Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce two Shameless Women, the amazing Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens…
Showing that “it is possible to build a successful business with feminist and social values while bringing prosperity to the local and global community,” partners Madeleine Shaw and Suzanne Siemens have combined their passions, creativity and business skills to defy cultural taboos and successfully bring Lunapads to the masses while helping to reduce the estimated 14 billion pads, tampons and applicators that are deposited into North American landfills every year.
What drives you to do what you do?
We are driven by our mission: to create a more positive and informed relationship between women, their bodies, and the Earth. Essentially, we are all about helping women feel better about themselves and their bodies. What continues to drive us is our customers and seeing real results, no matter how small. We are also driven by the immense potential of what is yet to come: the global impact of more women taking better care of their bodies and reducing their daily environmental impact by choosing reusable menstrual products really excites us!
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
We feel that singularly and collectively, women are a strong force of nature. So naturally, we love promoting and being a source of sisterly connection for women. By engaging in conversations about our bodies, we have been able to help women tap into their inner power. At Lunapads, we strive to use and express that power by supporting activities that promote greater positive social change for women all over in the world.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Be true to your principles, be flexible with your approach, have a strong support network and have fun! In other words, stay true to your convictions about what is just and right, but recognize there are different ways to achieve your goals and that a lot of learning happens along the way. If you want to be in business, make sure you have a strong support network behind you (which usually means loving, smart and supportive friends and family with money!). Being an entrepreneur is not easy and can be lonely. Find a partner that compliments your skill set; know what you are good at and ask for help. Finally, love what you do and have fun, as that will keep you motivated and strong during the challenging times.
What is one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Every young woman should become completely knowledgeable about her menstrual cycle and her fabulous body parts (vaginas and all!). Body self awareness and self love is one of the greatest gift she can give to herself.
The book “Taking charge of your fertility” by Toni Weschler is an extremely useful reference guide and the video/website “the girl effect” about the power of girls is both amazing and inspiring.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
Clearly there are lots of things we can do, but one thing we can do every day is think about our consumption habits. In addition to consuming less, we need to also get more conscious around our consumer choices - we vote with our dollars. Shop locally, buy more environmentally friendly products, know who you are buying from and where the products and materials were sourced and how they were produced.
To check out all of Lunapads products (like The DivaCup menstrual cup, Washable Cloth Pads, and Lunapanties), visit the website at www.lunapads.com.