Is there any industry where women have not been able to make an astounding impact out of their presence? Absolutely, not! Flourishing all over the world, we are witnessing women with indomitable spirits emerging as exemplary leaders, trend-setters, innovators, revolutionaries, and whatnot. In the world of disruptors, female leaders are excelling with their intuitive and inspiring approach that has caused a stir across the business fraternity.
In the profound pool of women entrepreneurs who are transitioning into outstanding groundbreakers, we have brought to you a model turned e-com entrepreneur who helps connect and support people with disabilities and others who are improving their lives. This exclusive cover story depicts the success story of Lexis Noel Serot, Founder and CEO of LittleWins.
Insights into personal and entrepreneurial space
Lexis Serot is a high school graduate from Columbine High School who studied photography at Flagler College. Unable to afford fees, Ms. Serot has to quit college in between and her endeavors landed her to become a model at Ford Models. With 14 years of a successful career as a model, she became a mother in 2013. Sadly her daughter Ava suffered a skull fracture during a c-section delivery. As a result, Ava has triplegia Cerebral Palsy. At the time, as a mother of a child with cerebral palsy, Ms. Serot was shocked at how unprepared she was. She tried to familiarize herself with the many forms of care, equipment, and therapy. She realized quickly, how broken the system was, and became obsessed with trying to find a solution.
The incident shook and triggered her to start a company that can help people with similar uncertainties. Someone asked Ms. Serot in an interview, “why she started LittleWins?” She answered, “because I recognized that life was giving me an ‘at-bat’ to create a better world for my daughter.” It is truly her daughter that inspired her to become the leader she is today. Ms. Serot did not just want to create a better world only for her daughter but for others that also have a disability and to create a community in which they could come together and help each other.
Road to in-depth solution
In the beginning, Lexis Serot interviewed over 175 families and caregivers to see what the common denominators were in their journey to acquiring care, equipment, and therapies. It didn’t matter. Of those 175 people, they had three things in common. Number one, they had medical equipment or supplies they no longer needed but didn’t know what to do with. Two, They needed something but couldn’t get it. What hit the hardest was, number three, they all felt alone.
This is when Ms. Serot started building the LittleWins community so families and individuals could connect. She designed LittleWins.com as an easy-to-use marketplace for people to post used durable medical equipment, browse equipment by category and location, and connect directly with buyers and sellers through the site’s messaging app. LittleWins also provides a community in which people across the nation now have each other for support, help, resources, and experiences.
What makes LittleWins stand apart?
LittleWins was established in 2018, and Ms. Serot began laying the groundwork for LittleWins that year. Since then, she has continually adapted the LittleWins.com website with web and e-commerce developers while directing a marketing assistant and marketing communications agency. She works closely with her legal and financial advisors. She collaborates with regional and national organizations that support people with disabilities. She partners with other women entrepreneurs who offer products and services to her community.
Headquartered at Denver, the discovery process of LittleWins had begun in 2019 and in November of 2019, the website was launched. After launching LittleWins.com in 2019, Ms. Serot began to explore how the site could serve her community’s needs beyond durable medical equipment. She created and posts daily on LittleWins’ online support forum, receiving and providing feedback to help people with disabilities and the families that support them live their best lives. To build the LittleWins brand, she launched a line of LittleWins apparel – beanies, trucker hats, and t-shirts. Serot also has launched a podcast in which she talks about leading a life with a disability.
Lexis Serot believes that access to equipment and supplies should be simple. The mom of four, including a daughter who has cerebral palsy, founded LittleWins.com to connect and support people with disabilities and others who are improving their lives. LittleWins.com harnesses the power of the community to help its members buy, sell or donate medical equipment, get information and connect with others. Members list and browse equipment by category and location on the company’s website. They connect directly with buyers and sellers through the site’s app. They share tips, experiences, and advice on LittleWins’ social pages.
Covid, adjustments, and roadmap
Especially over the past few years with COVID 19, users have been confined to their homes in which they are constantly online. Most users, especially those with medical conditions may make them more vulnerable to COVID. LittleWins has been working hard getting users to join and listings to be posted. Since LittleWins is an online-based community as well, it relies on users to help the online marketplace and provide support for one another. Ms. Serot had started her own blog and podcast to help address questions and concerns by other members of the LittleWins community. She talks about topics that are not typically addressed such as “Sex and Disability”, “Self-Identity”, “CBD”, “Hospice and Palliative Care”, “Adaptive Footwear” and many other topics. Serot has never turned down a requested topic, she goes above and beyond during the research process. She sits down for hours studying each field to bring the most informative, vulnerable, open conversations for those who need it. She finds experts to sit down and have a discussion with and hopes that listeners will connect to these resources.
Lexis Serot also blogs about navigating her daily life. Such as must-have products or services that she has personally tried with her children that help make life easier. Just recently she blogged about summer must-haves that her four children helped decide on. She also talks about the people that she has connected with that have helped her in her journey such as her daughter’s therapists. She has started offering a support system through her community which is not something you find every day online.
Overcoming the challenges
LittleWins is privately funded by Lexis Serot and she wears every hat in the company. Funds for an advertisement to get the word out are limited. Ms. Serot typically chooses to spend funds in ways to serve and protect LittleWins users. LittleWins is constantly looking for more users to upload more listings. Users can also ship items to each other, and premium members on the site can also access a fixed shipping rate with FedEx. Ms. Serot had worked very hard to form a relationship with FedEx. She had spent endless hours on phone calls and emails with many advisors and representatives at FedEx. In hopes to make shipping a possibility for users, She secured a deal in which premium members could access this rate. Though shipping is an available service most users have a hard time finding specific items that they’re desperately in need of. A lot of the time multiple users are interested in the same listings.
If every person had a piece of equipment or supplies that they no longer needed and uploaded it on the LittleWins website, the team would help more users on the site. Another problem the company faces is expanding globally, there are often many inquiries from people located in other countries outside of the U.S. Though LittleWins is available in the U.S. and some parts of Canada it is not available all around the world. LittleWins is a start-up company financed by our CEO. Ms. Serot currently faces many challenges as she communicates with other countries to allow LittleWins to be available globally. She is continuously consulting legal and financial advisors to work through the terms and conditions along with the privacy policies in other countries.
Ensuring optimum customer satisfaction
LittleWins is constantly referring to user feedback and insights. Since it’s a self-started start-up and a community-based platform, LittleWins heavily relies on user feedback and experience. Recently, while launching version 3 of the website itself, Lexis Serot had asked the LittleWins community what they wanted on the LittleWins website. The entire update was spearheaded by the user community. These weren’t just updates to the site which included a premium membership amongst other things but also what people were looking for and in need of. Lexis is always on the lookout for requested equipment to ensure that users can find what they need. With the new premium membership users now have access to our resource list, a discounted rate on shipping through FedEx, and many more things.
A glance over the collaborative services
No company existed that resembled what Lexis Serot wanted to create. No online service was available on a national basis to connect families – regardless of their location in the U.S., their income, or their level of insurance coverage – to help them obtain the durable medical equipment and supplies their kids required. Ms. Serot designed LittleWins.com to go beyond the services provided by local and regional organizations, eliminate the ‘middleman’ and facilitate person-to-person equipment transactions directly between families. LittleWins provides a community in which people across the nation now have each other for support, help, resources, and experiences. Along with the online marketplace, she hosts a podcast in which she starts conversations on living with disabilities and navigating life. She also joined forces with another woman entrepreneur, Hotsy Totsy Haus CEO Christi Leonardi, a deaf single mother, to create LittleWins-branded, natural ingredient bath bombs that are now sold on the LittleWins website.
These bath bombs are made to fully relax your muscles and provide a healing rejuvenating bath. LittleWins also launched a line of compression socks for kids designed by Ms. Serot and her children. These socks offer fun colors and patterns along with a chance to color your socks while providing compression relief to your feet. At the beginning of the year, LittleWins also launched version 3 of the online website, offering a premium membership that allows users access to a list of resources and sponsors it partnered up with and a discounted shipping rate through FedEx. She also helped plan the first music festival for people with disabilities this past summer called SHINE. This festival offered a chance for the community to come together and celebrate each other during these hard times.
Vision to help see the bright future
Lexis Serot is always looking for new ways to help the community and offer products that will provide support and care. Currently, she is working on launching a LittleWins medical supply subscription box. Users can sign up for a monthly subscription of needed medical supplies specifically catered to them. Supplies such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide, feeding tubes, and other daily supplies are often reordered.
Ms. Serot wants to help make it simpler to gain access to these needed materials at an affordable cost. She has also been working on creating braille labels. She sees the importance of these labels for not only those who are visually impaired but for everyone.
8.1 million people have vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration, as we grow older our eyes grow weaker. Ms. Serot believes that these labels can make everyday life easier for everyone and can help improve navigating your home as you get older. That these new advancements are not only helpful to those with a disability but to the general population as well.
Milestones & Awards
- Top 100 Healthcare Visionary by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare, previously known as the Smart Health Conference.
- Award at IFAH Global Healthcare Conference in June 2021.
- Best Companies by the Health 2.0 Conference in Dubai.
- Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in both 2021 and 2022
- Top 10 Most Influential Women in Business 2022 by INC magazine.
Tips for aspirants
“It doesn’t have to be this way. The great doctor, maybe you’ve heard of him… Dr. Seuss once said; you have brains in your head, feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
I betcha if we put all our heads together we could kick out some solutions for the things we know to help this system.
Socrates said, ‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new’.
For all of my kids.
For the ones who came before us, all those who come after us.
Because, if it’s one of us, it’s all of us.
I’m gonna take that ‘at-bat’
I’m gonna swing like hell. I hope you do too.” – Lexis Serot, Health 2.0 Dubai, 2022.
“People with disabilities deserve to say, ‘there is nothing I’m not worthy of.’ LittleWins goes to bat for every one of them.” “I’d venture to say, we are the ones who can bring about the change that’s needed here. What if some big solutions are so simple, they’re simply being overlooked.”