Helping Women Own Their Periods: How Monthly Gift Came to Be
This piece originally appeared on The Runway Riot
When my sister Kimmy and I started out on this journey, the idea was never just to sell tampons, pad and liners. We created Monthly Gift as a platform to change the language around women’s health and to empower girls and women everywhere to take control of their health.
As with so many things, the inspiration for our company came via some very real moments. These situations sparked our collective interest in helping women to solve a problem, specifically the period problem of being thrown off by an event that happens every month (typically).
For me, one story sticks out. Right after college, I was lucky enough to work for a TV show and travel all over the country. It was a whirlwind of a job and an absolutely incredible opportunity. I basically lived on the road, spending 2-4 days at home each month, if I was lucky!
Once, while on location in Oklahoma, a 3-day ice storm hit and we were on complete lockdown in our hotel. Of course, I wasn’t prepared when my monthly gift decided to grace me with her presence. Back then I didn’t even consider tracking my period.
Anyway, I’m stuck in my hotel room, all alone, with no one to ask for pads and liners, but the strangers at the front desk. (I’m primarily a pad and liner kind of gal but do use tampons from time to time.) I called down, and was told that they only had tampons. Well, great. Not ideal, but at least they had something. Before I was able to complete my mission, I had to stuff toilet paper in my undies to avoid ruining another pair (not the first time this had happened either). I got down to the lobby, only to be greeted by about 80 middle-aged men there for various middle-aged men reasons. When I finally made my way to the front desk, I had to explain again to the young man that I was there to grab some tampons. I felt completely humiliated. If only I had had a reminder that my period was on its way. And what about some products delivered to my door before I packed? What a dream.
My sister, as with many women, had similar experiences. We knew there had to be a solution for this very common problem and we were committed to making the dream of an app and femme care subscription service, a reality.
The MG App does everything from tracking your cycle to reminding you to take your birth control. This ability for women to stay on top of their health is very important to us.
Our products don’t just get delivered to you on a month-to-month basis; they actually get delivered according to your personal cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, your product shows up every 28 days, if you have a 35-day cycle, you bet that your products will arrive every 35 days, always before your period arrives, of course.
Our services are personalized for each woman and aimed at empowering as many people as possible to take control of their wellbeing, and live a healthy, happy life.
Participating in the conversation around menstruation is also hugely important to us. The period taboos must be confronted and eliminated and however we can help with that, we’re in. After all, and this may shock some people, but we exist because WOMEN HAVE PERIODS!
We believe in an open dialog around women’s health and empowering people through information, technology and quality products. Girls shouldn’t feel the need to be hiding tampons up their sleeves to go to the bathroom; they shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to have their periods. Women in the workplace should have access to the products they need, when they need them, ideally provided in the restrooms of their office. These things matter to us.
We started with menstruation because it’s the most common touch-point amongst women and we want to reach as many individuals as possible. But this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and we plan to broaden our product offering and technical platforms to cater to women of all ages and at every stage of life.