Dina Shanowitz-Rendler: Founder & CEO of Zomee

Episode 522

In this episode, Dina Shanowitz-Rendler, Founder and CEO of Zomee, shares her journey of creating the revolutionary breast pump and redefining the breastfeeding industry. She discusses the challenges with existing breast pumps and the inspiration behind her innovative design as well as explaining the process of manufacturing and working with insurance companies to make the pump accessible to all moms. Dina’s journey is a testament to the power of innovation, perseverance and having the drive to make a meaningful impact on society while making breastfeeding a more manageable, comfortable and empowering experience for women everywhere. So much inspiration and wisdom in this episode. Now on this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

Resources from
this episode:


Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. I’m super excited to have my next guest, Dina Shanna wits. Redler, who is the founder and CEO of an incredible company called zoomy. And if you are not familiar with zoomy, you absolutely here need to hear this incredible story about this revolutionary company that’s on a mission to redefine the breastfeeding industry. So let’s say that you don’t breastfeed or breastfeeding was something that you did a long time ago. That is me in particular, but I’m so interested in the technology and how Dena just had a passion for supporting new mothers and a keen eye for innovation, which led her to start zoomy and make significant strides in making breastfeeding, a more manageable and comfortable and empowering experience for women everywhere. So we are going to chat a lot more about that. And also talk about the innovation and perseverance as always, that it takes to be a founder and running a company getting from nothing to something which she’s done. So very excited to have you here. Dina, welcome.

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 2:02
Thanks for having me.

Kara Goldin 2:03
So what an incredible story, you are a total rock star, you are creating something really, really unique and different in an industry that has a few players in it. But what you’re doing is, is really innovative. So how did you come up with this idea? What was your background?

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 2:26
So my background is special education. I worked at I don’t know if you heard of this place called Friendship Circle where you’re working with special needs children and carrying them up with teenage volunteers that feel like they have a purpose and national a month and then I was getting Yeah, I was working towards my LBA and during that time, I have no first and you know, every mob the eggs going to be perfect. And it was far from perfect. So she was in the NICU for a bit. I had inverted handfuls she had shown tie it was just it was a disaster. So what ended up happening was I’m originally from New York and I would travel My job was in the city I would fall in segwayed back and forth and I had a six week maternity leave and then I would go back and I as a mother and nailed specially first time wanted to re breastfeed my daughter, I because I couldn’t do it directly. So I’m going to pump this was 10 years ago like 10 years ago with your you know, it’s not too long ago, there weren’t as many help options as there are now and into and out and I knew it was Jasmine birding 2012 affordable care. Okay, now we’re every mom can come from insurance. So now every mom could have bunker pregnancy permittee typically, but that was still new. So although it was already it already started to my times was very new. So I want to arrive the tow company to come to Gela Symphony rental and it was a sub barge square upon the space in like this suitcase, and I would take it back and forth and we were I went on the subway, and you know, wasn’t affordable. It wasn’t rechargeable. So I would literally take a you know, bathroom breaks whenever I can. And that’s why we’re pumped so I would have every two hours in the bathroom. It came to a point where I’m like this is you know, it’s either might be full time camping or it’s my job so I ended up quitting my job and was just exclusively pappy for the first year and make ours life when you’re using a product for so long or sort of marriage to it and see everything you wish, through both sets and could have been helpful. And as I was using the tongue, I will see house. Whenever I’m a double time then I will use the kit together. I would never do At the same output as a world where valid see what pump willingly take the kid and go right, left, right left, I would just respond quicker to that another thing was that you know, wasn’t returned to Will was so chunky and bulky. It sounded like a washing machine. There were so many small details another thing is like the speed to the speed of the pump this cow wipe it sucks per minute, I felt that I needed a quicker speed. I felt like I wish I could have increased that I but it was a very, you know, make it a great pump, but it’s very standard and we have your specific Atrazine options. And that’s it, you can go by it. And if you know I have all these wishes and atmosphere into my husband, one day I has that this was a good day plus why can for VF tall, that could actually alternate versus just that will hungry together at the same time. And then I don’t know if you are in this tree visuals, if that’s something that will be helpful thing to the rest.

Kara Goldin 6:01
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That’d be amazing. So

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 6:06
one thing that you need to know are COMM And this was something that I wished could have happened when was whenever you’re double pumping if you watch the way that these diaphragms move up and down, you see how it’s poultry eating do not yet be together at the same time. As I wish there was something that could do that, you know, something fly it some sort of polling at reliable Sunday, that’s going to be more Comcast. So I decided I’m going to try to manufacture a crossbar, it was a hobby, my husband laughed at me and says, Hey boss, I live with Gary sick were to do said listen through been doing this for so long, you have the right to be able to do for something that you’re passionate about. I wanted us that was so vast, I in the beginning, I was experiencing so many issues that I find to to location consultants and a spa for them of a nappy variety. They really encouraged me and said you could do it and you know, even though it’s hard and you do that you have inverted nipples just to get through it your volume to be able to breastfeed in the future. And I remember you know on that I’m gonna do it even though he felt as a first time on the fact that you’re just now your front being like in the heavens and single to now take me to your avatar on its own is so difficult. And now exclusively have been and the fact that you know, my daughter had acid reflux and sometimes I will lead the fall, the fun foods, Hersham, throw the whole thing up there when it’s you know, getting that second vial. So, by station from salt has been a very large role in me being successful in breastfeeding as a mom and I feel like ever since they’ve played such a big role in helping the Zuni brand 16 And always getting feedback that advice and, you know, I just do the shout out to lactation consultants, as in general remarks. As doulas as they should and if you ever walked into the hospital, you’ll see that bearer their little office is what closet that had a janitorial closet or something that they put them in and they should really be the Grand Central Station of the burden theory word just because they really are the ones that they don’t fit in successful models and movies and there’s nothing more and and you know, to be successful and breastfeeding I know I went a little bit off topic but back to that you know, I started with the poem as then let’s see what happens went back and forth with the fat room has been um I took trips initially to Korea, we went to different factories to see what would be most beneficial. We still with engineers, tweak a switch things around, brought it into the US and really worked together with quite a few lactation consultants in different hospitals, specifically those that hatched at they have pretty large IQs and they did testing can they get a test a my mom was Okay, let’s try this doubt uncertainty with alternate Wilgers the synchronous mode and then you know the fact that our cities are over 100 cycles per minute which be the 100 sauce per minute most pumps gumbo pass the 70 cycles per minute, like which was the gel pump that I was using. And the fact that we did quite a few tweaks to the Tom’s and made it more customizable. So ma do we’re seeing great success and shine from yourself. So my husband I want to do this Thank you, sir. Okay, cool. What do you want to do? Is it uh, whatever, you know, first container and he looked at me and he’s like, What are you thinking? Anyways, we brought in our first container which was at 87,000 homes. I take him and talk he has a small warehouse back then. And it came through to the warehouse. And I’m like, I have no one, I was thinking, we’re gonna sell this. I don’t know where this is going. And, you know, it was like, Okay, I’m gonna start doing sales. That’s the way it will be out here. Yes. And he really started, you know, at the beginning, obviously, as a founder and starting the company, you’re wearing many different hats, and basically doing all the dirty work and getting your feet wet and fair reading of wax for it. And I remember when I first sales meeting at one of these large owned insurance provider, they told me to come down. And to you know, that array and bring in the brand, and I’m super excited. And remember, I just have my second daughter, she was, I think, two months old. Life tylee As I’m going through my first sales pitch, I left way BD at home, my husband, and I got on a plane, it was a stopover. Like in one of these interesting areas, I got to I finally that there. And the Dyess says, Oh, actually, you know, well, we’re not looking at this time. And I’m like, Are you serious, I like came all the way view even note like, you know, I’m not going to serve my situation, I have the chairman fullness just that you want to keep your personal life separate from special in your mind to sales and your your professional life. I remember getting that I was devastated. And even as I was bouncing it back on Play. And another companies, you know, I reached out to a few companies, I’m going to be in the area and one company reached back out to me and said, Hey, stop by and like, you know what, I’m driving three hours, I’m gonna go meet this other coffee. And I ended up meeting them and they were my actual first customer. And then you know that they’d use sound like strength to continue. But because it was a journey, and it was in 10 minutes, and I would be leaving, you know, once a month, I have my, you know, my two year old and now I have my little VDV. And I would travel wherever I have to and present, then expand to whoever allows the differences and why this couldn’t be helpful to me. And you know what the news brand is very hard. I think the hardest part is like getting your feet wet and breaking the ice. And it’s like, we try we try and until it happens to sometimes you move off because it doesn’t happen quick enough. But the more use, you have try and when you succeed. And I tell this to my daughters all the time, you know, when they’re taking a test Bing, all you have to do is try and you’ll see eventually you’ll you’ll succeed you hit if you don’t get the best, but you’re going to perform well, when he really put it all afterwards that you can’t and don’t give up. And I got a lot of people seem to have closed doors and we have a lot of people that were rude and Zen No, but no doesn’t have to. That’s the only way in terms of who he for is not to take

Kara Goldin 13:09
things personally. Yeah, definitely. Well, I always tell people to you know, you’re so close to this brand, because you’ve been through the process of developing something and people are hearing about it for the first time. And so and they don’t know you either, right? And so you’re talking about how different it is, and you just want to get a meeting so you can talk to them more about this. And it’s just easier for people to say no, right? And you have to figure out a way around that. And once you start getting traction, then it becomes easier, but it’s getting past that point where you get that traction. You mentioned insurance companies. So can you talk a little bit about how you work with insurance companies and and you know what, exactly at least in the US what’s the relationship there with your company and insurance companies?

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 14:05
Sure. So every insurer is now for singles insurances in the US are required according to the affordable era of Kira to allow models to get a free come through their insurance. Now, we’ve already insurances will cover and breast punk. The goal of zoomy all of our company was to make that pump something that will be accessible through all insurances now just searching ones and unfortunately the way insurance works is we’re going to give you X amount for health and this is what you get and you have to decide which model you want salons can shoe and remodel a lot but insurance will only kavas sorta now and our customers are the DME providers which is a durable medical equipment provider. They are store Like a pharmacy at bedient was gonna pull supplies, they will shake mom’s insurance Villa and gig mom that breast pump. So those are our customers who we sell to these durable medical equipment providers. So, you know, when it comes to certain insurances, their main person that rates are extremely low. And these medical equipment provider are dealing with very low marven. So the goal was to really make it affordable, that they will be able to offer it to all Long’s, no matter whether her insurance pays very low to very high. And we really felt one thing that we really stand behind is our warranty, and just like a washing machine, or die, or you’ll, you’ll see how back in the day, yours lasted much longer than it did now. Now, you know, every five to seven years, we have to switch it, whereas my mother still has her washing machine and dryer that’s in the house. So when it comes to electronics, in general, our goal was to really stand behind that and we’re not new in terms of battery life, which is how long it will last you leave sure has a long after battery life so that it will let or motor life sorry, we’re immobilized. So it will last for a longer amount of time. We have some named brands that had been around for many years, who all they do is snack or label on the pound pen. And we’ll get we’ll get it but the issue is is now a lot of moms are having issues because more mom ever gone back to work, they never and need to pump more than the few 100 hours that some companies had behind their pump. And then that causes them to have their pump break down after a very short amount of time. And remember, you can only get one per ad. So our goal is to steal people, you know, we have a two year warranty and our comm he has this 200 Copy ours and our work comes to you and have a really nice amount of lifetime on the pump itself. So it’s going to last mom drive her tire recipe injury. So you not you know going down and quality that was one more one for us as well as making it more customizable for mom, because not every mom is the same. And you have certain brands that had like your basic modes. And that’s what they have wonder we have like the little called a Tuesday’s primo that looks the way the feeds from home, we try to make it more customizable and more adjustable so that those moms that not necessarily ever responding to one bowl could respond to that, you know, the next mode, they will remember buying shoes not all running, you know, not all people think that certain shoes are the most comfortable for them. Each one has their preference. So that’s what we want wanted to really incorporate in terabytes. But there’s loads and he obviously easy for mom to use in terms of less porous, comfortable, you know, rechargeable small hand packs so that they can bring rock or they are we just actually added a we have our wearable pump, which is our, you know, the pump now that you put in the bra directly. And we just added a little correction, which was inspired by all that I went through aware, when you know, I started out I had inverted nipples. And in general, it’s funny because Celtic moms in the US have inverted nipples. So what was nice is with this mode, it allows them to really release their knuckles with their version, so able to have better output when they’re pumping, which can be difficult when we’re intervals during our release. So thanks for that’s the Schmeisser interval terms of insurance to answer your question, it would basically go through the medical provider that would bill insurance, and you have quite a few brands that mom has to take off grade to get the poem, it’s now fully in favour because unfortunately, with insurance and the way they pay, it’s not going to be able to, you know the provider if I able to cover the full thing. And our ball was wherever mom can get it, she should be able to fully cover as it is having the big as an expense. And that should be something that should not be an expense and be fully covered. And that goes to you know, even when it comes to our warranty and our customer service, we really strive in making sure Mom has everything she needs. You know, mom calls after that two year warranty or if there was parts that mom needs, we will never turn them on down the you know, I was there a lot of our customer service laws were there and we want to make sure more than anything that last season for breastfeeding journey.

Kara Goldin 19:40
So how hard is it to get a product to market that is a breast pump. I mean, you went through like were there patents? Did you have to get FDA approval all of those things before you could actually launch?

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 19:56
Yes. So you have to get the approval. You had to get it passed. added to your design. It took time that took close to a year before any of this was any of this came into effect, but we’re constantly improving your product. So we have new products in the making and new technology that we’re working on. And it’s already been almost a year, we’re going back and forth, you know, making sure that everything’s in place. Here, you have to be patient because things don’t happen overnight, and the process can take over a year, especially at Comey time, when we were about to launch our new product. Probably took like, a good year and a half just when everything’s slowing down. But yeah, no, it’s definitely it’s definitely breathless.

Kara Goldin 20:47
So where did the name come from? zalmi.

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 20:52
So it actually, we were looking for a short, catchy name, something that will not to be too long for mom yet not have anyone come after you that it’s similar to another company’s name. I have, you know, a family member that was making pet supplies. And he had a retractable leash that he called Pop see, and then it kept seeking out for him and had to set it down. So we, we already decided that we’re going to need something that no other thing you know, you don’t know any other name like that. But something that is five letters. And you know, once people get it, and failing, aim over, it’s something that sticks with you. So, so

Kara Goldin 21:44
how have you gotten the word out about zoomy? It’s, you know, you’ve got a product, you’ve got a big pallet with 7000 units, obviously, you’ve you’ve you shared about working with insurance companies, but you also sell direct to consumers who want it. But how did you get the word out about it

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 22:05
happened was a lot of work. And it came over time. And I would think more than anything, it was really feedback from moms moms sharing with moms. And it was a slower process. But once moms heard it out, and in the staff it also, you know, one of the fully cover option for insurance that is a better option as though the Yeah, absolutely after came up to search for that’s what really hit it off the ground. I mean, did a lot of sales visits to many guy probably flew all over. So thin these days, within the last three years. And it’s really, you know, I would say more than anything when people like that product and find that it’s successful, and they have success. That’s what really takes to laugh. And you know, we’ve been seeing, we’re you know, we were constantly getting letters from moms that are really going ready as to her baby showers and just saying, General, last baby how amazing this pump was and how, you know, it really affected everything I need to build a curve and allow them to come before then even have something portable or something that was easy to use. And their comfort that they had would just sit on a shelf and collect dust. And now we’re really able to use it. And they didn’t even know that they had as much knowledge as they thought they had. And as a positive feedback we get is like, Oh, my output is so great. I always thought that I have no luck. And that’s what really caused me to, you know, stop breastfeeding and dare or not to breastfeed at all. And you know, using the pump, I have found that I have gotten so much milk and I have developed to provide my baby with per each comping session that I’m pumping, whether it’s three to four ounces. So that’s, that has been a very home and when you’re constantly hearing that and moms are sharing it with their friends, that’s definitely something that we’re now there’s nothing more than two moms in the room talking and you know, it definitely blows up. So that definitely helped us tremendously.

Kara Goldin 24:18
What’s the most difficult part of growing zoomy

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 24:20
you have people that are still setting new ways of you know, let’s just take the Mandela, which is the brand has been around for eight plus years and we are a newer brand just five years old. So when you’re looking at the difference, sort of like the Kleenex tissues, people, yeah, we get what they’re used to for a while. So it’s really great getting that and you know, especially the old school. People have been using this for so long, you know, their grandmother used and their mother used it and they want to use it. But I will say that’s probably the most difficult heard is tons of a try it, you know, just just try it out and give us feedback, you don’t have to do anything, if you like a job use it. I mean, that really helped us as well tremendously, because the people that were able to give us a benefit of doubt, you know, and use it initially and then had amazing results. And I like never think tight, you know, I never, never thought I can get so much smoke out, which is like, the biggest fear document and gap because of all of it band was to bring in, you know, tips, or even more little thing, less amount of time, nobody wants to sit by a comfort 23 minutes you want to extract and you know, you’re done. So that was really the goal. And I would say in general, less than once to use it your craft, that the hardest part is to get somebody to change now, just, you know,

Kara Goldin 25:56
definitely. You talked about consumers and how, you know, people are getting more out of out of some people are getting more out of using zoomy. I mean, that’s incredible feedback, right? I’m sure that makes you feel great. Have you had any other consumer, I call them love letters that have been sent over to you that you sort of stops you in your tracks, maybe surprises you a little bit but also delights you in many ways.

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 26:28
So we actually had one mom where she got her pump, and she got him a foreign, you know, because you can get your pump before you have a baby, typically anywhere between 335 weeks, and her babies and naked at the end. And she wrote us a letter basically saying that, because she had that she was able to produce milk. And she was even using the pump before she had an AMI for colostrum, initially to just bring it in. And then Unfortunately, he passed away a few days after she gave birth, it really encouraged her to want to continue to come in and donate the milk to those that are unable to have, you know, are able to pump it and they are unable to have milk, which is actually very cool. This is where a lot of money, you know, with all everything going on, it was a very scary, it’s fine. And then there was that formula recall that happened at that same time. So that that might, you know, me had a mom, that wasn’t hers to pump because of the results she was getting from the pilot. And that will be that what was using it to donate to not beings to be able to help because mountains he knew that next year, a lot, because you’re gonna have moms Oh, my puppy, especially if it’s not didn’t break out happens, you know?

Kara Goldin 27:51
Love classes. Definitely. So when you think about zone, me and its future, I always share with people, you know, you want to get the product or the service out there for consumer feedback and, and things are going to change over time you’re gonna have upgrades, you’re gonna have adjustments to it. Those are when you do those things is sort of always a challenge trying to figure out, it’s like you have to, you know, build the plane as you’re flying it to some extent is you’re you’re thinking about the next iteration. But you’re also you know, the existing one is pretty darn great, too. And when you think about that, what what kind of feedback would you give to entrepreneurs based on what you’ve seen in in that statement, you know, that, that you need to kind of just get it out there in the market and see what the consumers are going to say?

Dina Shanowitz-Rendler 28:53
Correct? Well, I didn’t want you to have a product that’s good. And you have swift feedback, never, never take away from that. You know, always have the base of what you were already have. It’s especially if you have positive feedback. Obviously, if it’s negative, you would have to change things around but it’s a case there is positive that we know, mov that we’re going to use changing in terms of the fact that you have now before it will pump up when they’re abroad. And you have to be up to date with the latest technology on the way we work is we’ll ever just bring in a product you have over 1000 mock test troops from ages 18 to 45. And what we’ll do is we’ll have it up so the songs and get feedback. It’s nice to just give up and do real ones versus overruns to see the differences and see what you wrote and be helpful for miles in general. And take it from there. I move it was like the new I was some companies that when it gets to them that they’re successful and that they’re doing great. They just stay wherever they put in the heart It will read because they already have a new. I feel like that’s when you really screw up and never forget here started from you started from feedback files for lactation consultants and models and you that is your those are your customer they know that you have to eat and happier any feedback that comes in, no matter what it is I’m always monitoring it. At its now I do have some Florida companies we’re using here listen to the letter, I’m allowing their suggestion box and never have that box. And it’s like hear me take every single layer I used to toss because that is how we can improve and perfect for products in general. So 10 to meet phone ever just bring enough product before getting feedback from always although you need to take that challenge and half the gradient in. But we have found that feedback was so helpful for us in small little things to be able to change to fake it better before we really watched it, you know, on the market in general. And these moms are real and sincere and really want the best for other moms. So I will say there was nothing like our hormones industry back in general. Buy a together, do it slowly. Don’t just bring you in and things. Okay, let’s get to the back and things like that. Because then that could bite you as well. Because now you’re in the market and you have all this feedback. And everybody already defines the product and what the companies about based on that. And unfortunately, sometimes I put to the for you, then you go to

Kara Goldin 31:36
definitely so Dina Shanna Woods Redler, founder and CEO of zone me, thank you so much for joining us and letting us in on your journey. And it’s great hearing about this product. We’ll have all the info for the product and link for you as well in the show notes. But thanks again. And thanks, everybody for listening. Have a great rest of the week. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. I would love to hear from you too, so feel free to DM me. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my Wall Street Journal, best selling book undaunted where I share more about my journey including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thanks for listening and good bye for now.