Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jannet Ly, Co-Founder of PUL Technologies, LLC, located in San Leandro, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

PUL is a dental tools and accessories company that focuses on giving clear aligner patients a better treatment experience. Our customers include clear aligner companies, the top 1% of Invisalign providers, and dental patients who are straightening their teeth with clear aligners.

Tell us about yourself

I started my career in Dentistry as a Registered Dental Assistant in 2010. I tried every dental specialty, from General dentistry to Oral Surgery. At the time, I was exploring options to focus on when I went back to school to become a dentist myself. When I landed at Orthodontics in 2012, I had the unique opportunity to help grow a dental practice startup in the Financial District of San Francisco. Typically, Orthodontic practices comprise 90% of children patients, but ours was instead 90% of adult patients who wanted to clear aligners. Because of this, we experienced patient pain points a lot sooner than most dental offices and sought out tools and accessories that either did not exist or were not helpful. When I couldn't find any tools for our patients who had difficulty with removing their aligners, I invested the money I saved for dental school into our first product, The PULTOOL, the Original Hook & Ring Aligner Removal Tool.

Since then, we've developed a portfolio of products, including our flagship product, the PUL System, 2 in 1 Aligner Seating & Removal Tool to help patients properly wear & remove their aligners, an aligner case, aligner cleansing tablets, and biodegradable floss picks. Every product my co-founder, Kaivon, and I have developed and what's on our product roadmap is centered around helping patients have a better treatment experience because of the first-hand frustrations and complaints I had with our patients.

I feel an intense conviction to be a dental patient advocate because of the first-hand frustrations, complaints, anxieties, and fears that patients of all ages and backgrounds have personally shared with me, and I hope that by what we have built, and will build will help dental patients, in general, feel more confident about their smiles.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When I developed the first tool in 2012, it was my dream that the PULTOOL would be packaged with every aligner kit by the largest clear aligner company in the world. Today, I feel so proud that part of that dream has come true.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The most difficult part of being a business owner is putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into designing and developing a product and then seeing knock-offs of it on the market. It's heartbreaking and, unfortunately, part of doing business. I've learned to use this to motivate me to always think a few steps ahead so that our brand will be known for more than just a dental tools and accessories company but also as an innovator who pushes the industry forward.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just do it. Take that first step, and don't look back.
  2. Build a great team. The path isn't easy, but having the right people on your side who believes in what you're trying to accomplish will make the impossible feel possible.
  3. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride. There will be ups and downs, and we won't know for sure if what we risked was worth it until the very end, so we might as well enjoy it while we can.

Where can people find you and your business?




If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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