Co-Founder Chemistry with Cynthia Plotch and Jamie Norwood
Cynthia Plotch and Jamie Norwood ’15
The 2015 Fellows are the co-founders of Stix, an affordable, accessible, and empowering D2C brand for women’s health products. Stix is committed to reimagining the pregnancy test purchasing experience with a woman-first approach. The company believes the stigma, price, and inconvenience of buying a quality pregnancy test needs to change, and that’s why their brand was designed with ease and discretion at every step of the way.
The Story Behind Stix
Before Stix launched in 2018, Cynthia and Jamie worked together for a few years at Hungry Harvest in Baltimore. The women experienced the ins and outs of startup life during their time at Hungry Harvest and often daydreamed about working together on their own company. Although they had complementary skill-sets, it took them some time to figure out what problem they were passionate about solving. Ultimately, Cynthia and Jamie built Stix after experiencing first-hand the awkward and painful experience of buying a drugstore pregnancy test.
Balancing Work With Play
When asked about their partnership as co-founders, Cynthia highlighted a unique element about their relationship. “Jamie and I were friends before we were co-workers and co-workers before we were co-founders.” As their friendship evolved into a working relationship, the two women developed a strong sense of respect and trust for each other. This relationship allows them to play to their individual strengths when it comes to divvying up the workload. In addition, they feel comfortable being extremely honest with each other. “If something is bothering us, we’ll flat out say it.” And at the end of the day, these co-founders set boundaries when it comes to communication. “We use Slack for work things and then we text about friend things.”
Cynthia and Jamie see each other as true partners in their venture, and they use their “co-founder chemistry” to their advantage while they pitch Stix to various audiences. Cynthia highlighted one of Jamie’s greatest strengths: “Jamie is probably the most efficient and brave person I know. (Seriously, watch her get through a to-do list). She gets things done at lightning speed, which is amazing when there’s always a million things to do.” And Jamie’s favorite thing about Cynthia? “Cynthia cares a lot about the people around her, no matter who they are or how close she is to them. She always goes an extra step to make sure I feel supported.”
Their one piece of advice for someone joining forces with a co-founder?
“Choose someone you have worked with in a professional setting and set communication expectations early on in the process!”