As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about strong women leaders who attained success with their incredible ideas, I had the pleasure of interviewing Morgan & Courtney.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Launched by female founders Courtney and Morgan King, Orchyd is the world’s first fashionable purse converted to a 3-in-1 period care solution that includes the stylish, Bluetooth enabled Orchyd Smart Wallet available in both black and squash, ensuring you never leave home unprepared and out of style without your supply of period care products. Integrated with the Orchyd app, this fashionable clutch may just be the smartest purse at the party, connecting you to essential information about your cycle through its overall period, health and fertility tracker, and 24/7 access to OB/GYN Now on-demand doctor network.
With a removable strap, the Orchyd Wallet may be used as a clutch, wallet, shoulder bag, fanny pack, or cross-body, which means you can dress this up for a wedding or down for brunch. Made from 93 percent water-based polyethylene with a zinc alloy zipper, the Orchyd Smart Wallet is strong yet will biodegrade in a landfill within two years.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and Orchyd?
Morgan: Thank you for having us! I’m Morgan, one of the Co-Founders of Orchyd.
Courtney: I’m Courtney, also a Co-Founder of Orchyd. We all do many things here, but I am the Head of Content, and my sister is the Product Manager.
Both: Orchyd is modern period care for women and everyone who has a period. We created an advanced period tracking app with OB/GYN chat support and a connected smart wallet that, together, acts as a 3-in-1 kit that gives you qualified menstrual care right in the palm of your hand.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Morgan: While studying at Questrom School of Business at Boston University, I studied abroad in New Zealand and interned at a sustainable fashion label. This kickstarted my dedication to eco-conscious operations and product development.
Courtney: I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2015 with a double degree in Communication Studies and Performing Arts & Social Justice with an emphasis in Dance. My experience in communication and dedication to social justice brought me to this role.
What challenges did you face at the start of your business? What lesson did you learn from that?
Morgan: I consider Orchyd to be my first job since graduating from college in May of 2019. Initially, my lack of experience with start-ups proved to be challenging. I didn’t have the confidence I do today to make strong decisions, and I doubted my ideas. Since coming into my role as a co-founder of a period care company, I’ve learned to trust my gut and ask for help when I need it. I am constantly learning every day.
Courtney: My prior work experience is in the performing arts industry, so coming into a femtech start-up was difficult. It was (and is) a big learning curve. It has been challenging to understand my worth and what I contribute in such a different environment—reflecting, sharing, and being honest about where I am with my peers and co-workers has been invaluable.
What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
Morgan: We are really excited for the future of Orchyd. We would love to see Orchyd continue to build a strong community of menstruators and create menstrual and fertility products down the line. Through telemedicine, we plan to update our app to include video calls and prescription services.
How your brand Orchyd is beneficial for women? Any testimonials you’d like to share.
Morgan: Overall, Orchyd benefits not only women but also everyone who has a period. More specifically, with the Orchyd Smart Wallet™, you’ll never leave home unprepared without your period products again; with the app, you’ll receive reminders through SafeFlow™ to replace or remove period products which give you the benefit of peace of mind about leakage and TSS; and with OB/GYN Now™, the integrated doctor network, you’ll get immediate access to the care you need exactly when you need it.
Yes! Here testimonials from two individuals:
Dr. Kate’s testimonial: “When it comes to menstruation, period care, and overall gynecologic health, tracking apps have enabled women and everyone who has a period to better understand their cycles and any associated symptoms. Orchyd’s use of cutting-edge technology, in addition to easy access to an OB/GYN, provides unparalleled service while reducing stigma and allowing users greater control. No other app in the space comes close.”
Gaby Garcia’s testimonial: “I just got my wallet and downloaded the app, and I have to say, I’m thrilled. Everything is so functional and beautiful—before this, I was using the Flo app, and I found the interface way less intuitive and more dated. This system totally speaks my language, with so many charming details (like choosing a color scheme in the app). It’s very modern and fresh. Huge thank you for including me!”
How your brand Orchyd – tracks the menstrual cycle?
Courtney: Yes, our app not only connects you to your menstrual products and a 24/7 doctor network but also functions as a flow, fertility, and overall health tracker. Use our app to track PMS, mental health, sexual activity, and more! We designed our app to be customizable. You can choose your own color settings and toggle on/off what you want to track.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
Both: Curiosity, sense of humor, organization.
- Curiosity: To strive for innovation, it’s essential to keep asking questions.
- Humor: We can’t take ourselves too seriously; otherwise, it’s difficult to get anything done. Also, periods are just really funny (sometimes).
- Organization: We would fall apart without lists.
What makes Orchyd different from other period care brands?
Morgan: Orchyd is different because this approach to menstruation simply doesn’t exist. The Orchyd Smart Wallet™ and the OB/GYN integration within the app are unique. As a whole, Orchyd actually embraces modern period care.
Courtney: Our core values also shape Orchyd: sustainability, inclusivity, and innovation. These three pillars set how we approach everything, from product development to communication.
In recent years, Women’s Entrepreneurship worldwide has grown rapidly; what your thoughts on it?
Morgan: This is awesome! Courtney and I both believe there should be more inclusivity and diversity, especially within femtech and the period care industry.
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?
Courtney: Understanding that your personal quirks aren’t universal and that not everyone works the same way! I think this is especially true when it comes to stress management. It is important to have the drive and push to finish and/or surpass expectations, but leading with positivity and belief in others gets more done and strengthens the team moving forward.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Both: Since beginning our career in the period care industry, we never thought we would be talking about our periods in intimate detail with our dad on a daily basis.
There is no shortage of good ideas out there, but people struggle to take a good idea and translate it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
Morgan: Our dad, Steve King, is a huge supporter of new ideas. He really helped Courtney and me tailor the early concept of Orchyd into a business plan we could take to investors and pitch. Steve King’s successful career within the start-up space is substantial. So, our advice for translating good ideas into actual businesses would be to get yourself a Steve King.
What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?
Morgan: Go drink some water. You’re probably dehydrated.
Courtney: “So it goes.” – Kurt Vonnegut
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Courtney: Well, my sister! But, I also bury my face in my dog, Jolene. And, seriously, I took up the hobby punch-needle; it’s repetitive, relaxing, and forgiving.
Morgan: Solitaire. Man, oh man, I love Solitaire. It’s so peaceful and rhythmic for me. It’s so separate from any other tasks I can be working on, so it resets my brain in a sense.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Listen to your gut.
- Follow joy.
- Just say something, don’t wait.
- Buy the good almond milk.
- (Wear shoes with good arch support.
- Let yourself cry sometimes.
- Take 15 minutes for yourself.
- Write everything down. Lists are your best friend.
- Make sure you have a life outside of work.
- Don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing. Someone else is thinking it.
What does success mean to you?
Both: For both of us, a mark of success is supporting young menstruators through their cycles.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.