When did you start your company and what gave you the idea?
RecoverEase was born of my own cancer experience and the challenges a double mastectomy presented to my existing business running and building a successful horse farm while being a largely single mother. Amid the demands my lifestyle placed on me, I was trying to cope with the pain of snagging and pulling my drains. Walking through that process, I was left feeling there had to be a better way for women to recover but found, sadly, there were almost no innovative solutions. Through sharing my creative drain management solution with other women, I was encouraged to step forward as the answer and RecoverEase went for prototyping and a U.S. utility patent; the rest is history!
Lauren and her best friend, Hannah Kenny, created RecoverEase following Lauren’s cancer experience and the challenges of a double mastectomy.
What’s the best part about being a woman entrepreneur?
Having started and grown both a successful dressage training facility, The Hillside Center in Sedalia, Colorado, and RecoverEase, I cannot imagine moving through life as anything other than an entrepreneur! The most rewarding aspect of female entrepreneurship is demonstrating to my daughters that women are powerful creators and absolutely have a place at the table in business. I am grateful to serve as a mentor and champion to other women and normalize the concept that pursuing an idea is not only valid but important and accessible.
Lauren owns and operates the dressage training facility The Hillside Center in Sedalia, Colorado.
What challenges do you face?
As a female entrepreneur in the medical device market, I am often the only woman in the room. To have patented, received FDA clearance, funded and brought my invention to market dominance all while raising children and running a horse farm before the age of 40 is unheard of—would it be more common were I man? The answer is yes. The biggest challenge I feel all women face as entrepreneurs is finding balance and the capacity to remain present facilitators of growth in the simultaneous arenas of family, business and self.
More specifically, RecoverEase was developed and our production chain established prior to a global pandemic. We face a new challenge today restructuring from a multinational supply pathway to becoming a fully-domestic organization to ensure a stabilized process. This is not a challenge unique to RecoverEase, but is felt through all industries including my horse farm; supply chains fail and costs have risen across the board. I think every entrepreneur worldwide is adapting to an unrecognizable marketplace where resilience is key.
What great things have happened because of your business?
Opportunities to work with other inspiring female leaders and the chance to partner with my best friend, Hannah Kenny, who flew out and cared for me while I was recovering from my initial surgery. She had been on this journey since its inception, and to grow RecoverEase together has carried one another as well as our business farther than either of us could have imagined.
The most moving moments in RecoverEase came when we launched our direct-to-consumer sales. Previously, I had only received feedback from surgeons and medical professionals. When five-star reviews began flooding in—with moving stories of how our garment was a game-changing addition to recovery as well as to users pulling their garments back out for other uses, and how lonely women felt in the breast cancer process due to lack of innovation—I was moved to tears. What started as an idea has grown to improve the lives of thousands of people; to be an agent of change is both humbling and empowering.
What advice would you give to other women considering entrepreneurship?
Do it! You are your only limitation and success has no timeline. Believe in yourself and remember that even the smallest of steps equals progress. As women, we move through society with flexibility and a capacity to multitask that far outweighs our male counterparts; these qualities are integral to entrepreneurial success. In a way, women were built to be entrepreneurs and the creative process will flow easier than expected. Remain teachable, resilient and flexible in your vision, and allow the market to inform your process as well as your experience—I feel women have the advantage here as we are raised with these qualities.
RecoverEase Mastectomy Drain Pouch for breast cancer treatment and recovery.
For more information, visit myrecoverease.com and thehillsidecenter.com
Photos by Katie Damon