Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hannah Wilen, Founder, and CEO of Capd Period, located in Santa Monica, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Each year, 20 billion pads and tampons end up in landfill in the US alone. Menstrual cups are a sustainable solution - one cup can last up to 10 years - but emptying them throughout the day is time-consuming and difficult, especially in public.
So, we invented CapdCup: the first menstrual cup you can empty without removing it from your body. We've made the menstrual cup easier to use than disposable pads and tampons, so choosing zero-waste now means zero compromises.
Our customers are busy, on-the-go women. We are also the only sustainable period product designed for the 30% of all women who have heavy periods - no more spending ages dealing with your cup every time you need to empty it throughout the day!
Tell us about yourself
For years, I used disposable pads and tampons, but they're expensive, lead to an increased risk of yeast infections, and are bad for the environment. I switched to using menstrual cups a few years ago, and while traditional menstrual cups solved the aforementioned issues, I quickly found that they were really difficult to use in public. In November 2021, I traveled to a country with minimal access to clean water while on my period. Numerous times a day, I was forced to either reinsert a dirty, unwashed cup or use unclean water to wash my cup after emptying it. I realized that billions of women around the world face these same problems on a daily basis, so I designed CapdCup to help end the period struggle for all.
I'm motivated to work on Capd Period each day because I've talked to hundreds of women about their frustrations with all existing menstrual cups on the market. They've expressed how much of a difference a product like CapdCup would have on their lives. My goal is to help all people who menstruate focus more on their lives, not their periods - this is what keeps me going every day!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We recently became finalists for the Westly Prize, an award that recognizes social innovations that solve major community challenges. We are so grateful for the recognition and credibility it has brought us, as it has helped us secure a partnership with Papas Hands, a Ugandan nonprofit dedicated to ending period poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the new year, our team will be heading to Uganda to support its 2023 menstrual health campaign. While there, we will be providing education about menstrual health and menstrual cups to communities in need. After CapdCup launches, we will also distribute them throughout Papas Hands' network of communities in Uganda. We are humbled and grateful to the Westly Foundation and the opportunities it has brought to Capd Period!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you're likely to be very self-motivated and driven to succeed. This drive can be a powerful force, but it can also lead to intense pressure and stress. It's important to recognize and celebrate your small successes along the way, as they can help keep you motivated and improve your overall well-being. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle of running a business, but taking a moment to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small, can make a big difference in your mental health and overall satisfaction with your work. So don't forget to take a step back and appreciate the progress you're making, even if it doesn't always feel like enough.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If there is anything that frustrates or annoys you in your daily life, think about ways you can solve the problem for yourself. This approach is how I came up with the idea for CapdCup, and it might help inspire a product idea for you too!
- Don't compare yourself to other businesses or your competitors. Every founder's journey is different, and there is no "right" way to achieve your goals. Focus on your own progress and celebrate your successes!
- As a founder/business owner, you will likely have a lot on your plate and may sometimes feel overwhelmed. To stay focused and productive, prioritize your tasks and delegate whenever possible. This will help you make the most of your time and focus on the most important activities that will help your business grow and succeed.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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