Courtney and Morgan King couldn’t find the kind of period tracking app they felt menstruting humans needed and deserved, so they decided to build it themselves. The result is Orchyd, an app that not only tracks your period, but also provides access to real doctors so users can seek medical advice. The King sisters also made an intuitive interface a high priority for users and rely heavily on user feedback and focus groups and believe in open conversations about the often taboo subject of mensuration. Today the San Diego, California-based entrepreneurs are continuing to brave the new world of femtech, adapting to hurdles and challenges as they come and taking pride in knowing they are providing users with a free app that will help them track and understand their period cycles with greater knowledge and confidence.
Kings’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
What was your reason for starting your business?
We started Orchyd because we were disappointed in the current period tracking apps available, specifically in the lack of access to menstrual health care, limited application of inclusivity, and outdated approach to period education. This pushed us to create an innovative, intuitive, and inclusive app that is truly modern. Our period tracking app is free for life, 100% ad-free, HIPAA compliant, and OB/GYN approved.
Our app aims to provide menstruators with all the resources they need to go with the flow. Users can track their cycle, connect to a board-certified doctor instantly, and use SafeFlow™ to limit their risk of TSS and leakage when wearing their favorite period products. We have set out to make the period tracking app that all menstruators deserve. In pursuing this, we know there is so much more to provide in the period space. Menstruators deserve better, and Orchyd is here to answer to that.
How do you define success?
Our definition of success is based solely on the happiness of our community! The satisfaction of our community in our products means the intention behind Orchyd landed. Of course, tactically, we have goals to reach in product research and development and cultivating community. But ultimately, success to us means that we created a product and service that our community appreciates and returns to.
Tell us about your biggest success to date
Teaming up with Your Doctors Online, our integrated telemedicine feature, was a big success. Confirming this partnership was a major milestone because it immediately made menstrual healthcare more accessible.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Because we launched in the middle of the pandemic, our top challenge has been expanding our product line. There have been huge shifts in our manufacturer’s timelines, and in response, we have had to reimagine our roadmap numerous times. However, this leads to longer and deeper product research which aids us by ensuring that our products are the best they can be, right out of the gate.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
Menstruation still carries a ton of stigma, and femtech is a fairly new but quickly expanding field. Not a week goes by without someone questioning our decisions or expressing a distaste for period talk. It can be difficult to persevere with our vision, but together we can.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Our biggest tip is testing. Test everything. Gather focus groups, send out surveys, collect feedback from friends. The more data you collect, the better. You’ll feel more confident launching your minimum viable product.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
We find inspiration in each other and our friends! Whether it’s venting to one another, dreaming about what we could do next, or watching YouTube videos about our favorite 00s movies, the time we spend together decompressing or hyping one another up is how we find inspiration.
Honestly, it all comes down to period talk in the end. Our friends, and friends of friends, all have different experiences when it comes to menstruation. So on the darkest days, we find inspiration from these stories.
Who is your most important role model?
We work closely with our dad, Steve King, as an advisor. His expertise, knowledge, and humor inspire us and influence the future of Orchyd. He is certainly our role model.