Interview with Lara Solomon, founder of Eco Pregnancy Test, Hoopsy
Hoopsy is the brainchild of Brit, Lara Solomon, who at the age of 45 and single, decided to embark on a mission to become pregnant.
Undertaking IVF, which unfortunately didn’t work as one of her ovaries was diagnosed as peri-menopausal – she decided to go down the embryo donation route, settling on having her embryo donation procedure at a clinic in Spain.
It was during that time, Lara realised how many times women who are trying to conceive, test using plastic pregnancy tests.
After her two embryo transfers in Spain, she headed home to Australia where she had to self-isolate in a hotel for 14 days due to Covid rules. It was here, she used countless pregnancy tests day after day, to see if she was pregnant.
Lara said: ‘Unfortunately, I got a faint positive test but then miscarried the embryo, which was a traumatic experience – I think I cried for days on end. But something else came to light when I was on my own in the hotel testing – just how many pregnancy tests I was using.’
As a serial entrepreneur, Lara decided to set up Hoopsy which is launching in the UK first before being made available in Australia then the US.
Describe a typical day for you?
I wake up and head to the beach for an ocean swim with friends followed by a coffee on the beach. Usually, mornings are when I get on with work and afternoons are spent in meetings or calls which gives me a good block of time to get things done. In the evenings I am either out at a networking event spreading the word on Hoopsy, catching up with friends or sitting on the couch watching Netflix! I usually try and squeeze in a 30 min yoga session in the afternoon as well, just at home so I don’t get stiff from sitting for too long.
What do you feel are your greatest achievements?
It is hard to say, probably writing a book back in 2012 about my business at the time and launching Hoopsy – I have had a few different businesses but this is the one that I feel can really make a big difference in the world.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Nail file – I hate catching my nail, it bugs me all day! Purse, phone, pen, notebook, sunglasses, earbuds, phone charger, tissues and a Hoopsy pregnancy test or two – I never know who I might meet!
What are your ambitions in life?
To make an impact on the planet and to inspire others. Obviously, the impact is to reduce single use plastic in pregnancy tests. Plus, I want to inspire others by showing them simple alternative solutions that are better for the planet are possible.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
Be yourself. I think in my first business I was, partly because I was younger, married and therefore had a support net under me. In the middle of my career, I lost myself a bit because I tried to conform to more of a corporate way of being, which isn’t me. Now being soooo much older and wiser (ish) I have realised that I need to be me, and if people don’t like that then they aren’t my people.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Business-wise I’d like to see the Hoopsy brand of tests being sold worldwide and preventing at least 5 million plastic tests a year going into landfill. Personally, I’d love to see myself in a loving relationship with a man (if you know anyone, please send him over!)
What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur/inventor?
There is soooo much! I think understanding your customer and their journey, whether through personal experience or talking to them is so important. When you are thinking about the product, think about how will they order it and get it (e.g. online, post et.c), what will they do when they get it, how will they use it etc.
Look at the whole process from front to back and back to front. It really helps you work out what you need to do and what customers are expecting to prevent customer disappointment or upset. This should include things like, ‘how can they easily contact me if they have a question?’ or what are common questions, maybe I need an FAQs page etc.
Finally, happiness is… doing something you love
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My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
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