When Anne Fulenwider stepped down as editor-in-chief of Marie Claire at the end of last year, she shunned all the usual positions of editor-in-chief of the bookwriting, consulting and styling websites of life. Instead, she revealed that she would be starting a business focused on women’s health.
The career change has raised a few eyebrows in media circles, but it might not be as awkward as you might think. At Tmrw Life Sciences, a new fertility technology company that digitized the freezing of eggs and embryos using robotics and software and raised $ 39 million last year, scientists appealed to three female media and fashion veterans to help get their message across to the consumer.
Robbie Myers, the longtime former editor of Elle, has been added to its board of directors; Melanie Goldey, most recently Chief Financial Officer of Refinery29, has joined the group as Chief Financial Officer and COO, and Ann Watson, previously Vice President of Henri Bendel, is now Chief Marketing Officer.
Regarding his decision to make these perhaps unexpected hires, New York-based Tmrw co-founder Joshua Abram said that while it is a “life sciences company,” she is involved in something that is at the heart of the human experience and he believes these women have the right skills to communicate his message to the consumer.
And Tmrw’s message comes at a pivotal time, according to Abram, with 300 million babies expected to be born through IVF in the coming decades. For its part in the fertility business boom that has exploded in recent years, the start-up, whose technology is being deployed in US fertility clinics representing around 20% of all IVF activities, wants replace the manual methods of the analog system which have not updated for almost 50 years. This, he believes, will reduce the potential for mistakes, such as the wrong embryo going to the wrong mother.
“We work with clinicians and our unconditional scientific approach and we have perfected the solution. But at the end of the day, it’s consumers who care about the safety of [the IVF] process, ”he said. “Because we’ll be talking to consumers – not exclusively but particularly in a demographic that looks a lot like luxury fashion and luxury wellness, we were very interested in having women in these fields become part of the leadership. “
In the case of Myers, who led Elle for 17 years until 2017, Abram approached her as she was spending most of her career “talking to women of this age about a changing society.” “It wasn’t just the hems. It was about what’s going on in the world and how you interact with it, ”he said. “And we wanted his sensitivity to help guide how we talk about the rapidly changing world of IVF and how it intersects the lives of not exclusively, but largely women in a demographic who were very familiar to readers. from her.”
According to Myers, She is often cited as one of the first magazines to publish an article on IVF. “We have done this a lot because it’s at the heart of what it means to be a modern woman,” she said. “When you run a magazine or a women’s media company that covers fashion, you talk to the whole woman. “
Goldey, who just led the sale of women’s website Millennial Refinery29 to Vice Media for $ 400 million, told WWD she stayed a month after the acquisition but knew she wanted to do something else. thing in the health sector. Prior to Refinery29, she spent nine years at Everyday Health, a digital media company that owns websites and produces content related to health and wellness.
“I knew I was probably not going to stay,” she said. “I loved my stay at the refinery. It really gave me the opportunity to look at empowering women, how to spark conversation, bring community together and lead action. But I think we had a really good run there and it was a good deal. I really wanted to try something new.
As for Watson, a longtime brand marketing expert who has held senior marketing positions at national chains like Saks Fifth Avenue and Club Monaco, she enjoys being where the consumer is.
“For most of my career I have really spent time helping women look beautiful, feel good about their fashion choices and for me it was a natural progression to continue supporting them where they are now, which is much more of a focus on health and well-being and certainly an empowerment of choices around family building, ”she said.
“I am optimistic about how we continue to empower women and allow them to control their reproductive clocks rather than forcing it,” she said.
For more information, see:
Life after magazines: what five former editors did next
Robbie Myers quits Elle amid rumors of more Hearst departures
Vice Media acquires Refinery29 for an undisclosed sum