Kelly Fisher: Tell me about Tampon Tribe— what inspired you to start this business?
Giana Korth: Our first idea was to simply create the ‘Dollar Shave Club’ for tampons. Tampons are an essential item for 70 per cent of women in the U.S. and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if they just arrived at our front door every month?”
The more reading we did, the more we realized there were other issues to be addressed, like toxic shock syndrome, and environmental impact. Our search for materials changed as we segued over to the organic components, especially certified organic cotton.
KF: According to research from HSBC Private Banking’s ‘She’s the Business’ report, female entrepreneurs in the US secure 8 per cent less capital than their male counterparts, meaning our country suffers from one of the largest investment discrepancies in the world. In your opinion, what can we do as an industry— and as women— to even the playing field?
GK: Women are making tremendous strides, which is fantastic to see and be a part of, but we must continue knocking down doors to pave the way, and female leaders/investors/influencers must continue to support entrepreneurs so that we get the same funding, opportunities and exposure deserved as our male counterparts.
There is so much ‘deal flow’ brought in by women that is going untapped, so we need VCs to open their eyes a bit wider. We can also improve the future pipeline by insisting that capable women have meaningful leadership roles in the companies being funded.
KF: What inspired you to apply for the AllBright X HSBC Pitch Day?
GK: AllBright is an incredible network and resource for women, with a wonderful focus on female entrepreneurs. We were thrilled to be a part of Pitch Day, especially when the theme – “AllBright, All Green” was announced. Our mission at Tampon Tribe is to provide the highest quality menstrual hygiene products that protect our bodies and the Earth, and to make them accessible to women all over the world.
KF: What’s the most valuable career advice you’ve received as a female entrepreneur?
GK: One of my favorite entrepreneurship professors would always say, "You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." Developing an understanding and acceptance that we can’t control everything that comes at us, but we can control our reaction to it has been invaluable. This is especially true in the turbulent start-up world. There are constant highs & lows and things change in an instant— so it’s more important than ever to be grounded in your values and beliefs.
KF: What’s next for Tampon Tribe? Where do you see your business in five years?
GK: In the short term, our focus is building our core subscriber base and finding new ways to delight and surprise our customers. We’re also expanding our footprint globally in key markets like APAC and LATAM, so you’ll be seeing our retail products continue to hit the shelves as more stores focus on having sustainable and plastic-free brands.
We are determined to be the #1 player in organic AND sustainable menstrual hygiene products, so that’s the big focus for our small but mighty team. Additionally, we have a strong giveback mission to homeless women, where we provide a day pack of products for every month of Tampon Tribe products sold – and our employment mission focuses on underserved populations – so as we grow, we really can help make the world a better place. One organic tampon at a time.