Stephiney Foley - CEO of Yuzi Care

Yuzi: Seattle’s first postnatal retreat to launch in May

Stephiney Foley is a Chinese immigrant, United States Army veteran, Ivy League graduate, and a mom of two, to name a few accomplishments. But another important role she’s taken on is the CEO and co-founder of Yuzi—Seattle’s first-ever postnatal retreat. Yuzi’s mission is to build the world’s largest maternal care platform.

Foley was born in Shanghai, China and immigrated to the United States when she was 9. She grew up in New York City and attended English as a Second Language classes. She entered high school at Brooklyn Tech High School in 2001.

The 9/11 bombings happened during her first week of school.

“Entering the military didn’t come to my mind until later but 9/11 had an impact. Additionally, as an immigrant, you’re super grateful. I felt a sense of gratitude like how can I give back to a country that gave something to our family,” she added.

Foley was inspired by her mom’s own entrepreneurial spirit as well as her ability to overcome monumental challenges in pursuit of the American Dream.

“Raising me as a single mother in New York City, she went above and beyond to ensure I received the best possible education and opportunities. What truly inspires me is her unparalleled work ethic, drive, and determination. These qualities are not just admirable; they are the bedrock of my own aspirations. Her success as a businesswoman in early ‘90s in Shanghai is a testament to her groundbreaking spirit. At a time when it was almost unheard of for a woman to be the CEO of her own company, she didn’t just achieve it—she thrived. Her story is a powerful reminder that with resilience and perseverance, seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcome. It’s her legacy of strength and ambition that I strive to emulate in everything I do,” Foley shared.

Foley served active duty for 7.5 years including a 13-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2012. After her time in the military, she was presented with a unique opportunity to attend Stanford Business School’s program that helped entrepreneurs. There, she was able to get a taste of Silicon Valley and the tech industry.

“I felt excited again, that’s what put me on this path of wanting to be in tech. I want to make a positive impact in the world and I felt that spark again after almost eight years of active duty,” Foley shared.

Foley moved to Seattle in 2018 for a job. Shortly after, she gave birth to her two sons in 2019 and 2021.

As a new mother, she didn’t expect to face postpartum depression, but she was one of millions who silently endured sleep deprivation, anxiety and loneliness. She decided she needed to do something about it, not just for herself, but for other mothers. She set out to redefine the maternal care experience in the U.S. That’s how Yuzi started.

Democratizing postpartum care for mothers in the U.S.

Yuzi is a wellness tech company reimagining the postpartum care experience for mothers, families, and caregivers. In addition to building the world‘s largest maternal care platform, they want to change how society supports mothers and families, erase silent suffering, and foster connection.

They say it takes a village and Yuzi is no different. Foley is the CEO and cofounder, but the Yuzi team also consists of COO and cofounder, Michelle Homan, CTO and cofounder, Foley’s husband Harper, director of care, Carly Hu, and artificial intelligence/machine learning lead engineer, Tina Zhu.

It’s a common saying that in America, when a woman is pregnant, they’re put on a pedestal, but after they give birth, the woman becomes invisible and the focus gets shifted to the baby, and it’s such a forgotten time in your life, she shared.

“Yuzi is at the forefront of integrating technology with maternal wellness, aiming to change the way our society supports mothers, families, and caregivers during the most difficult stages of transition. Our technology is designed to bridge the gap between traditional maternal care and modern-day needs, offering a seamless, supportive journey from pregnancy through the first six years of motherhood,” Foley said.

The number one focus area for Yuzi Care is to provide 24/7 care for the mother and baby. The second would be helping build confidence in the parents.

“We want to provide the parents the ability to have the confidence to become the parents they want to be, including financial care, physical care like swaddling, trimming baby nails, and even installing car seats. We want to deliver that digitally or in-person,” she added.

Foley shared that the third focus area is helping mothers find community is very important because she acknowledges that it can be very lonely during the postpartum stage.

Foley wants to create a community to connect other moms and dads with health-adjacent partners that they may need, like pelvic floor therapy, postpartum yoga practices, behavioral health/marriage counseling, among others. She shared that these are some of the services that one doesn’t often realize they need until it’s too late.

Foley said that Yuzi’s technology is not just about facilitating services—it’s about creating a community and a continuum of care that supports mothers and families through one of the most transformative periods of their lives. They’re building the world’s largest maternal care platform, changing how mothers find the care and support they need, when they need it with the focus on care, confidence, and connections.

Foley shared that there are more and more competitors popping up in the space. She believes that they will sharpen and make them better.

“Competition allows us to fine tune and make sure our business model makes sense – to make us the most customer-centric business out there, it’s an exciting time,” she said.

“As a product manager, I view our technology as a key differentiator from competitors, aiming to leverage it to address affordability and accessibility issues in maternal care. To this end, we’ll quickly introduce virtual care options for mothers, regardless of their participation in the retreat, ensuring widespread access to our resources and reach,” she said.

Foley shared the analogy that two decades ago, no one wanted to eat sushi, and that the concept used to be foreign, but now you can find sushi almost everywhere, even in the middle of the country. She hopes the same for postnatal care—that it will become an accessible thing within reach for every mother within 30 minutes of wherever they deliver their child.

The Yuzi retreat is just the beginning

After conducting a thorough and extensive evaluation of hotel partnerships in greater Seattle, the Yuzi team carefully selected The Lodge at St. Edward (LSE) as their partner for numerous compelling reasons, further underscoring their commitment to providing an unparalleled postnatal retreat experience. The four-star hotel is housed in a historic landmark dating back to 1931 and surrounded by the dense and tranquil forests of Saint Edward State Park.

LSE stood out for its ability to offer a luxury experience that aligns with Yuzi’s values and goals, ensuring that our retreat is not just a stay but a transformative experience. LSE is known for its top-tier service, beautiful backdrop, and culinary excellence led by a Noma-trained chef.

“As we look forward to our opening in May 2024, we are confident that this partnership will set a new standard for postnatal care, offering mothers a sanctuary where they can celebrate and embrace the journey of motherhood. We prioritize mothers’ needs, including their comfort food preferences, and strive to accommodate their needs,” Foley added.

Yuzi officially opens on May 1 and spaces are filling up quickly. Reserve your spot at yuzicare.com.

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