Gaux Girl - Kate Ryder2016-10-17
The Gaux Girl - A series on brilliant women we’re privileged to count as friends.
Kate Ryder is on a mission to change the way modern women think about and access healthcare. As the Founder and CEO of the highly-sought after platform Maven Clinic, Kate and her team have worked diligently to create a digital platform that provides their community with an accessible medical network that is relevant to every stage of a woman's life - and by doing so, Maven is empowering women from all walks of life to take charge.
Born into a family with an entrepreneurial zeal, it's no wonder how quickly Kate's passion and steadfast commitment have resulted in Maven's admirable success - and they are just getting started. From building the product itself to fostering conversation in their online forums to creating e-prescription services, Kate contends that this is only the beginning for what she hopes will truly be a positive shift in the way the healthcare industry relates with women.
If Kate's track record so far isn't enough to convince you, this story will surely prove that she is the right gaux girl for the job. We met with the busy founder and new mom at her home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn where she caught us up on all things Maven, modern style and the excitement of motherhood. With a couple of pairs of our Classic flats in tow, she also showed us baba cool, her favorite local coffee shop in the neighborhood. Read on to meet Kate and find out what gaux girls inspire her in life along with her advice for gaux girls everywhere.
Meet Our Gaux Girl:
I’m Kate Ryder. I am the Founder and CEO of Maven Clinic.
We love your mission of humanizing healthcare for the modern woman. Why do you think this is especially important in New York?
A lot of people don’t know this but healthcare is disproportionately controlled by a female healthcare consumer and so, what we’re trying to do with Maven is to make life a little bit easier for her, to give her affordable healthcare, to give her access to great providers, so that all of her questions big and small, embarrassing and non-embarrassing can be answered quickly and from a trustworthy source.
How would you describe the community of Maven women and are there any girls on the gaux who constantly inspire you in life?
So far the community is a lot of millennial females who are our consumer base and then we have over 700 practitioners, most of them are female, like 98% practicing are women! And so pairing both female providers and customers who are young - it’s just been an incredible experience. The providers are really mission driven, so they genuinely just want to help women and it’s beautiful!
On the consumer side we write so many birth control prescriptions, so it’s completely crazy how hard it is to still get a basic prescription for contraception. And then mental health is really popular and maternity care - so it’s really amazing to see that not only are we giving digital care but we are actually filling gaps that even an offline system doesn’t provide with our digital platform.
As far as women in my life, I would say that, well first of all, all of my friends inspire me. I have a few friends who are entrepreneurs as well, and that’s great - and my mom and my aunt too. My aunt is an entrepreneur and she started and my mom helped her, so they have been an incredible source of mentorship and whatnot. My grandmother even started a business! She started a really successful interior design business that was featured in a lot of different magazines and she still was working in her early 80s. She’s a pretty amazing woman.
We share an office with Alexis Maybank who founded Gilt and she also just had a baby so she’s been a source of strength. Watching her do it very gracefully has been inspiring - from managing motherhood to running a business, she’s somebody for sure!
Speaking of New York, what are you excited about this Fall?
Oh my god, I am so excited! I have a new baby obviously - so to be able to walk around with the leaves changing with him, he’s now old enough where I can like strap him on and carry him around. I have been working so much (we were launching Maven Campus and a rebrand), so let's just say I'm really excited on the weekends to take him around for walks in the neighborhood here in Brooklyn. It’s very simple! I now have realized on Saturdays I try not to use any screens...
As a busy entrepreneur and Brooklyn girl how have you mastered the art of personal style and what role do you think ballet flats play in the modern woman’s wardrobe?
I love ballet flats! I have so many of them because they allow women to move around really easily and quickly. They are also comfortable, go with everything and are elegant, so why wouldn’t you wear them? As an entrepreneur it’s really important to have a lot of timeless pieces because you don’t have time to shop! They are also really easy to order online, I love Margaux for that reason and the concept there.
With style, I think it’s just buying classic pieces so that you don’t have to try too hard in the morning to figure out what goes with what. I also hit up a lot of the vintage stores to add a little bit more - the Fort Greene Flea on the weekends has some good stuff! Brooklyn vintage shopping and pairing some of the more funky vintage with timeless pieces has been super fun for me.
Here at Margaux we are all about smart design. As a modern woman what does that mean to you?
Smart design means the fact that I put these shoes on 15 minutes ago and they’re still comfortable. It basically just means that something can look elegant but also be comfortable and allow a woman to move. So I think that’s definitely where all shoes should be at this point! I think with Maven, we don’t really care about style, however we are all about empowering the savvy woman who wants to take charge of her own healthcare and that’s where I think there is some overlap.
What does being "a girl on the go” mean to you and where do you hope you’re going next?
Being a girl on the gaux in the last few weeks has meant being on a lot of trains and planes (and I’m really tired!). Where do I go next - we’re super excited about where we are at Maven. We’ve done an incredible amount in less than two years with a small team, and so now we’re at a really fun part in the business, because now that we’ve laid the foundation we can really dive deeper into what makes great digital care and really build the product towards that! We can build features that are very specific, because yes we’re women’s health, but within that there are so many different stages that women experience so we want to be able to customize each stage.
Gaux and ___ do what inspires you with people that inspire you!
Photos by Bridget Badore for Margaux