Monday Motivation from Jennifer Eden, Co-Founder of Tampon Tribe

#PEAlum, entrepreneur, female founders, inspiration, Monday Motivation, startup

Mondays can be rough and, sometimes, we can all use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.

This week, we chat with Jennifer Eden, Co-Founder of Tampon Tribe, which is changing the world one tampon at a time with its organic, sustainable, compostable products. She talked about how Dollar Shave Club inspired her company, removing the price barriers to feminine hygiene products and how she prepares herself for the week.

What inspired you to start your business?

From a business perspective, I absolutely fell in love with Dollar Shave Club – I loved their simplicity, their sense of humor and their smashing of consumer behavior norms – at the same time I was noticing a massive lack in supply of my beloved organic feminine hygiene products that somehow I would run out of every month. Always. So I put the two together, brainstormed with my business partner Gaby, and Tampon Tribe was born. We decided to change access to organic cotton tampons, pads, and pantyliners so that they were cheaper and available to all women, no matter their socioeconomic or geographic status, via free monthly delivery – and we were determined to be plastic free – in 2017, single-use plastics and plastic product wraps are just so not okay.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Bandwidth! I am sure that is the main challenge facing most small entrepreneurs these days – if only I had an extra week built-in to every day, then I’d be fine! Since launching earlier this year, we are growing fast, and new opportunities continue to present themselves every day – which is awesome. It’s just keeping up with it all while evolving the company that is the greatest challenge for me and my team, but we do it! Late nights, early mornings and a ton of passion seem to do the trick.

What’s been the greatest reward?

One of my favorite things is when customers write little thank you notes on their orders. We do our fulfillment locally, so to see the orders come through like that is amazing. The other is the impact that we are having. We have teamed up with several philanthropic groups and help Girls Health Ed with teaching young women how to feel great in their bodies, which is awesome. A main motivator for starting Tampon Tribe was to be able to truly impact the world and to see that starting to happen is fabulous. We are currently working with new partners to increase our access to more women too and our plastic-free mission is making such a difference to our Earth – what a thrill!

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?

Removing price barriers on the sales side is one, with tougher health regulations needed at the same time. Taxes and fees on feminine hygiene are high. We are classed as a Medical Device so have to pay a lot in licenses, import taxes, and fees, and then charge sales tax – much of which we have no choice but to absorb or pass on to the consumer :(. We’ve been lobbying to remove the sales tax on tampons, pads, and pantyliners – which several states have done. On the flip side, the industry is unregulated when it comes to ingredients – so companies don’t have to list what is actually in their tampons – can you believe that?! We will continue to list our ingredient: 100% certified organic cotton – everywhere – maybe the larger pharmaceutical companies will follow suit?

Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?

Definitely our social impact mission. Knowing that some girls in the US stay home from school when they get their period because they don’t have access/money for feminine hygiene and that we’re working towards solutions to change this; as well as our education, environmental, and employment missions to help underserved populations – that’s more than enough to have the team jump into action each day. Also, we all love what we do. We’re creating, inventing, problem-solving; I can’t think of anything better to be honest.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?

Do it! Keep a side-hustle and have an unwavering commitment to your dream. Make sure that you truly have a great idea and try to ignore any naysayer who comes in your way. Be authentic, take all of the help that is offered – you may be surprised who is willing to lend a hand. Ask people around you to chip in when you need them. Surround yourself with truly good individuals – and be a nice person. When you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing it shows. Oh, and work smarter and harder.

What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?

I actually start on Sunday! The morning I spend getting chores done followed by a beach swim or walk, being based in Santa Monica does have its year-round benefits, then it’s the mandatory Sunday afternoon/eve meet up with friends (the fun kind!); sharing a glass of wine and loads of laughter clears my head and makes me feel amazing and energetic for the week ahead. Rather than wake with an overwhelming task list ahead of me, I reflect on the evening’s joy and get straight to the week.

For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Katalina Moyorga, CEO & Founder, El Camino Travel, which provides curated and unique travel experiences.