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We’re here to support women in big life moments, like pregnancy and that won’t change: Natalist Founder & CEO

Halle Tecco, Natalist Founder and CEO joins the On The Move panel to discuss female health-care and fertility issues during the pandemic.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Let's talk about folks who are catering to the people who are trying to have babies. Natalist is the company we're talking about. It was founded by Halle Tecco, who is the CEO. She is also former CEO of the digital health investment fund Rock Health. Halle, thank you for joining us.

So talk to me about what you're hearing from customers right now. You produce a number of different products that cater to people who are trying to get pregnant in the first place. Have you seen your [AUDIO OUT] go down at all?

HALLE TECCO: Well, when we saw that report from Brookings, it certainly made us a little nervous about our business opportunities through coronavirus. And, you know, some economists said that there was going to be a baby boom because of all of this time in isolation that couples had together. And others were saying that there would be, you know, a baby bust because of certain factors-- economic factors, stress because of coronavirus.

And I'll tell you this. We won't know until next year, but for our business-- and I've heard this from some of our peers as well-- fertility and pregnancy is doing well. We saw a 500% increase in sales in April, and then again our sales almost tripled in June. So it's been, you know, from our perspective, you know, I don't know if it's because of or despite COVID, but business is good in the pregnancy and fertility sector.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, practice makes perfect. But I have to ask you a question, as we look-- forgive my bad sense of humor-- as we look at your business, there is an effort in different states. In some states, for instance-- and I'm talking about reproductive endocrinology, you know, fertility clinics-- you can't pay a surrogate to carry your child. In other states there is an effort that might clamp down on businesses like yours. Is there a negative impact, do you think, coming your way depending on the outcome of the election and perhaps the outcome of the Supreme Court?

HALLE TECCO: I don't think so. I think that becoming a parent is a exciting opportunity for most couples and for planned pregnancies is very welcome. And what we've been seeing, even with all of the civil unrest and uncertainty, is that couples are still planning. They're buying our products, which include products that help you get pregnant.

They're getting pregnant, and while they're a little nervous about the care that they will receive during their pregnancy and having to go into a clinic and risk catching coronavirus, there are certainly some fears around being pregnant right now. But women are still getting pregnant, and we're happy to serve them. Women's health access is more important now than ever, and so for us being able to offer products on demand, in the mail, makes it a lot easier for customers to get the products that they need.

DAN HOWLEY: Halle, this is Dan Howley. I want to ask, you know, as you see more people kind of holding off on getting pregnant, do you see kind of an upward trajectory for the company as a result? Is that something that you guys are banking on, people needing more assistance or looking for more assistance to get pregnant as people who decide to have kids begin to age up?

HALLE TECCO: Yeah. Well, our best-selling product is our pregnancy test, and not everyone that takes a pregnancy test wants a positive result. And so that is something, while our team is all moms and we really focus on that being a differentiator, we understand that some folks are taking their pregnancy tests, you know, not wanting that positive result and it being a very big life moment and a big piece of data that they're getting about themselves. So I think either way our business-- we're here to support women throughout these big life moments, and I don't anticipate, you know, that changing.

I will say, you know, again, we were surprised that our business grew so much this year just given all the economic uncertainty. We weren't sure what to expect, but it's been good news for us.

JULIE HYMAN: Halle, I also want to ask you sort of about, you know, trends that you're seeing in this space because I think part of what your business is about is sort of opening up this discussion about fertility, right, and about health around-- women's health around that issue. What do you think, especially as you've seen all these changes amidst the pandemic? What sort of emerging trends and conversations are you watching for next?

HALLE TECCO: Yeah. Well I think the aisle that we're working in is one of the last to really be catering and shifting over to serving millennials. So we've seen it in deodorant. We've seen it in hair-care products, and now finally we're seeing it in women's health. And this is a space where, you know, the products that we sell are medical devices. We do work with the FDA to make sure that we're cleared. And, you know, given that, we still can be a company that is built with empathy and really catering towards millennials' needs.

And that's what we're kind of trying to do differently here in the aisle, and if you just look at our products versus the competitors, we bring a lot more style and trend into our designs. We like to say we bring in the TLC and the self-care element of fertility and reproductive health.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, and self-care is definitely one of the big trends right now, especially with a lot of us undergoing a lot of stress. Halle, [INAUDIBLE]. Thank you so much. Natalist founder and CEO, appreciate your time today.

HALLE TECCO: Thanks for having me.