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how we got here (the real deal!)
Blogs how we got here (...

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how we got here (the real deal!)

Hey there! You may have stumbled upon this page from our website, or maybe an article about us. I’m here to tell you that you’ve just stumbled upon the truth. The real deal. All the deets about how it went down. There’s also pictures because pictures are the shit.

Enjoy :)

 

To start, there are two things you should know:
1. I love baking
2. I am a lazy person - efficiency and hacks are my friend.

I’ve been baking most of my life (I also have an incurable sweet tooth). There is a very common kitchen tool called a rubber spatula. It looks like this, and it’s typically used to scrape all the last bits of cake batter out of a bowl (know where this is going…?).



Every time I would scrape the last of my cake batter out of the bowl, I would fantasize about inventing a spatula for my vagina that would get all the cum out in one swoop (romantic, I knowww). I was sick and tired of the after sex cleanup, and no matter how many times I searched for a solution, I couldn’t find anything. Despite all the research and spatula fantasies, I never told anyone because, let’s be honest, it's a weird idea.

So the idea for dripstick sat in the back of my mind for years. During a particularly low point in my career (my co-founder for another idea had bailed on me) I finally grew the cajones to tell a few friends. To my surprise, we ended up talking about jizz filled vaginas for hours. I decided to take the idea a little more seriously, and applied to an accelerator. There are very few accelerators that accept product-based companies and even fewer that are interested in companies related to sex.

To my surprise, I was accepted!! This meant someone else out there thought my product idea wasn’t totally insane!!

As I went through the accelerator program, I was advised to verify I had a market before pouring all my money into this thing - gather email addresses, do a pre-order, or potentially crowdfund. But every time I tried to explain the product, I found that no one understood what I was talking about. Everyone I spoke with was so used to the already existing solutions out there and I couldn’t change their perception. I told people it was a sponge with a handle for absorbing, but even my fellow cohort members thought my product was a wipe - the entire time.


(here’s a picture of the accelerator cohort on the final pitch night!)

So after the program ended, I took a chance and ordered 20k sponges - the bare minimum. I believed the only way to get people to understand the product was for them to physically hold it in their hands. It was a simple concept and I had a hunch that many women would understand exactly how it works if only they could see it.

It was a long process but I found a medical manufacturer to help me with my invention. This is me, in my Dad's car literally stuffed to the brim with all 20k sponges as we were picking them up. All empty/available space had trash bags full of product shoved into it!!



Now that I had 20k sponges, it was time to start talking to people, testing, and getting feedback. I went to a bunch of events and was met with more than a few awkward moments, questions, and laughs.

At one event, I spoke with a VC named Roy, and he offered to introduce me to Cindy Gallop - the most famous sextech pioneer and champion of female founders out there. I couldn't believe it when she emailed me back (the VC was pretty surprised as well) and asked if we could meet!!


(This is me and Cindy. Meeting her was like the equivalent of a normal person meeting Keanu Reeves)

Little did I know, Cindy would soon become one of our company advisors!

As I kept attending events and talking to people about the product, it seemed there were still a lot of questions about how it worked. So, I did what I do best and turned to cake for the answer. I needed a PG-13 way of demonstrating how the product works so duh, a twinkie.


(Here’s some behind the scenes of the illustrious twinkie gif. Note to self: using a chocolate ding dong is a terrible idea)



Armed with feedback, an explainer gif, and a website I just barely hacked together, it was time to go live! I hit publish on the website and posted it in a few Facebook groups to get some feedback, and went to dinner.

The next morning I woke up to a bunch of phone notifications and several unread messages on Facebook. Confused, I clicked through while my phone was non-stop buzzing with additional notifications. They were orders. A writer had found the website and we had gotten some press, which was growing into exponentially more press. I ran to my computer and saw dozens of emails from press outlets, customers, and order notifications. It was time to start packing boxes!!!

At this time, we only sold a pack of 10 because I just wanted to test the market and see if anyone would even be willing to purchase. It turns out, people were down! So, like any startup founder, I started packing orders in my parents house and had to call in friends for backup..




Me, folding boxes like there's no tomorrow.


(Is it really a startup if you aren’t harnessing your friends for labor and paying them in pizza?)


(Orders packed, and ready to be shipped!)

With the way things were going, we would run out of sponges!! So I took another gamble and ordered 100k more…

In the middle of all this, I was getting married in about a month. So some of my friends decided to host a bridal hack-a-thon and give my non-startup friends a taste of the startup life.


(More startup classics: donuts and company branded t-shirts)




(Here’s those 100k extra sponges… )


(Thanks again for letting me use your house Mom and Dad!!)

After all that, it was time to raise a little money so we could clean up our look and do things the right way. I set off in search of investors that were just as weird as I was. Lucky for me, I found some!


(Off to Austin to meet our investors…umm did you know they have a BAT BRIDGE??)

We officially had funding and were off to the races! We spent some time re-doing our look with new branding, packaging, photos, and website! The parent company name had always been Awkward Essentials, so it was finally time to go live with it. We also changed come&gone to dripstick to make things easier for people to say, spell, and google! Lastly, I finally got out of my parents house and into a warehouse :)







After a long few months, Awkward Essentials officially came to life! If you’re still reading - thank you! This website that you are on and however you got here was a result of all of that, and we’re so excited that you’ve found us! We’re just getting started and can’t wait for you to follow along!

are you into it?

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