Meet the two founders behind the startup that's shaking up the tampon industry.
Lauren, Founder & CEO:
I had the idea for FLEX during the summer of 2014. I was frustrated by tampons (they were the secret culprit of persistent yeast infections) and I had just learned about menstrual cups for the first time. I was immediately intrigued by the promises of menstrual cups, but when I tried them, I was even more frustrated by how difficult they were to insert and remove. I thought the problem was unique to me, so I tried getting my friends to use menstrual cups, but most didn't like the idea of rinsing and reusing.
This kicked off a research and discovery phase about the menstruation market. When I learned that the modern tampon (and menstrual cups) were invented in the 1930's, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to making something better for women. I quit a lucrative marketing job and started working full-time on FLEX in May 2016. I poured my life savings into the company just to get off the ground floor. At the time, FLEX was just a concept, but the idea spread so quickly that I started getting calls from out-of-state strangers who heard about the idea and wanted to order my product.
Erika, Co-Founder & Head of Growth:
I was introduced to Lauren through a mutual friend who described us both as the “vagina girls” and therefore thought we’d be perfect for each other. (We are, but in general, probably not true for all vagina girls, FYI). Lauren had been looking for a partner with a background in ecommerce and my experience at Jimmyjane was particularly attractive given I had spent the previous two years marketing something everyone wants but never talks about (vibrators).
When we met, I learned that we'd both suffered from yeast infections caused by tampons, and Lauren convinced me to try FLEX. I was pretty skeptical -- I had been using tampons for 14 years! I tried it for the first time a few weeks later during a day of board meetings. I made it all day without running to the bathroom, my cramps diminished, I literally forgot I was on my period, and no inkling of an infection! I quit my job that day, threw my tampons away, and Lauren and I have been girl ganging ever since.
Lauren & Erika Share Why They Quit Tampons
"I started FLEX because I believe women deserve more options,” said founder and ceo, Lauren Schulte. “The products we've used for the last century make our periods miserable. Tampons (even organic ones) leak, give us cramps, make us bloated, cause infections, and worse, cause TSS which can kill you. Periods shouldn't be so miserable. We're overdue for a better product experience."
Looking to decide for yourself? When you sign up for a FLEX Plan, your first month is free, just cover $3.95 shipping.