Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Drew Jarvis, CMO and Co-Founder of Sunny, located in Tulsa, OK, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Sunny is a self-care company delivering earth-friendly products, honest education, and global giveback. We've invented the first and only reusable period cup that inserts like a tampon, the Sunny Cup + Applicator. It combines all of the benefits of a menstrual cup with the user-friendliness of a tampon. We address the $37 BN period care industry and the growing number of people (6.75% CAGR) interested in a more sustainable period care alternative.
Tell us about yourself
I'm the CMO and co-founder of Sunny alongside our CEO, Cindy. I got my start by entering into a business idea pitch competition with my idea for a menstrual cup that inserts like a tampon after trying and failing to use a menstrual cup back in 2018. After winning, I went off to college and began product development. Through my research, I learned all about the benefits of sustainable period care, the lack of innovation in the space at the time, and how the lack of access to affordable period care plagues the world (AKA Period Poverty). After partnering with Cindy, who had done a TedTalk on her research in India about period stigma and first-time menstrual cup use, we promised to build a company on three pillars - sustainable products, honest education, and global giveback to end period poverty. Every day we live by and operate Sunny on the mission to bring #PowerToThePeriod.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Historically, menstruators have been ignored and overlooked. Cindy and I spent over four years in R&D trying to best understand the pain points of people with periods and ensuring the Sunny Cup + Applicator was as revolutionary as we set out for it to be. After launching pre-orders in April of 2022, we had overwhelming support online. People confirmed that our years of research had led us to create a product that people really see a need for. We can't wait to launch and change peoples' periods forever.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
We are first-time founders. We're learning new things every day, including what it takes to design, manufacture, and launch a medical device. The marketing side can be really fun - developing a brand and creative material that people can relate to, but the behind-the-scenes are much more complicated than that. We've had our fair share of bumps along the way, but we are finally looking to ship pre-orders and officially launch in September 2023!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know your customer and know their needs. We spent many years just trying to get that part right. It made our pre-order launch so much more fun because we got it right.
- Love what you do because you will be doing a lot of it. I've had a lot of support, and hopefully, you don't plan on doing it alone, but it takes 10x more work than most people may expect.
- Don't compromise your values. If your business was built on a mission and passion, don't let go of those things. It can be an intimidating space, especially for womxn and underrepresented founders, but you will find your people out there, I promise.
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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