ryan woodbury + julie sawaya & needed

ryan woodbury + julie sawaya & needed

From Business School Neighbors to Founders of an Essential Prenatal Supplement Brand

we're creating space for the brains behind the brands we love, and asking good questions along the way. the result is a deep dive into the how and why of brand-building, from blueprints to launch day, customers as community and the detours in between. big lessons, easy listening.

In this episode of Read Receipt, we are excited to introduce Ryan and Julie, the dynamic founders of Needed, a prenatal supplement brand dedicated to providing mothers with comprehensive nutrition for optimal health. After meeting at Stanford Business School, the duo identified a significant gap in the health market for a trusted, science-backed nutritional brand focused on women’s needs. Join us as we delve into their journey, from initial concept to launching a mission-driven business, overcoming challenges, and celebrating successes. Discover how Ryan and Julie's commitment to science and quality has set Needed apart in the wellness industry.

Tune in to hear Ryan and Julie’s insights on entrepreneurship, the importance of product innovation, and the future of Needed.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation!

The Show Notes


Ryan and Julie, founders of Needed, share their inspiring journey from meeting at Stanford Business School to creating a successful prenatal supplement brand. They discuss their passion for health, the experiences that shaped their vision, and the creation of Needed. The conversation highlights the importance of product innovation, authenticity, and consumer connection in building their brand. They also delve into the entrepreneurial lessons learned, the development of their unique products, and the future of Needed.


prenatal supplements, entrepreneurship, Stanford Business School, women’s health, brand building, consumer connection, innovation, science-backed products


  1. Ryan and Julie’s journey from business school to founding Needed is marked by innovation and determination.
  2. Needed integrates science and quality into its prenatal supplements, emphasizing authenticity and consumer connection.
  3. Their diverse experiences have significantly shaped their approach to business and product development.
  4. Building a brand involves creating a strong connection with consumers and staying true to core values.
  5. Needed’s commitment to innovation and quality is reflected in its unique products and storytelling.
  6. Persistence and resourcefulness are essential for long-term success in the competitive wellness market.

Sound Bites:

  • "Needed is all about creating high-quality, science-backed prenatal supplements that truly support women’s health."
  • "We believe that supplements should be effective and based on the latest science, not just marketing claims."
  • "Building a brand is about staying true to your values and creating a strong connection with your audience."
  • "Innovation and rigorous research drive our product development process."
  • "Our goal is to make comprehensive prenatal nutrition accessible and effective for all mothers."


00:00 - Ryan and Julie’s Background and Journey-
Ryan and Julie introduce themselves and share their journey from Stanford Business School to founding Needed.

08:01 - The Inspiration Behind Needed-
Ryan and Julie discuss the personal and professional experiences that inspired them to create Needed.

12:30 - Transition from Business School to Health Entrepreneurship-
They explain their career shifts and the lessons they learned along the way.

23:17 - Importance of Innovation and Consumer Connection-
The conversation delves into how innovation and consumer connection have shaped Needed’s brand identity.

25:30 - Challenges and Opportunities in the Prenatal Supplement Industry-
Ryan and Julie talk about the challenges and opportunities of building a prenatal supplement brand and launching new products.

27:26 - Commitment to Quality and Science-
They highlight Needed’s dedication to creating unique prenatal supplements and promoting women’s health.

31:23 - Building a Strong Brand Identity-
The discussion explores the importance of staying true to core values and connecting with consumers.

36:02 - The Vision for Needed-
Ryan and Julie share their vision for the future of Needed and their goals for the brand.

47:37 - Persistence and Resourcefulness in Entrepreneurship-
Ryan and Julie emphasize the need for persistence and resourcefulness in achieving long-term success.

51:43 - Final Thoughts and Insights-
Ryan and Julie wrap up the conversation with final thoughts and valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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