Why do we as women feel so weird talking about our periods? It's not like it's a secret that it happens once a month, but here we are, slipping a tampon up our sleeves or in our pockets as we quietly scurry to the bathroom.
Alyssa Bertram made it her life's mission to end the stigma around menstruation and provide feminine products that we don't have to be scared to put in our bodies. Her business, Easy. is a service that delivers 100% organic cotton feminine hygiene products right to your door. Alyssa supports the movement to end menstrual shame and promote access to safe products for all girls and women. We had the chance to ask her about her journey as a business owner, her go-to period cramp remedies, and insider information about the products we buy in store.
1. How did you find yourself in the business of women's health?
That's a great question! It happened in a very roundabout way. I studied psychology and have always been interested in health and wellness. I think that I was drawn to the idea of safe and accessible menstrual products because it was really relevant to me. My period has always been a pain in my life, I suffer with painful cramps and I really wished a service existed that would just deliver my tampons to my door!
2. Was there a particular event that led you to developing Easy Period?
I had the idea for the business for many years before I gained the courage to begin taking action on it. I had a health scare in my family, my mom was very sick (she's made a full recovery!) and I was exiting a really unhealthy relationship and through both of those experiences I learned to silence the voice of fear within me for long enough to take the leap and begin building the business.
3. What are some things that most women don't know about store bought tampons, that they should?
Firstly, look for the ingredients on a box of store bought tampons. You probably won't find them. Tampons are labelled medical devices and manufacturers aren't obligated to list their ingredients. Many of them contain things like bleach bi-products, plastic, pesticides and synthetic fibres. Things that we don't want around our highly permeable reproductive organs.
4. What steps have you taken to end the stigma around periods?
I think the best way to squash stigma around anything is to be honest about it. By sharing our truth around menstruation we pop that shame bubble. We remind ourselves and each other that periods are normal, natural and vital. Oftentimes we've internalized the messages of shame, of needing to hide our periods or keep them quiet. I think the first step is getting comfortable with them ourselves and then sharing our experiences so others know they aren't alone.
5. Have you picked up any amazing remedies for bad cramps or excessive bloating since being in the business?
The ever elusive question!! To be 100% transparent with you I still suffer with pretty awful cramps, my heating pad is my best friend. Hot tea and hot heating pad and sometimes a hot bath if it gets bad enough are the most effective things for me personally. I think it's a journey though of finding what works for you. I love to see so many new health care brands popping up to address this and so much incredible new research being done around menstrual health.
6. What advice would you give someone that wants to be an industry disruptor like yourself?
My advice would be to focus less on being an industry disruptor and more on the change you want to create, how you want people to feel who interact with what you put out and what problem you're solving. If you can get really clear on those things and speak to the people who want that same change, you'll be creating something remarkable for them and that leads to disruption!