What a Great Idea! February 21, 2011Posted by Dev in Musings.
Tags: clothing, entrepreneurs, menstruation
I am 55 ½ years old and began menstruating when I was 13, so except for two 9-month breaks when I was pregnant, I have been having periods for 504 months or 42 years. I think I am getting too old for this but my body doesn’t agree and every month, like clockwork, “my friend” drops in for a visit. This month I guess my friend was lonely because she showed up 11 days early—probably to make up for the extended vacation she took during Christmas. Okay, maybe I’m not quite as regular as I used to be but I still average 11 periods/year.
Having a period is, to be blunt, a pain in the ass. I know it’s a normal body function, like peeing or pooping, but you have control over those (in most cases). Periods? None at all. The strategy is one of containment. The products on the market today are good, but not great, and unfortunately, even for the most vigilant women among us, accidents happen. For me, with my age-related irregularity, I am finding that accidents can be even more frequent, since my little friend may sneak up on me when I am not expecting her.
To my mind, there is nothing more humiliating in the world than a period accident. I once threw up in the middle of a hospital cafeteria (I was pregnant and experiencing morning sickness that went on all day for months). That was pretty embarrassing but nothing compared to the mortification of leaving a stain on a cloth seat in a public area (think, waiting room). I’d like to say that has only happened once in my life but if I did, I’d be lying.
Women don’t talk about this stuff (at least I don’t). I suffered privately and thought I must be the only doofus in the world who couldn’t figure out how to put a sanitary pad straight in my pants to prevent an accident. Then, a few weeks ago I came across this on Miss H’s Wicked Inamorata blog:
If C really wants to be humiliated, he should try discovering at work that he’s leaked through his pad and pants through to his office chair, as if he hadn’t dealt with periods over 2/3 of his life!
My soul sister!
In one of those perfect storm moments of my life, today I stumbled upon the Sexy Period website, following a link from Gawker. While the Gawker folks are of a somewhat mixed mind about these panties, I think it’s a fabulous idea! Attractive, sexy panties with an absorbent layer—they’re not designed to replace what you normally use but provide and extra measure of protection for those awkward moments—which I now understand are not mine privately but shared by many of us. Thank God for entrepreneurial young women!
I love the story. Company founders Julie Sygiel and Eunice Png met during an entrepreneurship class at Brown University. They don’t reveal how they got on the subject of protective undies but somehow they did—and realized their idea might not be as crazy as it seems at first. They graduated in 2009 and have been working since then to make their sexy panties and their business, Sexy Period, a reality.
Over the past few years, I have been a judge at a local business school for their annual innovation-to-market competition. Believe me, if Julie and Eunice had been competing, they would have gotten my vote for the $10,000 grand prize. According to their website, they have won some similar prizes, including the 2008 Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Competition and were finalists in the 2009 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. Good for them!
They have moved from idea to prototype to preliminary market testing with an initial preview sale of 500 panties (I am customer number 419!). I am looking forward to having my Blossoming Beauty bikini pants arrive sometime in the next few weeks. You can be sure I’ll be giving them a vigorous test (do you expect anything less from the Devoted Lover Research Labs?) and lots of feedback to the company. And, I’ll keep everyone here posted, too!
For Miss H or anyone else reading this who might be interested: order quick. It looks like the prototype panties are selling fast.