How This Founder Is Normalizing Periods For Teens While Balancing Family Life
Welcome to Selfmade Stories! We're partnering with Office Depotto spotlight emerging entrepreneurs and the lessons they've learned while launching their businesses. Selfmade alum Lauren Busby is on her way to creating Lift Period, a company that sends a box full of period care options (tampons, pads, etc.), education, and empowerment for young women. She chats with us about balancing family life and work life and her great idea of Dadurdays.
What inspired you to start Lift Period?
Like many women this past year, the burden of distance learning with four young children was placed on my shoulders during the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, "not only did the U.S. workforce lose 140,000 jobs in December, but women lost a net 156,000 jobs, while men gained a net 16,000. In other words, women accounted for 100 percent of the labor market's first month of losses since a tepid recovery began in May."
Women are already at a disadvantage in the workplace and the fact that we will see the effects of this pandemic for years to come left me so frustrated and thinking of ways I could help. I am very passionate about normalizing periods and bodies so I figured helping women find period freedom as young as possible seemed like a great place to start.
Ultimately what problem are you trying to solve?
Since the beginning of time women have been dealing with periods and yet we're still so weird talking to young women about what's going on with their bodies. At Lift Period we aim to provide education and options as well as celebrate this new phase of their lives.
What startup challenges have you faced along the way?
We are very much still in a pandemic. My four kids only attended eight weeks of in-person school this past school year. They participated in roughly 25 Google Meets a day and any parent out there knows how difficult that would be to get anything done. I have absolutely been in survival mode for over a year so starting a business during it all has taken things to a new level.
What strategies helped you overcome this challenge?Honestly, talking things out with my husband, Cameron, regularly. I married one of those unicorn men who's super supportive of my dreams and his number one goal in life is to help me achieve them. We realized we had to be very intentional about how we spent our time. We have also been super honest with our kids along the way so they understood what changes were happening to our schedules and what we expected of them to help make this all work. We have a dedicated laundry day, cleaning day, and day to run errands so we could ensure I have at least a couple hours of uninterrupted work time throughout the week.
We also implemented Dadurday where Cameron takes our kids out of the house all day Saturday to give me a quiet house to work in. Whether it's a trip to his empty workplace, a drive through the car wash, or eating Subway at a park, he knows that not only do I need a mental break from a week of four children, but it's time I need to dedicate to the business.
What would you say are your top 3 successes so far?
Once I told Cameron about my idea for the business, we immediately went to work securing the name, getting our LLC and business license, as well as setting up our business bank account. I am now working with a business coach weekly, working with a graphic designer on branding, and came in as runner-up in my Selfmade cohort winning some start-up money to go toward purchases for the business.
How have you approached marketing your brand and raising awareness?
I talk on my own Instagram stories @laurenrbusby daily about feminism and equality. My audience knows I'm extremely passionate about normalizing women's bodies and periods. Though I haven't officially told them what I've been working on for the past three months, I'm hopeful that it will feel so natural and on brand for me that I will have support from them spreading the word as well as paid marketing that I plan to do once the launch gets closer.
What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The connections. 100%. I took advantage of every opportunity to connect with incredibly wise women and I take their advice very seriously. I loved our guest speakers and learned so much through their stories of successes and failures. I've always been outgoing when it comes to connecting with others so to have a community of women available at my fingertips to run ideas past was priceless.
What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
Honestly, my best tip is to make your bed every morning. It seems like such a small thing but treating yourself to a delightful bed at the end of the day is something I look forward to all day. I know it may not sound like an organizational tip but I assure you it is. Making my bed is a goal I can check off my list every morning. It gets me in a mindset of "what's next?" which leads to the next little win and then the next. I honestly attribute most of my success to making my bed every morning.
How do you stay motivated? Who inspires you?
Women inspire me. You name her, I'm inspired. Every woman has a story and I'm fascinated by the power women hold, especially as we gather together to help one another. I've heard the quote, "There are two types of people in this world: People you love and people you don't know." That's how I feel about women. They all bring something different to the table and at Lift Period we're not JUST helping teens with their periods. We're helping future leaders who will change the world. They are my inspiration through all of this.
What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Do it. We need what you have to give the world. Don't doubt that gut feeling. Lean into it. You most certainly will make mistakes and will surely outgrow people along the way but when that happens you'll know you're on the right path. Putting yourself out there is hard and scary but the lives you will help in the end will make it all worth it. Doubt your fears more than you doubt your dreams. What's the best thing that could happen?
What's next for Lift Period?
Our goal is to launch our period box later this year, hopefully in October. We plan to do a "soft launch" with minimal paid marketing as we are bootstrapping this round. Round two we will hopefully be able to reach more people and get this box into as many hands as possible.
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