Both Jessica Trippiedi and her cofounder come from non-business backgrounds and started ONYX with a single goal in mind.
Before joining forces they had to separate businesses within the same industry, and now use both their creative skillset, technical expertise, and shared passion for FemTech to support menstruators through their business.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Origin of ONYX
- Sustainability + social impact
- The FemTech industry
- Business podcast
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio brought to you by on pay built in Atlanta. OnPay is the top rated payroll and HR software anywhere. Get one month free at unpaid. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:31] Lee Kantor here, another episode of GSU ENI radio, and this is going to be a good one today on the show, we have Jessica Trippiedi with Onyx. Welcome, Jessica.
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:00:42] Hello lee, thank you for having me.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:44] Well, before we get too far into things, tell us about omics. How are you serving, folks?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:00:49] So OK, yeah, so I’ll give you like a little elevator pitch. So Onyx is a mental wellness brand. We are finding the solution creating solutions for socially responsible pain management products for all traders, and we use the term MetaTrader because not everyone can menstruate and not every menstruate or as a woman.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:12] And so what’s the back story? How did the what was the genesis of the idea?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:01:17] So the so both my co-founder and I, my co-founder, L. McCray, we we come from both non business backgrounds, and we started Onyx with a single goal in mind. We both realized that just dealing with period pain is unproductive and just dealing with it is shouldn’t be an option and dealing with it should be. So we joined forces and initially had separate businesses within the same industry of femtech, and we’re both using our creative skill set and technical expertize and shared passion for tech to support my traders through our business.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:57] So you said you both your co-founder and you were came from a non business background. What what kind of what does that mean? Non business background?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:02:05] Yes. So my background I’m from I’m a grad undergraduate from Fashion Institute of Technology, and I’m studying textile design, development and marketing. And Elle is a film student in Georgia state. So we don’t really have that. I guess the formal business background, and we’re kind of using our creative mindset to maneuver through that.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:33] So coming from it, from this problem you’re trying to solve through this more creative lens, did you stumble upon a solution that kind of incorporates your backgrounds or your you were able to solve this by maybe looking at it through fresh eyes?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:02:51] Yes. So I think so. So we created a stink that relieves pain directly at the source of period cramps and is infused with CBD. And we’ve also we know that not all periods are the same, and not all mind triggers are made equal. So we designed with every meditator in mind. We created a multi desk, which is kind of like an intro liberal pad, and it’s from educators who are not comfortable with insertion and it’s also infused with CBD.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:22] So how did you learn how to kind of make this type of a device like this seems like? I mean that you need special skills like you can’t just kind of do this in your kitchen table, can you?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:03:35] So that’s a good question. So in my background, in textile development marketing, I do have a background in fashion design. So I kind of know the production and technical development of building a product from paper to actual physical products. So from 2D to 3D. So I kind of had to break it down based on the layer of each product and how to transfer transfer the CBD. And then of course, we have to bring in OBGYNs and people with a scientific background.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:09] So when you came up with the idea, well, first, did you both come up? You were both kind of exploring this femtech area separately? Mm hmm. So how did you how did you even meet like where you’re just friends?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:04:22] No, that’s a good question. So there is a not-for-profit and we always try to call them out because they’re so great. So there’s a nonprofit called Fund Tech Focus, and they’re their focus is really to bring awareness to the femtech industry, which is all about women’s health, and that ranges from menstrual health to reproductive health and spend and so on. And so we had our mentor, Dr. Brittney Barretto, who is the co-founder of Femtech Focus. She had one on ones with us and she was like, You guys would be perfect together. She’s like, Oh, has that creative marketing background and you have that creative textile background, and it would just really make a great fit. And that’s how we kind of got started. And then we were testing the waters with one another and we created our own tech business podcast. And then we were like, Yeah, this is this is good. This is solid. I think this is going to work. And then we kind of found from there. And I guess you can say, like business partner married
Lee Kantor: [00:05:25] Now, do you have any advice for other maybe solo founders that then decide to go and get a co-founder because that’s a different kind of adventure you’re signing up for when you’re a solo founder? Everything is kind of on you. But with a partner? You know, I have a saying that with the right partner, you can do anything. I think it really is a one plus one equals three situation if you’re lucky enough to find the right partner.
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:05:52] Yes. Yes, I totally agree. Yeah, we definitely I definitely found that that three to my one. So I guess to circle back on your question for solopreneurs who are interested in finding a co-founder. It’s really it’s kind of corny, but like, really find the yin to your yang, find the person who fills the holes or that you’re lacking your your weaknesses or someone who really supports you in the decisions that you’re making, but also at the same time challenges you like for. It’s it’s good tension, you want good tension, not something that’s always like when you’re trying to talk to somebody, it feels like a chore.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:36] Right, so you need that friction, but it has to be productive friction that makes a diamond at the end, not just a piece of coal.
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:06:44] Exactly, exactly. And I think that’s that’s how and I have been working really well together in that aspect. One of our mentors was saying how you might not get lucky in signing up for a co-founder. And we’re like, Well, I think we’re that one percent who found the perfect co-founder.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:02] Now, how did you get involved with the Main Street Entrepreneurship Seed Fund?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:07:07] Yeah, so l was originally so she originally before we signed together, she originally applied and I think she found out through her professor through one of her entrepreneur courses, and she applied and she got in. And then once we signed on together, we were able to work on Main Street with one another.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:29] And it seemed like you really leaning into asking for help, getting help, being mentored. Has that been fruitful for you? Has that helped you grow?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:07:38] Yes, yes, most definitely. It’s definitely advance us to so many different horizons, and we’re so very fortunate for the mentors that we’ve come across. And even if we bump into like, let’s say, the wrong mentor, not the wrong mentor, but somebody who might not be able to help us in the direction that we’re going, we always try to ask, do you have two or three people that you could recommend who specialize in this industry or specialize in this in this product?
Lee Kantor: [00:08:06] Now you you’ve used the phrase femtech before. That’s the name of your podcast has femtech in it. Can you educate our listeners about this? This is kind of a new I mean, it’s it’s an old problem, but maybe it’s a new moniker for that problem. Can you talk about the femtech community that’s being built?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:08:24] Yeah, absolutely. So the femtech community that is being built is really an exciting one. It’s very woman centric health care. There are a bunch of there are a bunch of femtech companies that I could recommend that are really helpful, such as the Flow app. There’s also bloom life. There’s kind body it’s really to to really fill that gap for women’s health, just because that has been on the back burner for so many years. For example. The clinical trials on woman didn’t occur until the nineteen nineties, which is pretty crazy to me. And if you would need to google that and double check, that’s totally fine. Yeah. So it’s one of those where we’re kind of like, there’s so many other solutions out there. There are so many other over-the-counter medicines out there, but there aren’t really specialized towards women and women’s bodies and administrators and people who who can and want to get pregnant.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:25] Now, have you found the community very collaborative in terms of everybody’s trying to help everybody, and it’s not the super cutthroat, you know, a zero sum game mentality that some of these environments are?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:09:38] Yes, it’s definitely been very collaborative. We’ve been very fortunate so far. It’s definitely not a wolf type gang industry. Everybody understands that everyone’s end goal is to help people. We really want to make the quality of life for people significantly improve. We all have the same goal in mind where we just want people to feel better and feel better about themselves. So it’s been a very collaborative experience. We’ve been very fortunate with one another. It’s one of those industries where like, let’s say there’s the wrong Zoom link was sent or somebody is 10 or five minutes late. We’re all pretty understanding that it’s OK, like it’s just life. It occurs and we’re going to move on from there. It’s not really, oh my gosh, you’re you’re 10 minutes late pound on. You know, we know that you might have children or you have your own life going on. So it’s pretty understanding for that matter.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:32] Now, any advice for young people that maybe are in college and that they always thought, Oh, I’m going to get a job, I’m going to get a job, but you’ve chosen, I guess, to keep your one foot in each camp. Like maybe you’ll get a job, but you also have this side hustle. But this could turn into your job at some point. I’m sure if you get funding and if you get, you know, super high growth. Any advice are you are you seeing people opening their mind to, Hey, I can choose myself for a career and I can bet on myself and my kind of interest and passions?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:11:04] Yeah, I think especially within this past year with COVID, there’s been a significant increase of LLC and small businesses opening up within the United States and especially for what we’ve noticed even through our own customer discovery survey, the millennials and Gen Z that do experience period pain. They not only identify it, but they want a solution and they’re willing to pay for the solution. And I think that’s a lot of what my classmates as well and I fight and just people who are graduating, they want to either find the find the opportunity or make it for themselves, which is really fantastic.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:51] And then when you do that, when you’re in control of your own destiny, that gives you, I mean, then it’s on you. You got to take responsibility. You know, it’s a
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:11:59] It’s not a nine to five or twenty four seven. Exactly. It’s not you wake up, you drink your coffee, you walk your dog and then you go to work. It’s no you wake up, you go to work period, right?
Lee Kantor: [00:12:11] And it’s probably most of what you’re thinking about are ways to solve the problems that you’re dealing with.
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:12:17] Hmm. Absolutely. And just simply because we do have that, that kind of quality of life on the I don’t want to make it so serious, but kind of like quality of life on the line. Yes, it is very, very serious. We want to make sure that we’re sourcing ethically, sourcing sustainably where responsibly producing our products, especially because I come from an ethical and sustainability background. And I I’ve seen firsthand on what fast fashion could do to the planet, for example, not to get off topic, but fast fashion or textiles are the leading pollution source on the planet. So I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to make sure that our products are only part of the solution.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:06] Well, congratulations on all the momentum you have now. And what stage are you at a business? Do you have a product that’s for sale? Are you looking for partners like retailers like where like where are you at in the growth of your company?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:13:21] So I’m going to throw in or ask if that’s all right. So we are pre-revenue and we are prototyping. We are finalizing our prototypes and we are looking for R&D facilities who are interested or and even manufacturers to do custom production, who are interested in partnering with us for for a CBD non-woven period menstrual product line.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:47] So you’re out there kind of sourcing right now
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:13:50] We are sourcing, we are pre-revenue and we are seeing a lot of traction and we’re really, really excited for what’s to come.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:57] And are you finding that you’re getting the attention of investors as well?
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:14:02] Yes. So that’s a great question. So it is it’s fun to really talk to an investor about this because once you mentioned period or even vagina or CBD, it really it’s it’s a lot of like hot terms, trending words going on, but I’m throwing at people so more and more investors. Actually being very conscious on how they’re asking and they’re being very conscious on what to ask because they understand that not only is this a solution, but it’s a potential growth. For example, the fintech industry is projected to reach one point three trillion dollars by twenty twenty five. So in four years from now, and also the menstrual industry is projected to reach sixty six million by twenty twenty seven. And then on top of that, we have the CBD industry who is projected to reach 20 billion by 2024. So we have our hands in a lot of industries and the investors that we talked to see that
Lee Kantor: [00:15:03] Exciting times, exciting times. You must be very proud of what you’ve accomplished thus far. Yes. If somebody wants to learn more and maybe get on your waiting list or just, you know, kind of connect with you, is there a website? I know you’re in the process of building one, but
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:15:22] So we are in the process of building one. And you can find us on. We are Onyx Dot us. So Onyx is oh, and why? My name is Jessica. So I think our email is going to be, Hey, we are Onyx on us, but you’ll find everything on the website.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:42] Good stuff. Well, again, congratulations on all your success and you’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Jessica Trippiedi: [00:15:49] Thank you, Lee. Thank you so very much, and thank you so much for your time.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:52] All right, this is Lee Kantor. We will see you all next time on GSU. Any radio.
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