Doulas, midwives, nurses on demand!

Simmone Taitt is the Founder and CEO of Poppy Seed Health, an on-demand telehealth platform offering support with doulas, midwives, and nurses for pregnant and postpartum birthing people. After cutting her teeth in retail and working for startups for over a decade, Simmone founded Poppy Seed Health in 2019 after her own experiences with pregnancy loss and lack of support afterward. In a year and a half, Poppy Seed Health has logged over 3 million minutes of chat time between doulas, midwives, nurses, and patients. 

"We built poppy to be an extension for people to do the work they’re already doing and loving."

Simmone TaittCEO and Founder, Poppy Seed Health

Transcription

[00:00:00] Simmone: Welcome to Building While Flying, a Sasha Group podcast where we interview business leaders about how they tackle challenges, stay resilient and navigate ever-changing skies. 

[00:00:12] Maribel: Welcome to Building While Flying. My guest today is Simmone Taitt, founder and CEO of Poppy Seed Health. Simmone experienced the gaps in emotional and mental support in maternal healthcare while navigating her own path to parenthood.

After suffering multiple miscarriages with and without health insurance, she identified a better way forward for all birthing people. She became a birth and full spectrum doula and launched Poppy seed Health in 20. Welcome, Simmone. 

[00:00:40] Simmone: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. 

[00:00:42] Maribel: So excited to have you here, to meet you.

I felt like I knew you because reading your production notes like it’s so personal. Um, So thank you for letting us in and thank you for sharing your story and building something that’s incredibly poignant. And needed. Before we get into the specifics about Poppy Seed Health, I wanted you to tell us, tell our listeners about yourself, about your professional journey prior to Poppy Seed.

[00:01:07] Simmone: Oh, wow. That’s a really big, long resume now. That’s okay. But the majority of what I was doing in my life before starting Poppy Seed Health was actually building other companies for other people. I was lucky in that I was always in the early teams, right? I think over the last 16 or 17 years or so, I think.

Kind of chasing my own tail. So I was going from, you know, 20 person teams to 10 person teams and then to seven per person teams. So I think I very much am a builder at heart. Mm-hmm. . I started right after college. If we have to go all the way back there at a Fortune 500. Especially back then, it was the early two thousands.

It was the thing to do. You. Go to a Fortune 500 if you can. But I didn’t find it very nurturing and nurturing or innovative, if that’s probably makes sense. Like the best way for me to put it though, I was in retail and I always say that those were my, you know, my character building years, cutting my teeth in retail taught me a ton, but I jumped over to.

Startup I don’t know, 13 or 14 years ago. And I’ve never looked back. So that’s what I was doing before Poppy Seed Health. And it was, I would say like across industry. So I always somehow found myself working for companies where I would say like 90. Percent of the core customer was a woman or woman identifying person.

Right. Okay. And so I got to know that consumer really well. But also not to talk in third party. I am a woman and I, you know, I think I’ve always somehow found. My way building for some of the gaps that I either was experiencing in my own life at the time, or I would be experiencing. Okay. Right. So like in my early twenties, there’s no way that I would’ve known about how to save for my future or effectively, Right?

But I ended up working on a product that really allowed for me to understand that for that chapter in my life. Very similar to Poppy Seed Health as well, you know? Might not have been building that, you know, Poppy 15 years ago, but I was working with and really understanding the customer and our entire life cycle of what we go through, you know, in chapters as women.

I think I was always building for this point. Amazing. 

[00:03:28] Maribel: You also said something about consistently saying yes. 

[00:03:33] Simmone: Yeah. Tell us what that taught you. Yeah, sure. So, I was the person that people would come to. Always expecting that. I would say yes because they had asked other people prior that would say no.

And I don’t think that’s a bad reputation. No. I think we can like talk about what it means to say yes and what it means to have choice. I was just, Really curious and I like a big challenge. I like a hairy problem. And so coming to me well, in the beginning it was, Well, let’s go to Simmone. I think she’ll say yes to this.

At least she’ll take it on. And then eventually I just made a name for myself. Like the reputation was, well, what’s the point of jumping through the hoops of everyone else that. Too scared to pick this up. Right. And they would come to come to me. And so saying yes, just opened up so many doors for me in so many ways.

And I don’t mean just professionally, right? Like. At one of my startups, which was a wellness startup, we wanted to enter the central and South American market, like pretty aggressively. Mm-hmm. , no one on the team had done it before. No one wanted to take on more work. No one was very interested and I raised my hand and I was like, I’ll do it.

Why not? Right? Like for me anyway, it was just an opportunity. I also knew nothing about Central South America markets. But you were willing to do the work? I was willing to do it. I did not. English is my first language. Spanish was way back when in, you know, middle school and high school. But the point is, is that I didn’t see any of these as barriers, right?

I saw this as an opportunity to be able to build something. And actually it was that opportunity. It was the very. Thing I will say that I built from zero for, you know, another company really inside, almost like being incubated. And it gave me the bug, like it made me realize that I could actually build something right.

With pretty limited resources, by the way. And really like, understand how to do that from zero.

[00:05:34] Maribel:  It’s really amazing how it’s, it’s a shift in perspective, right? It’s the same opportunity. It’s not changed. It’s whether or not you look at it as an opportunity or look at, look at it as something that’s just terrifying.

A hundred percent. the dynamics of it haven’t changed at all. Totally. Amazing. So we mentioned in the introduction a little bit about Poppy Seed Health. It rose out of an emotionally poignant experience for you. Would you mind sharing a little more detail around that? 

[00:06:02] Simmone: Of course.

Yeah. You know, I’ve been really public about my own personal story, and it’s because I’m a founder and CEO that has. Dedicated my life’s work to solving a problem that I experienced firsthand. So I’ll take you back to 2016 when I had my first pregnancy loss and I had great health insurance. At the time, I was seeing one of the top OB GYNs in New York City.

And unfortunately we couldn’t find a heartbeat. And it was first thing in the morning. I was actually by myself, my partner at the. Traveling for work and I went in pregnant and I left 20 minutes later, not pregnant, and I left that appointment with no medical, emotional or mental health resources.

The first part of this with not having even the medical attention that I thought I deserved the care and kind of attention that I thought I would get. That was shocking to me, right? Because my doctor not only was pretty cold about the whole thing and said that my body had terminated the pregnancy, which was it just devastating for me to hear for a wanted pregnancy.

Then she said, But it’s normal. This happens all the time. I’ll see you in your next appointment when you start trying again. And that was it. She left the room. And when I asked the staff on my way out if there was anything that I needed, because I think in most doctor’s appointments, right, you walk out, what’s the follow-up?

Give you instructions or whatever. I didn’t get that, so I went, I was, I’ll never forget this, standing in the, you know, middle of the, you know, busy morning traffic streets. Mm-hmm. , because of course we’re women. We do all these things before work, and I thought to myself, What is my body gonna do? I have no information.

I have no idea. And my only context, by the way, is what so many people still have today, which is what you see on tv, right? Or in the movies. And so I thought that there would be a lot of. Like blood and pain and all those things. And that just wasn’t happening with my body. And so I took to the internet, I went to Dr.

Google. 85% of all searches in the US are people looking for healthcare answers. Wow. And I realized that especially when I didn’t have health insurance and going through my very complicated infertility journey today. But so many people are going. To the internet for answers, and that’s okay, right?

Mm-hmm. , for so many people, that’s their only accessibility point, but there’s also a lot of crap out there, so we wanna intervene on that. Anyway, I used my gift of discernment and I was able to find a few things that weren’t offered to me. I picked up the phone. I called my own healthcare plan back into my doctor’s office, and instead of feeling relieved and taken care of, I was enraged.

I was frustrated. Set. I was also deeply emotional, very, very sad. Mm-hmm. , I was in a very dark place and I was looking all day long to just feel better. And that is a universal feeling. And it wasn’t until I happened to trip onto, I always say I tripped into this. And I’m really dating myself, but a thread of doulas who were supporting someone else.

That had a very similar loss to mine, just a stranger on the internet and just reading through their responses was so kind and loving. And for the first time all day, I felt seen. I felt hurt. I didn’t feel so isolated, and I sat back on my couch and I made two powerful decisions that evening. The first one was to become a doula myself.

And I, you know, like so many people have no idea what a doula is different than a midwife. We do a lot of surveys, so we know this, and most people just think that a nurse. Feeds you ice trips in the hospital, which is not true. They do so much more. Yes, but I, I sat back on my couch and I decided to become a doula, which I am, and I did back in 20 uh, 19. But also the second was the idea for Poppy seed health, which very simply was and is the biggest vision point for us, and that. To connect pregnant postpartum or people who have, who are experiencing loss with doulas, midwives, and nurses in 90 seconds or less immediately for emotional mental health support.

And we do that all via text, right? We’ve tested a lot of things, but that is the thing that. Sticks. Okay. Um, And you know, we’ve been around, we launched into the world in April, 2021 after about a year or so of beta testing, but I can tell you that in just a year and a half, we’ve had over 3 million minutes of chat time.

I love that. And that’s a, just a lot of people coming to us. To talk about the things they can’t talk about out there. And so look, as an entrepreneur and, and as a founder I think for those who are listening, who are similar, who are building things based off of your own lived experiences, there is nothing as powerful as being member zero patient, zero user, zero customer zero.

Right? You will always understand the important nuance. As you built, and I think it’s so important. I think 

[00:11:06] Maribel: there’s so many lessons that are applicable regardless of type of business that someone is building. From what you just shared to me, like I think about that doctor right. Saying to you like, this happens all the time.

And I think that happens in a lot of businesses, right? We sort of commoditize either the service or the product ourselves. Yeah. Like we’re contributing to it, which is a really dangerous path to go down. Mm-hmm. . When really it’s like it’s personal for every individual. That’s right. Right. For every new person using your service or product, it is new.

They don’t, They care in terms of like mass for the sake of trust. Right? They wanna know that you’ve worked with more people, but like if you are missing. Treating it as personal for each individual, then you’re missing the 

[00:11:56] Simmone: gist of it. Right? That’s right. And that’s not an easy thing to do. No. It takes a lot of attention and intention and time and executing on strategy, not just building the strategy.

Right. But it also takes a lot of testing. You have to have a high propensity for experimenting and for failing. Right. And really understanding what’s working and what’s not working. But, you know, Absolutely. I think it’s so important to be able to have a point of view mm-hmm. , um, when you’re building That’s applicable to what, To what you’re building.

Yeah. Because you just understand it at a deeper level. 

[00:12:30] Maribel: And the, the other thing that stood out for me is, You came at this from personal experience, but you didn’t treat that as the experience that would be applicable to everyone, right? That’s exactly right. You also did reading on what other people were seeing, how they were feeling, how they solved it, how they approached it, and I think that.

Your own story was the impetus to listen to other stories and take those into account as well. Yeah. And it can be so easy to put the blinders on. I’ve, I know what this customer is, I am this customer. It’s, you are part of it. You understand some of it, but we all experience 

[00:13:04] Simmone: it in a different way. You are so right.

A hundred percent right on that. You know, one of the things that we decided very, very early on is that we are going to be a behavioral. LED product led pattern led company, right? So I never. Loved building tech first and then thinking everyone’s gonna run after it. Absolutely not. Right?

It’s so important to be able to listen to what’s happening, watch the patterns, and understand the behavior so that we’re really actually building a product and an experience that people want. Yeah. What we do at Pop p Seed Health. Deeply personal, right? Like we are, we are non-clinical in that people aren’t coming to us for medical advice, but they were coming to us to talk about sometimes some of their deepest feelings.

But they also come to us to tell us that they hate their partner and their. You know, overdue and they cannot wait to have a baby. Or they’re, you know, coming to talk to us about their loss that they had 20 years ago and they never talked about. Right. So, yeah, I, it’s so important that we listen and we do a lot of that at Poppy.

So 

[00:14:17] Maribel: tell us a little bit more about how Poppy 

[00:14:19] Simmone: Seed Health works. Yeah. So very simply we decided, It was important to have our user experience be the easiest navigation on planet Earth. And we still say that we, we think it’s really important to remove any friction. So in doing that because we had been beta testing, And we were super scrappy.

We did it on WhatsApp. Okay. And in just under a year, we supported just under a thousand people who just found us. Right. Just in the world. Which is always so shocking to me still, but that just tells you kind of the signal of need. Mm-hmm. that was out there. And so we were trying on WhatsApp, we said you could call video or text and not one person.

Used video in all of that time that one person requested a video. We had one phone call in the very beginning, but we were sending through thousands of text messages, so it was very clear that text was what we wanted and where we thought people could. Do what I call expert anonymity. You don’t have to look at me and tell me that you have hemorrhoids in your third trimester that no one talks about.

Right? You can actually text and get the support that you need. So it was very clear to us that we needed to build an app. And so we did. After raising our first round of capital, we. Actually build three products at once. So our flagship product is Poppy Seed Health. That is available in both the App Store and Google Play for both Apple and Android.

For accessibility reasons, it’s very important to us. But what’s powering Poppy on the backend is an api, which is ours, and a backend which is proprietary. It’s poppy. What we have there is the magic that happens in the background. So very similar to like a dating app or a, you know, car sharing app. Our matching algorithms within milliseconds are taking the self-reported information you’re giving us during onboarding, right?

If you’re pregnant, postpartum, lost, like whatever it is, and as soon as you request a chat on Poppy, in publicly. We say within 90 seconds or less, one of our advocates will will pick up your chat. But what’s actually happening is that if you’re pregnant and you’re never gonna get anyone that’s just a postpartum nurse.

Got it. You’re not gonna get someone in loss. Right. It is matching you for exactly where you are in your journey. Our actual latency is nine and a half seconds. Actually, as of last month, it was even shorter. It was, we were down to just over eight seconds. Wow. So in less than 10 seconds, you’re gonna get someone.

In a one-on-one secure conversation. All private, all your space. That’s amazing. No shame, no stigma, right? I mean, it is my wildest dreams that I had this back in 2016 and I didn’t. But anyway, that, that is exactly how Poppy Seed Health works today. And I just wanna add one more thing because I think it is important to say this, We went to market direct to consumer.

We, I love being close to the consumer. I’m not afraid to try and like figure out what’s happening with the individual, Right. And then, you know, being able to build something that has a lot of value because 

[00:17:28] Maribel: the alternative would’ve been going to do. Right. 

[00:17:31] Simmone: Well, the alternative, and you know, it’s, it’s harder to say this today because I think so many things are popping up in the landscape, but like our.

Number one competitor, let’s just say, are these chat groups, which is not bad. There is a place in the world mm-hmm. , but from our own surveys most of the folks who are in those groups are not participating. And I believe deeply in participatory care. Right. Right. And so when you’re not participating, but you’re kind of just like voyeuristically there to read through the things that can really influence.

How you feel about yourself. It can almost, and we’ve heard this word be used too many times, which is they feel bullied and they’re not even participating. Right. Interesting. So it’s, it’s really psychologically very interesting versus being in a one-on-one conversation with one of our advocates. We have the largest network of non-clinical advocates across the country.

We’re in every time zone at every state. So you could get someone, I mean, you could be sitting on your couch in, I don’t know, Kansas, and an advocate in Connecticut will pick up your chat, right? But that, but that’s because accessibility and expediency are so important to us, right? You’re building your relationship with Poppy Seed Health, not necessarily with that advocate, but in the moments that you’re chatting with that person, we hope that you feel.

That you feel seen and that you feel heard. Right. And that’s really important. So I guess, yes, the alternative or like the Facebook groups and like those kinds of things. But for us, I, I will always say this, the biggest obstacle that we’ll ever have to around or over, I should say is that behavioral change doesn’t happen overnight.

Right. And our cultural narrative is, , we should keep everything inside. Yep. Especially as we are going through these milestones in our reproductive health years in life. So you’re supposed to be really happy when you’re pregnant and you’re supposed to be thrilled when you have a cute little baby . And when you have a loss, you’re not supposed to talk about it.

So our own worth and the narrative that’s out there are totally misaligned. they’re not aligned at all. So, That will take time for someone Absolutely. To feel worthy enough to push our request chat button. And usually that’s the biggest obstacle to get over, but we’re working on it. Love it. So we created Poppy Seed Health and we created the app because we knew from an accessibility standpoint that would be the most important for people.

So it’s all proprietary technology for us. We have built we’ve built Poppy Seed Health from zero, Day Zero, and. When we were in the architecting, so before we even wrote one line of code, we took all of the learnings that we had had from our beta, which was happened to be on WhatsApp. Yep. And we poured all of those learnings into building a product that we knew foundationally would be really secure.

And when I say secure, I. Secure. Yes. In privacy and those kinds of things, especially right now as our reproductive healthcare rights are under attack and we really think about privacy very, very seriously. But we knew, and I think maybe one of our biggest differentiators that I knew from the very beginning was that where nurses doula.

And midwives are, are geographically constricted, right? You are only within a certain mal radius of where you’re seeing patients or your clients or whatever it is. We built Poppy to be an extension, so we built the technology to be an extension for people to do the work that they already love doing. So if you look at like a driver on a car sharing app, right?

You are getting into a car with a perfect stranger, but you’re expecting the same exact. Service. Absolutely. Um, And quality that you would with any driver that you got in a car with. You can never convince people that they would like, you know, get in cars with strangers a few times a day. But we do, and that’s how I see Poppy seeded health because there was no way that we could come in and fully build something new for maternal healthcare in the existing.

Health system that is just not working for people. Right. And in addition to that I believe deeply in technology bridging the gap for folks. You know, we have nearly 7 million people. Who are in their reproductive healthcare years that live in maternal healthcare deserts in the country, that’s rural America.

That means that they live 90 miles or more from their closest provider, hospital or clinic. Yeah. So leveraging technology and building our own tech to do that is very important for Poppy, our beginnings. But even more important for our future. Yeah, I don’t 

[00:22:27] Maribel: know the statistic, but I would venture to guess that I could make the statement there are more people with cell phones than there are with health 

[00:22:33] Simmone: insurance.

Oh, a hundred percent. Listen, we get, we get dinged on this all the time, which I think is so interesting. Ding is probably not the right word. I get pushed on this all the time. Right On the venture side, on, you know, the, not the consumer side ever, but like the brand side of things and. Here’s the thing. We today, and I’m really proud of this because it is baked into our business model.

In our first year, we supported 30% of everyone that came to Poppy are Medicaid. We, we very intentionally put this in our business model before I hired one person. And so when we talk about accessibility and, and equity and democratizing access to care, you know, that is a part of Poppy’s dna, but I still get pushed back on well, people who are Medicaid.

Don’t have cell phones, they don’t have technology, they don’t have broadband. They don’t, And that is not true. It is not. If they have anything, it is a cell phone and that’s it. So we might not have good broadband, which is like shame on us. I know that we are working. Very quickly to get that into the neighborhoods and communities that need it the most.

Yeah, sure. You don’t have three laptops in a household, I understand that. But everyone has a cell phone. Absolutely. And when we, when we actually built Poppy we built very specifically so that we could release on both for Android and for Apple at the same time. And so anyway, we. Yeah, we have cell phones, y’all.

I think that’s, 

[00:24:09] Maribel: Well, and I, I don’t want that to get like hidden. Launching on both is critically important. Yes. It’s only this year that there is parity, prior to that it was majority Android users and so there is a significant portion of the population that gets left out when most 

[00:24:27] Simmone: apps are launched.

A hundred percent. Yeah. And we love Apple and we love Android, but it was a decision that we made way before we started building. . It is also data that we were collecting way before we started building. Yeah. And I know, you know, we are building as, we’re Flying a lot of times, but you know, there, there are moments that we wanna sit with the information that we have in front of us.

Mm-hmm. , the kind of business insights that . Will Be foundational to your company. They certainly are for Poppy and building for both at the same time. Android and Apple was a really big foundational business decision that we made. I’m very happy we did, 

[00:25:11] Maribel: and it really brings us full circle. Right?

Because you started out by telling us about your journey prior to Poppy Seed Health. You talked to us about like being willing to go down the path that nobody had gone down before. , but also not accepting how things have always been done. And to me that’s a way of not accepting that. Just because that’s how it’s generally done doesn’t mean that’s the way that it has to be done.

And it created an opportunity for you to make it more equitable in terms of the access to it. And I think everybody has the opportunity to do that, right? Mm-hmm. , there’s more opportunity for innovation by asking. I know that’s how it’s generally done, but do I have to do it that way? And what is the opportunity?

I always think of cash only businesses, right? One of those of like tech, the sake of technology, like it’s amazing. Sure. I think it’s amazing that I don’t have to carry cash, but So not everyone has a credit card and I like, it kills me. I’m just like, I understand if you’re doing it consciously, but you are cutting out.

Mm-hmm. some folks. Mm-hmm. , you are saying in, in a, in a way that you may not realize you’re saying some folks aren’t welcome here. Yeah. Because this is a, you know, this is a no cash establishment, but just an example of how like we should all challenge and especially if you’re building something, challenge how it’s always been done and see if there’s an opportunity for you 

[00:26:35] Simmone: to do it a different way.

That’s right. Listen, I. . If we were to sit here and quickly come up with a definition for accessibility, I promise you that everyone in this room would have a different mm-hmm. definition. A lot of times accessibility is based off of our own lived experiences. How, how we see ourselves moving through the world and how we see others.

And accessibility is not easy to get right. We will inevitably and unintentionally a lot of times leave folks out of our definition or even what we’re building. The important thing is that. We have to be really flexible. And I keep saying intentional because I think that is, at this stage for us anyway, being, you know, early stage.

It is about being, we have the opportunity now to be really intentional about all of the decisions that we’re making early on. But accessibility. For us at Poppy Seed Health means that we are here for all. And I know that there’s this trope like, Don’t boil the whole ocean. You can’t be, And I’m like, No, no, no.

Here’s the thing. When I say we’re here for everyone and we’re here for all, we don’t care how you identify. We don’t care where you live. We don’t care what your socioeconomic background is. We are able to support someone who is unhoused right now as much. Able to support someone who lives in a mansion in Beverly Hills.

It doesn’t matter. Accessibility for us means that everyone is getting the same care and access and support and attention when they come to Poppy. Does that mean that that can look different for folks? Yes. But that’s why we’ve built such a very robust data foundation to build Poppy on. Yeah. So we know if you’re on Medicaid, we, we know if you are experiencing something like postpartum mood disorders or depression, you know, when we can actually escalate that.

We know these things because you’re telling us you’re sharing it with us. But more than anything, we don’t care who you are and where you’re coming from. You deserve that kind of support. Right. I don’t know that we were gonna go there with accessibility, but I’m glad that we did. 

[00:28:45] Maribel: I’m, I’m glad too. We could probably talk for hours.

I know , but sadly I’m gonna wrap it up with one more question. Yeah. And that’s what should we expect to see from you in 

[00:28:54] Simmone: terms of growth? Yeah. So, oh, so excited about this next chapter of Poppy. So we actually at the end of 2021, we decided to follow these patterns. And we were. Door was getting pounded on by employers, which is not surprising.

Right. Employees now, especially in hybrid work, working at home and remote coming into an office. But family benefits goes far beyond what’s like health insurance covered these . Days. Yeah. Right. And we also know that coupled with that, our mental health. Been under attack, completely pummeled. So think about that compounded, right?

For people who are somewhere in their reproductive health journey, they’re pregnant, they’re trying to conceive, they’re thinking about conceiving, they, you know, are postpartum and have babies at home. So we have started working with employers and very excited about that. We officially launched. That part of Poppy, so Poppy for employers in q3.

So just a few months ago. And I’m, I’m really, really happy about that. And that’s been going very well for our growth. But then the next thing, which it should not probably be surprising is we wanna be everywhere that. Our people are right and your people are poppy people. I trust you. Trust me. It’s your next door neighbor.

It’s your coworker, you know, at the desk next to you, it’s your, you know, grocery store checkout person. They are your, they are our people. They are poppy people. And so, without a doubt, payers. So that would be health insurance companies hospitals and clinics. we have built a solution. We’ve built an army of advocates across the country.

Uh, When we started with 40, we have over 400 active. We have a active wait list. Over 3000 advocates. Wow. That’s nurses, doulas, and and midwives that we are able to deploy. At any time, and so we are very, very excited about our payer relationships and the conversations that we’re having today with health insurance companies because we know across a full spectrum between commercial and Medicaid patients that maternal healthcare is so, so broken, and we can bridge the gap very, very easily for.

I’m smiling 

[00:31:12] Maribel: because I’m super excited to watch the growth. See you fly. Thank you. Thank you Simmone. This was amazing and I can’t wait for our audience to, to hear your story and learn about Poppy Seed Health and also share it because we all know someone who needs it. 

[00:31:28] Simmone: Thank you so much for having me.

This was so much fun.

Thanks for joining us for Building While Flying today. I hope you learned as much as we did. We’ll meet you right back here next time for another flight.

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by Sasha Group. We’re the consultancy meets agency arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding media and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild;  building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together.

Filling the gaps in mental and healthcare.

Simmone Taitt is the Founder and CEO of Poppy Seed Health, an on-demand telehealth platform offering support with doulas, midwives, and nurses for pregnant and postpartum birthing people. After cutting her teeth in retail and working for startups for over a decade, Simmone founded Poppy Seed Health in 2019 after her own experiences with pregnancy loss and lack of support afterward. In a year and a half, Poppy Seed Health has logged over 3 million minutes of chat time between doulas, midwives, nurses, and patients. 

In her conversation with Maribel Lara, Simmone shares her own heartbreaking story of pregnancy loss, and how that experience led her to become a doula and start Poppy Seed Health. She describes their in-depth beta testing process and how she and her team developed Poppy Seed Health to fill the gaps in mental and emotional healthcare during and after pregnancy. 

In-flight topics:

  • Saying “yes” to opportunities 
  • How beta tests informed product development 
  • Leveraging technology to bring healthcare to rural areas
  • Making accessibility a hallmark of your business
  • What the future looks like for Poppy Seed Health
Connect with Simmone:

Poppy Seed Health website: https://www.poppyseedhealth.com/ 

Poppy Seed Heath Instagram: ​​https://www.instagram.com/poppyseedhealth/ 

Poppy Seed Health on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/poppy-seed-health/ 

Simmone Taitt on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simmonetaitt/ 

Simmone Taitt on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simmone_taitt/ 

New York, NY
Chattanooga, TN
Los Angeles, CA