Leila Martyn is the Founder of MyOva. Leila launched MyOva in 2016 after suffering recurrent miscarriages and searching for a solution. She was determined to help herself and others with fertility and menstrual cycle issues related to PCOS both through products and education.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
Diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager, I was told by my GP that I would struggle to conceive. Fast forward fifteen years and these words came back to haunt me. At 34 years old, I was ready to start trying for a baby. Over the next five years, I experienced seven miscarriages, all between 6 and 19 weeks. After my fourth miscarriage, I was fed up with doctors telling me it was ‘just bad luck.’ Only 1% of women in the UK suffer over four miscarriages and this made me wonder whether I had the power to do something about it. Having researched recurrent miscarriages, in relation to PCOS, I learnt that PCOS caused low egg quality. Determined to find a solution, I came across a natural food supplement called Myo-inositol. There were promising studies backing up its effectiveness in treating the many symptoms of PCOS, including improving egg quality. This sparked an idea…
How did the idea come to you for the company?
After my fourth miscarriage I started researching recurrent miscarriages and PCOS. My findings led me to the natural food supplement Myo-inositol which I started taking. I felt the benefits in just a few months and decided then and there that I wanted to help other PCOS sufferers by creating my own supplement. This was the start of MyOva.
How did you achieve awareness?
We’ve grown organically using word of mouth and social proof, with our bestselling Myoplus product gaining over 1000 4 & 5 star reviews online.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
MyOva has been totally self-funded since launch in 2016. The business has grown steadily over the past five years and for the first few years we didn’t take a salary and reinvested all the profits back into the business. We also had supplemental income for the first few years and only started working full time on MyOva during the pandemic in 2020.
What are the key successes?
We have sold over 80,000 units of Myoplus since launch which is incredible! But what has been even more of a success is the countless women we have helped during this time. I’ve received hundreds of emails from women telling us about the impact MyOva has had on their lives. After my personal fertility journey, I am exceptionally proud that we have built a business that empowers women to take charge of their health and fertility in such a positive way.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
The challenges associated with selling DTC (direct to consumer) have had to make us more creative in the ways in which we acquire new customers. We have overcome this by developing relationships with healthcare professionals who are passionate about educating their clients about PCOS and also nurturing our existing customers to keep them coming back, creating social proof and telling their friends about us.
What are your plans now/for the future?
1 in 10 women worldwide are living with PCOS, so there is so much opportunity for growth and expansion. This year we plan to launch three new Myo-inositol combination supplements to complete our range (Skin, Hair & Nails, Metabolism & Balance). As well as selling direct to consumers, we also plan to grow MyOva offline in the UK and Europe.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Create a side hustle whilst you still have a steady income from your regular job. We live in a world where now anyone can start a business from their own bedroom. Starting a new business on the side gives you some breathing space to get it up and running without the financial stress and worry of putting all your eggs in one basket.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
- Read as many books as you can. Not just on business but personal development. It’s no good having the strategy in place if you don’t have the mindset to make it happen.
- Try to create a balance between work and personal time. People think that working for yourself will free up more time, but actually if you don’t consciously make time for yourself, it can be very hard to switch off which can start to have a detrimental effect on your mental health.
- Try to find a network of entrepreneurs who are further ahead on their journey that you. Experienced entrepreneurs will have already made a lot of expensive mistakes that you can learn from.
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
- Karen Dwek who wrote the book Mind Set. It’s the one book I have read in recent years that made me stop in my tracks, changed the way I think and reassess how I deal with challenging situations. But mostly it’s inspired me to instil a growth mindset in my children that will hopefully set them up for success, whatever that looks like to them, in later life.
- Grace Beverley, founder of sustainable fitness brand Tala. Not only has she recently single handedly raised £5 million investment, but she also posted a video on how she put together her pitch deck on youtube to help other entrepreneurs. I loved her book ‘Working hard, hardly working’ which inspired me to put some boundaries around work so I can be more present with my family.
- Our customers inspire me daily. I can completely empathise with their journey and understand exactly what they are going through. It takes so much energy and determination to keep moving forward when all seems lost. Every time we face challenges within the business I remember why we started MyOva, what our purpose is and all the women we have helped so far.
- My mum who has always been my biggest supporter and inspiration. She believes in me like no other and has inspired me to keep going and not give up on my dreams through some of the most difficult times in my life. She is endlessly positive and has taught me that anything is possible in life if you just go for it.
- Friends who run their own successful businesses that I watched grow from the ground up I find hugely inspirational. Although there are many high-profile business owners out there, having people you know in real life who are smashing it and happily share how they did it is more inspirational to me. I celebrate their successes as they do mine and it truly makes me believe that if they can do it, so can I.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
This quote keeps me going through challenging times:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?