Shop This Look
7 Questions with Simmone Taitt, Founder and CEO of Poppy Seed Health
In this chat with our founder and CEO, Sarah LaFleur, Simmone discusses the importance of doulas, the best thing she read last year, and more.
In our 7 Questions series, we ask successful women rapid-fire questions that give us a glimpse into their hearts, minds, and wardrobes. This week, we spoke with Simmone Taitt, the founder & CEO of pregnancy, postpartum, and loss care company Poppy Seed Health.
Poppy Seed Health first went into beta in 2020, but Simmone has had the idea for the service since 2016, when she experienced her first pregnancy loss. “There was no emotional or mental health support—even today, that does not exist in our maternal healthcare system,” she says. “I was living through this problem, and I knew I had to solve it. It ultimately came to life when I became a doula in 2019.”
Simmone describes doulas as “front-liners on feelings.” There are so many moving parts wherever you are in your journey, she explains, and that during that time, doulas can serve as the “emotional best friends that you never thought you needed. We’ve seen everything, so you can be yourself,” she says. “A doula is the one person you never need to be ashamed with.”
The experience of being a doula was a guiding force in the development of Poppy Seed Health, and today, they offer non-clinical support to people who are pregnant, postpartum, or have experienced a loss. “We show up via text message in 90 seconds or less with our advocates, doulas, midwives, and nurses,” says Simmone. “The emotional and mental health journey you’re going through as you experience life’s biggest transitions is important to us.”
In this conversation, Simmone told Sarah about her favorite thing she read last year, the worst career advice she’s ever received, the topic she can talk about endlessly, and more.
Want more M Dash?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
What’s the last text you sent?
I texted my creative director to share that our comms person just had baby boy twins!
What’s your favorite thing to wear out to dinner?
When I’m going out to dinner with my love, I actually always put on something a little sexy underneath. Who cares what I’m wearing on the outside? I care about what’s underneath it. It’s typically something lacy and fun.
What’s the best book you read last year?
Actually, I’m going to tell you about the best magazine. My dad, whom I adore, and who’s no longer with us, had a National Geographic subscription. In my adult years, I’ve never had a subscription of my own. And I’ve read great books, but I was just missing this depth of culture and world, especially through the height of the pandemic. So I got my own subscription for the first time, and I look forward to getting National Geographic every single month. I can say with great certainty that my monthly National Geographic was the best thing that I read in all of 2022.
What’s the most underrated thing you’ve spent money on?
I just got these hangers that can hang six garments. They save a lot of space in my closet.
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received?
Not to be myself. And to quiet down—“don’t be colorful.” The only bad marks I ever got on my report cards were, “needs improvement in being disruptive and talkative.”
If I’m being honest, when I got that advice in the workplace, it came from other women, not men. I vowed never, ever to do that to anyone else, regardless of their gender. The diversity of how people show up is really important in an organization. Maybe you don’t want 17 Simmones on your team, but I think you need a few.
What’s one topic you can talk about for 10 minutes straight?
Cooking and food—anything related to anything in the kitchen. And, more specifically, home chef stuff. Don’t ask me how to do coq au vin, but I can talk about food and home chef stuff for a really long time. With my friend group, I show my love through my food.
Complete the sentence: When women succeed…
…we save lives.
The data shows that when you have women leaders, when you have women who are building infrastructure, when you have women who are thinking and building and creating and innovating in everything from medicine and biotech to how to operationalize small things—we are always saving lives somewhere along the way. But we’re also saving our own lives. And that is something that I’m trying to get better at—the idea of putting my own mask on before assisting others.