By Surbhi Gogia
Taran and Bunny Ghatrora two sisters from Lower Mainland are on a mission to empower young girls during menstruation — a topic which has remained a taboo in our society
It is that time of the month when every woman from her teens to her 40s goes through so many emotional and hormonal changes. The unbearable pain, unending cramps, the discomfort is common amongst all women during their monthly menstrual cycle. And there are so many women who suffer with more medical issues and pain during this time. Instead of offering comfort and resolving the pain, our society has not only remained silent but has attached so many stigmas around women periods.
Meet Taran and Bunny. Two sisters who asked themselves a couple questions like why the world treats periods so weird, maybe even wrong? Is the silent treatment of society towards periods and puberty, somehow connected to the shame, girls grow up feeling about their bodies? On their journey to find solutions they decided to de-stigmatize periods and create products of women hygiene to help women feel confident not ashamed about a natural cause.
The sisters have come up with a unique company under the name Blume that creates organic tampons and delivers it to your door step. Bunny while recalling the story of how it all started says, “It all started with a perception that now we have so many quality and organic products delivered to our doorsteps. But there are not many options for periods. It is something that happens every month. And we use tampons and sanitary napkins for our bodies every month. At the same time I started suffering from a bad period problem. It was that time we decided to dig deep and found out better options.”
To the surprise of both the sisters, organic quality tampons were not easily in local stores. “We decided to create our own range of products and Blume was created. Now we create completely 100% organic cotton tampons at an affordable cost delivered to your door steps.” With tampons they have other products to not only make women comfortable but confident during their periods.
Along with products, the duo wants to deliver education and remove stigma around periods and puberty. They feel that while having periods is universal, also are the taboos attached to it. Movies like Padman and Period-End of sentence have managed to raise period issues in South Asian society, but according to them all over the world people find it awkward to talk about women menstruation.
“I think the stigma exists across communities, countries and cultures. There is no open discussion about how you feel and how big is your problem during periods in schools or at home. The biggest example is when many girls said they used the same tampons their mothers used while growing up. My question is do you use any other similar product that your mother used in her time. The answer is no. Because things advance, and better quality products hit the market. But why is it only tampons remain same. The reason is simple there is so less discussion about it in families, in schools,” says Bunny.
Taran says Puberty is a pivotal time in a girl’s life. “It shapes her expectations of womanhood. Done right, girls can feel good about their bodies and celebrate becoming a woman in a life-shaping way. But I think 55% of the girls think their confidence drops when they go through puberty. Except for the micro conversations amongst friends and mother-daughter, there is no open conversation. Also every girl’s experience and pain during period is different. But every time we are just asked to take a Tylenol or in worst cases birth control pills to curb the pain. But all these medications come with their own long term side-effects which no one talks about.”
Keeping this in mind Taran and Bunny have also created a free First Period Guide with the help of gynaecologists, school practitioners and nutritionists which talks about everything you need to know about your period. It includes what it means, how your body changes, hygiene, body positivity, mental health etc.”
They were also part of a big drive for delivering 8000 pads and tampons to women in shelters. “Shelters do offer hygiene products but they have their own limitations. It is something that all women get every month but there is a cost attached to using pads and tampons. Many homeless women suffer due to this. Our drive aimed to create awareness and remind everyone to donate these products too along with food and other household things like toothbrushes, soaps shampoos etc,” says Bunny.
The Ghatrora sisters have received $3.3-million in seed funding in February from a group of American and Canadian investors including Felicis Ventures, Victress Capital, Panache Ventures and Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation.
The money will help the company to double its staff from four to eight, develop new products and create educational video content to help entrench the brand’s vision of a safe space for girls to talk about periods, open up about the pain they go through and feel comfortable in their skin.
All because period for women is not the end but a new beginning.