Meet the Doula Who Raised $3 Million to Support Reproductive Education
July 31, 2020
Erica Chidi is a doula and author committed to educating women and nonbinary people on sexual and repoductive health through her company, Loom—and she raised $3 million to do it.
After working in several fields, including fashion, Chidi, author of Nuture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy knew she wanted to become a doula because she liked that they were educators and advocates. She quickly grew her list of affluent clients, while also helping the Birth Justice Project, a nonprofit that provides doulas to support pregnant women who are incarcerated.
“What I liked about it was doulas are like educators and advocates. One of my natural gifts is speaking and helping people understand things,” Chidi told Fast Company. “I felt like sexual and reproductive health was this great equalizer. That really stuck with me. Everyone is operating from a knowledge deficit in this space.”
Eventually she moved to Los Angeles and began hosting childbirth classes from her home, where she met her co-founder for Loom, Quinn Lundberg. Since 2016, Loom has been hosting events and educating on women’s health issues, along with offering a series of classes dedicated to LGBTQ couples looking to become parents. With this $3 million seed round—which is primarily driven by female investors and people of color—Chidi hopes to digitally expand Loom in time for a fall launch.
In recent months, Loom, like many other businesses, has moved its classes online. According to Fast Company, a 90-minute class on periods costs $50, while classes on pregnancy are priced at $125. However, affordability and disparities in access to healthcare is at the top of mind as Loom launches its new platform. “We are 100% going to be coming to market at an accessible price point,” Chidi told the outlet. “We do not feel that there should be any kind of hierarchy in terms of people’s ability to access this information.”
“Our value proposition as a company is that sexual and reproductive health experiences are interconnected,” Chidi told Fast Company. “They’re on a continuum. We should not be siloing postpartum from menopause, sex from fertility, or birth control from miscarriage. Any nonbinary [person] or woman—however you identify, if you have those reproductive parts—[is] going to flow through all of these potential experiences.”