Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in healthcare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Hanger, Founder of Stripped Supply, located in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Stripped Supply is Australia's first diabetes subscription box, allowing patients to order, schedule, and refill recurring diabetes pharmaceutical orders online automatically. We deliver blood test strips, needle tips, insulin pump consumables, and continuous glucose monitors Australia-wide, making diabetes healthcare more accessible and alleviating the mental burden of living with diabetes.
We help people living with diabetes in Australia who are struggling with the mental burden of living with a chronic illness.
Tell us about yourself
My partner Tristan has been living with Type 1 Diabetes since he was 11 months old, and I've seen in his journey how frustrating, exhausting, and overwhelming living with this condition is. Feeling helpless, I wanted to try and make his experience easier, but initially, I wasn't sure how best to support him. As someone who is trying to live his life despite diabetes, Tristan has always aimed to think about diabetes as little as possible - I mean, who doesn't, right? But sometimes, this would mean he would run out of his insulin pump infusion sets, not realising he'd used up the last set in the box. I noticed in diabetes Facebook groups that running out of supplies was a common problem, and I didn't understand why access to diabetes supplies wasn't online and why the onus was up to the patient to order these supplies when their order is virtually the same month-to-month.
And so, Stripped Supply was born as a way to alleviate the mental burden people with diabetes experience every day. I'm lucky as a founder because not a day goes by that I'm reminded of why I'm so passionate about this platform. I do it for Tristan and for the 1.5 million people in Australia who are living with diabetes and stuck in the constant cycle of diabetes burnout.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Quite simply, getting started. I don't have a background in business or in medicine, so starting a health tech business has been a challenge, to say the least. I've proven to myself through this journey that I'm more resilient and more determined than I had ever given myself credit for! I've come up against more roadblocks than I can count, but so far, not one has stopped me on my path to 'making diabetes suck a little bit less.'
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balance and self-doubt. To be a business owner, you need to be wildly confident in what you're doing - but most of the time, that confidence is manufactured and not native. My imposter syndrome can run wild if I'm not careful, so keeping a good work/life balance and constantly reminding myself why Stripped Supply exists keeps me grounded and focused on my north star - to make diabetes management as simple as possible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Ask for help. I didn't realise initially that I had an aversion to asking for help. I've since realised that being vocal with problems and challenges is incredibly useful - you'll often find solutions in the most unlikely of places or people!
- Confidence is key. You are the number one champion for your business, and as such, people will take your lead on why they should be equally as excited about it. Lead the PR party at all times by exuding confidence - even if that confidence might not be coming easily just yet.
- Just start because you'll never "be ready." Your product or service is never going to be perfect, but a great step in the right direction is just getting something - ANYTHING - out there. The sooner you can get feedback from your customers, the faster you'll grow, so don't wait until you've perfected your product to get it out there. Chances are your imperfect product will surpass your customer's expectations anyway!
Where can people find you and your business?