Ovry is a Canadian brand of reproductive care essentials. Our current product offering includes pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, and, most recently, an at-home male fertility test. Our vision is to democratize innovative reproductive health products that help close the gender health gap and improve the lives of Canadians. We plan to build out a product line for all stages of a person’s reproductive health in a way that—for the first time in history—it pays to be born with ovaries.
Tell us about yourself?
I have a blood clotting disorder that has prevented me from taking most forms of hormonal birth control. As a result, whenever my period was late, I endured anxiety-ridden trips to the pharmacy to buy pregnancy tests as a teenager, hoping desperately that I wouldn’t run into someone I knew. The number of times I bought a $20 test, peed on it, felt the relief of seeing a negative result, and then hours later got my period is too many to count. When I discovered how exorbitant the markups were on pregnancy tests, I became upset with how brands were capitalizing on the distress of women.
In 2019, I carried out extensive market research to determine if there were other people like me who had been dissuaded from buying a pregnancy test because of stigma, anxiety, or cost. With resounding support, I sourced the highest quality tests available on the market, motivated to make them accessible through an inclusive brand where representation matters. I was determined to redefine the reproductive health category and improve the entire product experience.
Prior to starting Ovry, I was working in project management.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Enjoy the journey. It’s hard to enjoy the mistakes and failures along the way, but they are the reason future successes feel so satisfying, so the best way to treat the low times is as opportunities to learn.
What problem does your business solve?
Pregnancy tests in Canada are overpriced and wasteful and only include one or two tests per box (which is not convenient if you’re the one in six Canadians who experience infertility or if you’re one of the many people who experience regular anxiety around pregnancy). Existing brands are outdated, plaster their boxes with babies, and do not represent the modern consumer or the varied use cases of their products in any of their marketing.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Regardless of whether you’re hoping for a positive pregnancy test or a negative one, many folks experience anxiety around pregnancy testing. There are no bulk-purchase options for pregnancy tests in Canada, making existing options prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to many Canadians. Ovry is changing that, and we’re proud to announce that our strip tests are now available in over 1,500 retail stores nationwide, including all Jean Coutu pharmacies, London Drugs, all Rexall pharmacies, and over 190 Walmarts. Our Male Fertility Test is also available in all 1,200 Shoppers Drug Marts.
What is your magic sauce?
Ovry products are just as accurate as leading brands and can detect pregnancy just as early, but our tiny, discreet tests use 90 per cent less plastic, generate zero electronic waste, include several tests per box, cost a fraction of the cost, and are manufactured in British Columbia, Canada.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our goal is to build Ovry into a global trusted brand of reproductive care essentials offering a broad range of products that span menstruation, preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
One of the biggest challenges we’ve had is convincing retail buyers to carry our products in-store. When I pitch Ovry to retail buyers, female buyers immediately understand the value it’s providing and is almost always interested in bringing it into stores. They understand the psychology of the consumer and can relate to the anxiety of that purchasing experience. My experience with male buyers is often quite different. I’ve received comments such as “The people who would buy a 10-pack of pregnancy tests is a very small niche” or “Don’t most women just wait until their period is late before testing?” If that basic understanding of the product and its use cases isn’t there, you can understand the difficulty in explaining other things, like why someone who is not interested in getting pregnant might want to use ovulation tests.
How can people get involved?
To browse our products and see a list of stores currently carrying Ovry products, visit us at www.myovry.ca. If you are interested in carrying Ovry tests in your store or pharmacy, please email us at [email protected]. For brand partnerships, collaborations, and affiliate program information, please email [email protected].