Meet the Soho Works member demystifying egg freezing

IVF | Soho House

As Jennifer Aniston opens up about her own IVF struggles, Sarita Stefani – Soho Works member and founder of fertility platform Amilis – shares the key things to know

Thursday 10 November By Sagal Mohammed

In The Works is our new series showcasing members’ current projects, future plans and how Soho Works can act as a catalyst for innovation.

Jennifer Aniston would have given anything for someone to tell her to freeze her eggs a few years back. ‘You just don’t think to do it. So, here I am today. The ship has sailed’, said the 53-year-old actress during a recent interview with Allure in which she broke the silence on her own IVF treatment and fertility struggles. 

Whether you can relate personally to Aniston’s story or not, the topic is rightfully being welcomed into the spotlight, signalling both a shift in the discourse surrounding fertility, while at the same time presenting an opportunity to increase awareness and provide support for women.

Soho Works member Sarita Stefani couldn’t be happier about the change. As the founder of Amilis – an online platform providing transparent facts about fertility and preservation treatments, such as elective egg freezing – she has created a standalone discovery platform that aims to guide women through their fertility preservation journey, with accessible information on clinics and access to financing plans.

‘Egg freezing is a common treatment these days, yet many of us choose to sweep it under the carpet or decide not to know what’s happening with our bodies,’ says Stefani. ‘Jennifer Aniston’s battle between choosing to have a family and choosing her career is not new. Many women struggle with this decision, including me. I decided to not miss my chances and froze my eggs last year. Maybe I will use them, maybe not, the point is, I am more relaxed about my future. If more women understood fertility treatments like egg freezing, or simply their own fertility, more women can make better-informed decisions.’ 

As conversation around the topic gets the attention it deserves in the mainstream, we caught up with Stefani to find out more about her fledging business and how Soho Works has supported its journey so far.

IVF | Soho House
IVF | Soho House

What are the most important values you hold at Amilis? 
‘We want to empower women with reliable, accessible, transparent information about their bodies and fertility, so they can make informed decisions about family planning.’

What’s one thing that has been a constant in your career journey? 
‘Never give up; never be afraid to challenge the status quo; try new strategies; fail and start again.’

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? 
‘Being a woman in an office with 1,000 men. I had to work double just to be respected.’

How important is breaking societal barriers in the fertility sector for your work at Amilis? 
‘We want to destigmatise fertility taboos by talking more about periods, miscarriages, vulvas, penis. We want to be able to scream in the bus: “Sperm” “Eggs” “Vagina”.’ 

What does the Soho Works community provide that helps you and your business to thrive? 
‘The entrepreneurial community is exceptional. I can feel the hamsters running in people’s brains all day when I am in the office and that stimulates me a lot.’

How has the Soho Works app contributed to helping you expand your network?
‘I can quickly identify members that I want to reach out for business purposes, skills or brainstorming; and I was able to chat with the attendees of our event and connect to them.’

Top tips for being productive at Soho Works?
‘Use the network, attend the events, connect with the people sitting next to you and pet all the doggies around – they are Soho Works’ mascots.’

What have you got planned for Amilis within the next year? 
‘We would like to be the go-to platform for women when thinking about egg freezing and make this treatment more accessible to all women.’

What is the ultimate ambition for the platform?
‘To have women testing their fertility to better understand their bodies; secondly, to support women to take informed decisions on their family planning.’

Where do you see Amilis in five years’ time? 
‘As a big community of women supporting each other at different stages of their fertility journey, and possibly helping to improve the treatment to make “lighter” on women’s bodies.’