The boobs have been huge. You couldn’t leave out them in case you took place to walk down Columbia Road, Shoreditch, Brick Lane and East London in which the inflatable mammaries had appeared in a single day throughout unique rooftops in April 2019. The smallest changed into three meters tall and the biggest one measured a height of six meters. Photo-glad pedestrians flooded social media with images and low tongue-in-cheek comments about the rooftop knockers. Most of them also used the #FreeTheFeed tagline, which changed into the complete point to why Elvie had pumped up the boobs initially.
The femtech scaleup presenting technological answers to female fitness issues had released the campaign to destigmatize breastfeeding and to marketplace its new wearable breast pump. Even although the United Kingdom has come to a protracted manner in recent years, a Unicef UK document discovered that it has a number of the bottom fees within the world. Only 34% of British women breastfed their toddlers after six months compared to 62% in Sweden. The taboo surrounding the topic was a part of the trouble, with humans being uncomfortable discussing it. And that’s why Elvie had inflated the breasts on the pinnacle of 5 homes throughout London. “Ultimately, in case you need to spark conversations you want to be bold and funny, specifically while you’re speaking approximately pretty yucky taboo issues,” argues Tania Boler, co-founder, and CEO of the scaleup.
Elvie first hit the spotlight with the release of its pelvic ground instructor in 2015. Even although humans had instructed Boler she changed into loopy for investing time and money into launching a product that would, in the end, go interior vaginas, both Elvie’s kegel exerciser and breast pump have due to the fact determined their manner into John Lewis shops and emerge as smash hits throughout the pond. Both connected devices may be managed and tracked via apps. On the back of the achievement, the scaleup raised a $42m collection B round in April 2019. It turned into reportedly the most important round ever raised for a femtech startup. “It’s extraordinary and a sport-changer for Elvie but it also a crucial milestone for femtech, which didn’t even exist as a category three years ago,” Boler says.
Her journey to become the face of the femtech revolution started two a long time ago when she heard about the African Aids epidemic in 1999. At the time she changed into reading for her master’s diploma in global education coverage at Stanford University. “I recognized that during jap and southern Africa there’s honestly no factor in placing much cash into [safe sex and reproductive health] schooling as instructors have been dying or kids have been orphaned and dropped out of faculty,” she recalls. But what in reality struck her become human beings’ reluctance to talk about HIV and Aids. “There became a lot of taboo and secrecy and if we could just wreck open some of those conversations we could see that we would have a much bigger impact,” she says.
When she had her very own toddler it has become abundantly clear to her that the taboo surrounding reproductive health wasn’t limited to Africa. Boler’s own revel in made her check out how not unusual it’s far for girls to come across troubles inclusive of incontinence because of the pressure their pelvic floor undergo for the duration of the gestation of their infant. “I became in order that stunned through the records,” she says. “There’s this hidden epidemic for girls’ health. It’s loopy that one in three girls be afflicted by preventable bladder troubles and nobody needs to talk approximately bladder problems.”
To her, this unwillingness to discuss it brought about unnecessary struggling, mainly as there were remedies to these ailments. Through her French husband, she found out that it becomes normal for brand spanking new mothers in France to wait for pelvic ground energy rehabilitation classes with healthcare experts. Knowing this, she, in the beginning, got down to restoration the UK problem by means of seeing if there was a way to include the French model in Britain. “It changed into not that I desired especially to create an enterprise – I simply desired to discover a solution,” Boler explains.
However, she soon requested herself why ladies clearly needed to visit a health center to get right of entry to to era that might assist. Maybe there has been a manner to deliver the massive “horrible device” out from clinics and into humans domestic. “The eureka second got here as I was analyzing the Economist [about the huge] boom in wearable tech and sports techs – like Fitbit and Jawbone – and particularly the use of sensors that music [people’s performance],” Boler remembers. She realized the identical stage of innovation may be made to reinforce ladies’ health and set out to do simply that.