FIRST THOUGHT: A Necessary Conversation
I stopped to watch a video on YouTube, and I scrolled down to glance at the comments. Now, I would never recommend you do such a thing unless you want to get sucked into a void of negativity, but for once, I felt a little sisterhood instead. You see, this particular YouTuber (who shall not be named) called her period her “girl time.” It was—how do I put this—weird as heck. Commentators agreed, encouraging her to be #periodpositive and end the #periodshame. I’d like to believe that some strangers on the internet helped this YouTuber realize that we women bleed and that’s OK. Now pass the heating pad.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 46 Percent
There’s plenty of hysteria about periods, as if they’re something women enjoy having. Well, the last time I checked, cramps, mood swings and the lining of my uterus shedding isn’t something I want to have to pay to take care of. That makes what I’m about to tell you pretty maddening: More than 2,000 American adults were asked if having access to affordable tampons and pads should be a right, not a privilege, and only 46 percent of men said yes.
WOMEN TO WATCH: Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman, Founders of Lola
The last time I sauntered down the feminine-hygiene aisle, I was legit stressed: This one has wings, this one has some proprietary foam, this one’s for a date night, this one’s for a pool party. It’s too much.
Today’s Women to Watch, Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman, launched Lola, the company that makes buying tampons easier. Lola sells 100 percent natural and chemical-free tampons, and even delivers them to your door, like a present from Aunt Flo herself.
Jordana and Alexandra met in college, where Jordana studied music and Alexandra studied political science and Spanish. Jordana then went on to attend business school, while Alexandra worked at an ad tech agency. You probably didn’t see that combination resulting in a future tampon line, right?
Well, these two ladies ended up putting their heads together to pose a question that makes perfect sense: If we care about the food we eat and the products we put on our skin, why wouldn’t we care about something we consistently have to use? Subscriptions to the service are as simple as the products, from compact tampons to liners.
It’s a heck of a lot easier to take the slower approach rather than the fast-to-market way, only to be left mending the mistakes. In case you didn’t know, the FDA doesn’t require transparency when it comes to what actually makes up tampons. Jordana mentions that many brands use the classic “and/or” phrase, like “may contain cotton and/or rayon.” That vague language wasn’t cutting it for these two, and we’re thankful for it.
Jordana and Alexandra recently launched Lola’s sexual-health line after a year of developing it. It wasn’t always something they had in mind. In fact, their customers helped push the idea. By soliciting truthful feedback from those who purchased the menstrual products, the duo learned women also wanted to buy condoms, lubricants and more from the site.
Alexandra mentions one of the most difficult parts of launching Lola was simply talking about lady parts and lady activities like, you know, periods and stuff. That alone let her and Jordana know how stigmatized this very normal, biological event is, and that with their brand, they could lift the veil of secrecy, encouraging other women to do the same.
Jordana, on the other hand, says something that really surprised her was that no other women had launched products like Lola before. She goes on to say boardrooms are still mostly made up of men (ugh), but entrepreneurs like her and Alexandra are trying to change that.
Follow Jordana on Twitter @kieroyale and Alex @friedgal.
QUITE THE QUOTE
There’s nothing more inspiring than a quote by a Woman to Watch. Here’s one from Jordana Kier:
“Nothing is ever as scary as you think it is. If you have an idea, then you’ve got to give it a shot. The worst that could happen is that it doesn't work out.”