The Period Company does more than just sell affordable, sustainable period underwear. Co-founders Sasha Markova and Karla Welch are committed to smashing period stigma and democratizing period care. Read on to hear how this mission shapes decisions across all facets of The Period Company.
Tell us a bit about The Period Company’s origin story and how you landed on the name (we love that it doesn’t shy away from a topic that’s generally hush-hush or stigmatized!)
That’s the point! Let’s not shy away from this! And let’s be matter of fact, it happens and it’s really important. Also, we love that Period ends a story and begins another.
What values is The Period Company team guided by? How do you communicate these values and your brand’s larger purpose to your community?
We are guided completely by the mission. To be affordable and accessible, to help reduce the amount of disposable period products and to change the old story into the story of what a period really is. We made Period affordable because we don’t think any change can truly take place if you ante mass. And we are willing always to make a smaller profit in order to get our underwear into the hands of everyone.
How do the two of you work together as Joint Creative Officers? What does a day in the lives look like?
It’s pretty amazing! We chat a lot and in there a kernel of an idea comes, or sometimes a lot! We both truly believe we are working in purpose and once you are in purpose, everything clarifies.
Speaking of creative, this endorsement by Chelsea Handler is incredible. How have you been able to harness the power of digital and social marketing to launch a brand during a pandemic?
The “just bleed out” line might be our favorite. You know of course, we are lucky to have amazing friends with great platforms. Again, because we are working with such a mission and purpose, we asked our friends to share and you know, they shared. We are really grateful. In a way (Karla speaking ) again, when we talk of purpose, this is all collectively what we’ve worked for the past 2 decades for - all of Sasha’s and I skills are here, we truly feel we are positioned to make such a positive impact.
We also loved your stance on tax-free period products, and how you encouraged Proctor & Gamble to do the same. Tell us a bit about this decision and how smaller brands can challenge the “big guys” to enact positive change.
It’s just not hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. This tax is unfair on every level, a company like P&G could lobby and help these bills pass. And now, we truly believe that a brand needs to live their mission.
In the age of ecommerce, the unboxing experience is one of the most powerful ways to connect with a customer and build loyalty. Tell us about your decision-making when it came to packaging Period underwear.
Our point besides a better period, is to reduce the horrendous amount of waste. We can’t talk the talk if we send a ton of wasteful packaging. Our product bags made of cassava root decompose in less than 30 days. Again, at an expense to our bottom line, but an expense worth having.
For a sustainable shipping solution, we worked with noissue to create custom, compostable mailers. Thanks to the text on the mailer, Period. Soon everyone will want one, we’re spreading our mission, even during the transit stage!
What’s a (personal or professional) source of encouragement for each of you? ie where do you look for inspiration on a tough day?
Man, 2020 is a tough one. We both find great solace in nature. Hug a tree!
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to small business owners or entrepreneurs who are just getting started?