October 29, 2023
After Colette Courtion, founder of women’s intimate health company, Joylux, gave birth to her son she found herself frustrated that women didn’t have many options to support their intimate well-being. She applied her background in medical aesthetic technologies to vaginal health, and with the help of an Ob-Gyn, Colette founded Joylux and her signature product, vFit. VFit applies similar anti-aging, red light technologies that aestheticians offer for the face, to improve vaginal wellness, especially after birth and during menopause. Read on to learn more about how Colette grew her company with her commitment to empower women and improve their quality of life.
I wanted to create innovative, science-backed products while providing education to empower women and improve their quality of life.
Why did you start your business? What motivated or inspired you?
I was inspired to start Joylux because of my personal journey with pregnancy and childbirth. I experienced a complete lack of viable solutions in women's intimate wellness, and I had a strong desire to break the stigma around these issues. Leaning on my background in medical aesthetics, I wanted to create innovative, science-backed products while providing education to empower women and improve their quality of life.
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your business?
I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to get people to talk about vaginas! While menopause and intimate health is finally being discussed, that wasn’t the case when I started Joylux nearly 10 years ago. Building a business is challenging, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Having the determination to push through obstacles and setbacks is crucial for long-term success. Never give up.
Why did you decide to join The WMarketplace?
When we were getting started in retail we discovered WMarketplace and immediately knew we had to be a part of it!
What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?
The most challenging aspect of getting Joylux up and running was overcoming the initial hurdles in the industry and changing societal attitudes about women's intimate wellness. Breaking the taboo and creating a market for innovative products requires a lot of education and persistence. Additionally, securing funding and building a strong team were significant challenges. I am so glad to see these topics finally being discussed.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
The most exciting and rewarding part of owning Joylux, has been the positive impact we've had on women's lives. Hearing testimonials from women who have experienced improved well-being and confidence thanks to our products and education is incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, building a passionate and dedicated team and witnessing the growth of our brand and mission has been exceptionally rewarding. Knowing that we're making a meaningful difference in the world is what keeps me motivated every day.
Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success? Have you had an “AHA!” moment(s)?
My AHA moment was at the very beginning. I was working in medical aesthetics where we were using red light technology on the face for anti-aging and restorative properties. When my girlfriends told me about the physical challenges after having a baby, a light bulb went off and I thought, 'why can’t we apply these same technologies to the pelvic floor?'. That was the moment vFit was born!
How long have you been in business and has your business changed since you started it?
Joylux has been in business for nearly 10 years, and I can confidently say that our business has evolved significantly since its inception. From the beginning, our focus has been on developing innovative products for women's intimate wellness. Over the years, we've not only expanded our product line but also broadened our mission. We've placed a strong emphasis on education and advocacy to destigmatize women's intimate health issues. Our commitment to empowering women through knowledge and wellness has grown, and our business has transformed to encompass a wider audience addressing issues from motherhood to menopause.
Remember that setbacks are part of the journey, and they often lead to the most significant growth. Lastly, trust your instincts and be authentic in your approach – your unique perspective as a woman can be a powerful asset in the business world
Do you have a mentor, formal or informal? What role have they played for you?
Yes, I've been fortunate to have both formal and informal mentors throughout my entrepreneurial journey, including Howard Schultz from my time at Starbucks. These mentors have played a pivotal role in my personal and professional growth. They've provided guidance, shared their experiences, and offered valuable insights into various aspects of business and leadership. Their support has been instrumental in navigating challenges, making informed decisions, and maintaining a strong sense of purpose. Having mentors has not only accelerated my learning but also provided a support system that's been invaluable in building and growing Joylux.
What communities have been important for you as you grew/developed your business?
Several communities have been instrumental in the growth and development of Joylux. First and foremost, our community of customers has been incredibly important. Their feedback, support, and trust in our products have driven our innovation and growth. Additionally, the network of healthcare professionals who share our mission of empowering women’s intimate wellness has been crucial. We’ve also been fortunate to be part of the broader women’s health and wellness community, where we’ve collaborated with organizations, advocates, and experts who share our vision. These communities have provided valuable insights, support, and a sense of purpose in our journey to improve women’s lives.
Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day? What are they?
I have a favorite picture of my son that inspires me daily. I also have a letter from a customer who thanked us for “changing her life” which is what keeps me moving forward. I usually have several pairs of glasses, some mints and lots of new product ideas on my desk as well!
Do you have any advice for other women who are getting started in business?
For aspiring female entrepreneurs, my advice is to believe in yourself and your vision. Don't be afraid to take risks and embrace the challenges that come with entrepreneurship. Seek out mentors and a support network, as they can provide guidance and encouragement when needed. It's essential to continually educate yourself and stay curious about your industry. Remember that setbacks are part of the journey, and they often lead to the most significant growth. Lastly, trust your instincts and be authentic in your approach – your unique perspective as a woman can be a powerful asset in the business world
If a journalist were to write a headline about you/your business, what would it be?
Joylux: Transforming Women's Lives through Improved Intimate Health
Is there a non-profit or other social/mission-oriented business that your business supports? Can you tell us about this?
Through our products under the Mommy Matters brand, we have focused our support to an incredible organization called, Saving Mothers. Saving Mothers is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving maternal and reproductive health care in underserved communities around the world. Their mission is to reduce maternal mortality and improve the overall well-being of women by providing education, training, and resources to healthcare providers in these regions. Saving Mothers also conducts research and advocacy to promote policy changes that support women's health and well-being.
Thank you, Colette, for sharing your advice and journey with the WMarketplace!
Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit ThWMarketplace provides to sellers.