Allie Egan on Starting a Company While Pregnant During a Pandemic
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Allie Egan, and I’m the mother to 3 babies— Cooper, my soon-to-be baby girl, and Veracity— a new beauty and tech company that is revolutionizing the way women care for their skin by giving them real answers about what is going on in their body.
What was happening in your life when you decided to start your family?
So much, per usual! I was working at La Mer and considering the move to CEO of Cynthia Rowley. Like so many women, I wanted to wait for that “perfect moment” when I felt like my career and emotional/financial state were both in a good enough place to start a family. As it turns out, that moment doesn’t exist. There is no ideal moment to become a mom, other than the moment you find out you are going to be one!
Tell us about your journey to motherhood. Did you do anything to increase your chances of getting pregnant?
I had the idea in my head that the second I got off of birth control I would instantly get pregnant, but that was far from the case. It went from this laid back ‘if it happens, it happens’ mentality to, ‘holy sh*t, this may actually not happen and let’s do everything we can’ in what felt like the blink of an eye. When my period didn’t return months after my IUD had been removed, I knew something was off. I went from my regular visits to my OBGYN to a fertility doctor instead to get answers. At first, I had a ton of faith in the system. But eventually things started to not go as well as I had naively thought they would. After a Hashimoto’s diagnosis and an ectopic pregnancy, I started to do my own research.
You’ve talked about your experience with fertility issues and Hashimoto’s disease and how this sparked your business idea for Veracity. How did your journey lead you to founding your company?
For years I had struggled with dry patches on my face. No matter what serums or creams I tried, they would not go away. When I finally connected the dots between my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, my skin issues, and my infertility, I realized that everything is linked. My Hashimoto’s was the cause of my infertility and multiple miscarriages. It also happened to be the cause of my dry skin, so finding out was empowering, but also frustrating. I knew that if I had only had better tools to understand my hormones and their effect on my skin, as well as my broader health, that I know I would have been able to forgo some of the heartache my husband and I went through. The mission behind Veracity is to help women get their best and healthiest skin for the long term, but it’s also about so much more. It’s about guiding them on a journey towards understanding their hormonal health and hopefully connecting their own dots a lot faster than I did— and with a heck of a lot less pain.
What was it like to raise your first round of capital while eight months pregnant?
Crazy! Needless to say. It was my first time raising capital for my own company, so I’m sure it would have been crazy either way. Getting investors is hard. You’re selling a vision, a market opportunity, and ultimately yourself all at once. Being pregnant on top of all that pressure puts you in a place where you’re not always feeling like the best version of yourself when you ultimately need to perform. Some days I wanted to just give up, but I forced myself to push through because I knew the mission of Veracity would ultimately help so many women.
What was it like to get pregnant during the pandemic?
More than anything, I was just grateful to be pregnant after all the hardship we had gone through. The good parts of being pregnant in a pandemic were that I could work from home and didn’t have to worry about coming up with excuses for missing social obligations. The hardest part was not having my husband be allowed into any appointments after 15 weeks. I didn’t realize how much I relied on his support until I didn’t have it.
More than anything, I was just grateful to be pregnant after all the hardship we had gone through.
Tell us how you found out you were pregnant. We'd love details!
I got an amazing call from my Reproductive Endocrinologist one day. It wasn’t a very romantic call, but it was the most meaningful one to date— well, I guess it matches with the call I got for baby number two!
How did you care for your body while pregnant?
I am a runner; it’s my medicine. And as they say, “what’s good for me is good for the baby.” Even during pregnancy, I still run almost every day. At first, I got freaked out by the fear of a possible miscarriage from exercise, especially after all we had been through to get pregnant the first time around. But I did loads of research and read tons of articles and scientific studies, and there was nothing that linked physical activity to miscarriage— such a relief because running helps me stay sane (and I also think it makes postpartum recovery a little more manageable).
What was your favorite part of pregnancy? Least favorite part?
Pregnancy taught me a very important lesson— that patience is key, and that waiting for the outcome of a situation to naturally occur, rather than forcing it into existence, is what makes the wait all the more worthwhile. My least favorite part was definitely no vino!
How do you think about doing your best work? Has that understanding shifted over time now that you’re a mom?
Before becoming a mother, I thought I needed to do everything absolutely right. Many trials and tribulations later, I now know that doing my best, even if I can’t always give 100%, is ok. Since becoming a mom I’ve learned to prioritize better, and make room for what’s truly important. I pick one thing, put all of my energy into it, and then move on to the next thing— it’s worked so far!
Is there a larger vision that keeps you going, even when your motivation is down?
The overall mission of Veracity is what gets me through the hardest days. It’s what grounds me in what I am doing and ultimately lights a fire under my belly. I think about my younger, more naive self who thought doctors had all of the answers and that getting pregnant would be a breeze. The girl who thought a single serum and the internet could solve her skin problems. I remind myself that knowledge is power, and that giving other women the tools to access knowledge about their own health is truly priceless.
I remind myself that knowledge is power, and that giving other women the tools to access knowledge about their own health is truly priceless.
What is your favorite Natalist product?
My morning sickness was especially terrible this time around during the first trimester, so the Nausea Relief Tea was a staple in my routine. It instantly soothes my stomach. I find myself sipping on it throughout the day now just because it tastes so good!
What advice do you have for other aspiring mamas?
It might seem like being a mom and a boss is near to impossible, but you. can. do. it. all. Focus on what is meaningful, set small daily goals that will eventually lead up to grand monthly solutions, and the rest will figure itself out.