It has happened to women since the beginning of time: we get our periods around a certain time of the month. Sometimes, that news is met with joy — other times, with grief, but either way, the first thing we, in the Western world, do is head off to our favorite drugstore and get the necessary products we need (unless, of course, we're part of the newfound "free bleed movement").
For Gaynete Jones, however, this familiar ritual is part and parcel of her business. As the owner of Best, Periodt., a line of menstrual cups, she says that the business of feminine bleeding has to be one that calls to you, not one that you go to.
"In early 2020, I interviewed Ranay Orton of Glow by Daye on my Freedom Slay Podcast. After our chat, I had a desire to create a physical product. The idea of solving problems not just through a service or e-product but also through something tangible was exciting. At the time, though, I had no idea what it would be. I started thinking of possibilities, but nothing stuck or lit me up. A couple of weeks later, I spoke with Ranay's sister, "Gina Los Angeles," who also has physical products (she recently partnered with Tabitha Brown to create Donna's recipe), and that conversation lit the fire inside of me to figure this out," she told 21Ninety exclusively.
"I went to sleep thinking about what I could create that'll solve a real problem for many, and the next morning, as divine timing would have it when I woke up, my period came on. I went to grab a subpar menstrual cup I had been using, and a light bulb went off. "I'll create a high quality, comfortable cup that actually works well, even for those with a heavy flow and does away with those lint-producing baggies they all come with."
While the 21st-century woman takes feminine hygiene products for granted — they're always there. After all, historically, that hasn't always been the case. Before the turn of the 20th century, women who got their periods had to make do with smelly, poorly absorbent rags held between their legs. And even with today's advances, not much has changed in the realm of menstrual health: the modern tampon design was first created in 1931 (by a white man, no less) and hasn't changed much since that time. And as late as the early 1980s, sanitary napkins didn't have an adhesive backing, requiring them to be held in place with a belt.
With this in mind, it's easy to see how Jones' Best, Periodt. products are nothing short of revolutionary. "The real joy comes from seeing how lives have been changed as a result of our products in such a short time," she said. "We're only three months in. The reviews have been amazing. People are reporting feeling freer as they have fewer changes with our higher-capacity cup. Many are having less cramping and others even forgetting their period is on. In addition to the reviews on our site, we have over 100 reviews on our Instagram highlights. In addition to that, we have an option to donate cups on our website to help end period poverty, and $1 from each cup purchase goes towards ending child trafficking."
Billing itself as sustainable, cute, and cost-effective — not to mention, Black-owned and operated — Best, Periodt. is undoubtedly a great option to consider the next time that "time of the month" comes around. For those looking to start their own business — whether menstrual-based or not — the Bermuda-based Jones has simple, actionable advice.
"Nike's strategy is 'Just Do It,'" she said. "So many of us are already living our worst-case scenarios. I always ask, "What's the worst that can happen?" We're often afraid to fail or that no one would buy, but the reality is no one is buying now as the thing we're simply dreaming up isn't in this world. Failure is defined as the lack of success, and we cannot fail if we don't give up. We can fail, however, if we never try."