I always say, “I didn’t know I hated tampons until Lauren told me I did.”
I never had a problem with tampons, per se. They were the product I had been using for 15 years and, in my mind, the only option. It wasn’t something I even thought about, honestly. That said, I struggled with terrible yeast infections the week after every (EVERY) period and my doctor always treated it, instead of offering advice on what was causing it.
Enter Lauren, in a Thai restaurant telling me over spring rolls how she, too, suffered from chronic yeast infections, and that tampons were the culprit. Lauren and I had our initial meeting after being introduced by a founder friend who described us as “the vagina girls” (I was running ecommerce for a premium vibrator company at the time and Lauren had been working full-time on The Flex Company).
Lauren was looking for a partner to help start The Flex Company and while I believed in her, admittedly I wasn’t sold. The weeks following there were signs everywhere. A tampon box on top of a mail drop. An unused pad sitting on my manicure chair. An ACTUAL sign advertising feminine hygiene on the ferry to work.
I started digging into the market and exploring my own personal goals, and one thing was clear: the category desperately needed change and FLEX’s mission aligned with my own — make more women more comfortable with their bodies.
I tried a FLEX prototype shortly after our meeting and two things happened:
1. I realized how incredibly uncomfortable tampons were.
It felt like razor blades when I had to go back to using tampons after my initial FLEX sample. Was this normal? Had I never realized the pain before? Or was I introduced to a product that made my period feel how it was supposed to feel? Easy, convenient, and dare I say, enjoyable…?
2. I realized how incredibly unhealthy tampons are for you.
The issue with tampons is not simply that there is a chance chemicals and/or pesticides have gone into making them, it’s the fact that you’re introducing a phallic object into your body every month. An object which organic or not, absorbs everything in your very fragile ecosystem, blocking the production of healthy bacteria and creating exponential waste over your lifetime.
So I quit my cushy, six-figure job in San Francisco and relocated to Los Angeles to help bring FLEX to life. And it was the best decision I ever made.
Oh, and PS. I have been using FLEX for 6 months and haven’t had a yeast infection since. Whoopty whoop!