Wow, it’s been ten years since my father and I set up an office in the basement of his home and started distributing Maxim organic tampons and other natural menstrual care products out of our makeshift home garage warehouse. Those early days were somewhat awkward and all too quiet in the world of menstrual health and hygiene. It’s been a long journey of breaking the silence and we want to thank you for spending it with us!
In celebration of our anniversary, we’re taking a look down memory lane and sharing a few pics from some of my favorite times from the early days along the way (before we had instagram). These moments truly reflect the three core principles of our company’s mission and how we’ll continue to lead the way:
In 2010, we took to the streets of New York City with a few of some of our original favorite fierce women, to protest and raise awareness for the chemicals found in conventional tampons and pads. We had so much fun declaring our mission with bold signs and posters. We even made this cheesy home video to capture the sentiments of the day. I wish we got a shot of the looks on some people’s faces when they saw the “no toxins in our vaginas” signboard. The display the word vagina so openly in public was so taboo in 2010, but not anymore! In 2018, you’ll find racy vagina puns and creative references plastered all over subway walls and welcomed by many!
In 2012, my sister and I took a seven day drive up California’s gold coast to educate the shoppers and store managers of some of our favorite independent health food stores. Every day we’d stop at five to seven stores and split ourselves up between them. We’d set up a table displaying products and educational visuals that helped demonstrate the health and environmental benefits of chlorine free cotton tampons and pads. We made some home videos out of those too! As you’ll see in those videos and in the above pic, our products’ packaging looks so different! Changing our packaging was definitely one of my favorite moves, but a memory I’d like to forget because it was so hard! Speaking of change, we know our videos are in need of an update too…we hope to release some new ones soon! The content in them though will forever apply and really reinforces our commitment to education around menstruation, another area of progress.
During the early days of our in-store educational demos, shoppers were puzzled by our presence in the aisles but moreso appreciative of the time we took to speak about a topic they hadn’t had a chance to discuss with anyone about since they first got their period! They would tell us about how they never received a proper education on how to use tampons and pads and that asking for one had to always be discreet. Well, in 2018, women are not only talking about tampons in congressional offices in D.C. but they are also demanding tampons be offered for free in schools. This year, New York became the first state to make that a mandate with the passing of a bill we encouraged you to support a year ago this month! Once again, that’s what we call menstrual health progress!
This is probably the biggest key factor in why we do what we do. It’s certainly the reason that’s kept me motivated throughout all these years! Knowing that the people our products touch are wise, earth-loving, truth-seeking, health-conscious and change-making fierce women and men that want to use their purchasing power to do what’s right for their bodies and the earth, makes my ten years invested, all the more worth it! In 2013, we launched our first ever Fierce Woman of the Year campaign to help bolster and celebrate the, at the time, predominantly undervalued achievements of women. In 2018 we still face some of the those same challenges, but we’ve definitely seen a lot of those conversations become more prominent with the following points of menstrual health related progress – Periods Gone Public (the book and literally just in general), better legislation and our continued growth as a company. In 2013, our movement was so female focused, but as I recently described here, our efforts around community and gender equity really needs to be and has become a collective effort. Yet again, another example of menstrual health progress!
Being a part of our brand and the overall industry’s evolution over the past ten years, has been a tremendous joy and honor. The changes in our space are so real and inspiring, fueled by visionary women and men, like you. We can’t wait to see what the next ten years has in store for us! Stay tuned especially this month as we continue the celebration with three unique weekly giveaway sweepstakes. Sign up for our newsletter here so you’ll be the first to know and then head over to our online store where we’re also running the longest sale yet at our online store with 10% off all your favorite Maxim Hygiene products all month long!