You’ve likely seen Moom’s little green packs making its rounds on social media.
Square-shaped, with the words “we got your back” emblazoned, these sachets have quickly become a staple for many women in Singapore.
Shopping for vitamins is now no longer the head-scratching, misleading process it was thanks to the women’s health platform that is revolutionising the supplement scene. Moom operates on a personalised approach: The monthly daily packs are based on recommendations by experts spanning the fields of dermatology and gynaecology to naturopathy and Ayurveda.
Here’s how it works. You first start your “ritual” by taking a detailed quiz on the website that covers everything from your birth control, diet and exercise routine to your prior health concerns and targeted issues. You’ll then receive your customised recommendations, and can choose to subscribe to receive your monthly vitamin box filled with 30 biodegradable sachets.
I am a subscriber myself, and it took just one month for me to notice the results on my skin and gut health. But how exactly did Moom come about? We speak to sister-duo Mili and Maya Kale, to find out what empowered them to launch the startup.
Tell us about you.
We are sisters, Mili (29) and Maya (27) who call Singapore home, but we are originally Indian. We spent our entire childhood here and moved to the US for university at 18; we both went to college in California. We both moved back to Singapore – Maya in 2017 and Mili in 2020 – and after years of contemplating decided to start something that not only meant something to us, but impacted the community at large.
Maya has a background in international relations and women’s health, and she brought that knowledge to work at a startup in NYC and for WeWork in Singapore, focusing a lot on building a community and how to truly integrate that into a brand’s identity. Currently, she is the Global Education Manager with Smile Makers, a wellbeing brand that supports sexual empowerment. Mili has a background in education policy from Columbia University and has spent the last decade building an education consultancy startup in India, which focused on creating accessible education to young people. Currently, she advises for the startup and has a keen interest in how education plays a role in wellness.
Why start Moom?
The conversation and idea for Moom started years ago. We’ve always been exposed to traditional healing modalities as our parents grew up in India (a turmeric latte, aka ‘haldi doodh’, has been an anti-inflammatory tool for generations). We have always understood the importance of traditional medicine, and at the same time have valued and believed in modern science.
Maya has battled with PCOS since she was 15, and struggled to find ways to best support her unique symptoms. After years of research, countless appointments, and too much money, she found a solution in natural medicine and holistic healing. This was something that she could confidently say worked for her, but was not a blanket solution for all those suffering from PCOS. The importance of a tailor-made solution had never been more clear.
That being said, elements of Moom were planted throughout our young-adult lives. In school, supplements were given to us like a side-dish (always neatly placed next to our meal). However, when we went to college, we would forget to take the supplements our mom packed for us in our suitcase, and had to find a new solution. We started making individual, daily bags with the small jewelry plastic ones. It worked and friends in college started doing the same. Moom is a culmination of our experiences of years and of the conversations we have had with countless women. The issues seem to be unanimous but the solutions can’t be. In our opinion, the need for a personalised, convenient, holistic, supplement platform truly existed, and that’s why we started Moom.
What was the process of creating Moom?
It started with us finding an advisory board of medical practitioners and a manufacturer. We were particular with who we worked with and consulted, as we wanted to make sure the community that we were building from the get-go resonated with our values and beliefs. After finding the right team to work with, we began developing our expert-back quiz and unique Moom formulations for our supplement library. We then went into production and while tweaking and perfecting our formulations, we ran a closed six-month beta for 100 women. After almost 1.5 years of developing, formulating, and collaborating, we finally launched.
Tell us about some challenges you faced.
We face a new challenge everyday; it definitely keeps us on our toes! Each phase of development has thrown us a new set of challenges, but I would say the most consistent one has been operations. From packaging individual, personalised orders to figuring out supply chain issues, to working with a R&D team and manufacturer!
Most recently a challenge has definitely been hiring (or considering hiring). It’s a big step and since we are so involved with every little aspect, it’s scary. It’s been quite the experience, but it is something that we have truly enjoyed and learn from every day.
Why the focus on women’s health?
Two main reasons. Firstly, we are women and a lot of what we have developed and hope to continue creating is based on personal experience. Secondly, women’s health seems to be this magical abyss that lacks conversation, personalisation and a true sense of community. There are so many platforms and medical or wellness practitioners that have ‘hero’ products or believe that there is one solution to a host of issues, but we struggled to find anything targeted specifically to women, and even more specifically to each woman in a unique way.
While our supplements are for any body (men, women, trans, non-binary), our quiz (especially the first half of it) is more targeted and developed to women who menstruate. We believe that the more specific we are about what we do, the greater the impact we make!
What is something you wish more people knew about Ayurveda?
That it goes beyond yoga and home remedies and is truly backed by science and research. Like most traditional forms of medicine, it has been practiced for thousands of years and has benefited millions of people across the globe. Its ability to stand the test of time should say something about it in itself.
As it is becoming more and more ‘popularised’ to explore alternative therapies and healing modalities, the tradition is being more and more studied. The Curcumin and Ashwagndha that we use at Moom, are both patented forms of the herb and the most clinically studied forms!
We also hope our community and the community at large understands that Ayurveda, or any traditional medicinal practice (TCM, etc…) can be practiced and used in tandem with ‘conventional’ medicine. Nothing needs to be mutually exclusive, and at Moom we truly believe that your wellness rituals should be possible, not perfect.
What are some particular supplements that you would both recommend for general health?
For general health, we would definitely recommend our Super Amla (immunity), Magnesium (overall wellbeing from sleep to PMS to stress), B Complex (energy), and a Synbiotic (gut health). This is a great starter pack that tackles overall well being and supports your body from the inside out.
That being said, we believe everyone should start with what they are most comfortable with and along the way, they can keep adding or switching their ritual in order to make sure it is addressing their particular life stage. If you are feeling a little extra stressed or anxious, we would highly recommend our Super Ashwagandha; if you have been noticing a few too many skin flare ups, Super Curcumin might be a great addition!
What should a new consumer of Moom keep in mind?
Good things take time! Moom, or any true wellness journey, is not an overnight fix and our advisory board recommends giving any new ritual that you add to your daily routine at least 3-6 months before you see the true effects. Supplements take time to work with your body and get used to their ‘new surroundings’. It’s easier said than done, but give it time. Eventually, you will see results that will benefit you forever.
How else do you both keep up with your own wellness journeys?
Mili: For me, making sure I get some kind of movement in everyday is very important. A walk, a 20 minute mat pilates class or a 50 minute boxing class. I need something! It makes me feel complete, gives me energy, and allows me to get out of my head. As cliche as it may sound, it’s the only real time in my day that I am not obsessively looking at a screen and time that is only for me.
Another weekly ritual of mine is rearranging my apartment (it drives my husband crazy). Whether it be moving a vase from one shelf to another, or switching cushions from the living room to the bedroom, I love shopping within my own home and making small tweaks to improve and experiment with the aesthetics of our space.
Maya: Food is a big big one part of my life, and plays a big role in my wellness rituals. I really believe that anything you make at home is good for you. I don’t restrict myself in the kitchen, I get creative and allow myself to play with all kinds of ingredients. I love coming home after along day, looking at what’s in my fridge, and figuring out a menu for the night. I tend to get carried away and end up cooking for two hours or more, but it’s like a therapy session for me.
Another big one for me is a night-time ritual. I shower every night before getting into bed, light a stick of incense, take my Moom, do a mini skincare ritual, and jot down a bunch of random thoughts and to-do’s for the next day. My brain tends to be hyperactive at night so writing everything down allows me to get to bed without a ton of thoughts in my mind. Sleep is so important to me (I have to sleep 7-8 hours a night or else you don’t want to hang out with me), so ensuring I set myself up for a successful sleep is key.
What is next for you?
So much and we can’t wait! Ultimately, we want to be the go-to brand for natural remedies for the modern Asian woman. We believe there is a huge gap in wellness, especially in this region- and products are either made by brands our parents told us to take or ones with an exorbitant price point, or they aren’t available to us- and we’re here to fill that gap. We have some exciting new formulations and products in the pipeline and can’t wait to continue creating products that speak to our generation and our ethos – accessible, fun, and high quality.
For more information on Moom, head here.