The ink had scarcely dried on Mindy Berkson’s business plan when she sat down at her computer, directing her browser to Google. The year was 2005, and the former venture capitalist had just founded Lotus Blossom, a Chicago-based infertility consulting firm. She typed ‘infertility consultant’ into the search engine, curious to see how her fledgling business might appear to prospective clients on the web. There were so few results that the search engine asked whether she had carelessly mistyped. “It said, ‘Did you spell that correctly?,” laughs Ms. Berkson.
Her findings were telling, she says. “I had this vision that created a niche that didn’t exist but was so desperately needed in this industry.” Perhaps there’s no one better to speak of that desperate need than Ms. Berkson. After conceiving her first child with ease, she found herself unable to achieve a secondary conception. She was 31 years old.
“It stymied me that it was so difficult to navigate all the things that I was faced with,” says Ms. Berkson. Though she was and is an undeniably bright woman, she was at a loss – unsure even of the kinds of questions she should be asking. “If you don’t know what to ask, you really are lost in this industry,” she observes. “I thought, ‘I need an insider’s approach to this.’ But there was nobody to give me an insider’s approach. There was no such thing as an infertility consultant.”
In the three-and-a-half trying years that followed, Ms. Berkson conceived not only twins but a passion for the infertility industry. She began working for an agency that recruited egg donors and surrogates, learning the ins and outs of industry business practices. “I saw it from the patient side and the business side. I had this vision from the venture capital side of what [the industry] should be.”
In 2005, she married the knowledge gained from all three vantage points to form Lotus Blossom. Ms. Berkson and her innovative new firm were to be the advocate, not of the surrogate and the egg donor, but of the intended parents.
Today, Lotus Blossom represents that inside approach to the infertility industry that Ms. Berkson had longed for as a patient. The firm aids individuals as well as heterosexual and same-sex couples worldwide who are facing infertility, constructing a unique multi-disciplinary team of professionals for each client – everything from reproductive endocrinologists to attorneys to insurance agents.
Arguably the most beneficial element of a partnership with Lotus Blossom is the education it affords its clients. “Without that education, there’s no way you could be your own best advocate,” says Ms. Berkson. “There is no way you could make the best medical choices, financial choices and resource choices for yourself if you don’t have all the options presented to you.”
Today, if you Google the phrase ‘infertility consultant,’ a half dozen results on the first page alone mention Lotus Blossom Consulting. And that’s gratifying for a business owner whose life’s work has resulted in the evolution of a niche that was, until recently, unheard of. “I love what I do,” shares Ms. Berkson. “What I’ve learned is that when you make your passion your mission you really find your happiness.”