Bermudian entrepreneur breathes life into femcare aisle
Bermudian entrepreneur Gayneté Jones has designed and created a product that solves a problem for half of the world’s population.
Ms Jones has launched “Best, Periodt.”, a female-engineered menstrual cup that she says is the “first Bermudian feminine healthcare line to hit the shelves, ever”.
The product is available from eight retail outlets on the island beginning today.
She says the high-quality cup made of medical grade silicone is manufactured at a facility in the United States, where the female engineer “has been working on cups for decades”.
Ms Jones said the product is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration, and is “OBGyn-approved” by a doctor board certified in Bermuda, the US and Canada.
She added: “I made sure we ticked all the boxes. I want people to have their best period experience, and the product is also the best on the market, period.”
The 34-year-old’s other entrepreneurial ventures include her Freedom Slay podcast.
It was after interviewing entrepreneur Ranay Orton, founder of the Glow by Daye brand of products, and later meeting her entrepreneurial sister, Gina LosAngeles, that Ms Jones was inspired to ruminate about how to create a product that solved a real problem for other people.
She said: “I went to sleep that night, and after I woke up my period started. I went to get the cup I was unsatisfied with, and the lightbulb went off. It felt like fate at that point.”
Ms Jones, who said she suffered “miserable periods” for years, said single-use menstrual products damage the environment, and pads and tampons can also harm the body.
So she began to research what an ideal menstrual cup would look like, and found that Black women generally have heavier flows.
She set about designing and creating a cup with the capacity for heavier flow days “while also creating a cup that was comfortable for people who have lighter flows”.
She added: “It was a problem that I was passionate about fixing.”
The cup is available in two sizes; the size two cup, she says, can hold up to four times the capacity of a super tampon.
Ms Jones said most cups come in “cheap cloth baggies”, adding: “I created a silicone hygienic case that can sit on your counter, or that you can throw into your purse.”
Packaging for the cup was designed by her brother-in-law, Bermudian Duane Jones, who runs the business Art Pays Me in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Marketing for the product is gender-neutral, Ms Jones said, since not everyone who requires it identifies as a woman.
Ms Jones said the product has received international press attention, and she expects it will be carried by some American boutique retailers by the end of the year. Until then, overseas customers can order on the company’s website.
She said the website price is $34.95 but, as the product is shipped from a warehouse in the US, it is faster and cheaper for locals to buy from retail stores in Bermuda.
Retailers will set their price for the product, but Ms Jones said: "When I conducted a poll on Best Periodt's Instagram page, many shared that they spend between $15 and $25 monthly on menstrual products. This means if buying a Best Periodt cup locally at under $60, after only three months purchasers begin saving. Menstrual cups can last up to 10 years if properly taken care of, though I recommend changing every two years."
She added: “Many menstrual cups currently on Bermuda shelves are manufactured in China and are white-labelled, meaning it's the exact same design shared amongst multiple sellers, with a different brand name and packaging. While this is easier to do and allows for a lower cost, it was really important for me to create a unique, high quality solution that fixes the problems with cups that exist on the market today, in a relatable way. I want to breathe some much needed life into the femcare aisle.”
She said $1 from the sale of every cup will be given annually to a charity that works to put an end to child trafficking. Customers will be asked to choose which charity to support.
The product’s website also provides an option to donate a cup, which Ms Jones says will be given to a charity on a quarterly basis. The Women’s Resource Centre is to receive the first donation.
She said: “Period poverty is a real thing. There are girls in Bermuda who don’t go to school the week of their period, or they go to their guidance counsellor and ask for feminine hygiene products.”
Ms Jones says education is an important part of the brand’s mission.
The product’s website includes FAQs, blog posts and tutorials, while a YouTube channel posts instructional health videos, and there is also an Instagram page.
Ms Jones said: “Even if people don’t buy from me, I want them to walk away with more knowledge.
“On our website, it is like talking to a friend about your period. We no longer hide it because half the world has had a period, or will have a period soon.”
Ms Jones said the menstrual cup product is only the beginning for Best, Periodt.
She added: “We are actually in the sampling stages for something very exciting dropping in Q3 2021 for the brand. We listen intently to those following our social channels and on our e-mail "bestie" list, so we know which direction to go next.
“We don't want Best Periodt to just be a menstrual cup company; rather, we're all about creating solutions to assist bleeders worldwide to have their best period experience, periodt."
The product is available from Salt + Cedar in the Emporium Building, Front Street, Hamilton; People’s Pharmacy, Victoria Street, Hamilton and from Phoenix stores: Phoenix Centre drugstore, Collectors Hill Apothecary, Paget Pharmacy, Clarendon Pharmacy, Woodbourne Chemist, and Warwick Pharmacy.
Ms Jones encourages retailers with an interest in carrying the product to contact the on-island distributor, BGA.
For more information, see the website at www.bestperiodt.com. The business is also on Instagram @ best.periodt.