I remember the first time I got my period. I was 11 years old, sitting in sex ed class. While the teacher was going over the wide range of sexually transmitted diseases, my stomach began to cramp. “This is such an adverse reaction to this conversation,” I thought. I excused myself and ran to the bathroom. To my surprise, I had bled all over myself. How ironic; I got my period during the class that was going to teach me about the reproductive system. Up until that moment, I had no idea what had just happened to me. I can’t recall my mother explaining to me that I would have a period. There was no warning about the horrible stomach cramps I would endure for most of my adult life. Still, I knew at that moment it was life’s way of inducting me into womanhood. Back then, sex ed was my way of learning more about my body and the changes it would soon go through.
Fast forward to 2020, where there’s a wealth of knowledge about the female body and the reproductive system. Google is at our fingertips, and girls are better prepared to make that transition into womanhood. Despite living in the age of information, Black women are still wildly misinformed when it comes to their reproductive health. We are more likely to die during childbirth, we’re often misdiagnosed, and handled with less care than our Caucasian counterparts.
Entrepreneur Channy Thomas used her own personal struggles to bridge the gap between the lack of education and resources for Black women. She created Pretty Periods, a company that advocates for equity in women’s health. The brand’s mission is to educate, advocate and expand adequate access to the menstrual care products and quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services for Black women and Black people with vaginas.
Pretty Period offers a monthly subscription box specifically for your period. Each box includes luxury organic items that will shift that painful period experience into a pretty one. I sat down with Channy Thomas to learn more about the Pretty Periods company and their plan to tackle the lack of resources when it comes to Black women’s health.
What inspired you to start Pretty Periods?
Pretty Periods was inspired by a call from God and the divine to be of service to my highest good. In being able to serve myself, I became align with enough increase and overflow to serve other Black women. It’s the silver lining I created for myself after living with Stage Four Endometriosis for over five years and being diagnosed with infertility at the start of 2020. I had two decisions, to live in pain and pity, or live in pain, and prosper. My silence would push me further into darkness, while my activism would amplify the voices of Black women who are still trying to figure this thing out. I woke up one day, while in quarantine, at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and said it was game time. Black women are being misdiagnosed, not diagnosed at all, dying during child birth, denied adequate care and resources… I couldn’t sit back and continue to turn a blind eye to disrespect. I started with a box and fighting period poverty, now we are here!
How does your subscription box work?
We have curated the corner where luxury self-care has collided with your monthly menstrual cycle. For $45 a month, we ship to your home, organic menstrual care and hygiene essentials, and a host of goodies. We are reshaping the narrative of “that time of the month”.
Each month, subscribers can expect a new theme featuring top of the line items that aid in self-care. Items include apparel and or accessories, a sweet treat, an affirmation and recipe of the month, and stationary along with other feel-good items.
All items are outsourced from a Black or minority led businesses. Our motto is collaboration over competition, again, we love amplifying the voices of other Black women. We are accepting new partners on an on-going basis.
Subscribers can head over to our site, select our classic box, and follow the prompts to complete their order. Be sure to fill out the subscription form so we can tailor your box according to your flow- pun intended lol.
Pretty Period is for women at every stage in their life. What is the difference in each box?
Pretty Periods offers more than just our classic monthly menstrual care box. We offer the following boxes:
- A First Time Menstruators Box
- A Menopause Relief Box
- A Post Surgery Recovery Box- For My Endo Sisters
- A Post Gender Confirmation Surgery Recovery Box- For My Trans Sisters
- A Postpartum Box- For new birth Mothers
All include self-care goodies, and essentials that aim to meet the needs of the purchaser, be it their first-time menstruating, or becoming a mom.
Channy plans on taking her company to the next level through service. In March of 2021, she will be a certified doula, adding birthing services to her lengthy resume. “We are more than a box, we are a brand Black women can trust. We do our part to end Period Poverty. We take pride in shipping menstrual care products to persons in need, at no cost to them. We saw a gap, and built a bridge, saw another and now we are expanding into what will be a global women’s health brand for Black women,” she said.