Sophia Yen, MD, often wears a uterus necklace to remind her that we all come from the womb. But some people who aren’t ready to have children lack convenient and reliable access to health care and birth control. To address those needs, Sophia created Pandia Health.
Pandia Health allows women to get their birth control delivered to their door, either by transferring prescriptions to its services or by accessing medical doctors through asynchronous telehealth to get a prescription. It eases the anxiety of running out of pills or standing in line at the pharmacy each month. And Pandia Health is the only female-founded and woman-led service of its kind. TheWMarketplace caught up with her recently to ask her a few questions, which have been edited slightly for clarity.
Why did you start your business?
I wanted to make women's lives better -- so that women don't have to suffer "pill anxiety" each month, where they worry about running out of birth control or having to get to the pharmacy.
How long have you been in business and has your business changed?
2016 = 6 years! We've stayed true to birth control and now are adding on acne, menopause and more.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
I love being able to build a team passionate about women's health and also making women's lives better!
What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?
Securing funding and acquiring customers, getting those potential customers to choose a women-founded, women-led company.
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your business?
Always get everything in writing, and don't let anyone pressure you to agree to anything without consulting your lawyer or advisors.
Do you have a mentor, formal or informal? What role have they played for you?
Other than a coach, paid for by SheEO, which has been very helpful, I’ve never had a mentor. As an Asian American, it's hard to find mentors. I've had several people I admire and want to follow their footsteps, but no one that I meet with regularly to help me.
Why did you decide to join TheWMarketplace?
I want to increase awareness of my company and to support other women entrepreneurs. Really it is about putting my money where my values are – supporting women.
Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success?
Having my Springboard colleague introduce me to her major investor and securing an amazing COO.
Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day? What are they?
I have a photo of my husband and kids on my desk, books lies It's about Damn Time by Arlan Hamilton, and a unicorn squishie (unicorn = $1B valuation startup!).
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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 TheWMarketplace provides to sellers.