Private Packs was initially scheduled to launch in 2017, but two weeks before her crowdfunding campaign was scheduled to begin, Sinatra was diagnosed with breast cancer. The launch was postponed, but Sinatra worked away at her idea through her treatment. (She is now healthy.) She also got another lesson in just how much need there might be out there for her product.
“Chemo launched me into menopause and I had excruciating vaginal dryness. I knew I couldn’t be the only one in pain and no one’s talking about it,” Sinatra said.
While Sinatra has been embraced in the femtech space, her company sits in a bit of a gray area in terms of “tech.” It isn’t a device, it isn’t “smart.” It’s just a well-made, thoughtfully designed hot and cold pack for your privates.
Private Packs are well-made, thoughtfully designed hot and cold packs for your privates.
Source: Private Packs
But Suzanne concedes the simplicity is part of what the brand’s all about - and one of its strengths.
“I had one investors say ‘would you want to add a Bluetooth feature to the pack?’ Not everything needs to be connected,” Sinatra said. “I could just put an ice pack on my vagina and it would be OK. The point of the brand is to disconnect.”
Sinatra refers to the femtech and sextech communities as “a badass group of secret superstars.”
“I didn’t know about femtech at all until 2018 after I had become part of the sextech community,” Sinatra said. “I was, like, ‘what the fuck is this?’ It made me feel good because I didn’t feel so alone in this.
Sinatra’s connected with the significant and growing community of femtech entrepreneurs in New York City, where she lives, including leaders like Bryony Cole, Polly Rodriguez and Lidia Bonilla.
“I think we’re the most badass women in New York and no one knows it,” Sinatra said. “We enhance people’s sex lives and educate them about their sex lives and we do it behind the scenes.”
Now that Private Packs are available to the public, Sinatra is working on the next phase of her business, which includes a few new products: a herb-infused adhesive heating patch for period pain, and breast packs to help alleviate breast pain from breastfeeding, injury, menopause or cancer. Sinatra also hopes to expand to wholesalers and be stocked in physical therapy offices, by gynaecologists and in novelty shops.
“We want to be where every vulva owner will be,” Sinatra said.
And while Sinatra believes that investors are starting to take women’s health more seriously, she still sees lots of room for innovation in the space.
“The conversation around taboo topics is opening up more,” Sinatra said. “Even so, most companies in the space are around menstrual health and menstrual care, stuff like that. We still have a ways to go in terms of the innovation in the space around women’s health. We could do more.”
We still have a ways to go in terms of the innovation in the space around women’s health. We could do more.
She also believes that despite the fact that femtech - as an investment opportunity - has only recently begun to be accepted by the investment community, it might be needing a new name soon.
“It’s going to have to be called something else,” Sinatra said. “ I think we’re going to have a reckoning with that. We’re going to have to be inclusive.”
Like many of the best business ideas, Sinatra’s product started with her ability to spot a real need in the market. And, it’s through connecting with customers and helping people that she’s gotten the most satisfaction.
“I had no idea how much women were going through,” Sinatra said. “There are hot and cold packs for your back … what would make you think [vulvas] didn’t need care? I have yet to see a person birth a baby out of their back. Let’s talk about what really happens down there.”
This profile was produced in partnership with The Femmys, the first-ever awards celebrating innovation in femtech. Want to apply for an award? Learn more here. Want to attend the (virtual) event? Get on the list to be the first to know when tickets are released.