In a fast-paced, modern world of automation, technological innovation, and competitive, startup energy, Bianca Padilla is re-introducing the business world to an even more game-changing concept — care.
And it all started on a first date.
It was 2015, and Padilla met Jonathan Magolnick. On their first date, Magolnick shared with Padilla that he had just won a startup hackathon with an idea for a subscription service for adult diapers.
That man would eventually become her business partner and fiancé. The idea would become, Care.Club, an e-commerce medical supply company offering incontinence, nutritional, personal care, wound care and other medical supplies based in Charlotte.
Care.Club’s thousands of medical-grade SKUs address the needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation. But, in the same turn, they’re so much more than that.
Care.Club is in the relationship business.
“We really care about our connection with and our relationship to caregivers, but also their loved ones,” Padilla says. ”Caregiving is a stressful and emotional job, and a lot of caregivers feel like they don’t have support; so, we’re aware that we provide the products that help them give care, but we also respect that caregivers want to talk to someone who cares, so we listen and provide emotional support when and where we can.”
From an early age, Padilla knew she loved technology — and she wanted to own a company. She started to use a computer at just 4 years old. Then, at age 11, she started a small venture selling candy to classmates — candy she pinned inside her school jacket.
As a student in the early 2010s, learning to code seemed like a natural next step for a business-driven techy. While studying economics and business at New York University, she enrolled in a programming course — but hated it.
She was unsatisfied — and, yet, still eager to learn how to code.
Which leads to something else Padilla always instinctively knew early on: “I was born loving to push myself,” she recalls via phone recently.
Padilla started to learn front-end development online by teaching herself. Without knowing how to code, Padilla created Stasher, a mobile application that allows children to receive payments from family and friends straight into their savings accounts and view their savings in real-time. In 2014, Stasher won first place at Lean Startup Machine, a workshop to build and steer a business in the right direction. It was an experience that taught Padilla not only how to program, but also how to manage a team — a skill she’d come to rely on heavily in the future.
Her experience with Stasher made it abundantly clear that coding was an important and necessary skill if she wanted to start a company. Then, in 2015 after graduating from NYU, she moved back to her hometown of Miami and enrolled in a coding bootcamp at Wyncode Academy to learn back-end development.
She was hired as a software developer for Live Ninja. Two weeks later, she met Magolnick. Then, in 2017, after Magolnick broke up the original adult diapers concept and formed a different company, the two of them self-funded and launched Care.Club. Magolnick and Padilla now serve as CCO and CEO, respectively.
Going above and beyond to exceed customers’ expectations is the standard at Care.Club. Driven by caregiver feedback, Care.Club serves their customers needs by delivering convenience, reliability and trust.
They pride themselves on having enough full-time support to rarely — if ever — miss a direct phone call from a customer or caregiver. Care.Club team members and customer agents send handwritten thank you notes to customers; they’re also given the freedom to make in-the-moment business decisions.
None of that would be possible had Padilla and Magolnick taken any other approach to building a team.
“A lot of these relationships and this level of care is only possible in hiring the right people — people who will naturally go out of their way to be kind and helpful,” Padilla notes. “We consciously give customer service care agents the power and ability to make a customer happy.”
Padilla’s coding experience plays a part in all that, too.
“I want our customer care team to use our website as the best way to train themselves and get the information they need to make important decisions with and for customers and caregivers,” she says.
Today, she is always looking for new technologies to edit, refine and enhance the software development side of Care.Club. She handles anything having to do with operational efficiency including (but not limited to) upgrading the email system or working with the marketing team.
“I’m changing things every day because I want our process from pre-purchase to post-purchase to be an efficient and supportive experience for our customers and caregivers,” she shares.
As a result, both she and Magolnick spend many mornings personally answering phone calls from customers as a way to learn more about their customer base and understand their needs more fully.
It’s all working. The company has grown their monthly sales over 500 percent in 2018 — its second year in business. Really though, it’s about so much more.
“A lot of people call us and tell us how thankful they are,” Padilla says. “We have a customer who is a mother who takes care of her disabled daughter, and she’s tried a lot of similar services online, and she says we’ve been the only people who’ve been reliable and trustworthy; that means a lot.”
Care.Club’s success is proving something else that Padilla always knew about herself.
“I always had a drive to sell something, yes,” she admits. “But really, I was driven to make something better.”
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