#BEYOUROWN MEETS KIM VOPNI
Kim Vopni is a self-professed pelvic health evangelist and is known as The Vagina Coach. She is a certified fitness professional who became passionate about spreading information on pelvic health when she was pregnant with her first child.
She is a published author, a passionate speaker and women’s health educator as well as a mom to two boys. Kim is the founder of Pelvienne Wellness Inc – a company offering pelvic health programs and coaching for women in pregnancy, motherhood and menopause. She is also the co-founder of Bellies Inc, a company focused on improving births and postpartum recoveries with the revolutionary Ab System.
Welcome Kim, thank you for coming on board with us, can you introduce yourself to us?
I became passionate about promoting proactive and restorative pelvic health after the birth of my first child. It started out as a side business and later turned into my full-time thing! I have been working in the field of women’s pelvic health since 2009. I use fitness and movement to help women optimise their pelvic health in pregnancy, motherhood and menopause. Even women who have never been pregnant can benefit from pelvic floor fitness. I offer online programs – Prepare to Push™ for pregnant people and Kegel Mojo for non-pregnant people. I also offer online coaching for women at any life stage but my most popular program is the 28 Day Kegel Challenge – an app-based program that helps women ditch the pads and live leak-free for life!
Can you give us a little back story on how you are where you are today as a The Vagina Coach?
I began selling a product called the EPI-NO in 2004 as a side business. In 2009 it became my main gig and I then added other pelvic floor products to my online store. In 2010 I partnered with 2 other women to form a second business, Bellies Inc and I have been managing the 2 businesses ever since. In 2016 I was asked to speak to a group of women entrepreneurs at the Mompreneur Annual Conference. My talk was called ‘How Optimising Your Pelvic Health Can Make You A Better Mompreneur.’ As I walked on stage I said ‘You now have a vagina coach for your business’. It was off the cuff but completely nailed what it is that I do. The title has stuck ever since. Currently, my own business (the vagina coach brand) is focused on online programs and coaching. In Bellies Inc I sell the Ab System product to expectant women while also teaching courses to fitness professionals who work with pregnant women and new moms.
Can you take us back to the very beginning of your career and how you got started?
I used a product called the EPI-NO which is a biofeedback device that helps women learn to contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles while also learning how to relax and yield to sensations of stretch and pressure. It is designed to mimic childbirth so women can be as prepared and confident as possible. After using it and having a great experience I felt more women should know about it so I contacted the company to ask if I could be a distributor. From there I had women’s health physiotherapists referring to me and so began my quest to make the product accessible to all and to align with women’s health physios to help improve education for women.
How are you helping women to understand how to connect to their pelvic floor so they can overcome challenges such as incontinence and organ prolapse and regain a sense of control and power in their lives?
Women are often told to do Kegels but are never actually taught how to do them or given any modifications based on what their pelvic floor needs. Kegels work when done correctly, consistently and coordinated with movement. My programs offer education and exercise so women learn how, and why and then what to do. Just being told to ‘do Kegels’ is not effective and studies show that over 50% of women are doing them incorrectly. My aim is to give people the tools to connect with their pelvic floor and then move in ways that helps rather than hinders the function. I offer a 28-day Kegel challenge that is app-based as well as a fully online program that has education, exercise, workouts and guest expert interviews. Finally, I offer to coach to help women reduce or eliminate incontinence, prolapse, chronic back pain and overall feelings of a weak core.
Why are you so passionate about using your voice and platform to break through taboos and redefine how we all think and feel about women’s health?
Women deserve better. Media sends us messages that ‘light bladder leakage is just part of being a woman’ which is absolutely not true! Women accept leaking or prolapse as ‘normal’ after having kids which again is not true. I want women to know the truth and I want education to start as early as the teens when sexual health and menstruation is discussed. Knowledge is power and giving women the education, the awareness and the tools will truly transform the lives of many.
Can you share with us a particular career highlight so far?
Early on when I was seeking PR I was turned down by major publications and tv shows because what I was talking about was ‘not appropriate for their audience’. It was so discouraging to see images and stories of war and violence being accepted but being told I couldn’t say the word vagina or that my content was not appropriate. In 2012 I was approached by a major national news outlet The Globe and Mail and was asked to be a contributor to their Health section. That was a major win! Since then many publications have featured my work for which I am grateful.
How about any hardship, difficult times or barriers faced whilst growing professionally?
Starting a business with two small kids was a challenge. I found it difficult to not have the structure of daily office work or a boss to report to. Starting a business in an area of health that is considered taboo was also a challenge I needed to overcome. Finally, starting a second business a year after starting my first one added a whole other layer of challenge. It has all turned out and I am proud of what I have accomplished and overcome.
What are your preferred marketing methods for promoting your app-based challenge ‘The 28 Day Kegel Mojo Challenge?’
Instagram is by far the best platform for me. I also use facebook – both my public page and my private group Box Talk. I try to align with influencers and have them take the challenge and in turn hopefully the promote it to their audience. Finally, speaking is another way that I like to drive people to the challenge.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Growing up I would always want to do things ‘myself’. While I recognise that many things take a team effort, at the end of the day, you are your biggest ally. I encourage women to be their own advocate and to build a strong collaborative team that will support all aspects of their health.
What have you got planned throughout the rest of 2019?
I am currently building a pregnancy version of my 28-day challenge which I hope to launch in the fall. I have a few speaking opportunities lined up and I will continue to build strategic partnerships with women’s health professionals.