Episode 96: Rachel Braun Sherl, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth

If you have a vagina or know someone who does, then this episode is for you.

Meet Rachel Braun Scherl, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth and author of Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women’s Sexual Health and Wellness. Or as she likes to call herself, a vagipreneur® (Yes, she registered the term). As a business consultant focused on women’s health, she’s been influential disrupting the feminine care industry, calling out double standards that exist in marketing women’s reproductive products vs men’s and creating better solutions for periods, pregnancies and personal pleasure.

Hear how she found herself at the intersection of commerce, health and female agency and why she wrote a book on it.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody, welcome back to the show. I'm excited to be sitting with Rachel Braun Scherl, managing partner and co-founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth, and author of Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Women's Sexual Health and Wellness, and the only vagipreneur that I know. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®.
Rachel Braun ScherlThank you so much for having me.
Jodi KatzI want to give our listeners backstory. I didn't meet you through business. I met you at the gym.
Rachel Braun ScherlAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzThe gym is a recurring theme for me in all my storytelling. I meet very wonderful, fabulous people at the gym.
Rachel Braun ScherlAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzAnd I met you many years ago, at this point.
Rachel Braun ScherlMany years ago.
Jodi KatzMight be three years, four years.
Rachel Braun ScherlAnd we were too busy working out and we only occasionally talked about work.
Jodi KatzAnd then I got to know you through the years, which is very cool. Well, let's start with something really simple, Rachel. You rolled in here with a suitcase. What are you doing today?
Rachel Braun ScherlI'm heading to Orlando to speak at a conference, which is focused on people in the incontinence and menstruation product category, so it's a big conference, and I'm going to talk about feminine care disruption. So, new businesses, new ideas, new materials, new distribution models, all around the changes that are happening in some very fundamental areas for women's lives.
Jodi KatzThis is so exciting that actually we're talking together. It seems weird that we haven't had this conversation at the gym because I'm very obsessed with menstruation, because I am changing. I'm 43. After I had my second child, my last child, I noticed a huge shift. So my period is like crazy. Like, I call them crime scene periods.

Well, I have two really good crime scene stories. My first one was I was at Epcot and my daughter and I were standing in line to meet Mulan. We took our picture with Mulan and then this woman with a Southern accent taps me on my shoulder, and she says, "Ma'am, are you on your menses?"

I don't use that word, so I didn't really understand what she was talking about at first. And I'm like, "What?"

And she's like, "You're bleeding."

My entire back of my shorts were covered in red. Completely covered. And I was not prepared for this, because I didn't know this was going to happen. I didn't know that the tools I was using for the past 30, well, 20-whatever years-
Rachel Braun ScherlHowever many, were no longer going to be sufficient.
Jodi KatzI would shop the aisle when I was 16, would not be working anymore. And I hemorrhage, basically, is what happens. So this is a really exciting topic. What are you going to be talking about, specifically, when you're there?
Rachel Braun ScherlSo, Orgasmic Leadership fundamentally is about the people and the products and services and companies that are created to help women with better solutions from, let's say, menstruation to menopause. So menstruation is the starting point, and as you point out, you have different experiences and different needs as you go through that. We're talking about fertility, infertility, pregnancy, incontinence, menopause, and every other hormonal change that happens to you along the way.

When I talk about menstruation, specifically, one of the things I do is highlight some real advantages that people have made in materials, which has a big impact. It might be interesting to know that it's not required that a manufacturer lists the ingredients that are in something that you insert vaginally. You have to know what's in your cereal, but you don't have to ... There's no regulation that forces a company to tell you what's in your tampon.

There's a lot of development on better products, better ingredients, better packaging, different distribution, more customized approaches. You could have your crime scene package, where you order stuff that will be effective for the first few days of your period, and then you have your crime scene package. And then you might need some pads. But now there's a real ability to, online, independently, in a personalized way, get exactly what you need. And you know what the ingredients are, and they will come when you want them to come and they will, hopefully, deliver in at least as good a way, if not better, than what you had before.

There are companies that have launched period panties, which are literally what they say. They're meant to absorb a lot of fluid during your period. You can wash them and, obviously, rewear them like regular underwear. There are ones that ... FLEX cups, which basically, the closest analogy is you insert it similar to what it used to be like to use a diaphragm. And so there's no menstrual fluid. It makes it much easier and cleaner. Not better or worse, but less blood flow when you're engaging in intercourse during your period.

So there's all kinds of things, and the most fundamental ones. How do you prepare yourself? How do you know what your body's doing? With all these trackers, as well, you can now track your crime scene periods. And so, they would never again, hopefully, or at least a much reduced rate, surprise you like that.
Jodi KatzYou mentioned the word "preparation," which I think is kind of the key to everything. We actually, as an agency, support Girls Helping Girls. Period., which is a local not-for-profit that actually brings a years worth of pads or tampons, whatever the girl wants, to girls and women in need.
Rachel Braun ScherlI love that.
Jodi KatzSo they can be prepared, right?
Rachel Braun ScherlRight.
Jodi KatzBecause this is, that's [inaudible 00:05:20]. I wasn't prepared when I was meeting Mulan. [crosstalk 00:05:23]. Right?
Rachel Braun ScherlRight. I love ... That visual of you meeting Mulan in that crime scene is priceless.
Jodi KatzRight? I actually have a photo of myself and my daughter in my bedroom of that meeting with Mulan. I laugh at it because I'm excited to be in a business where we can have these conversations where I can be on a podcast and talk about my crime scene period with you.
Rachel Braun ScherlRight.
Jodi KatzThis is very cool.
Rachel Braun ScherlWhen I talk about Orgasmic Leadership, I really mean to put it in perspective. These are big, big, big challenges that women have, and they're also big, big businesses. This is not just about, it's nice to talk about, similar to your podcast. This is business.

So just to put some parameters around it, 43% of women at some point in their lives have sexual concerns and difficulties. Big numbers. That's 40% greater than the percentage of men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. A third of women, at some point in their lives, have incontinence symptoms. A third of women never experience orgasms. What else do I have for you? Less than half the states in the country require sex education and only some subset of those require it to be scientifically or medically accurate. Close to 50% of pregnancies every year in the US are what they describe as unwanted or mistimed.

So when I talk about Orgasmic Leadership and women's health, I'm really talking about coming up with better solutions to you meeting Mulan in that situation, as well as anything across the range of a woman's life. You know this, because you've been in this space for a long time. Historically, manufacturers have spoken to women as a body part. You're a menstruating woman. You need pads. You're a woman who's trying to get pregnant. You need a pregnancy test kit.

And what the companies that are doing, mine and others, are really speaking to women, as you say, as she changes, as different preparation are required, as different challenges affect her in her life, regardless of what it is. Whether it's a different stage of motherhood or a health situation or a financial situation, we're constantly changing. And there are finally companies talking to us with that understanding.
Jodi KatzRight. So I don't even think that physicians do a good job with this. Kind of what you're talking about, I went to one doctor when I wanted to get pregnant. We used IVF, so I knew I fit that bucket. But when I went to talk to my physician about my crime scene periods, she's just like, "You're fine. You're fine." Right?
Rachel Braun ScherlRight.
Jodi KatzI really had to, over time, talk to my friends and figure out what am I asking my doctor to do. [crosstalk 00:07:50].
Rachel Braun ScherlAnd who are the right people for me?
Jodi KatzRight. To push her further, like, "Okay, so do a scan. Do a thing. Let me know that I'm okay."
Rachel Braun ScherlRight.
Jodi KatzPhysicians don't want to spend the time really having these conversations.
Rachel Braun ScherlWe had seen research that says only 3 to 5% of obstetricians and gynecologists are talking to women about this small area of sexual awareness and enjoyment. Some, not all, are talking about menopause. Some are talking about pain and painful intercourse. Some are talking about menstruation. Some are talking about fertility or infertility.

But there are very few who make patients feel, and we get this from speaking to thousands of women, that they understand the totality and the complexity of her sexuality and all its glory, so to speak, so exactly what you alluded to. It's almost like you're doing discovery and you're on a scavenger hunt trying to find the right medical care.
Jodi KatzOn a deserted island [crosstalk 00:08:42].
Rachel Braun ScherlOn a deserted island, yeah. And many of the companies, to that point, are trying to fill the void and having much more comfortable conversations with much more accessible language. That's one of the things I spend a lot of time talking about if we don't have a language, how do we have this conversation?

So we're 20 years into a universe where we have erectile dysfunction drugs and bigger, longer, stronger, and four hour erections. And one of the comments I always make is, women don't think of sexuality as a performance sport, so that language really just doesn't apply.

I do a lot of speaking to students and companies and conferences. And I always ask when I walk in, doesn't matter if there are five people or five thousand people, "I want a show of hands. How many people are actually looking for a power with a four hour erection?"

It doesn't matter, man, woman, essentially, no one's looking for that. We need to have a better language. We need to be using the right words for our body parts. As a mom of children younger than mine, there's a growing body of research that suggests that children who are taught the right names for their genitals and their body parts and what their functions are and what they do are more likely to report instances of abuse and trauma. That's huge. If you don't care at all about women's sexuality and enjoyment and language and conversation, let's say you don't, everybody cares about children.

There's so many other conversations that need to be had around this. We're joking about crime scene, although that could, if you didn't have a sense of humor, a really traumatic experience. And it could've been traumatic for your daughter. You wouldn't be laughing about Mulan. You would only remember that one piece of that conversation of that experience.

One of the things that I really see happening that I like to be a part of is making the conversations more comfortable. Just very easy. When we're hiring people to work with us, you have to be able to say the word "vagina." Not because we say it just for fun. It's because we're talking about vaginas. We're talking about vulvas. We're talking about female sexuality. So if you're not even comfortable having a conversation in that space, how are you going to be in the business of that space?
Jodi KatzWho hires you? Who wants your services?
Rachel Braun ScherlFortunately, it seems to be I've been very lucky that people do want to take advantage of the expertise that I built in this space, so I really work for a range of companies, large and small, but always fun to venture about.

And as I mentioned, from menstruation to menopause, really trying to figure out, who is their target? How do we reach them? What is the motivating message? Are we asking them to add something that they're not already doing? Do they have to exchange our product for something else? How do we reach them? How do I raise money to reach them? How do I develop partnerships that might accelerate my growth? Very fundamental business questions in a category where there is a lot, and much less so every day, a fair amount of cultural resistance.
Jodi KatzAnd how long have you been an expert on this topic?
Rachel Braun ScherlWay over a decade. I ran a company that had a product that, it was a topically applied product that improved arousal, desire, and satisfaction for women. That's sort of when I first came into this vagipreneurial space.

I've worked for over 20 years in women's health, so products that affect women from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes. The benign hair care, skin care, oral care, to the more serious fertility, infertility, and then the not so glamorous foot fungus, psoriasis, hemorrhoids, you name it. I'd spent a lot of time in the space of women's health, but in the last 10 or 12 years, focused much more on what I would call really sexual and reproductive health.
Jodi KatzAll right, so 10 or 8 years ago when you created this product, was that your first product?
Rachel Braun ScherlMy first female sexual health product, and I didn't create it. My business partner, Mary, and I bought it.
Jodi KatzOh, you bought it.
Rachel Braun ScherlIt was an existing asset. When we were exposed to it, you're in marketing, it would seem like a perfect storm. There had been many active clinical programs for products that improve arousals, desire, and satisfaction, many of them had gone by the wayside, and that's for a fairly straightforward reason.

When we talk about male sexual response, think of the response as a hydraulic system. So when a VIAGRA-type product, which is a vasodilator and increases the blood flow, works, it increases the blood flow, the hydraulic pump pumps and everything works.

One of the reasons it's so complicated to find solutions for women is because we are more complicated. Our sexual response is a combination of physiological factors, psychological, contextual, social, behavioral. It's not all in our heads, but some of it is. The connection between your body and your brain is quite different in a woman than in a man.

So when we looked at this and we said, "Wow, there's no language, that's pretty exciting. There's no one really talking about this."

There's clearly a huge need when you look at the 43% of women who have sexual concerns and difficulties. We've sold hemorrhoid cream. You're always looking for a product that's emotionally engaging. What's more engaging than sex?
Jodi KatzRight.
Rachel Braun ScherlIt really was a market opportunity that was presented to us. Someone showed us a business plan. And I literally, on the way to a client meeting, was reading it aloud to my business partner, Mary. We just couldn't believe it. We couldn't believe that this was this untapped area. So it was really a business opportunity that caught our attention.
Jodi KatzAnd where is that company now?
Rachel Braun ScherlWe sold it to a specialty pharmaceutical company that is focused, really, on male and female sexual health. Their approach has really been, because it has been a challenge in many cases building businesses in the US in this space. One of the strategic reasons we sold to them was because their business is based in large part on building strategic distribution relationships around the world.

It turns out it, at least prior to the last two years, is much easier to get people excited and give people the opportunity to buy these products [inaudible 00:14:48]. But now, over the past two or three years, we're seeing an explosion in what they call femtech and sextech. The product still exists. It's still helping a lot of people and it really is something that I always held near and dear to my heart.
Jodi KatzSo you mentioned this number. 43% of women feel like they are challenged.
Rachel Braun ScherlAt some point in their lives, have sexual concerns and difficulties.
Jodi KatzSounds like a low number.
Rachel Braun ScherlWell, if you think of that's almost one out of every two people.
Jodi KatzYeah, I would think it's every ... I mean, how could it not be every person at some point?
Rachel Braun ScherlIt's interesting, because every time you say a statistic, there are different camps. So one of the things we would talk about with the product, Zestra, that I had worked on for our first company was that the average person in a committed relationship has sexual intimacy of some sort once a week. And we'd either get a reaction, "That much?" Or, "That little?"

I just want to back up and sort of describe a little bit about what this thing is called, sexual response. A clinician gave us a great analogy that we've always used and seems to always give people a clear visual of what it is we're talking about.

So when you think about female sexual response and the 43%, which sounds big when you think about only 30% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Jodi KatzI don't believe that either.
Rachel Braun ScherlAnd there's billions and billions of dollars sold of their product. Think of female sexual response as a bus ride. Some women don't want to get on the bus. That's lack of desire. Some women get on the bus and they don't enjoy the ride. It's too fast. It's too slow. It's boring. They've been there before. They don't like a scenery. That's lack of arousal. And some women never get to their ultimate destination.

And as any woman knows, or as any person who's spoken to a woman knows, if all those three things aren't working, she's not running back to get on the bus to get to the next depot. So the concept that it affects so many parts of your sexual response is, to me, one of the reasons that it's so important.
Jodi KatzYeah. Okay. With the whole bus thing, and then I feel like it should be a bigger number.
Rachel Braun ScherlOkay. Well, they said-
Jodi KatzI think it's underreported.
Rachel Braun ScherlOkay. That's a study that was done in 1999. That is sort of the statistic. But, you know. You're in-
Jodi KatzLet's do that study again. It's about time again. Maybe we're apt to be a little more honest with ourselves these days.
Rachel Braun ScherlAnd they also measured in fairly narrow ranges of sexual activities. If you think what has been happening with gender fluidity, there are so many more activities that people are engaging in. So just looking at intercourse really understates the complexity of all the things that people are engaging in.
Jodi KatzYes. Okay. Thank you for sharing that data. That's really fascinating. Okay, I want to hear about this term "vagipreneur," because like I said, I have not met a vagipreneur before. Did you coin this term?
Rachel Braun ScherlNo. Abby Ellin, who's a journalist and an author, was one of the first people to write an article about this business. When we started the business, we discovered a big challenge, which was that nobody would take our money for advertising. So when I say nobody, we'd go to a hundred outlets, whether they were cable, network, online, offline, radio, it didn't matter. We would say, "We have money," and they would say, "No."

Abby got ahold of this and thought it was really quite interesting and wrote an article that sort of put us on the map, which was about the disparity between men and women's advertising. So we all see VIAGRA advertised on the Super Bowl at 5:00 PM on CBS. We couldn't get our ads on Lifetime at 8:30 PM when I'm pretty sure no 12-year-old boys and girls are watching.

The whole conversation was really in response to a business challenge. The fact that we couldn't pay for advertising seemed to us to be a story. And in the context of doing that research, Abby said, "Oh, like a vagipreneur. Like a person in the business of female health."

And I loved it. It's a very descriptive shorthand. People get it. They laugh. It gets their attention. And I said, "You know what? That really works. You came up with it. Do you want it?"

She said, "No, I don't," and so I trademarked it several years ago.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome.
Rachel Braun ScherlYeah.
Jodi KatzGenius. So let's talk about this male versus female sexual health situation, because I'm sure my kids have seen tons of erectile dysfunction ads just by being in the room with a TV.
Rachel Braun ScherlRight, because it's ubiquitous and it's kept TV stations in business for the past many years.
Jodi KatzSo why is it? Why is this happening that for years now we are inundated with messages around ED? Tell me, which [crosstalk 00:19:28]?
Rachel Braun ScherlThere are a couple of different perspectives. So when we would go into the actual networks and you go through a process called Standards and Practices where you say, "This is what I'd like to put on air," and they say, "Yes. No. Maybe. Change this. Change that."

We literally were never given a clear answer as to why they wouldn't put us on air. The one thing that people said to us, and this product was clinically proven, double-blind, placebo-controlled pharmaceutical quality study, is that they were concerned that they would get complaints to the networks, which doesn't really stand up because the networks get more complaints, or had historically gotten more complaints, about the erectile dysfunction drugs than any other category.

You balance that with the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising are going towards the networks. It's a little harder to say no to a revenue stream like that than smaller products from lesser known companies. So, at its core, I think it's a revenue issue. I think the bigger companies are louder. I think, historically, the products focused on men have been louder. Theirs was a pharmaceutical. I would've been okay, I think, if someone said to me, "You know what? That's a pharmaceutical and yours is regulated as a cosmetic."

And I would be able to then bring in my pharmaceutical model study that was published in a respectable journal and say, "But, look. We have science."

There were other companies that were advertising at the time who also were regulated the same way, but the products came from much, much, much bigger companies. We were always asked about does money talk? Yeah, it talked if they were larger male companies. It talked if they were larger corporate entities.

Over the past two to three years, we're making a huge amount of progress. When we launched that story, which is now eight years ago, the number one question I would get asked is, "Oh my gosh, did that change everything? Did they just open the doors and say, 'Please advertise'?"

And I've put together, over the years, about a dozen articles, circumstances, challenges that companies in the space of female health have continued to face that are different than the ones that men have to face.

An easy case and point, one of the people I profile in the book is this amazing entrepreneur by the name of Polly Rodriguez who started a business called Unbound. And she was fighting with the MTA, which basically controls all the advertising, the part of it that controls all the advertising in the subways. There were ads up for the Museum of Sex and for products that helped men.

So how are you justifying that there isn't a space and an opportunity for women's products that are safe, effective products and you can demonstrate that these products are well-made and well-packaged and all the other things that you should do for safety before a product is used? How do you explain that in the same subway platform one is okay and one isn't?

Ultimately, she prevailed, and a couple of other companies have prevailed, but it's always a fight. It's always a fight. And as far as I know at this point, 10 years after we first discovered this, there's only one female health product that focuses on any aspect of arousal that has somehow managed to get through the funnel, the brick wall that is Facebook.
Jodi KatzWhat is that?
Rachel Braun ScherlIt's Dame. The name of the product is Dame, which also I profiled in the book. We were on Facebook for three weeks in 2010. Huge, huge success. Great conversion. Great ROI. And then without discussion, they take you off. You call a hundred times. You obviously can't get a human being. There are dozens and dozens of companies who have faced this.

And, listen, not everybody wants to be on Facebook, but for the product, for instance, that I've started in this field in, our focus was women 35-plus in committed relationships who have noticed there's a change. They're on Facebook.
Jodi KatzRight. So what was Dame's secret?
Rachel Braun ScherlThere were a number of workarounds and I would encourage you to speak to Alex and Janet to get the inside scoop. It's way more than perseverance. You have to figure out a way so that when you post your ad, or when you try to get your ad approved, that it is not a hundred percent clear what it is you're talking about.

Give you another example. There's this company in California called Lioness. And there's this great entrepreneur who started it by the name of Liz Klinger. And it's primarily vibrators and smart vibrators, if you will. She was finally, this year, able to get eight bus stations, bus stops, to allow her to advertise her product on actually the bus stops, which she wasn't able to do and say that they were vibrators. So we're making progress. She was able to get the ad up, but if you can't use the right language, then it's still more difficult.
Jodi KatzRight. I mean, doesn't that just sort of create this sense of shame or this implication of shame if you can't say what we're doing?
Rachel Braun ScherlThere's a lot of that and I'm happy to say there are dozens if not hundreds of companies focusing on that, creating a language and being comfortable talking about a crime scene. There's nothing wrong with talking about menstruation. It is not shameful. It's something that women go through. The same with every aspect of reproductive health. How could this be shameful? Everybody is going through it.

It's not something you choose. It's not something you should be embarrassed by. It's something that happens in the normal course of our biological development. And, oh, by the way, prepares our bodies to give birth.

There is a ton of shame around sex and sexuality and desire. What is even more concerning to me, as you point out, if your first experience with understanding that your body is this amazing machine is menstruation and you're not allowed to talk about it and you don't have the language and you're made to feel shame, that doesn't bode well for how comfortable you'll be talking about your body or exploring as you grow up.
Jodi KatzI remember being I guess ... I mean, I was young when I got my period, so I guess I was like preteen-ish or whatever. Sneaking to the bathroom with pad or my tampons. I didn't want anyone to see. There's such a-
Rachel Braun ScherlYou remember shoving the tampon up the sleeve of your sweater in the bathroom?
Jodi KatzYes. Yes. And doing that as an adult, too, and then finally being like, "What am I doing?"
Rachel Braun ScherlRight. Why am I hiding?
Jodi KatzIt was kind of ridiculous, right? I mean, I feel like this conversation has to start with children.
Rachel Braun ScherlA hundred percent. And everybody has to make their own decision for their kids, and I've chosen a particular way. Having been in this space since my kids were 9 or 12 and now they're adults, I chose my own language for how I wanted to describe it to them and what I was doing.

I found that I had to have really clear boundaries because people would, once they found out what I did and that I had a product that improved arousal, desire, and satisfaction, I became very popular in social settings and carpool lines and everywhere else. And so, they would come up to me and start talking to me about their personal sexual issues.

And I said, "Listen, I'm more than happy to help you. I'm not a doctor. I don't pretend to be a doctor. I'm aware of a lot of products. I can tell you what I know and the products that I've seen that I think are really helping women and the ones that have clinical studies."

Full stop. You can't talk about your sexual needs and problems and desires in front of my children. If you want to talk about them in front of your children, knock yourself out. But I had to have rules because I had so many experiences.

I was picking up my son who was in middle school, maybe younger, maybe the end of elementary school. And a woman knocks on my door, and she's on my window, and she says, "I'm a two-time cancer survivor," which is already, like, what do I say?

I said, "Oh my gosh, I hope you're well," and "I had no idea. How's your health?"

And she starts talking to me about vaginal dryness, which is a very common side effect of people who have experienced cancer. The change in hormones and the result of some of the treatment. Totally legitimate, except I have my son in the backseat.

And so, I kept saying, "I have a lot of information," I'm holding out my hand with the international sign of the phone call. "I'll call you back. Really, I'm happy to help. I'm happy to share whatever information I have. Now's not a good time. I have my son."

We kept doing that continuous loop for what felt like three days but it was probably about 30 seconds. And finally, I essentially just put the electric window up on her arm and drove away. And my son just looks up at me and he says, "Really, Mom? That's your marketing strategy? The parents of my friends?"

And I said, "Did I say anything after hello?"

And so, I had to really create an environment that I thought was appropriate for my own kids. I'm happy to have these conversations. Again, I'm happy to share what I learn and direct people to resources that I think are valuable. But I get to decide how the conversation happens in my home just like you get to decide how the conversation happens in your home.
Jodi KatzWhat is a day in the life like for you? Because I imagine that there's many hats that you're wearing in this.
Rachel Braun ScherlYeah.
Jodi KatzWhat's a typical day?
Rachel Braun ScherlThe primary focus of what I do, really, is helping these brands and businesses grow and succeed. So whether it's meeting with a potential strategic partner, helping them reposition, identifying what their advertising strategy should be, helping them identify how they might want to change their funding presentation to attract the right people, getting them in the right doors.

The bulk of my work is helping businesses grow top line revenue. The book is sort of just an added piece, so I spend a lot of time also speaking. As I said, today I'm going to a conference. I speak at colleges. I speak at business schools. I speak at organizations.

I spend a lot of time now talking about the book because it really seems timely in the context of so many amazing entrepreneurs building businesses in this space. What seems to be the floodgates opening, although that might exaggerate what's happening in terms of funding coming in to women-owned businesses focused on female health.

I'm always talking about vaginas. I'm always building businesses. I'm trying to make the conversation comfortable. I'm always trying to promote the importance of the dialogue and the language.
Jodi KatzA lot of our listeners are entrepreneurs or on the cusp of becoming entrepreneurs. Are your services and expertise available to them as smaller businesses?
Rachel Braun ScherlAbsolutely. So what I figured out, I spent my corporate career working for large companies like Johnson & Johnson and Allergan and Bayer and Church & Dwight, and I still do because relationships are pretty fundamental to the success of my business. But I have found different ways that I can work with entrepreneurs so they can afford it. I can do the work that I really love to do and hopefully make some contribution to helping them grow.
Jodi KatzAnd where can people find the book?
Rachel Braun ScherlIt's on Amazon. It's on Kindle. It's on iTunes. So it's anywhere you want to be. Just look up Orgasmic Leadership. I'm pretty sure my name will come up. And everything I write about and talk about and where I'm doing speaking engagements are all on my website. The name of the company is SPARK Solutions for Growth.

And I really do love hearing from people, so I always give my email out. It's rbscherl@sparksolutionsforgrowth.com. I love to hear from people. I love to brainstorm. If you're thinking about an idea in this space, if there's something about it that excites you, email me and I promise to get back to you because I think this is really something critically important. And it really energizes me so much, being in these conversations.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome. So we are actually starting a WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® book club, so we'll add your book to our-
Rachel Braun ScherlOh, I would love that.
Jodi KatzThat would be really cool.
Rachel Braun ScherlHappy to lead a session and answer questions.
Jodi KatzYeah. Oh, that would be super fun. Anyway, well, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today, Rachel. This was awesome.
Rachel Braun ScherlThank you so much for having me.
Jodi KatzAnd for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Rachel. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes. And for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram, @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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