To put that into context: LOLA is 12 new grey hairs, 42 tampiñatas (yes, that’s a piñata filled with tampons), and about 653 cans of Canada Dry pomegranate cherry seltzer old. We’ve had 2 offices, 6 amazing interns (hi Anna, Lois, Brie, Caroline, Amber, and Maxine) and, briefly, a pet goldfish named Greg.
We’ve talked periods with boyfriends, dads, grandmothers, celebrities, and complete strangers. Once, we left a voicemail for a female astronaut to talk to her about her period, but she never called us back. We’ve heard every first period story there is: you thought you shit your pants, your older sister actually had to insert your first tampon for you, your dad had to buy you maxi pads at the grocery store, you needed to wait out the rest of the school day in the nurse’s office because you ruined your outfit.
But joking aside, in just one year we’ve done something kind of miraculous: we’ve sold millions and millions of tampons and propelled a conversation about feminine care into the spotlight. It feels crazy because one short year ago, we were just 5 women sitting in a room waiting for someone, anyone, and hopefully not just our moms, to make a purchase on our newly launched website. We had a conviction that it was time for transparency in an industry that had flown under the radar for far too long and a hunch that women didn’t want to be pandered to with hot pink boxes and vials of blue liquid. And thankfully, we were blissfully naive about how difficult it would be to build a business and take on the “big guys,” brands that had been around since our grandmothers got their first period.
And somehow, it worked. By the end of our first day in business we already had 799 customers. These were women who agreed that it was screwed up that you could read a full list of ingredients on the side of a box of crackers or face cream, but not on your tampons. Women who never remembered to buy a box of tampons and were sick of doing the TP underwear wrap to make a late-night drugstore run when their period caught them by surprise. Women who like to support other women who are taking risks and building businesses that challenge the status quo.
And we’re so glad you trusted us enough to make that first purchase and try something new in a product category where, quite frankly, there are pretty high stakes in the event of failure. Yeah, we’re talking about period accidents. And believe us, we’ve been there. Over the past year, we’ve tried literally every menstrual product on the market with varying degrees of success. It means the world to us that you’d give us a try, and means even more that you’ve told your friends, sisters, and work wives about us.
We sat in that room one year ago watching our site traffic numbers and crossing all our fingers and toes that our idea for a tampon business would work. Reflecting on it a year later, we’re surprised and humbled that we’ve actually built something bigger and better than just that: a community. A community of smart, informed women who are eager to spend their hard-earned money on healthier products, who are open and willing to share their experiences with us everyday in real life and on social media, and are game to talk about everything from their periods to their paychecks to their fertility struggles. A community that has helped us to create a vocal movement and shout from the proverbial rooftops of our Internet abode that periods are not shameful or embarrassing or gross. And that we deserve more from the brands in this product category.
Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We couldn’t have done any of this without you. On to year two!