Another month of celebrating creative excellence in collaboration with Facebook Africa, April’s Instagram Hero in the business category is The Period Box. Thais @period.sa gave us insight into the business, how it grew on Instagram and why it’s a saving grace for people with periods. What can feel like an isolating menstruation experience is transformed into an enjoyable monthly gift. Thais shares, “Receiving such recognition despite the fact that the company is less than a year old gives me the impression that we are truly making a difference and having a positive impact on our community”. A long-term goal for Period Box also includes working with the organisation Sunrise Helpers Foundation, with the intention of ending period poverty.
When did you start Period Box and what inspired you to fill the gap and create an enjoyable experience for people with periods?
In September of 2020, our brand ‘Period.’ was born. I’ve always imagined a ‘period bar,’ where women could come to relax, pamper themselves, find support, and escape reality during that time of the month. With the rise of covid19, e-commerce appeared to be the best way to make this vision a reality. That time of the month is usually a struggle for the majority of women; we can feel uneasy in our bodies, less confident, and experience pain. However, it is still a taboo subject, leaving many women feeling as if they are alone in this process. I wanted to bring something to the market that not only made that time of the month more bearable, but also helped women gain knowledge about menstruation while also breaking the taboo and letting women know they are not alone; many of us go through this and it is okay to own it and appreciate our bodies
In a few words, what does Period Box stand for?
Our brand stands for women empowerment and change. Our aim is to normalize the taboo surrounding menstruation.
How has the brand grown since launching and what has this journey been like for you?
‘Period’ has been an incredible journey; as a small business, you avoid risks and prepare for the worst. However, the support we received from the start was overwhelming, and the journey has been an ongoing learning experience. We began as a period subscription box that provided women with period essentials and evolved into a family. We have developed strong relationships with many women on our platform, not only clients, but also women who are looking for a safe place to vent and discuss their periods.
Over and above your product line, Period Box as a platform is uplifting and educational. Why is this important to you?
We live in a world full of diverse cultures and traditions, and in some communities, periods are not always discussed. Furthermore, the majority of schools do not educate girls about the other aspects that come with having a period, such as discharge, sanitary ware, endometriosis, or even hormone imbalances. As a result, it is critical for women who are experiencing menstruation for the first time to have access to an educational platform. We launched a Q&A on Instagram to start a conversation and allow women to ask questions about any concerns they may have, as well as to highlight what they should expect and when they may need to consult a healthcare professional. We also provide our followers with the contact information for a gynaecologist, in case they have any further questions. It was critical for me to create a platform that not only provides a product but also serves a purpose and fosters community.
The Period Box Instagram is both visually beautiful and filled with valuable resources. Tell us about the ways in which you use Instagram to grow your brand and build a community?
The most important thing, in my opinion, is to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the Instagram platform; post frequently, engage with your audience, and take advantage of all the features social media has to offer, such as reels, IGTV live, stories, and posts. If you do this on a regular basis, your brand will gain exposure and grow.
Starting a business is a scary process, and I believe that many people are unaware of the amount of effort that small business owners put in, to create a product that is well received. Being recognized for such an incredible award reaffirms that one’s efforts are not in vain and that it is all worthwhile. Receiving such recognition despite the fact that the company is less than a year old gives me the impression that we are truly making a difference and having a positive impact on our community. Winning such a prestigious award is a dream come true for many, and I am grateful to both 10nd5 and my followers and clients.
Do you have any tips for local businesses just starting out – both in terms of their product or offering, and how they go about marketing this?
To all local businesses, take the leap, be creative, confident, and ensure that your brand reflects who you are. It is critical for you to understand that there will be times when you believe your brand is failing and others when you believe it is succeeding; this is all part of the process. Give your brand a purpose; when your brand has a purpose, your motivation will grow. Many small business owners worry about not having the finances to market the product, however, in the beginning it is not always necessary, take photos of your products, be creative, use hashtags on Instagram, follow potential clients and engage with them and priorities customer service.
What is something that 10and5 readers may not know about you as a person?
In addition to running this business that I am very passionate about, I am also a business student on the side. I believe it is critical for people to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect time to start a business; it is all about gaining the confidence to do so and finding a way to balance all of your responsibilities.
What can we expect from The Period Box in 2021? Any projects or collaborations to keep an eye out for?
New ventures and collaborations will abound in 2021. I wish I could tell you everything, but there is no excitement without a little mystery. However, I can tell you that we recently collaborated with a number of small local businesses to create a ‘Shop our brands’ section on our website. We wanted to introduce our audience to some of the fantastic local businesses that exist in the market. Furthermore, we recently announced our collaboration with the Sunrise Helpers Foundation, and for every box sold, we donate a portion of our proceeds to their organisation, with the goal of ending period poverty. As for our upcoming projects, follow us and stay tuned!