07:54]:

And so it is HSA FSA eligible, which is really exciting because it does fall under that category on Amazon. So from my understanding, people in the US who have these flex spending accounts, they can actually put their information similar, like a credit card directly into Amazon and then they can use that towards so they don't have to pay out of pocket or anything, which is such a great, a great benefit. And I'm so excited. Actually, just yesterday on our own website, we're dealing with a third party company and that's called Flex. For anyone who wants to know, shout out to them. It's called Flex and it's an add on to a Shopify website, which is what we currently use for moxie Patch. And so even your customers directly from your website can also now input their flex information and then that way it can be covered right through their card versus having to pay for it and then fill out the paperwork and all the admin behind it. So we're really excited about that.


Remy Warren [00:08:54]:

I think it's such a great benefit for people to try and it almost, I feel like, takes away a lot of the risk from even trying a product like this. Even though, you know, we have our happiness guarantee on our website. I feel like being HSA eligible or, you know, covered under their benefits plans takes away that risk even further for people to try it.


Jon LaClare [00:09:16]:

Very important. And I think it gives some credibility as well. Right. Just the fact that when you've got that logo on Amazon or on your website that it's HsAfSA eligible, it just gives a connection to something that's been approved and it feels safer as a product, too. So something to encourage for a lot of our audience that their products may qualify for as well. So you brought up Amazon, and you and I had talked previously some stories you've learned through your experience on Amazon. I think a lot of our listeners, if they've got any experience on Amazon, they know no matter how successful they are, there's positives and negatives like any part of business, right. But there's always really good things and really bad things about specifically working with Amazon.


Jon LaClare [00:09:51]:

Any learnings that you've had over your time on Amazon specifically.


Remy Warren [00:09:56]:

Yes. Yeah, I know. Being such a great marketer yourself, you know all about how important it is to own your own customer data. And I find with Amazon it's a little bit harder to do that. You don't get access to a lot of that great data, so you don't know what states necessarily are, you know, maybe buying your product more or what the age group or the demographics of the people buying your products. Whereas when you have your Shopify website, you get to own that data. Even though you might not have a solid understanding of the age and things like that, you do get to learn a lot more about your customer in that sense. But Amazon is just such a powerful beast and it's impossible to ignore.


Remy Warren [00:10:36]:

So I feel like you, for myself, it was an easy decision to have both of those sales channels. I know, especially in the US, a lot of people really love Amazon and Amazon prime, and just being able to receive products at your door within a day or two is so great. A lot of hassle free returns and things like that. You kind of sound like an Amazon sales rep right now, but I definitely understand you can't. As a seller, it's very hard to ignore the traffic that Amazon and the power that Amazon can bring to your business. But Amazon's also extremely volatile too. I mean, your listing can be suppressed or negative reviews or. There's so many things that come up with being a vendor on Amazon.


Remy Warren [00:11:26]:

And I've definitely experienced all of those struggles, not just with moxie Patch, but with other products, products in the past as well. So I'm not naive to those issues that came up. But most recently, I would say with the launch of Moxie Patch, I think the hardest part for that. And thankfully I have a great Amazon agency helping with that and kind of leading me and guiding me along the way with things that come up. Because, you know, even being an experienced seller, I mean, you just, it can be so frustrating. You feel like you want to bang your head on the table sometimes with Amazon and their cut and paste, just the, their consumer, the way that they handle customer inquiries from vendors like myself and trying to manage that. But most recently was the vine review program that I think we kind of struggled with. And I think for, and for.


Remy Warren [00:12:14]:

Sorry for those. Maybe if there's listeners who aren't familiar with the vine review program, it's a program that Amazon has put together, which I mean, I think, you know, in general, it sounds like a great idea. Amazon selects these reviewers and vendors like myself with products can sign up for this program, and at least currently you're allowed to sign up for, to give away 30 units maximum. So I signed up for 30 units, and I was told, you know, if anything goes wrong, if you start getting some horrible reviews coming in, then, you know, you can always stop the program. Or if it became too expensive or whatnot, it's around dollar 200 to sign up for, plus the cost of your product and the fees associated with that. Signed up the products and people started, you know, the unit started being allocated to people. I didn't realize at the time that the vine, you know, I guess the implications of the vine review program, too, because it does, it helps, I think, give listings a little bit of legitimacy because people know that the vine review is Amazon's trusted reviewers. So those reviews are very legitimate.


Remy Warren [00:13:24]:

And so, but the problem is, I think with a product as specific as moxie Patch, where, you know, it's different than a home decor item that anyone could use or, or provide a fair review or rating on, and it's different than, say, you know, a kitchen spatula or something a little bit more generic. This is specifically for women who have stress incontinence, even versus other types of incontinence. It's for a very specific user. And I think, unfortunately, my product was sent to many users that were not great candidates for a product like this, unfortunately. So dealing with that, I think, was a little bit hard. Whereas I know my true customer, you know, it may not work for everyone, but I do feel like it's going to work for the vast majority of women who have specifically mild to moderate stress incontinence versus maybe urge incontinence or maybe they're males that's part of the vine review program and things like that. And so we're kind of recovering from that now. I think all the vine reviews have come in, thankfully, and not all of them have been super critical.


Remy Warren [00:14:31]:

Some of them were really great, too. But it's just harder because I knew that my product is a great product and that women who have this problem, I think it's going to be a really great solution for so many of them. And so it was really hard and deflating as someone, you know, who not just created, but also, you know, owns the company, to be reading reviews that are a little bit more critical or just maybe there wasn't as much thought put into them by the reviewers themselves. So that was a little bit of a tricky thing, too. And Amazon, on top of the logistics with Amazon, they've, you know, this is the second time I've had a product where they've lost cases of products somehow in their warehouse. And now I have to, it's been months, and I'm trying to provide that it was that I own the product so that Amazon, even though I sent it in, they want proof that I own the product before they're going to reimburse me for that, unfortunately. So, you know, I think Amazon is a great, you know, it will be a valuable tool. You know, it's definitely, you know, there's a lot of test and learning when it comes to PPC and marketing on Amazon and tweaking your listing and all of these different things.


Remy Warren [00:15:42]:

But to me, Amazon is just such an exciting sales vehicle for, you know, educating consumers but also acquiring sales.


Jon LaClare [00:15:52]:

Yeah. And it really is becoming a necessary thing. So there's a lot of downsides to Amazon. Your margins are smaller. As you mentioned. You don't own your customer data. There's some downsides to it, but it really, for most product categories, you got to be on there. As you mentioned, there's so many people that really buy almost everything on Amazon, or at least a heavy majority.


Jon LaClare [00:16:10]:

So even if they go to your website and learn about the product and want to buy, boom, they go over to Amazon and buy because they get free shipping, they get it faster, or they've got that trust. It's easier to return. Whatever it might be, they've got their reasons. But being on the channel is important to not lose those sales. You're going to lose a good chunk of your revenues if you're not there. It doesn't have to be your primary vehicle. And there's a lot of reasons to not have it as your primary, but it's important as a channel. I just want to reiterate one thing you mentioned.


Jon LaClare [00:16:36]:

So you talked about the vine program, but as we all know, on Amazon, reviews are crucial. And it's really hard to, quote unquote, game the system. Right. It's hard to use friends and family, give them product, or even if they buy it, Amazon finds out. Right. Like they can find connections. I don't know how they do it. I could guess at it, but they've got algorithms to find out.


Jon LaClare [00:16:55]:

Like if you're at all related on social media to somebody else and they try to leave a review, they'll block the review. Right. So it becomes difficult to get seeded reviews. That's where the vine program can be great, but it's a great caution that you shared to make sure that it would have to be a wide demographic product, the one that kind of works for most types of households, something that has a specific need like yours that it's not going to work for if you don't have the issue or you're male. Right. It's not going to fit you. But the vine program doesn't necessarily take that into consideration. So you got to find other ways to get those reviews, unfortunately, and it's not easy on Amazon, but it is important.


Jon LaClare [00:17:30]:

Right. So I'm glad you brought that up. I'm going to switch gears a little bit. You and I had talked previously about getting investors in a business, and you gave some great shares for me that I think is great advice for a lot of our listeners as well. Can you talk a little bit about your experience? My understanding is you were offered a good financial deal that could have catapulted your growth, but there were reasons that it didn't fit or make sense to you as a business. I'd love to hear or have you share with our audience what those were.


Remy Warren [00:17:56]:

Yes. Yeah. So a couple of years ago, a little bit earlier on in the journey of developing moxie Patch and figuring out our go to market and commercialization strategy, I had decided to work with a group of angel investors here in Canada in regards to raising funds for moxie Patch. Being able to start hiring some employees kind of gain traction on our speed to market at retail stores, that was something I was really excited about. My background is a little bit more in retail as well. And so I've always been excited about the idea of being able to offer moxie Patch for sale in retail stores. It'll make it even easier for women to be able to access and try something off the shelf versus, you know, having to go into their doctor or healthcare practitioner and talk about it there because, you know, 50% of women aren't even talking to their doctors about it. So they really do need products available on the shelf that, that they can try.


Remy Warren [00:18:58]:

But in regards to the investor fundraising piece I did, that was a, I found really, really hard part of the business because I found that, you know, I was lucky enough to be able to convince some of my mentors at the time to invest in my business and help me, you know, attract and acquire other investors to be able to be interested and want to invest in my business. I thought this was such a great thing. And unfortunately, you know, I think including mentors as investors, in hindsight, I would never, I would never do that again, to be honest. I'd like to keep mentors as mentors so that you do have, you know, those unbiased people that you trust that you can go to with questions or whatnot as well, especially if you don't have experience in fundraising, as I didn't. And so I think for me, that was very much a key learning. At the end of the day, I was offered a deal for everything that I was looking for monetarily, but unfortunately, they did want 50% of the board seats. And it just, just, you know, I was, I felt like I was, I was led to believe that that was something that was normal and I had never fundraised before. And, you know, these same mentors were the ones I was getting my advice from, at the same time telling me that this was normal.


Remy Warren [00:20:18]:

And so everybody else that I spoke to said, no, this isn't, that isn't normal. And, you know, and myself obviously doing more research in regards to that, I'm so happy that I didn't accept that deal and have chosen to bootstrap moxie patch and take it as far as I can without that outside funding because it was a negative experience for myself. And, you know, I definitely would love to be able to work with investors, you know, later on in order to grow the company and smart investors that can offer advice and experience and things like that in addition to the money being offered. But I think it would make me that that experience was really valuable because I think it will make me just so much more cautious of who I'm partnering with and who you're allowing to own a piece of, you know, your business with you, I think that's very, very important and very valuable. And as hard as that experience was, you know, being offered that money that you could use to build and grow your business, it was just so disappointing to, you know, to kind of have that after, you know, working that hard in terms of all of the pitches to investors that, you know, had to do all of the due diligence went through, so much of the process to have to turn it down. But at the end of the day, I don't, I, you know, I really don't have any regrets about doing that. But look, I think it'll make me stronger when I do go for my first seed round really, later on.


Jon LaClare [00:21:45]:

Yeah. And having, I mean, the further you are, further along you are in your business by the time you raise funds, the cheaper money gets. Right. Because you've got proven results as your business has grown a lot since then, so now it's less risky for investors. So they can invest and require or demand or ask for less than they would have in the very early days of the business, too. So it certainly helps there. You talked also about how a lot of times it can change relationships, money can do that. So mentors or friends or whatever, just being aware of what you're getting into, but also how bringing investors in can change what it's like to run a company.


Jon LaClare [00:22:22]:

So I think you realized early on that depending on how the money comes in, depending on how involved the investors are, it can make you feel like more of an employee than a business owner. Right. And that can change things. And if that's needed to get you to the next level and if you're okay with it, understanding, that's all fine. But it's just walking in with your eyes wide open as to what it entails. And I think it's great advice you've given of just making sure that people research and understand what investing means. Right. What it entails and going in prepared before having the conversation.


Jon LaClare [00:22:58]:

So it's not just about the money. There's so much more to that comes along with that positive and negative. Right. It still can be a great thing. It can catapult growth in ways that maybe you can't on your own, depending on everyone's situation. So it can be a very good thing, but just realizing the implications that come with it, I think is very important.


Remy Warren [00:23:14]:

No, definitely. I agree. Definitely. Becoming, being an entrepreneur, I feel like you're so you become used to being flexible and, you know, I know that I'm an extremely hard worker and I don't think anyone would be harder on me than I am on myself. And so I feel like I would want to work with investors who, you know, trust me and trust that I'm going to do, you know, I'm the best person for the job and then I'm going to do a great job versus, you know, like you had mentioned, someone who's going to be, you know, questioning you or causing more heartache like headaches and, you know, which end up taking you away from the business. Right. And your focus on things. So I think it's truly important to, yeah, pick those right partners.


Remy Warren [00:23:56]:

Pick the partners wisely. But also, I know being a product based business myself, sometimes it's hard to find people who have that background that can appropriately advise you, too, because consumer packaged goods is a really very specific, specific niche. And even, you know, products like this versus a food product are even vastly different, too. A lot of the path to retail is the same and understanding retailers expectations and the retail landscape. But food versus over the counter. You know, medical devices like this are also very different. So if you're able to find a smart investor who, you know, not only has the financial means, but that also has some kind of background, experience, or connections in your specific product area, I think is, you know, wildly important, too.


Jon LaClare [00:24:46]:

Have you been able to find advisors or resources that have been able to help you along the way?


Remy Warren [00:24:52]:

Yes. Yeah. So I've, you know, I'm lucky enough, because I come from the CPG background, to have to be able to have a lot of advisors and support in that area. But, you know, through some regional innovation centers here in Ontario, they. Because I don't have the life science background quite as much in terms of regulatory and all these little things that came along, being kind of tapped into those networks has been great because they've been able to connect me with, you know, urogynecologists and, you know, regulatory people and just so many great connections that I wouldn't otherwise have had that have been really important in launching a product like this.


Jon LaClare [00:25:33]:

And really, every market for our listeners sake has something. Right. It may not be what was the r four regional innovation centers. Right. Like you have in Ontario, Canada, right. Down here in Colorado, where I'm at, a lot of people use score, right? It's an organization, retired executives that will help for free mentor organizations. There's a lot of other ones, depending on what city or market you're in, and just finding those resources from people that have been down the road before and whether it's through an organization like that or whether it's through connecting on LinkedIn, finding somebody that has been a little further down than you are right now, they can help you deal with some of the challenges and issues and roadblocks you might face with your business. Remy, is there anything I didn't ask that you think will be helpful for our audience?


Remy Warren [00:26:14]:

You know, I just. I really love, you know, how we were talking about the investor kind of relationship and building your business. And I. I think, yeah, just to kind of reiterate that, I think, yeah, finding the right partners is so important and, you know, being, you know, kind of rewinding to a couple of years ago myself and just being green and new to fundraising, you know, you get so excited about the potential of someone wanting to invest in your business or company and, you know, understanding your vision. But I do think, yeah, you have to be even pickier at picking those people than they are with you.


Jon LaClare [00:26:48]:

Couldn't agree more. Well, I do want to encourage our audience. Please go check out moxypatch patch.com m o x y patch.com dot moxiepatch.com. it's in the show notes, so if you're driving, look to the link on our website, harvestgrowthpodcast.com or on the YouTube link. It'll be there as well, but I encourage everyone to check it out. Remy, thanks so much for all your advice and your sharing of your stories.


Remy Warren [00:27:13]:

Well, thank you very much, John. I appreciate it. It was nice to be here.


Jon LaClare [00:27:16]:

Did you know you can meet with a member of my team absolutely free for a 30 minutes strategy consultation? We've launched and grown hundreds of products since 2007 and learned some of our strategies while growing oxiclean back in the Billy Mays days. We're here to help, so please go to harvestgrowth.com and set up a call if you'd like to discuss further.

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