Tracy the CEO of GladRags and I go way back which is why when she reached out to let me know about her crowdfunding campaign for XO Flo I was so excited to catch up with her and learn more about her Kickstarter.
Check out my interview with Tracy below to learn more about her new mini menstruation cups, find out why GladRags is donating a percentage of their sales to a period non-profit, and hear about the most embarrassing part of running a period company.
Hi Tracy- can you tell our beaverettes a little bit about you and GladRags?
My name is Tracy and I’m the owner of GladRags. We’ve been in the period business since 1993, when our founder was inspired by the cloth diapers she used with her daughter. She started making GladRags cloth pads in the spare bedroom at her home, and voila—a business was born! I took over in 2011 after 2 years working at GladRags and in January of this year, we launched our own menstrual cup, XO Flo.
Your new crowdfunding journey is so exciting, what inspired you to launch this new line of mini menstrual cups?
With XO Flo, we wanted to create something new that also solved the problems we saw in other menstrual cups (uncomfortable stems, thick rims, low capacity). We created XO Flo in one size, but saw a need for a smaller option, especially as so many young people are becoming more engaged in the conversations about periods that are happening all over the world. That’s been something that has been really awesome to see. When I first started at GladRags, periods were a much more taboo topic. Now, it’s a lot more accepted that menstruation is a natural part of life and shouldn’t be a source of shame. I like to think we played a small role in helping shift the perception!
Working in the feminist/period space must be so fascinating. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you in the industry? Any wacky dinner party stories?
The funniest things that happen are always at events where we interact with the unsuspecting public. Way too many people assume our products are eye pillows and will come up and sniff them! The look of shock on their faces when we tell them our menstrual products are unscented is priceless. My favorite reaction is when someone who doesn’t menstruate stops to learn about our products anyway. Just because you don’t personally experience something doesn’t mean you don’t need to know about it! I love that.
I love that some of the proceeds of your crowdfunding campaign go to a non profit to help women in need of period supplies. Can you speak to the marginalization of women in this space and why it’s important for feminists to say knowledgable about it.
For every XO Flo sold through the Kickstarter, we’re donating one to our non-profit partner Period: the Menstrual Movement. This youth-led organization has been working diligently since 2014 to make sure that people have access to the menstrual supplies they need. Often, people think that lack of access to menstrual products is a problem for those in developing countries or living in extreme poverty. But that ignores that fact that here in the United States, there are people who have to choose between tampons and food, or girls who miss school because they don’t have the supplies to make it through the day without leaking.
As a feminist, I think it’s super important to ensure that all women (and all menstruators) have reliable access to the safe menstrual protection they need to function in the world to their fullest potential. It’s a no-brainer. Reusable products like the XO Flo menstrual cup are a great solution to this problem because individuals don’t need to re-purchase or rely on ongoing donations. Each XO Flo can last for 120 periods, replacing about 2,400 tampons and saving over $1,000!
Even $1 or $5 helps get this initiative funded, so make sure to donate today (like I did!)