October 27th, 2014

It's not every day you find a podcast specifically about menstruation.  Which is why, when we first heard comedians Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman and their podcast, The Crimson Wave, we felt excitement in finding kindred spirits and decided to tell everyone we could about them with an interview.  Hope you enjoy what Jess and Natalie have to say just as much as we did!  And listen to The Crimson Wave via iTunes here, YouTube here

Explicit content, podcast not for young listeners.

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The Period Store: Can you tell us a bit about your podcast - what you cover, where you're based, when you started and what kind of guests you have on it?

Jess & Natalie: Our podcast is called The Crimson Wave and it's about... wait for it... PERIODS. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? TALK ABOUT TOPICAL. We also dabble in discussing sexuality, vaginas, sexual education, feminine care products, contraception, feminism, pop culture, puppies, our moms, and our mom's puppies. We hail from and record in Toronto, Canada, the home of beavers, universal healthcare, and most importantly, Drake. We launched the podcast eight months ago and new ones go up every Tuesday morning. We mostly chat with local all-star comedians, who share their personal and hilarious menses stories, but we have also brought on artists to discuss their period related works as well. Whoever the guest is listeners will always laugh, learn, and love aunt flow more than they thought possible.

TPS: What made you decide to start this podcast and what do you hope to accomplish with it?

J&N: For the last two years we have both performed stand-up comedy at a fundraiser for Femme International, an NGO dedicated to promoting women’s health through education, with a special focus on menstrual health and hygiene. They distribute reusable sanitary supplies to young girls in East Africa as well. We told a lot of jokes about our bleeds those nights and it felt like we were reclaiming period jokes from this place of judgement and disgust where they had been placed. Why are audiences so grossed out when hearing about a natural occurrence in a woman’s body? We weren’t sure and wanted that to change. We were also greatly inspired by Femme International’s mandate and the impact they were having on women across the globe. They were normalizing menstruation for females who might have previously been embarrassed by their cycles. We wanted to do the same. Our goal is to remove the stigma associated with periods by discussing it openly and without shame. We hope our listeners will hear these tales and know that others have had the same experiences as them. Someone else has leaked on the white sheets of a one-night stand. Someone else has gotten a tampon stuck inside of them. Someone else has eaten an entire ice cream cake in one sitting. It makes us feel like we are all in it together and creates a real sense of community.

TPS: What’s the most interesting period story/fact/guest you've heard or had on the show?  Anything that sticks out in your mind as a particularly interesting podcast? I.e., if there was one podcast you've done so far that you think women should definitely listen to, which one would it be?

J&N: It’s so hard to pick just one! Here are our top five and why you will love each one:

Zabrina Chevannes’s episode (#3) for outrageous family stories that will make you wet your pants

Jen Lewis’s episode (#7) for valuable information about menstruation

Dawn Whitwell’s episode (#29) for insight on a subject that isn’t discussed often

Jordan Foisy’s episode (#13) for an interesting male perspective on periods

Hayley Kellett and Mike Kellett (#31) for a sister/brother dynamic like no other

TPS:  How are your periods - love them, hate them?

J&N: We love them! It’s evidence that our bodies are working well. I mean, sure with our periods comes cramping, and bloating, and acne, and mood swings. But hey, it’s worth it to know that everything is functioning well down there (plus no unwanted pregnancy, yay!). We are lucky to live in a country where having a period is not viewed as sinful. So why not be positive about it and celebrate the beauty that is your menstrual cycle while we still have it? We didn’t always have this optimistic outlook. It took us both a while to get to this point. But we have come to realize that it is a part of being a woman and The Crimson Wave couldn’t be prouder to have two X chromosomes.

TPS: Got any period tips for us or anyone who has awful periods?

J&N: 

-If you have trouble with leaking wear black underwear to hide those stains, or buy a pair of specially made thick period panties!

-If you get bad cramps, try having sex. A lot of women have told us it’s one of the only cures for their pain. We are not doctors in the least and this is just a recommendation but we have heard great feedback about it.

-Take painkillers before the cramps arrive to prevent the pain from hitting. Thank our guest Megan Fraser’s mom for that one.

-Menstrual cups are incredible and will save you a lot of money over the years, especially if you have a heavy flow or if you’re interested in receiving oral sex. It stops the flow and results in blood free cunnilingus.

-Period tracker phone apps are great for those who have unpredictable periods.

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Now go listen and subscribe to The Crimson Wave so that you can binge listen every time you're on your period.  Keep up with The Crimson Wave on Twitter here.  Thanks to Jess and Natalie for the interview!

TAGS: COMEDY, PODCAST, THE CRIMSON WAVE cache cache


October 22nd, 2014

Ever wondered how women in the 19th century lived? What their everyday concerns and purchases were? The University of Madison-Wisconsin recently posted an online collection of over 1,300 images that create a snapshot into the lives of women from the mid 1800's to the mid 1900's.  Dovie Horvitz, who generously donated the collection, stated:

“As I gathered pieces throughout the years, I didn't really learn anything new about women,” Horvitz said. “But when I put it all together, viewing a 100 year period, oh my, gosh. How women were viewed by men, how they viewed themselves, their clothing, abilities to vote, or serve in the military. It’s pretty remarkable to see how much women have changed.”

Mrs. Horvitz started the collection when her daughter became a teenager.  She wanted something to encourage her daughter to be "proud to be a girl today as well as a woman of tomorrow."  The search for women's items began in the Midwest and expanded to antique shops around the country, until she amassed the 1,300+ item collection and donated it to UW-Madison.

It's hard to tell if the collection represents a fair sample of the female population, including minority or lower socio-economic women, but it's still fun to look through and consider the ways in which some things have changed (women can vote) and some things have stayed the same (vanities like bobby pins, hosiery, etc.).  Take a look through the collection - what are the most telling, interesting items to you?  Why, for example, are the girls in the top picture, "Girls with Lollipops," posing with lollipops? On the other hand, why not? In what ways might a bum-pad be likened to our modern version butt pads?  These are the kinds of questions we're left pondering.

Finally, an uplifting line from Dovie Horvitz, once again:

“Women should take tremendous pride in who they are. We should look at the women before us and what they made possible. It should excite young women, and men, to see what has been accomplished. Just think of what is possible in the future.”

All photos from The Dovie Horvitz Collection of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. Thanks to Society for Menstrual Cycle Research for the tip-off.

TAGS: 1800'S, VINTAGE, WOMEN cache cache


October 15th, 2014

Our packages for October 2014 Cycles are almost sold out.  We included the following in these packages, along with all of your favorite period supplies!

  1.  Herbs for Women's Health print by Alice Manning
  2. As always, cramp tabs and ibuprofen for those of you with painful periods
  3. Maple Caramel Chocolate from Lake Champlain (so good!)
  4. Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea
We have some good treats lined up for the next couple of months, so stay tuned!

TAGS: LAKE CHAMPLAIN, OCTOBER 2014, TREAT PACKAGE cache cache


October 8th, 2014

Our artwork this month features herb drawings by Alice Manning from Bennington, Vermont.  We talked to Alice about the natural health benefits of many herbs specifically for women's health, and were pleased to see the variety of options available to women who prefer natural remedies for period management.  

Like anything else, you should talk to your doctor about the benefits, side effects and efficacy of each of these herbs, especially if you think you might be pregnant.  Most of these herbs also take time to work, so they should be consumed by tea or supplement at least one week before symptoms set in.

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NETTLE: This is an interesting plant that can both harm with its stinging hairs and provide beauty as one of the only food sources for a number of butterfly species.  Native to northern Africa,  North America, Asia and Europe, Nettle contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help with inflammation and cramping during periods.  

OAT STRAW:  We've written about how blueberry oatmeal can help during your period, but these plants are believed to have additional health benefits when consumed as tea or supplement.  Oat straw is rich in both calcium and magnesium and can be used for both physical and nervous fatigue during menstruation.  It is also helpful for depression for those looking for more natural remedies to fight the blues.

RASPBERRY LEAF: Raspberries provide many health benefits for menstruating women, including fiber, essential to bowel movement.  The leaf from this fruit is helpful in easing menstrual cramps and a heavy menstrual flow.  Raspberry leaf is also useful in treating GI tract disorders such as diarrhea, which sometimes occurs during menstruation.

RED CLOVER BLOSSOM: This perennial, native to Asia, northwest Africa and Europe, is useful in reducing breast tenderness and PMS symptoms.  Though research is still disputing its effectiveness, many women also use this herb to treat or reduce hot flashes during menopause.

SKULLCAP: This North American and European flower is a member of the mint family and has numerous health benefits.  Many find Skullcap useful in reducing anxiety and  and regulating blood pressure.  It has the added benefit of acting as a cleanser with  natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

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We look forward to covering more herbal remedies for period health in the future and would love to hear any that you find useful!

TAGS: ART, HERBS, NATURAL, PERIOD HEALTH cache cache


September 19th, 2014



Do insecurity and creative blocks begin at puberty? Is it possible to go back to the fearlessness and confidence we had before puberty?

In this TEDxYouth video, Emma Simons-Araya of The Potential Lunatics talks about a switch that happened to her writing at age 12  when she began to have unreasonable insecurities which led to creative blocks for her music and writing. We can't help but think there is a connection between her insecurities and the hormonal changes girls face when going through puberty around age 12. Watch and listen to how she was able to overcome her creative block and "began letting that kid inside me back out again".

It reminds us the book (and movie?) Reviving Ophelia and this amazing Jane Fonda quote:

"At puberty the majority of girls, their voices go underground. THey don't disappear. They go underground. That's why girls are the agents of change, because you don't have to scratch too deep to say, 'Hey, remember how you used to be?'" - Jane Fonda via The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet 

TAGS: PUBERTY cache cache


September 5th, 2014

Have you played Tampon Run yet?  After we played for longer than we probably should have (over 800 pts for Nate's high score!  Can you  beat us?) we decided it was time to reach out to the girls who created the game and ask them a few questions.  

Learn more about Andy, Sophie and their views on menstruation and women in tech below!

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THE PERIOD STORE: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

ANDY:  I’m 16 years old, and I go to Hunter College High School in NYC! I started coding the summer before my freshman year at SummerTech Computer Camps, and I spent this summer over at Girls Who Code with Sophie. I’m also a part of my school’s robotics team, volleyball team, and I play piano on the side! My cycle is every 26 days ;)

SOPHIE:  I’m a 17 year old senior at Bard High School Early College in NYC. This summer at Girls Who Code was my first time coding, and I fell in love with it! It’s empowering to build something from the ground up. In addition to coding, I’m passionate about my friends, tennis, photography and food.

TPS: We saw you met at Girls Who Code, a wonderful organization addressing the gender gap in tech - how'd you come up with the idea and what made you decide to go in this direction (addressing menstruation, specifically)?

A:  Within our class, I was very public about my desire to make a video game. I also discussed giving it a feminist edge, because of all of the sexualization in the video game industry today. When Sophie decided to work with me (thank god) we began brainstorming possible game ideas that had meaning, a facet of social justice. That was the most important part for us--having a message to share with the public. We were talking about what our game could consist of and Sophie joked saying that we could have a player which threw tampons. It was laughs and giggles for like two seconds before we realized that we could actually do something with it. And the rest is history.

S:  When I heard Andy’s idea about using gaming to engender social change, I wanted to work with her (and because she’s an awesome person). We started brainstorming, and as soon as I brought up a girl throwing tampons to confront the menstrual taboo, we knew what we wanted to do. As women, it’s something we both experience and relate to, and know that so many others out there do as well. As we began to build the game and do more research on it, I realized how important this issue is to overcome. Women should love every part of themselves, even the blood.

TPS: Alternately, what experiences have you had that encouraged you to address menstruation as taboo? (i.e., moments of feeling shamed by guys? embarrassing stories?)

A:  While we were doing research, we came across an incident where last year in the Texas Capitol, women’s tampons were confiscated by officials in the fear that they were going to use them as projectiles; however, all guns were still allowed within the courtroom. We thought that was ridiculous for that to happen in real life. On an international level, we found that so many countries treated menstruation as this disgusting, repulsive, unholy thing. In extreme cases, women who were on their period were completely isolated and boarded off while they were menstruating. It was insane.

Personally? There was this one time when there was a circle of middle schoolers in my hallway and all they were staring at was a tampon on the floor. It was totally unused--someone had just unwrapped it and popped the tampon out of the applicator. I remember being really unimpressed by it, and confused as to why everyone else was making such a big deal.

S:  My guy friends and I are generally open with each other, but when it comes to discussing menstruation they tend to say “ew” and end the conversation. Once, in a conversation with my older brother, I mentioned all the underwear I’ve thrown out over the years because of blood stains. He could not believe it. I think he was a little grossed out, but mostly surprised that that even happens.  

TPS:  What do you hope the game accomplishes?

A:  I just want the game to generate discussion! This goes generally unaddressed, and I personally wanted to make people aware of how such a natural bodily function is treated unfairly, whether they realize it or not. Even if someone plays the game once and never looks at it again, I hope that they’ll be more conscious of it. It wasn’t meant to be the entire solution, just a step towards it.

S:  I hope that the game sparks discussion about the menstrual taboo. Whether that be over the internet or between friends playing the game, getting menstruation out into the open is one big step towards destroying the taboo. 

TPS: What advice do you have for girls like you who are interested in tech?

A: Don’t be afraid!! If you have any interest whatsoever in technology, you’ve got to pursue it. Especially for women right now, there are so many opportunities encouraging us to get involved, and so many resources for everyone to learn how to code! Learning to code changed my life. It’s so rewarding, and so empowering. Feel free to email us if you want to find out how you can learn, or have any questions!

S: DO IT!!! Learning to code this summer at Girls Who Code was a life changing experience, one of the most important ones of my life (I’m only 17, but I think I can still say that). It is creative, logical, fun and empowering. It’s also so exciting that now, with code, I can build almost any idea I come up with. If you have a Girls Who Code summer program or club in your area, do it! I learned so much more than just coding during my summer in the program. I’ve become more confident, a better team player and I feel proud to be a woman. The only way to make tech a more comfortable place for women is to get more women involved.

TPS: Any period advice?

A:  There are some really amazing apps out there for keeping track of your period. For the ladies out there looking to have some pretty babies, they also can notify you when you’re most fertile. But for me it serves as a great way for monitoring my period and warning me for when it’s about to strike.

S:  Dancing really intensely alone in my room is my solution to everything—including period cramps.

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Thanks, ladies!  Now go play Tampon Run and spread the word.  For past period-themed gaming visit  Kotex and their "Save the undies" page to play Pad Racer or Pad Flyer.


TAGS: GAME, PERIOD GAME, TAMPON RUN cache cache


August 13th, 2014

We're so happy to have our friend Nicole Jardim guest posting on the blog today with her tips on Endometriosis. We recentlty sat down with Nicole to talk about period health over iced tea and fell in love with her work. We asked her to write about Endometriosis today because we found ourselves talking about that for most of our tea meeting. We feel so close to the community of women with this condition, you are always on our minds. We hope this post can be of help to some of you. And please take advantage of Nicole's services by checking out her site (including a free phone call!).


It is estimated that 176 million women and girls worldwide have Endometriosis and it is one of the top three causes of infertility in women. Quite staggering statistics right?

For anyone who doesn’t know, endometriosis is becoming an increasingly common health problem among women in which the tissue that lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. It can grow on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the outside wall of the uterus, the bowel, rectum, bladder and cervix, along with other areas of the body as well.

Endometriosis’ seemingly most common symptom is pain in the pelvic area and lower back that typically shows up during the menstrual period. Other common symptoms are painful periods, irregular vaginal bleeding, painful sex, painful ovarian cysts called endometriomas, nausea/vomiting and constipation/diarrhea usually around menstruation time.

I am always getting emails from women asking for practices and tips to reduce the pain caused by their endometriosis. And luckily there is a lot you can do that’s within your control!

One of the first things I recommend to women is to do the gluten test. Basically this means cutting gluten completely out of your diet for 7 days. At the end of the 7 days, have a big bowl of pasta and assess how you feel. If you develop a stomach ache, bloating, cramping, gas, diarrhea or constipation then it’s likely you are gluten intolerant. Another symptom that people don’t associate with gluten intolerance is mouth and tongue sores. If you get those after you eat gluten, that could definitely be a sign too.

FYI, the grains that contain gluten are wheat, barley, oats, kamut and rye. It’s also important to note that ketchup, soy sauce, and a lot of sauces contain gluten too so it’s important to read labels.

There is one study that links gluten elimination with greatly reduced pain in endometriosis sufferers and the results are pretty conclusive. While we don’t have an exact reason why gluten triggers pain, it’s safe to say that it definitely has an inflammatory effect on our digestive tract and ultimately on our whole body. Due to this, I strongly recommend eliminating gluten from your diet to improve your own endometriosis symptoms.

Artwork by The Period Store

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Nicole Jardim is a Young Women's Hormonal Health Coach and creator of Fix Your Period, a series of programs that empower women to reclaim their hormonal health in a fun and sassy way. She runs a successful 1-on-1 and group coaching business and has helped thousands of women from all around the world who are struggling with PCOS, infertility, amenorrhea, endometriosis, PMS and much more.

Rather than treating problems or symptoms, Nicole treats women by addressing the root cause of what's really going on in their bodies and minds. She passionately believes that the fundamentals to healing any hormonal imbalance lie in an approach that addresses the unique physiology of every woman. This is essential to reclaiming and maintaining feminine vitality at any age. Sign up here for her free 3-part video training series, Take Control of Your Period, Take Control of Your Life.

TAGS: ENDOMETRIOSIS, GLUTEN, NICOLE JARDIM cache cache


August 11th, 2014

August reminds us of end-of-summer beach days. The kind of days that you stay at the beach from morning till late at night because you just don't want summer to end. Alongside these beach days come the beach bonfires, and of course, roasted marshmallows. We've included the most delicious artisan marshmallows we could find for you in our subscription packages so you can do just that. Meet Jenna Keys of Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets and get to know the story behind these delicious sweets below:

Also, don't miss them on TV this month!  Watch their Aug. 12th episode on CNBC's new show Restaurant Startup.

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself. 

SK: I'm Jenna Keys, co-founder of Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets.  I grew up as a Navy brat moving from country to country before we finally settled in beautiful San Francisco. I was a willful and active child, a consummate tomboy with a penchant for mischief - and I developed a curious interest in the art (and science) of baking after being gifted an EasyBake Oven on my 6th birthday. Over the years, cooking and baking developed into a burning passion for me, but I went through many incarnations (in the tech world, as a freelance writer, as a food editor) before I had the ovaries big enough to turn it into a business. Or maybe one day I just woke up crazy (crazier?).  

TPS: Where are you located and what's your story?

SK: We're located in Oakland, California (Raiders baby!), and we launched Sugar Knife about a year and a half ago.  Our inception came about rather innocuously.  It was the holidays, and because I was so busy that year I had procrastinated on making my usual sugar-laced gifts for friends and family.  Rushed for time and short on inspiration, I came upon a recipe for homemade marshmallows and was kind of mindblown -  I never realized there were any options other than the puffed-up bag of chemicals we all grew up with. I was a huge fan of marshmallows as a kid, so it was only kismet that I churned out my own homemade batch.  After much trial and error (heavy on the error) and lots of tweaking, I finally created a near perfect recipe.  Naturally, because of my affinity for boozed-up sweets, I spiked them with Bailey's Irish Cream.  They were absolutely phenomenal and so well received that I started getting "orders" from family, friends, and friends of friends.  

The Sugar Knife seed really germinated after one fateful post-holiday evening with my fiance, Josh, as we were watching a spectacular sunset while enjoying a cigar and some fine Scotch together.  We ruminated over the lack of "edgy" candy companies that weren't girly, pinked-out and ribboned-out or packaged with unicorns crapping out rainbows.  Not that there's anything wrong with the frilly stuff, as I appreciate a pretty package myself.  But as a woman with arguably more masculine tastes, I didn't feel like there were many sweet companies that appealed to my beer-drinking-bourbon-swigging-unabashed-hip-hoppish tastes, and certainly none that centered around the supremely adult vice of boozing it up. So from a branding perspective, I set out to create that voice. 

And so it began. Some spiked marshmallows for holiday gifts and an epiphanic night of drinking with the boo = the beginning of Sugar Knife Artisan Sweets. I worked on creating and perfecting recipes for several months after, my obsession for perfection really kicking into high gear.  I wanted to create the best tasting marshmallows in the universe. Eventually we launched a successful Kickstarter around the holiday season of 2012.  After that it really kind of took on a life of its own and we've now made more marshmallows than I ever thought was super-humanly possible. 

TPS: Tell us what you think about periods.

SK: Periods are great.  They're pretty much just monthly reminders that you're still not knocked up (woot).

TPS: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

SK: In the PM (pre-Midol) days, women dealt with The Monthly by swilling moonshine from their garter flasks.  Our boozy gourmet marshmallows are kinda the next best thing. 

Pro Tip: use a creme brulee torch to melt them over ice cream, fudge brownies, in between oatmeal cookies, over pie...you'll totally forget that the War of Westeros is currently being waged in your uterus.

-- Thank you Sugar Knife Sweets! Find them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

TAGS: MARSHMALLOW cache cache


August 7th, 2014


As women around the world we all, of course, experience life differently. But ask a woman to talk to you about her period, and you will find an instant connection. We at The Period Store love women and feel a sisterhood with women in the US and abroad. Perhaps this sisterhood is due to our history of struggle together, through women's suffrage to the women's liberation movement and on. Perhaps it is because of how our brains are hardwired. Regardless, this sisterhood and connectivity is one of the many reasons we have The Periodical and the "Periods Around the World" series in particular. We want to educate ourselves and others about how women experience and manage their periods in different cultures. 

Meet our design intern Madara from Latvia, we think she's great and have a feeling you will too.

The Period Store: Where are you from?
Madara: I was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia. We like to call it a small precious on the Baltic Sea coast, along with our neighbors Estonia and Lithuania, and we are incredibly proud of our natural prosperity and ethnic culture. However, we also manage to be proportionally ashamed and complain about our history, English accent, government, weather, prices and pretty much anything.

TPS: How and when did you learn about periods?

M: We are very close and can talk about many things in my family, but it all stops at private issues. I never had any the talks and as I was the first kid to young parents I assume talking about grown-up things with me was something new to them as well. Now I recognize in some conversations what I thought to be anger was just being uncomfortable. My family has always been very supportive and proud of my growing-up, but seeing it more as a fact not as an opportunity of mentoring.

I got very lucky to meet a summer camp teacher specialized in womanhood and sexual education, who explained to us, a bunch of teens, what is what and how our bodies work. The rest I needed to know I read in product promoting brochures for young girls. Also, I remember finding out about many new concepts in this book called "What Children Ask?" meant as a guide to parents how to explain sometimes difficult things. I guess, they were a bit happy I liked to read. All this happened few years before I got my first period.

TPS: Do you remember your first period? Were you prepared?

M: I remember it very well. There was such a dualism in me at that point, because from one side I had read that periods in general start around age 10 to 13, and as I was getting old and pushing 14, I was also getting worried and couldn't wait for my cycle to start. Any weird feelings became an excuse for going and checking for red spots. From other side, the blitz of my class was making constant fun of menstruation and anything related to female hygiene. The jokes would start at "vampire teabags" and get worse. You can imagine for a young girl periods are already unknown and scary but this made it terrifying, especially because of the huge risk being made fun of. As it always happens, the period came on the worst time possible. I was enrolled in a big dance show with around a thousand people participating, including my class mates. It started on one of the final repetitions, and, although information-wise I was very prepared, physically the situation was far from it. The med-point only had some big night size sanitary pads and for my frame back then it seemed even bigger. I was constantly worried it would be seen through my costume or soak outside because of all the jumps, rolling and running we had to do, but felt too ashamed to ask anyone for a better solution or a day off.

TPS: Any cultural taboos related to periods in your country/hometown?
M:
During Soviet times there were many things that didn't exist in my country. Like Christmas and sex, for example. People had kids, of course, but they obviously were found in the cabbages. And no one had periods, not aloud. There was censorship everywhere, so knowledge traveled like a snail. My mom remembers information coming from a mother or a doctor, never public. I just read some medical advice on menstruation form 1984. Many things are absurd or over rated; washing in these days should only be done with previously boiled water, gauze, cotton wool (in best cases) or cut-up cotton sheets were used in place of sanitary pads and, of course, no intimacy or sports on those days!

I see this suppressed type of education has left it's marks. This strange culture that was impressed on us plus our own modest mentality is the reason why my and many other families, no doubt, are still cautious and shy about such natural things even after all the western products and medical information was accessible.

TPS: Has period management in your country changed over time?
M:
On many subjects we're more open-minded now and talk freely, and the knowledge has improved. Still, female health and periods are a taboo. I'm glad that my friends are with healthy attitudes, but even some of them were surprised and skeptic when I was telling them about The Period Store. One can still here things like "it's so intimate, it offends me to joke about it and nobody says aloud they're on their period!" (which makes me think of the awesome Period Store tote bags - dear lady, you're sooo wrong!). I believe there is some time yet to pass before we can afford commercials different, than white skinny jeans and mysterious blue liquids. But I'm happy to see it is getting better.

TPS: The Period Store is all about celebrating womanhood. In what ways does Latvia celebrate womanhood?
M:
Some to this question would say we do it every year on 8th of March - the Women's day, where a Soviet men would bring tulips or carnations to their women and then have a legal excuse to go out with friends, because "honey, I love you and I brought you flowers, and I remembered you, so now I need my own time". But this again is some foreign tradition which in my eyes has nothing with really celebrating womanhood. I see much more respect, joy and love for and from women in our traditional folk songs and ethnic rituals, where the harmony with one's inner being and outer nature is the highest reach point. This culture celebrates woman's beauty, the light touch and blessing of hands and bare feet, the gift to give life, and the household wisdom. And of course, in summers we celebrate our womanhood with a flowing skirt.

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Would you like to tell us about periods where you're from?  Send us an e-mail info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: LATVIA cache cache


August 5th, 2014


Celebrate National Underwear Day by shopping through our selection of leak-proof undies at The Period Store.  You'll never worry about leaking through another pair of underwear during your period again.

If you're a subscriber, all you have to do is sign into your account and add your favorite pair of underwear to your next package. Next time your period comes, your box will include all your necessary supplies alongside a new pair of undies!

TAGS: UNDERWEAR cache cache


July 30th, 2014



In the summer months, we choose sweets that are less likely to melt in transit, which brings us to our latest delicious Sweet Maker Highlight! Lush Nuts has so many interestingly-flavored peanuts and almonds (chocolate, curry, lavender, and our personal favorite - coconut orange peel). Their nuts are all USA-grown and have no preservatives or artificial flavors. Yum. Get to know the brand a little more with our interview below.
 

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Lush Gourmet: My name is Bisera Urdarevik and I'm the founder of Lush Gourmet Foods, llc. located in Kalamazoo, MI. I started the company about 3.5 years ago when I was just 21 years old. It seems a bit crazy, which it is, but it's been a great experience. I always knew that a food business was in the future for me, but really had no idea which product would be the first. Lush Nuts were born during a Marketing class in College when we were asked to create and market a product to the hotel segment, and the first product that popped into my head was these nuts I had grown up with. It was a perfect mini test to see if they would garner any interest with classmates and my professor, and they just so happened to be a huge success with the class, so I just kept going with it! 

TPS: Tell us what you think about periods.

LG: Well, I just so happen to be on mine right now. TMI? Sorry! Overall I'm not the biggest fan just because they can be incredibly inconvenient at times, but it's a natural process that we as women have and is a sign of fertility, so I'm proud to say I'm a part of the club!

TPS: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

L: Lush Nuts are pretty fantastic on their own, but they're even better chopped up and topped on ice cream. And what girl doesn't love ice cream while on her period?! Lush Nuts + ice cream = perfection.

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Thank you Lush Nuts! Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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July 28th, 2014

What's your favorite thing about being a woman? Share with us in the comments below. See more videos on our YouTube channel

Thank you to everyone who participated in this video!

TAGS: INTERVIEW, VIDEO cache cache


July 23rd, 2014

A beach day doesn't need to be a drag if you're on your period. We've created a beach day essentials guide in case it's that time of the month when the waves are calling.

You'll need to start with a big tote bag to carry everything in. Our French #period #noperiod tote makes the perfect large and sturdy beach bag. Cover up with a cute scalloped swimsuit, some major SPF and a striped umbrella. Dry off with this graphic beach towel and freshen up with this Sister Bliss aromatherapy spray before heading home. Don't forget our favorite beach day essential (while on your period that is) - a menstrual cup! You won't need to worry about finding a bathroom to change a tampon or pad while out because it can be worn for up to 12 hours!

What are some of your beach day essentials?

1. Umbrella, 2. Sunscreen, 3. Tote bag, 4. Menstrual Cup, 5. Essential Oil Spray, 6. Swimsuit, 7. Tampon Case, 8. Beach Towel

TAGS: SUMMER, SWIMMING cache cache


July 16th, 2014

As you may already know, The Period Store is a big fan of small batch, hand-crafted sweets (chocolates, candies, baked goods, you name it). When we came across Hammond's Candies and learned about their wonderful story, we just knew we wanted to work with them. They are the last producer of flat taffy in the US! We sent all of our July subscribers a couple of flat taffy bars to go along with their summer period packages. Enjoy our interview with Hammond's Candies and tell us what you thought about the taffy below:

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Hammond's Candies: Hammond’s Candies has been hand crafting candy in Denver, Colorado since 1920.  Carl Hammond opened Hammond’s as a corner candy shop, specializing in hard candies and chocolates.  Hammond’s was run by the family until the mid 1990’s.  Today, Hammond’s is still making the same way Carl did, all by hand and in small batches.  Hammond’s acquired McCraw’s Taffy in 2010, and is the last producer of flat taffy.  In the past 10 years, Hammond’s has grown tremendously.  Now a majority of the business is wholesale, and along with the classic candies Hammond’s has always been making, many new lines have been introduced as well, including chocolate bars, caramel corns, cotton candy and caramels.  The only factory and retail store is located in Denver and offers free tours Monday-Saturday every half hour.

TPS: Tell us what you think about periods. 

H: Well I would say that nobody is particularly fond of periods.  Due to our large chocolate line, Hammond’s is probably grateful for them, as they must help bring in business. 

TPS: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

H: Sweets make women feel happy and everyone knows that that is needed during “that time of the month”.  It is a treat and an indulgence that women do not feel guilty about when dealing with the hardships of a period.

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Thank you Hammond's Candies. We can't wait to take a tour of your candy factory next time we're in Denver!

Here's another sweet maker we've worked with that does free factory tours.

TAGS: SMALL BATCH, SUMMER, TAFFY cache cache


July 2nd, 2014

Meet the newest addition to The Period Store - BOX Naturals Lavender Intimate Wipes. We currently sell the original Rosewater  wipes and are gifting all of our subscribers a sample of the new Lavender scent to celebrate their introduction to The Period Store. Tell us what you think of your samples in the comments below and add a box of these all-natural wipes to your next package here. Get to know Irene from BOX Naturals in our interview below:

The Period Store: How did the idea of BOX Natural Wipes come about?

BOX Naturals: The idea of BOX Naturals came after the birth of my first child, Phoebe.  There are so many things about post partum birth that no one tells you about, including the need for wipes for the mother, not just the newborn.  I saw that there was nothing on the market that was all natural and also sophisticated.  Something that would go beyond just a wipe, but instead, make a woman feel well maintained and be an extension of her beauty routine. 


TPS: We love that your products are all-natural. Tell us about the ingredients and essential oils used in the wipes.

BN: First of all, we will always be synthetic fragrance free.  I try to live a synthetic fragrance free lifestyle, but it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible.  Synthetic fragrances are everywhere and because of labeling laws, companies don't have to disclose what's behind that "fragrance!"  We scent all of our wipes with organic essential oils because it smells just as good (if not better!) than synthetic fragrances and is better for our bodies.  As far as our other ingredients goes, we make a point to limit our ingredients.  If we don't need it, it doesn't belong there.  Every ingredient is there for a reason. 


TPS: Box Naturals donates a portion of your profits to benefit women's issues. What are some charities you work with?

BN: I went to a women's college and have learned the importance of supporting other women in this world.  A rising tide lifts all boats, you know?  BOX Naturals is a company that always tries to edify and beautify (not because women NEED it, but because women WANT it) women.  One of the charities that we support through donations that I feel very strongly about is "The Tomorrow Project" - a work readiness program for homeless women.  Sometimes, you just need to catch one break and it will change the trajectory of your life.  BOX Naturals is still a small company, but we have grand visions of being able to give more, MUCH more, to the betterment of women everywhere. 

TAGS: BOX INTIMATES, BOX NATURALS, INTERVIEW, LAVENDER, WIPES cache cache


July 1st, 2014

Happy Canada Day! We love Canada for many reasons and one of them definitely includes their maple syrup. Celebrate today with this delicious maple syrup cake recipe.

Maple Syrup Cake

  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly dust your pan of choice with flour.

Steps:

1. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ginger. Sift all the ingredients together and set aside.

2. Cream the butter in a large mixer and gradually add the sugar together until light. Add the eggs one at a time.

3. Add maple syrup to the mixer.

4. Next, alternate adding the boiling water and dry ingredients into the large mixer until everything is combined.

5. Bake for 50 minutes and top with candied walnuts and caramel sauce.

Enjoy!

image by Madara Liepina
TAGS: CAKE, RECIPE, SWEETS cache cache


June 27th, 2014

A crop of new Instagram accounts have sprouted over the past year, all led by young teens offering advice on periods and other feminine topics. We have been following Isabelle's account "Allthingsperiod101" for a while, her bio reads "Hi there, this Instagram is all about periods. All people with periods can follow and get advice. Visit my page with an open heart and mind" Naturally, there are a few emoticons thrown in there as well. It's no surprise she has slowly gained more followers, over 800 to date. Her posts include reviews on different period management products and her comments sections are filled with questions from her followers asking honest advice on pads, tampons, reusable products. She nourishes an honest conversation with girls. This is a conversation which we actively encourage online and offline and are very happy to see a group of teenagers leading. Get to know Isabelle from the Instagram account "Allthingsperiod101" below:

The Period Store: How long ago did you start your Instagram account "allthingsperiods101"?

Allthingsperiod101: I started it in March of this year. I had wanted to do it for a long time and finally got the courage to make it.

TPS: What inspired you to start this account?

A: I was inspired to make this account so that I could help people. I think it's sad when girls don't feel comfortable asking questions about their periods, so I wanted to make this account to inform women and girls about menstruation, and be there to give advice. 

TPS: How do you think the way your parents first spoke to you about periods affect the way you feel towards menstruation?

A: And my mom always complained about her period and said it was a curse. I was dreading the day that I would get my period. However, I educated myself and through my own research, my opinion on menstruation changed. I think of it now as a positive thing rather than a negative.

TPS: What has been the response to your periods Instagram account both online and offline?

A: The response has been downright amazing. When I started the account, I had no idea it was going to get this popular. I was amazed when I had 50 followers. Now I have over 650! Everyday I get comments thanking me for helping girls out. It makes me feel so accomplished, that I could make someone's life better, even in a tiny way. Offline, my mother loves the account. She thinks it's great that I can help people in this way. She sometimes gives me new ideas on what to post on as well. Everything has just been amazing.

TPS:  Would you say periods are a taboo subject in society?

A: I would absolutely say periods are taboo. I also think it's very sad that they are. Menstruation is an essential part of reproduction. Without it, none of us would be here! It's really sad that even though this is true, society considers it disgusting, weird, and shameful. Women need to start the conversation about menstruation and let it be heard that it is not gross, it is healthy. It isn't weird, it's been around since the first man and woman were alive! And it should not be shameful. Every single woman in the world will have periods, has periods, or has had periods. Hopefully one day it will not be taboo anymore.

TPS: What's the most interesting thing you've learned about periods since starting the account?

A: The most interesting thing I've learned is about the menstrual cycle. People just think of menstruation as the days of our period. However, the menstrual cycle keeps going and moving on the days we are not on our periods. I think it is so interesting that our bodies are so developed and intelligent, that it has a cycle that repeats it self over and over, and knows when to start and when to stop. It makes me happy and proud to be a female. Other women should feel the same about their menstrual cycles as well!

images via Allthingsperiod101

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Thank you Isabelle!

TAGS: INSTAGRAM, INTERVIEW, SOCIAL MEDIA cache cache


June 25th, 2014

Fun fact- every 20 years or so, one person is chosen by the Niagara Falls commission to perform a stunt of their choice over the class 6 rapids and accompanying 167 foot drop. 

This tradition began over 100 years ago with a 63 year old school teacher named Annie Taylor. In 1901 she strapped herself to the inside of a padded barrel and had it dumped over the falls. 

After the 167 foot drop, the barrel tossed, turned and wrenched over the jagged rocks and swirling rapids. Seventeen breathless minutes later, the barrel made its way close enough to the Canadian shore to be hooked and dragged onto land. 

Astoundingly, Annie came out of the barrel confused and shaken, but no worse for wear! That day she became the first person to ever make that drop and is now remembered for being one of the only people in history to pull off that stunt and survive. 

For more information about the trailblazing Annie Taylor and other crazy stories about Niagara Falls stunts -  see the Niagara Parks website - Here (http://www.niagaraparks.com/about-niagara-falls/niagara-falls-stunting-history.html

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Elisse Newey is a 4th grade teacher, genealogist and mother of a 1 year old -  deep in the heart of Texas.

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June 20th, 2014

It's summer and we're all spending a lot more time at the beach and pool.  Ever heard that it's not good to swim on your period? Don't believe it! Check out our list below for the top 5 myths about swimming on your period:

1. Your period stops flowing in water: this is not true!  Your flow might slow down because of water's counter-pressure, but it does not stop flowing completely.  Notice when you're in a bathtub or shower that your period still flows - it's no different when you're swimming in a pool or at the beach. If you're going swimming, be sure to wear a tampon or menstrual cup.  

2. Sharks can smell your blood: Also not true. Sharks can smell humans regardless of whether or not you are bleeding, so being on your period doesn't increase any likelihood that a shark will get ya.  Regardless of whether or not you're on your period, always swim in designated swimming areas.

3. It's OK to wear a pad or pantyliner while swimming: We hate to keep you out of the water, but it's actually not hygienic to wear pads and pantyliner in the water while menstruating. Also, they won't stick to your suit very well once wet.  Opt for a tampon or menstrual cup instead.

4. If you bleed into your bathing suit a bit, it won't leak through:  While bathing suit material often does contain period blood for a time, it can still leak through.  Alternately, wearing a bathing suit for too long, especially with a leak in it, can attract bacteria and also cause yeast infections. Be sure to change out of a suit within a few hours of leaking.

5. Swimming on your period worsens your cramps:  This isn't true! The physical activity of swimming actually eases cramps.  The therapeutic qualities of water and sunshine also ease period symptoms, so if you're cramping - get on in that water!

So go swimming if you feel like it and don't listen to anyone who tells you it's not a good idea! You know your body better than anyone else and it's only summer a few months out of the year.  Take your sunblock and enjoy the time outside. 

TAGS: BATHING SUIT, BEACH, SWIMMING cache cache


June 16th, 2014

If you're one of our subscribers and already received your June period package, then I'm sure you devoured these Crack Cookies by Legally Addictive within minutes. We certainly did. Meet the genius behind this sweet concoction in our interview with Legally Addictive founder Laura Shafferman below:

  1. Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Legally Addictive's products were being made way before I started selling them and had been favorites of my friends for years.  After leaving the corporate world in late 2013, a friend from the NY Etsy Team gave me some serious encouragement to be a food vendor at the Etsy Holiday Cavalcade in Brooklyn.  There were  less than three weeks left to pull it off: name the company,  set up an Etsy shop, get packaging materials and scale up the baking process.  But I decided to use the chance to test the market and spent four days making 76 pounds of granola and 30 pounds of cookies.   To my shock, I was completely sold out of cookies within hours of opening and had to bake all night for the next day.  Not only are they both absolutely addictive, the names of both the Crack Cookies and Wake & Baked Granola made people laugh (Google if you're not familiar:).  I felt like a had a winner - absolutely everyone loved it!  

 I'm a one-woman show at the moment but couldn't have pulled off everything that's happened in the last 6 months without my friends helping me with advice, package, label, design the logo/stickers, make connections and a million other things.  Having always wanted to do something creative, fulfilling and fun with my work that I knew was inside me and also having worked in a very competitive business environment for ten years, I knew my experience and ambition had found me the answer. I absolutely love the amazing feedback from my customers and getting to meet so many incredibly talented and supportive people in the NYC food community.  

Tell us what you think about periods.

Hhhmmm. I think periods are part of what make us women and represent the cycle of life.  We wouldn't have anything in this world without them, and as much as they sometimes drag me down, they also remind me that I'm female and what my body is capable of.   I try to be more gentle on myself during that time and indulge in whatever I want for some comfort.  A friend recently reminded me that they are further proof that women ultimately run the world just due to the fact that we can still go to work, raise kids, and run our lives even with the incredible challenge that PMS can inflict on us. We're amazing!

Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

Let's be honest. Is there a better combination that sweet and salty?  Chocolate and salt?  Probably not. That's usually what I crave and I don't think I'm very different from most women!

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Thank you Legally Addictive! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

TAGS: CHOCOLATE cache cache


June 11th, 2014

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

Valerie Dray is a Parisian photographer working on editorial and fine art portraits. Her work has been featured in publications such as French Vogue, GQ magazine, Glamour and the New York Times. She's interested in the relation between light and shadow and the poetic state of life. Her first installation : ”The day I left” was shown during Art Basel Miami, at Fendi Casa, in 2007. She recently founded the PRINT+SHOP - an online gallery dedicated to sell her Fine Art Photography. She's also the author of The Friday Letter, a weekly letter about madness in town and beauty in the Instagram era.

Likes: First edition Books, Desert Light, rainy days

Dislikes: loud people, Paris Left Bank, Chagall’s paintings.

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself.

Valerie: Hi The Period Store! Thanks for the highlight! I love your concept - thank you for taking care of women (we all need a little help during that time of the month...)  ;)

What can I say about myself... Well, I'm a Paris-born photographer, but my family (my parents and 2 sisters) are all from pretty much everywhere except Paris. So I grew up in a home full of foreigners.

I wasn't exactly born a photographer. But photography appealed to me probably because I'm too lazy to express myself with words... and it's too lame to be a poet these days, so....I take photos. And I love it! I'm very inspired by women, cities, interiors with windows and souls. I write a letter once a week where I speak about a photo I took during the week.

TPS: How's your period?

Valerie: TE-RR-IBLE, it's 6 days long, I'm depressed and I'm not myself...I usually stay home or by myself if I can. One great thing is that I'm very creative while on my period.

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for The Period Store packages.

Valerie: There's a saying: "Paris is always a good idea," SO I thought this is the best thing to look at when you want to feel good and inspired (periodically)!

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work?

Valerie: Rather than my womanhood influencing my work, I would say my work helps me be a woman, or sometimes even question my femininity. I'm really passionate about people, but women are really my case study. My work is mostly a precursor to my thoughts or feelings, so I just follow the inspiration and I know the answer will unfold with the prints (and a little time). So my work has helped shape the woman that I am today...
TAGS: PARIS, PHOTOGRAPHY, VALERIE DRAY cache cache


May 28th, 2014
In celebration of the first annual Menstrual Hygiene Day, we are sharing reasons why #menstruationmatters on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts every hour on May 28th. Help us share the reasons why Menstruation Matters by sharing this on your own social networks.

image: WSSCC / Urmila Chanam

Rhada is a chirpy thirteen year old studying in a government village school. When asked
about menstruation she blushes and says “We don’t talk about it at all!”

“I started my period a few months ago and until then, I knew nothing about a menstrual cycle.
Starting my period has turned my life upside down,” Rhada says.

“My mother told me not to tell anyone that I had begun having periods and she was very clear
that keeping it secret was for my own good. Other people in the village mustn’t know that I am
now of a marriageable age.”

Rhada lives a life of complete isolation for her days of menstruation. She is made to eat
separately after other members of the household have eaten; she is not allowed into the
kitchen; she sits separately during the day and she sleeps alone at night. She is also barred from
worshipping. “I don’t like these restrictions on me. I was better off before,” Rhada says.

From: WaterAid "We can't wait report"
http://www.wateraid.org/~/media/Publications/wecantwait.pdf


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This post was guest written by WaterAid, learn more about the work they are doing around the world here.

TAGS: MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY, MENSTRUATION MATTERS, WATERAID cache cache


May 28th, 2014
In celebration of the first annual Menstrual Hygiene Day, we are sharing reasons why #menstruationmatters on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts every hour on May 28th. Help us share the reasons why Menstruation Matters by sharing this on your own social networks.

WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya
Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV), Sita Thakuri Shah, 63 talking with Ramita Tamang, 24 regarding health issues, Nagarkot, May 2013

"I educate adolescent girls to dry the washed cotton in sun light after used during menstruation. I also tell them to change panty every day during the menstruation. Some women ask me how to be cleaner during the period time and some are shy to talk about the menstruation. I tell them if private parts are not clean properly during the menstruation that may cause problem when they get pregnant. I also do inform married couples about family planning camp on time to time as informed by the health post.”

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This post was guest written by WaterAid, learn more about the work they are doing around the world here.

TAGS: MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY, MENSTRUATION MATTERS, WATERAID cache cache


May 28th, 2014
In celebration of the first annual Menstrual Hygiene Day, we are sharing reasons why #menstruationmatters on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts every hour on May 28th. Help us share the reasons why Menstruation Matters by sharing this on your own social networks.

Community members using two of the new water points, Zakir's slum, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Charlie Bibby/ Financial Times

" The hygiene programme has included awareness-raising on the need for good menstrual hygiene. Many women in slums use dirty rags during menstruation which can lead to urinary tract infections and reproductive health problems. WaterAid and DSK have made some of the latrine cubicles larger so that women have enough room to thoroughly wash rags, have made sure there is a source of water near to latrines for washing rags, and have discussed with women and teenage girls the need to thoroughly dry rags in sunlight before re-using them. The sanitation programme also seeks to cater to the needs of disabled people: for example handles have been installed in latrine cubicles to help physically disabled people squat, and rails have been installed outside latrines to guide blind people. "

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This post was guest written by WaterAid, learn more about the work they are doing around the world here.

TAGS: MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY, MENSTRUATION MATTERS, WATERAID cache cache


May 28th, 2014

In celebration of the first annual Menstrual Hygiene Day, we are sharing reasons why #menstruationmatters on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts every hour on May 28th. Help us share the reasons why Menstruation Matters by sharing this on your own social networks.

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This post was guest written by WaterAid, learn more about the work they are doing around the world here and their Menstrual Hygiene efforts here.

TAGS: MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY, MENSTRUATION MATTERS, WATERAID cache cache


May 18th, 2014

Introducing the newest addition to The Period Store - "I'm on my period" Nail Decals. Feel like wearing your period proud on your nails?  These nail decals will be sure to turn heads!

The Nail Pop "I'm on my period" decal set includes 62 individual nail decals, enough for 6 sets of manicures. Designs include tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and declarations of your period. Give them a try with the tutorial below:

You'll Need:
  • Scissors
  • Bowl of water
  • Clear nail polish
  • Base coat nail polish
Steps:
  1. Use your scissors to trim around the edges of the designs you choose. The designs come in several different sizes - make sure each design fits your nails and trim as close to the design as possible.
  2. Apply your base coat nail polish (any color you wish).
  3. Soak the image in water for 10 seconds.
  4. Once the image has soaked for 10 seconds, you should be able to easily slide it off the paper backing it is on and apply to your freshly painted nail.
  5. Pat down the image evenly and apply 1-2 top coats of clear nail polish.

* Be sure the transfer is completely sealed by clear nail polish. Add another coat daily to help your manicure last.

Add "I'm on my period" Nail Decals by Nail Pop to your next package. Show us your manicures on Instagram with #theperiodstorenails hashtag.

TAGS: NAIL DECALS, NAILS cache cache


May 14th, 2014

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

Bethany Grow is a designer currently living in Salt Lake City where she runs Love Grows Design focusing on branding and design for creative ladies. She also runs a blog where she share advice and thoughts on entrepreneurship, blogging, design, and creativity. Get to know her with our interview below:

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself.

Bethany:
I'm a brand strategist and designer and I have the privilege of working with creative ladypreneurs and passionate bloggers! I'm so happy that I'm able to do what I love and my goal is to help other ladies like myself do the same! My husband, Josh, is my best friend and biggest support and I absolutely wouldn't be where I am without him. We got married two years ago and have been annoyingly attached at the hip ever since. When I'm not working on my little business or hanging out with Josh and our pup, Bruce Wayne, I love trying new foods in new places, taking long road trips filled with good conversation, and getting lost in a good book. I abhor small talk, love good books, and am inspired by history, music, and women around the world doing amazing things!

TPS: How's your period?

B: After a less than pleasant trip to the emergency room when I was fifteen, we discovered I have polycystic ovaries! Since then, my lady parts have been full of surprises. My last period was two months ago and was a long painful two weeks. I like to count my blessings though because my periods are so irregular, sometimes lasting only a day or two or skipping them for months at a time. But when they do hit and are as incredibly painful as always, I am happy to self-medicate with loads of dark chocolate and plenty of naps. Thankfully I now work for myself so there's no more awkward conversations with my boss trying to explain why I'm crouched on the floor at random times or missing work because it's "that time of the month." Now I can take naps and crouch on the floor at will. My ovaries are regular subject in our house and we're always trying to figure out better ways to make my periods more pleasant, manage the pain, and find medications that will relieve my cyst symptoms.

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for The Period Store packages.

B: I'm a huge fan of chocolate and I'm a firm believer that when things get rough, the little things make all the difference. So sometimes life sucks and things get hard and you just need to take a step back, breathe, remember the positives, and have a piece of chocolate to hold you over until things get better! Tomorrow is a new day, in the meantime I'm a big fan of self-medicating with chocolate.

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work?


B: How doesn't it? I work with women every day as they make a name for themselves and show the world what they have to offer. While I could work with both men and women, I chose to focus on women and the passion we all have. I love connecting with creative ladies on a deeper level and relating to their dreams and struggles and forming deeper relationships with them as we work together. We women are so powerful and can do amazing things and I'm lucky to be a part of that! en every day as they make a name for themselves and show the world what they have to offer. While I could work with both men and women, I chose to focus on women and the passion we all have. I love connecting with creative ladies on a deeper level and relating to their dreams and struggles and forming deeper relationships with them as we work together. We women are so powerful and can do amazing things and I'm lucky to be a part of that! 

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Do you have work that you would like to submit to The Period Store?  Contact us! info[at]theperiodstore.com 

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May 9th, 2014

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are classic, and when looking through Tumbador's chocolate bars, a chocolate with pb & j filling just sounded delicious. It certainly did not disappoint. Have you had your Dark Chocolate PB&J bar yet? Get to know the maker behind the sweets in your package this month below:

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Tumbador: Located  in Brooklyn, New York, Tumbador Chocolate has been creating delicious, high quality chocolate confections since 2005. We initially made private label services our primary focus and also found great success years later through our company branded line. Our Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Bonnet (Formerly of New York’s renowned restaurant Daniel’s), crafts Tumbador Chocolates by selecting only the finest ingredients. Going beyond the chocolate, we are also community based. Many members of the Tumbador family are given a second chance through programs such as STRIVE, Goodwill, and The Fortune Society.

 TPS: Tell us what you think about periods.

T: We think periods are a great excuse for women to indulge in chocolate, guilt-free! We don’t blame them either.

TPS: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

T: Our chocolate confections are hand crafted with the finest and exotic all-natural ingredients. We have something sweet to satisfy everyone’s taste buds! Not to mention chocolate makes everything better.

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Thank you for Tumbador! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

TAGS: cache cache


May 7th, 2014

"The first thing that caught my eye about May Slosson were these photographs. Aren't they fabulous?!...

May is most well-known for being the first woman to earn a PhD from Cornell University and the first woman to earn a PhD in philosophy in the United States. However, what I find inspiring about May Slosson is the work she did in the Wyoming prison systems. 

While supporting her husband through his degree and taking care of a young child in 1800s Wyoming, May discovered a need for an education program in the state penitentiary. Using her academic and social connections, she established a series of "Sunday Lectures" by local university professors for all inmates. 

These lectures were so successful that when a prison chaplain position opened up in the all-male ward, she was overwhelmingly requested by the inmates to take over. She remained in that role for 4 years until she moved with her family to New York City. "

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Elisse Newey is a 4th grade teacher, genealogist and mother of a 4 month old -  deep in the heart of Texas.

TAGS: ELISSE NEWEY, THE STRENGTH OF WOMEN cache cache


May 1st, 2014

Have you ever done an emotional detox? We want to give it a try.

Napping with your dog.

This book is creating quite a stir.

The #bringbackourgirls initiative.

"Girls need life-planning advice."


TAGS: THE PERIOD STORE LOVES cache cache


April 30th, 2014

Menstrual cramps are something almost everybody experiences during their period. Our monthly packages include some of the more common treatments for menstrual cramps and PMS like tea, pain meds, and sweets - that one is mostly for the emotional symptoms ;). We're happy to also share recipes with you on our blog!

First up, don't miss breakfast, and start off your day right with this cramp-relieving oatmeal recipe. It's so fast and easy, and your body will thank you for it during the length of your period. Oats are high in magnesium, which is a great way to relieve menstrual pain. This recipe uses water instead of milk, because - although calcium is really good for your period - dairy has acids that might actually trigger cramping. And lastly, blueberries! Not only are they delicious, but they're filled with antioxidants, which are your best friends when dealing with PMS and cramps.
Try this oatmeal recipe every morning for 3 days before you start your period and during your period to ease cramping for the week.

  1. Pick your oats. Whether you prefer them steel-cut, rolled, instant, or old-fashioned, in the end all oats have the same nutritional value. Hooray magnesium!

  2. Cook 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 1 cup of water. Skip the milk this time around.

  3. When your oatmeal is as mushy or runny as you like it, add 1/4 cup of blueberries to get your dose of antioxidants and enjoy !

We'd love to hear any foods you have found that help make your periods easier. Follow up with us in the comment section and let us know if eating oatmeal helped your period cramps!

TAGS: ANTIOXIDANTS, MAGNESIUM, MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, RECIPE cache cache


April 21st, 2014

The Period Store is now carrying cases! The best part of this new addition to our shop is that these cases hold a lot more than just tampons, which is fitting since we carry a lot more than just tampons in our shop. Store your tampons, cloth pads, menstrual cup, and much more inside these sweet new cases by Vinnie's Tampon Case and Jackie's Ghost.

If you've been keeping your period supplies in a plastic zip log bag in your purse like members of our team here, it might be time to add a fancy new tampon, pad, cup or sponge case to your next package in the accessories section of the shop!

TAGS: CASES, CLOTH PAD, JACKIE'S GHOST, MENSTRUAL CUP, NEW PRODUCT, PAD, TAMPON, VINNIE'S TAMPON CASE cache cache


April 16th, 2014

Isn't the moon one of the most mesmerizing things to look at?

Did you know that women with irregular menstrual or ovulating cycles can get their cycle back on track by sleeping with light that mimics moonlight? Essentially, you sleep with a little night light on and brighten and dim it as the moon brightens and dims throughout the month. You can skip the nightlight if you can sleep under the stars or with a window or skylight. After a few moon cycles, these women will begin to regularly ovulate when there is a full moon. I learned this while attending Jessa Blades' Fertility Awareness Workshop last month.


Do you feel emotionally or physically affected by the moons phases? If so, then I'm sure you've been on high alert this month because the sky is giving us quite a show. It began with a new moon on March 30/April 1st, followed by a rare "Blood Moon" lunar eclipse on April 14/15, and we will end the month with a solar eclipse on April 28/29. Oh, and there are some meteor showers thrown into the mix as well. Despite all the different meanings these events can have, one thing is certain: We are definitely keeping an eye on the skies this month.

image by Madara Liepiņa

TAGS: ECLIPSE, MOON, MOON CYCLES, MOON PHASES cache cache


April 14th, 2014

This month is full of lunar happenings (more on that later), but tonight's is especially significant because the moon will turn "blood" red at 3:07 AM EDT. The eclipse will begin at 12:54 AM EDT, when the earth will begin to slowly cast a shadow over the moon. At 3:07 "Totality" will happen (which is when the moon is shadowed by the earth completely), and at 6:37 AM the moon will go back to its silvery-white color.

Isn't that fascinating? You can read about the science behind it all here.

It's no news that the moon and our cycles have been believed to be inter-related for ages. We wonder how many women will start their period or ovulate during tonight's Blood Moon!

images via NASA

TAGS: BLOOD MOON, ECLIPSE, LUNAR ECLIPSE, MOON, MOON CYCLE cache cache


April 11th, 2014

Ever since I first started my period, I've almost always had cramps for a couple days after I stopped bleeding. I also usually have very light cramps 3 or 4 days before I start my period, which I've learned to use as a sign that my period is going to start soon. I think everyone who gets their period keeps mental tabs on these patterns, mostly to know how long the pain may last and when to expect the bleeding to begin and end.

Recently, I've been writing these things down. I find it has helped me get to know my menstrual cycle throughout the month. Below are some of the things I write down in my Period Journal. Do you keep any written tabs on your menstrual cycle? What do you write in it?

  • Bloating. I take notes on when I bloat, how long it lasts, and what I ate to see if that may have caused it. I also consider what I eat while bloated to see what stops bloating for me.
  • Abdominal pain. I have ovarian cysts and they come and go as they please. It can be really painful and incredibly annoying because I feel like I have no control over when it happens and what can be done to stop the cysts from growing. Doctors have said getting on the birth control pill is the only way to diminish them entirely. I've been keeping track of when I'm in pain, exactly where it is, and how long it lasts. I'm trying to find patterns with my cysts to better help me understand them.
  • Bleeding. I write down how long my cycle is. It seems like every 5 months I have a 28-day cycle compared to my usual 32-day cycle. It used to catch me by surprise, and I thought I must have a totally irregular cycle, but I know now that my cycle isn't irregular, it just regularly likes to give me a shorter cycle a few times a year.
  • Cramps. My cramps aren't very bad, but I like to keep track of how they lead up to my cycle as well as what remedies I can use to treat them. My current favorite is The Period Store Magic Heat Pack.
  • Body Aches. I always feel achy and tired on the first day of my period. I am now writing down exactly where I am achy, for how long, and what can help me deal with it.
  • Moods. I feel like getting my package from The Period Store a week before my period is the perfect way for me to be a little more aware of my PMS and possible mood swings. Before, I used to get my period and think "Oh that's why I cried while watching that commercial the other day." Now I can foresee my emotions.

TAGS: CRAMPS, MOOD SWINGS, PERIOD JOURNAL, PMS cache cache


April 9th, 2014

Best friends are the best. You can call them whenever and you know they'll pick up the phone or call you right back. You can talk about nothing and everything, and when you're having "one of those days" they know exactly what to say to make things right.

We love best friends.

image source

TAGS: FRIENDS cache cache


April 4th, 2014


The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

Ashley Seil Smith is cofounder of The Period Store and earning her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.  You can see a past highlight on Ashley here.  

We've included a few pieces by Ashley in packages over the last six months and decided it was probably about time we posted them here along with a brief interview!

Periodical: So, how's your period been since our last interview?

Since starting The Period Store, my period health has greatly improved (aside from the stress...).  This store has forced me to take inventory of my period health and be more proactive about making each period better.  I've always had horribly painful periods but I've been learning gradually how to ease my period symptoms by eating healthier, lighter meals - especially around my period - and by avoiding certain medicines that actually exacerbate my symptoms and leave  me feeling more sick (like ibuprofen).  

In the past year I've met a lot of women who love their periods and while I'm not sure that I will ever love my period, I'm into loving my body and making each period a better experience.

P: Tell us about the pieces you created for our monthly packages.

The Frida piece (below) was inspired by Rubi's trip to Casa Azul over the holidays.  Like so many others, I've always loved Frida Kahlo.  I learned about her life, including the bus accident, severed uterus and other health problems, in high school.  It wasn't until my adult life that I came to understand how this influenced her work.  She grew up surrounded by women and was deeply affected by the acutely female tragedies of her life, including a handful of miscarriages.  These themes of tragedy and pain often show up in her work.  She painted as a way to communicate with others and to cope with life.  Though marked by difficulty, her life and her paintings were strong and beautiful, so I had fun doing this small Frida color study as a tribute.

My other other piece, the Cherry Picker, is either full of symbols and euphemisms, or not - whichever way you prefer to view it.  I'm not always big on talking about my work because it's OK if people don't get some aspects of it or reinterpret it for themselves.  I'm also still figuring out how I like to work best, so I consider every piece an experiment. 


Do you have work that you would like to submit to The Period Store?  Contact us! info[at]theperiodstore.com 

All limited edition prints are 5"x7" and printed on premium, acid-free archival fine art paper.

TAGS: FRIDA KAHLO, ILLUSTRATION cache cache


March 31st, 2014

(AND WHY ITS NOT AWKWARD TO ASK THEM)

By: Megan Silianoff

It’s always awkward when someone discovers I’ve had cancer. I’m not sure why - it’s not like I’m embarrassed about it. I’m just as willing to talk about cancer as I am Lindsay Lohan’s new reality show or my new-found crush on Harry Connick Jr.

My history of cancer always comes up in one of two ways. Scenario one is when people inquire (say at a wedding for instance) about “what I do”. I tell them about my blog, my freelance clients, and my social media consulting and then I say “and I wrote a book last year.”  The follow up question is obviously “What was your book about?” and I tell them it was a cancer/adoption memoir. Usually this poor wedding goer gets really confused and/or sad and I have to cheer them up and say “Don’t worry!! I’m okay! And you will be too!”

Scenario two happens when people find out my daughter, Macy, is adopted. I always let the “she looks just like you” comments go by because she does, sort of, look like me. But sometimes it feels like lying by omission. For example, I get “you are so skinny for having had a baby” often. While I can’t stress to you how the sheer euphoria I get when people think I’m skinny (even with the caveat of “just having a baby”) I feel like I should clarify which results in the onslaught of my story.

Here’s the thing though – it’s okay to ask people questions about something they bring up whether it be sickness, divorce, or even death. If they brought it up – chances are they are fine having a conversation about it.  The reason I’m not bringing up my high school ACT score is because I don’t want to talk about it.  But I mentioned cancer, so ask away! Or say “bummer” and let’s move on. I’d be happy to show you pics of Harry on my phone. Let’s just not have an awkward exchange about it.

Now that we’re well acquainted and comfortable, here are the top ten questions I get about my ovarian cancer.

TOP TEN QUESTIONS I GET ABOUT MY OVARIAN CANCER

How old were you when you were diagnosed?

28. (I’m 32 now.)

How did the doctors find it?

It hurt when I peed. And my lower abdominal area hurt to the touch. Once my relatively small dog jumped on my stomach and it was way more painful than it should have been.

Did you have a family history?

Nope!

Did you get tested for the BRCA gene?

Yes I was tested but didn’t have the gene. For those of you who are “um, what?” about the BRCA gene read this New Yorker article by Angelia Jolie. My book would make a great choice to beef up on the subject as well.

Did you have to have chemo/radiation?

No, thankfully. My specific type of ovarian cancer doesn’t respond to chemo or radiation. When it appears you just have to physically remove it with surgery.

Are you scared it’s going to come back?

Only during my follow up appointments. 99% of my life I don’t even think about cancer. But on the days of my follow up appointments (every three to six months) while I’m waiting for the results of my ultra sounds or CT Scans I convince myself it’s back. My doctor then tells me I’m fine and resume worrying about more frivolous things like whether or not I should get a chocolate chip cookie from the cafeteria on my way out of the hospital. (I usually decide I absolutely should.) 

Did you have a hysterectomy?

No. I ‘ve had my right ovary removed. But I still have a left one and a uterus.

Did you go into menopause? What was that like?

Yes. Menopause was not as bad as I envisioned. I couldn’t sleep at night. I would wake up in the middle of the night wide awake.

My tastes also changed. I used to start dreaming about my morning coffee the previous afternoon but I couldn’t even drink a full cup when I was in menopause. My body/taste buds just didn’t want it anymore.

I had a lower mood, some depression which my doctors told me was very normal.

Last but certainly not least the infamous hot flashes! Mine were manageable. They would come on quickly and leave quickly (2 minutes-ish) and it’s not like I needed to shower or anything. It’s a different type of heat and sweat than you get from, say, going for a run.  

Do you still get your period?

I have recently, yes. I wouldn’t say my cycle is regular or consistent but I’ve definitely gotten it which is how I knew I’d come out of menopause. Are You There God? It’s Me, Megan!

Can you have kids?

Not biologically but as I mentioned above my husband and I adopted a baby girl from an adoption agency in Austin, Texas. We named her Macy Carter after the movie Uncle Buck and my favorite rapper Jay Z.  My book chronicles all of that – you should totally read it.

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Megan Silianoff writes the popular lifestyle blog, Greetings from Texas, and her debut memoir 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One was published in September of last year.  Megan has spoken for a number of companies and conferences including Facebook, the US Navy, Alt Summit, and Texas Style Council. Megan resides in Houston, Texas with her husband and her toddler daughter, Macy Carter, whom she named after the movie Uncle Book and rapper Jay-Z.  Megan watches an obscene amount of TV – favorites including Girls, Downton Abbey, and Homeland.

photo by Awake Photography

TAGS: ADOPTION, BOOKS, CANCER, MENOPAUSE, OVARIAN CANCER cache cache


March 28th, 2014

What is this little plant root and why is it becoming a saving grace for so many in pain? The root is called corydalis. No stranger to the Asian herbal medicine pharmacopeia but practically unheard of in the U.S. until Dr. Oz talked about it for fast, natural pain relief on a January episode of the Dr. Oz show.

“I first experienced the effects of corydalis years ago while in school and my husband hurt his back. He was laying flat on the floor all weekend and all over-the-counter pain killers were completely worthless. I gave him a dose of the powdered corydalis granules in a cup of tea and the pain was gone within an hour” explained Susan. A colleague of mine at Emperors College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. “Even I was in shock because I knew this herb but didn’t realize its potential until I saw it in action.”

My first experience with this pain relieving herb effects of corydalis in a formulation of herbs for menstrual cramps. It was so effective I could hardly believe it. I had suffered with cramps from the time I was 15 years old and although not terrible every month I was always popping 1 or 2 pain pills to get through the first day of my cycle. When I learned and started using Chinese herbal medicine, my monthly cramps were gone. I could even go for a run during my period. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about this herb and others before. It’s truly been a life saver.

Corydalis is a well studied herb and active ingredients are known alkaloids which produce the pain relieving effects.  It is the compound, dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), that is most responsible for the herb’s main pain-relieving effects. Similar to prescription pain medications this compound blocks pain signals in the brain, but without any addictive qualities.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM) corydalis is known to invigorate the blood, move qi (energy that travels through the body), and alleviate pain. Corydalis is always used in conjunction with other herbs to increase its effectiveness. It has been part of PMS Relief Herb Pack from the onset of launching this product in 2010. Since then we’ve sold over 100,000 packets of PMS relief and our fan base has been growing.

We hope more women will give it a try for their period cramps, back pain or any menstrual related pain. Not only does PMS Relief Herb Pack taste great it provides noticeable pain relief within 20 minutes and is taken only when needed. 

Add a PMS Relief Herb Pack to your next Period Store package here.

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Cathy is the founder of Pacific Herbs. She is a a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and Diplomat of Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Master's Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, undergraduate degree from SMU, and is the author of "Stop Your Bitching...Naturally! A Step By Step Guide to Balance Your Hormones Naturally and End PMS & Menstrual Cramps"

TAGS: CORYDALIS, CRAMPS, HERBAL REMEDIES, PAIN RELIEF, TEA cache cache


March 24th, 2014

We turned 1 year old this month. All of our subscribers received a free tote bag to celebrate. Hooray!

Thank you so much for all of your support. We look forward to many more birthdays with you!

Check out photos from our launch party.

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March 21st, 2014

Nellie Bly (born Elizabeth Jane Cochran), even by today’s standards, was a force to be reckoned with. Despite very humble beginnings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania she became a formidable reporter who told the stories of the repressed, the bullied and the adventurous.

She got her start in 1880 when she responded to a particularly misogynistic article in her local paper. They were so impressed with her pluck and earnestness that they gave her a job. She spent her early years focusing on investigative pieces on the lives of female factory workers, and later, as a foreign correspondent to Mexico. As a 21 year-old reporter in a foreign country she took on topics such as the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz and the unjust imprisonment of local journalists.

One of my favorite stories is the work she did as an undercover reporter with New York World in which she feigned insanity in order to expose the brutality and neglect that was rampant in the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.

She began in a local boardinghouse where she began to do strange things and stay up all night talking to herself. When she was reported by neighbors she faked amnesia in front of the judge who had her examined by several doctors who declared her “positively demented.”

Once committed to the asylum she was able to gather important information about the deplorable conditions that the patients were exposed to day after day.

After 10 days New York World was able to get her released and her story caused many much-needed changes in the legal and social systems throughout the Nation.

She went on to travel the world reporting on the behalf of the underprivileged and the oppressed until the day she died in 1922.


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Elisse Newey is a 4th grade teacher, genealogist and mother of a 3 month old -  deep in the heart of Texas.

TAGS: ELISSE NEWEY, NELLIE BLY, THE STRENGTH OF WOMEN cache cache


March 19th, 2014

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

Jana Miller is a hand lettering artist (and Butterfinger lover) from Southern California. All her drawings are done in pencil and ink and then digitalized. She is currently working on a project called, 333 Days of Hand Lettering.

The Period Store: Tell us about yourself.

Jana: I'm a 48 year old artist from Orange County California. When I'm not creating hand lettered designs, I work with 5th graders in the public schools. I teaching blogging, crochet, macrame and a little bit of math. Mostly, I just listen to their stories and try to encourage them when things are tough.

TPS: How's your period?

J: I got my first period in 5th grade. And my fifth grade year was the worst ever. We had all passed around the Judy Blume books, without our mom's knowing. Even though Judy celebrated this part of life, I cried because I wasn't happy about getting it at all. I cried each time I got it until I accepted the fact that it wasn't going away. Funny how, I ended up working with 5th graders!

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for The Period Store packages.

J: I'm really hard on myself and I expect myself to be perfect a lot. This means, I fight against my body sometimes. I live in a household of men, raising two sons with my husband. I confess, I have chocolate in my nightstand. That way I know it will be there when I need it. It's my way of being nice to myself and honoring my life as a woman.

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work?

J: I made a commitment when I started my hand lettering project that I would post my drawings, even the ones that were not my favorites. As a woman and a recovering perfectionist, this is often a battle. I take it one day at a time. And I'm happy with the direction I'm headed. 

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Are you an artist with work you'd like to submit to The Period Store?  Send us an e-mail at info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: ART, CHOCOLATE cache cache


March 17th, 2014


Last week, we had the opportunity to attend a screening of the film Menstrual Man, which has been making its rounds on the internet over the past month (thank you everyone who has sent us period-related articles). We were first introduced to Arunachalam Muruganantham aka Menstrual Man over a year ago via his TED Talk. Since then, Amit Virmani made a documentary film about Menstrual Man's story and his journey making sanitary napkins for women in rural India. It is such a great film and about so much more than just menstruation. We also were fortunate enough to have a skype Q & A with the director last night after the screening at the Maylses Cinema. The group of individuals who came out to the screening last night was so inspiring, we fell in love with the community at the cinema.

Now, to say we highly recommend this film is an understatement. The fact that part of it was filmed in the same village Ashley and Nate (our co-founders) studied in before starting The Period Store was a definite bias for us. Besides that, it is an incredible story, and a very well-done film.

We've always said that menstruation has long been a conversation led by men selling products to women by attributing shame to the topic. It was so incredibly refreshing to see two men, Arunachalam Muruganantham (Menstrual Man) and Amit Virmani (the director), leading this conversation in such a positive direction. Some of the goals of The Period Store have always been to empower women to embrace this topic which is so entirely feminine, stop the shame, and have like-minded individuals (regardless of gender) leading this conversation. There are so many men and women who are doing this around the globe, and we are happy to support this cause ourselves.


Join us to educate, break the taboo, and empower each other with all the choices we have available for menstrual health.

The film is available to watch online for $3.99 - we encourage everyone to watch it. You will fall in love with Menstrual Man.

TAGS: FILM, INDIA cache cache


March 12th, 2014


"When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead." - Ban Bossy

We pledge to ban the negative connotation of the term bossy. Will you?




TAGS: BAN BOSSY, LEAN IN cache cache


March 10th, 2014

Our friends at What the F Magazine in Ann Arbor, Michigan threw their very own Menstruation Celebration a few weeks ago. We were very happy to be a part of their party - see party photos here.

We've had mixed responses to our own Menstruation Celebration, and some of the negative ones have only made it clearer to us how important it is for everyone to talk about periods. We are not trying to make it the topic of every conversation, but it definitely shouldn't be a shameful thing to discuss. Why do you think it's important to talk about periods?

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February 21st, 2014

We've partnered with Underland NY to bring you a new music playlist curated exclusively for The Period Store customers and followers every month. Have you downloaded your February music playlist yet? Listen to Fresh curated by Underland here.

Underland only works with independent artists, so much of the music you’re going to hear is completely new and off the radar. We encourage you to explore the bands you like and appreciate any feedback you may have (love notes to bands are always appreciated). Happy menstruating!

Special thanks to Underland and all of the wonderful musicians featured in this month's playlist. We encourage you to support your favorite independent artists so they can keep making the sounds you love to hear <3.

F0XYr4bB!T: soundcloud.com/foxy-rabbit
Rails: soundcloud.com/rails-nyc
No Reason to Live: hugepupils.tumblr.com/search/no+reason+to+live
Blusher: blusher.bandcamp.com
True Key: soundcloud.com/truekey
Trololo: trololo.bandcamp.com

Share your favorite song with us on twitter!  @UnderlandNY, @ThePeriodStore #PeriodPlaylist

TAGS: UNDERLAND NY cache cache


February 18th, 2014

The Period Store is looking for a design intern!

If you enjoy girl talk, graphic design, feminine hygiene confetti .gifs, and sweets, then we'd love to meet you. This is a 3-month position with an average workload of 8 hrs a week and the flexibility of working from NYC or remotely.

Apply by emailing us at: info@theperiodstore.com with the subject line "Intern" and we'll get back to you with more details.

TAGS: cache cache


February 17th, 2014

We are so excited to introduce the newest addition to The Period Store - the Magic Heat Pack, a cramp heating pad that you can find in the heat therapy section of our shop. You can now choose between the three heating pads we carry: our bendable Magic Heat Pack, and our fabric Rice Heat Pack and the classic Magic Heat Pack (as shown above). We made these heat pads to help ease and reduce cramps, muscle pains, arthritis pains, tendonitis and warming hands or feet in the cold. We call it magic because it can be used and reused hundreds of times indoors or out. The Magic Heat pack is made with non-toxic sodium acetate that is activated by the click of a small metal disk which hardens the liquid inside and turns it into the perfect temperature to help ease period cramps and other body aches.

Add one of our Heat Therapy items to your next package!


TAGS: CRAMPS, HEAT THERAPY, MAGIC HEAT PACK cache cache


February 14th, 2014

Love,
The Period Store


TAGS: MENSTRUAL CUP, REUSABLE PAD, SEA SPONGE, TAMPONS cache cache


February 7th, 2014

One of The Period Store's goals is to expose women to all the different options available for period management. We encourage our customers to try out different products and find something that works for their lifestyle. We have tried out so many different products since starting The Period Store and want to give you a chance to try out new products as well. Which is why we're having a GIVEAWAY!

Have you ever used reusable pads? We've heard several women compare them to "sitting on a pillow". We're giving one lucky winner a GladRags 3-day reusable pads pack, GladRags Menstruation Sensation zine, and a The Period Store tote bag. Enter our giveaway by following the instructions below.

To Enter:

- Follow the instructions in the widget bellow.

You have THREE chances to enter so good luck!

The winner will be chosen at random at 12:00am on February 14th.

*The Period Store and Rafflecounter won't use your email address for any reason but to contact the winner of the giveaway and to keep track of the number of times you entered.

TAGS: GIVEAWAY, REUSABLE PADS cache cache


February 5th, 2014

We are very excited about the sweets we're sending out in our February packages. The sweet this time around is from Maine-based Bixby & Co. Their chocolate bars are handmade with premium organic chocolate, they contain no GMO's, preservatives, are kosher certified, gluten-free and vegan. They are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa, their materials are FSC approved and they are Youth Certified. Now just wait until you try your bar because on top of all that, their chocolate bars are delicious.

Periodical: Tell us about yourself.  Where are you located and what's your story?

Bixby & Co: Bixby & Co. is located in Mid Coast Maine. In March of 2014, we will move into our own dedicated factory in Rockland Maine. I am Kate McAleer a 26-year-old entrepreneur who started the company two years ago. I played on the varsity woman’s golf team for New York University and found the candy available on the golf course full of additives, preservatives, corn syrups and compound chocolate (chocolate with added oils and waxes). Candy needed to be re-invented! Bixby Bars were soon born as candy re-invented to contain real chocolate and real foods—nuts, fruits and spices.

P: Tell us what you think about periods.

B: Periods are a normal function of life with many things your Mother never prepares you for! Probably because each one of us is different and periods vary due to our systems, what we may be using for birth control if being used, diet, exercise and environment, stresses and on and on.

For me, I find that exercise and good nutrition along with good rest really make a difference on how I feel and handle my period each month. Getting outside to ski, snowshoe or just take a walk. Eating “clean food” with lots of vegetables and fruits and taking a protein smoothie for breakfast each morning really allows one to move through our normal cycles with ease and comfort.

P: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

B: Bixby Bars are organic chocolate with fruit, nuts and spices that are exotic and interesting flavors. It is a satiating snack that feels and tastes indulgent while not loaded with sugar but instead with fiber and protein from nuts and fruits. There are no preservatives or additives, Bixby Bars are non-GMO verified, certified Kosher and certified Gluten-Free.

--

Thank you Bixby & Co.!  Follow them on twitter, facebook, and instagram.

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February 3rd, 2014

The focus around here is usually on women, but we're pretty excited about The Mask We Live In.  We can get behind any movement that encourages compassion and kindness.  Take a look!

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January 31st, 2014

Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed is one of my personal heroes. She is most well-known for being a pioneer in the field of mountaineering long before it was socially acceptable for women to climb mountains. In addition to mountain climbing, she was a photographer, author and one of the first female film-makers. Overall, she made over 10 films about her adventures in the Alps. It is also worth mentioning that she did all of this in a dress. Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed was no joke.

From her book – True Tales of Mountain Adventure for Non-Climbers Young and Old
"There is no manlier sport in the world than mountaineering. It is true that all the sports Englishmen take part in are manly, but mountaineering is different from others, because it is sport purely for the sake of sport. There is no question of beating anyone else, as in a race or a game, or of killing an animal or a bird as in hunting or shooting. A mountaineer sets his skill and his strength against the difficulty of getting to the top of a steep peak. Either he conquers the mountain, or it conquers him. If he fails, he keeps on trying until he succeeds. This teaches him perseverance, and proves to him that anything is possible if he is determined to do it."

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Elisse Newey is a 4th grade teacher, genealogist and mother of a 3 month old -  deep in the heart of Texas.

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January 29th, 2014


We met so many wonderful people at Altitude Summit last week. It was inspiring to be surrounded by all the creativity at the conference. We stocked the bathrooms with Organyc products, which is our newest line of organic tampons and pads - search Organyc in the shop to check out the full range.

We also made this infographic for the conference attendees with some data based on internal surveys and we thought we'd share it with all of you as well. Enjoy!

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January 28th, 2014

We were so excited to include The Period Store products in Park City Television's Sundance Film Festival gift bags for this year's festival. We were included alongside a select number of other great products and we also had the chance to be on Park City Television's morning show on one of the last days of the festival to talk a bit about our company. Chelsea (the host) and the whole team at Park City TV were great to us and we are very grateful for the opportunity.

Watch our segment with co-founders Ashley and Rubi below:




Thank you PCTV!
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January 27th, 2014
Last week we had the opportunity to chat periods on ABC 4 Utah Midday and introduce our newest vendor Organyc. Organyc makes 100% Organic Cotton tampons, pads, pantiliners as well as 100% organic feminine wipes and intimate wash. Include them in your next package here.

Watch our segment on ABC 4 Utah Midday with co-founder Ashley below:

 
Thank you to the entire team at ABC 4 Utah!
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January 22nd, 2014

We've stocked up the bathrooms at Alt Summit SLC so you'll all be taken care of if Aunt Flo decides to attend the conference this week as well!

Co-founders Ashley and Rubi will be at the conference, tweet us @theperiodstore to say hi!


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January 13th, 2014

We have partnered with The ( • ) Project and will be sharing one story every other month on our blog The Periodical. See past stories here.


The ( • ) Project is a tumblr devoted to first period stories of 300 words or less (fiction and nonfiction) written by individuals of any gender or age. The stories are short enough to make you click through all of their archives without giving it a second thought.

Submit your own first period story to The Period Project by emailing it to theperiodprojectblog@gmail.com. Your story can be fiction or nonfiction — 300 words or less— of first periods, written by individuals of any gender or age.

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January 8th, 2014

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

This cycle's piece was created by Gaby Aleman, a graphic design student and artist based in San Diego, California. You can follow her inspirations and art on instagram @gaby_rielle.  See our interview with Eliza below!

The Period Store:  Tell us about yourself.

Gaby: I’m Gaby and I’m a graphic design student from San Diego. I attend San Diego State University and will graduate this May, yay me! Aside from being a student, I work with high school kids and hold art classes for them. My goal in life is to produce work that will make people feel some sort of emotion, whether it is good or bad.

TPS: How's your period?

G: Well, I was nine years old when I got my first period and I hated it for years. It was always irregular and heavy. But now at twenty-five, I’ve began to understand how interesting and intense a period is, our uterus gets all dolled up to hold a baby, and when no baby shows up, she cleans up, throws out the waste and waits till next month, she puts in a lot of work, you gotta respect that.

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for this month's period package.

G: During a period, I become a sobbing, overly- sensitive, sweaty mess. And I know for me I feel my weakest during that time, so I wanted to take a quote that was strong and directed towards men, and transform it into an empowering statement that women could relate to. Winston Churchill was known to be a bit of a chauvinist, so taking his quote and putting my spin on it was something I thought women could enjoy, turning a negative into a positive. The uterus in my piece appears to be a mounted trophy, expressing how women should be proud of themselves for over coming a tough internal battle.

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work?

G:  I believe women are able to express themselves more openly than men, and I think that’s a big advantage that we have. I happen to be a very passionate person, my feelings are always extreme, but that also comes with being a Pisces.  So, being a woman with these qualities has a lot to do with what influences my work. I've had stages where my work is based off of Mexican calaveras, naked men and women, German children's stories, love, and periods. All done from a woman's perspective.

---

Thanks, Gaby!  You can view Gaby's work here.  Are you an artist with work you'd like to submit to The Period Store?  Send us an e-mail at info[at]theperiodstore.com

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January 3rd, 2014

Being a Mexican-American female, one of my first introductions to art was Frida Kahlo. I distinctly remember hearing the story of the tragic bus accident that broke multiple bones in her body and severed her uterus, leaving her infertile and with health problems that affected her throughout her short life. Despite the complex life she had, Frida became one of the most recognized female artists in the world. Her self-portraits and paintings are widely loved and have been shown in museums all around the world.

I was lucky enough to visit her house "Casa Azul," which is now the Museo Frida Kahlo, with my sister and her family. It was similar to visiting Monet's home in Giverny. Her artwork was exhibited throughout the space, her and Diego Rivera's art collection was displayed throughout the home, their kitchen was decorated as it was when they lived there, and their rooms and art studios were also there as they left them. There was also a temporary exhibition of her famous dresses which had been in storage up until recently and is now being shown to the public for the first time. It was beautiful. My sister and I spoke about the strength seeing her work gives us as women. Are you a fan of Frida? What artists speak to you?

"Las apariencias engañan" - Frida Kahlo "Looks can be deceiving".

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store.

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January 1st, 2014


Love, The Period Store

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December 30th, 2013

Sex & World Peace by Valerie M. Hudson
The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things by Anna Holmes
Woman Code by Alisa Vitti
Vagina by Naomi Wolf
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Global Feminisms Since 1945 by Bonnie G. Smith

Do you have any books you hope to read in 2014?

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December 25th, 2013


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December 23rd, 2013

“My periods are going on!”  , say these words in public and you feel like you’ve beheaded someone. In India, menstruation is sculpted into dramatic scenarios. Journey to become a lady from a girl is not that easy I guess!

I was on my first industrial tour after opting into engineering and was having the second day of my period too!! Things were fine till we, a group of 12 girls and 8 guys, where asked to enter the premise of a small temple. Suddenly a friend of mine started giving me those looks and I said “yes I am having my periods” needless to say that I could not enter the temple in those days.  I had to wait for my peers to return back from the temple. I heard giggles among guys while returning back to college. Is this where we have reached in 21st century?

I am called Saraswati, Laxmi , Durga and Sakti. But I am a lady; I get my periods every month, irrespective of any situation or occasion and it is to be respected. I wonder why these restrictions exist just for us. Why am I not allowed to go to temples, not allowed to touch anyone at home, and not go to work during those days?

I am not against anyone’s beliefs and rituals.  I often think why people in our society take periods or menstruation as a tabooed subject and not as a normal biological process that every girl has to undergo monthly.

It’s not completely the males who don’t understand periods and burden us with restrictions, but a major role is played by the women. They themselves have created these restrictions and pass it from one generation to another without knowing the facts, making it more difficult for the younger generation to go through it. Aren’t women first to be understood by women themselves? Instead of being empathetic about the situation, they make every possible ways to make a girl follow certain myths and restriction within the family.

Being an engineer, I naturally tend to question the root of certain beliefs our society has enforced on us. I want to question things and I don’t want people to give me those looks when I say I am having my periods. Give your lady the respect she deserves, the love, care and rest that is required during her periods.

Let her go to temple I say, and let the sacred ambiance create positivity in her. Let her cook, it’s her kitchen.  Let her work, give her that hygienic workplace. Let her live, she is truly bearing all this for you. These restrictions and taboos are manmade; God never wants to restrict anyone. In fact, God always wanted women to be free and powerful and that’s why he subjected every power of nature in Goddess Sati. Respect that power!!

Author: Monica Yadav is a young biotech engineer from Ahmedabad, India. She is passionate about educating kids through storytelling.

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This guest post is part of a collaboration between Menstrupedia and The Period Store. We encourage you to learn more about menstruation in Indian culture on Menstrupedia.com

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December 19th, 2013

As a hairstylist, I find these ads especially entertaining. See the text below:

"In your thoughts summer joys are never-ending, nothing keeps you out of the swim, away from the merriment, apart from the party, nothing can... If you use the cool, clean, fresh protection of Tampax."

"You muse on moving through the lighthearted worlds of summer...confident, comfortable, cool, clean, fresh...Listen! As a voice whispers the freedom of Tampax."

"In your mind you know the freedoms of Tampax...the swimming, the sunning, the poise, the comfort, the cool, clean, fresh feeling...heed the inner voice that urges you to use Tampax."

Larger images on The Pie Shop's flickr page.

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store.

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December 18th, 2013

We've partnered with Underland NY to bring you a new music playlist curated exclusively for The Period Store customers and followers every month. Have you downloaded your December music playlist yet? Listen to Spice curated by Underland here.

Underland only works with independent artists, so much of the music you’re going to hear is completely new and off the radar. We encourage you to explore the bands you like and appreciate any feedback you may have (love notes to bands are always appreciated). Happy menstruating!

Special thanks to Underland and all of the wonderful musicians featured in this months playlist. Check them out below.

Scott Tixier, EOLA, Soltero, Awning, Billy Rock, Shane Palko, Reigen 

Like what you hear? Tweet us @UnderlandNY #PeriodPlaylist

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December 17th, 2013

Still have last minute Christmas shopping to get done? Get a Period Store gift card here!

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December 13th, 2013
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the lining of a woman's uterus grows in places outside of the womb causing chronic pain, internal bleeding, and often infertility.

The average time it takes for a woman to receive an accurate endo diagnosis is 10 years. Kelle shares about this on her blog and ours in hopes of raising awareness, decreasing that average diagnosis time, and providing a small resource for her "endo-sisters" out there.

In dealing with all the emotional and physical pain that comes with endometriosis, there are a lot of situations where kind-hearted people want to offer support, but don't know what they should say. And often, in an effort to be loving and comforting, they end up being accidentally insulting.

So I am sharing a few less-than-helpful comments that I've heard from nurses, doctors, friends, family, and coworkers multiple times.

Not to embarrass anyone who has said these things to me, but to hopefully explain why these things aren't appropriate to say to women with endometriosis and provide some positive alternatives for moments when well-intentioned people are looking to provide comfort.

If you know a woman who is suffering with endometriosis, please don't say....

1. "Have you tried Ibuprofen?"
This is a really common one. I even got asked this a few times in the Emergency Room, while I was crying in pain. Women with endometriosis have often been dealing with severe, chronic pain for at least 5-10 years. Just go ahead and assume that at some point, they've tried Ibuprofen, Midol, and anything else they could get their hands on in the medicine aisle of their local grocery store. And for the majority of the time, those pills do not even touch the pain which is why they turn to heavier medications.

2. "I mean, you look like you feel well so it can't be that bad."
This one's always a little rollercoaster for me. Starts as a compliment, ends as an insult. "Thanks! Oh, waiiiit... that's not a compliment, you think I'm a liar." Endometriosis is labeled as an "invisible illness". Everyone's body handles it differently. Some women have severe bloating in the abdomen and you may be able to tell when someone looks tired, but just because someone has learned to function in their life and brush their hair through their flare ups, doesn't mean their pain doesn't exist on an extreme level.

3. "You just want people to feel sorry for you."
Most girls with endometriosis who decide to share their experiences, do so for several reasons :
- they want to raise awareness for a disease that many people have never heard of.
- they want to explain themselves to the friends they constantly flake on or the boss they're calling in sick to
- they want to connect and relate with other girls with endometriosis
Attention and sympathy don't come up on that list. I guess maybe for some girls, but not for most.

4. "If there isn't a cure, you're going to need to just toughen up and get over it."
First of all, don't ever let someone take away your hope like that. There isn't a cure but there are many treatments that women have found relief from. It's a long process, but eventually improvement can be found if the right treatment is introduced to the right person. Second of all, women with endometriosis are tough so much of the time. This goes back to endometriosis being an 'invisible illness'. People assume it's something small enough that you can get over it, but it's not. It's emotionally, physically, and mentally draining on every level. Keep your hope but don't ever feel like you should be able to 'get over it'.

5. "It could be worse, at least you don't have cancer."
I never know what to say to this, so I will just share one quick quote from a doctor I recently started seeing. He is a naturopathic doctor, married to a woman who was having surgeries for her endometriosis every 2 years, like many women do, with no relief from pain. He went into natural medicine to try and find a way to help her because he saw the struggle firsthand and couldn't believe the lack of understanding that the surgical professionals had about endometriosis cases. His words at my appointment validated me more than anything ever has :

"People who haven't seen it firsthand refuse to see endometriosis as something serious and detrimental because it isn't life threatening. No, it isn't going to take your life. It's just going to stop it completely. You'll be alive, but incapable of living. You'll work twice as hard for half the success in life. It's not living at all."

Every day, I am very thankful that my condition is not worse, but please do not belittle the struggle I'm going through by saying something like "at least it's not [insert other disease]."

6. "I knew a girl who had that and she was fine."
Endometriosis targets every woman differently. The same diet doesn't work for everyone. The same treatments don't work for everyone. The same surgeries don't work for everyone. Everyone is different. I'm glad your friend was fine. She's very fortunate.

7. "You're so lucky, I'd love to take that many days off of work."
I live in constant fear that I am going to lose my job because of how many days I am unable to get out of bed and get to work. And those days that I miss are miserable because I'm sitting at home, taking medicine that I need a paycheck to afford, but not able to work for that paycheck. It's not a vacation. It's an anxiety ridden, terrible, painful situation. I would give anything to never call in sick again. Nothing about that is lucky.

8. "You just need a more positive attitude."
A positive attitude isn't going to detach endometrial adhesions from the sides of organs. A positive attitude isn't going to give an woman with endometriosis a sure chance at children. A positive attitude can be helpful for a person mentally, but after years of surgeries, procedures, medications, doctors appointments, and emergency room visits, sometimes it's really hard to keep that positive attitude. And that's okay. You're allowed to be sad and discouraged sometimes.

And my absolute least favorite....

8. "Yeah, I have cramps today too."
::insert screetching brakes sound here:: Endometriosis is not cramps. It's not even "bad cramps". It's chronic pain caused by internal bleeding and inflammation. There are two types of endometriosis pain : tolerable and intolerable. It can't be solved with over the counter medication or a heating pad. It's not the same thing as cramps. When they have an endometriosis flare up, most women are unable to move at all. Comparing that to cramps is incredibly degrading.

---

Again, I understand the people who said these things had good intentions and were just trying to provide help in some way, but these words cut more than they heal. 

So what should you say?

The next time you see a woman going through the pain of endometriosis, instead of telling her it could be worse or that she needs a better attitude, you can tell her you think she's a strong person, because she is.

Or instead of telling her that she looks good so she must feel well, you can tell her that you admire her ability to handle pain as gracefully as she is.

Instead of telling her she is lucky to be sick and you wish you could call-out too, you can tell her that you're sorry she had to miss work. You know that must suck. Or you can ask if there's anything she needs.

And there probably won't be anything! There's not a whole lot that anybody can do, she just has to wait it out. Better days will come. But your consideration and willingness to help will mean the world and will provide much more comfort than any other recommendation or "advice" you could give her.

For the endo girls : Did I leave out any that you've heard often? What would you rather have someone tell you instead?

To the rest of you, as always, thank you for reading and allowing yourself to be more informed.

Love and blessings to all of you. xoxo

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Guest post written by Kelle from Yellow Paper Dress - thank you, Kelle!

images via Kelle

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December 11th, 2013

As women around the world we all, of course, experience life differently. But ask a woman to talk to you about her period, and you will find an instant connection. We at The Period Store love women and feel a sisterhood with women in the US and abroad. Perhaps this sisterhood is due to our history of struggle together, through women's suffrage to the women's liberation movement and on. Perhaps it is because of how our brains are hardwired. Regardless, this sisterhood and connectivity is one of the many reasons we have The Periodical and the "Periods Around the World" series in particular. We want to educate ourselves and others about how women experience and manage their periods in different cultures. 

Meet Maurina, a Period Store friend of ours living in Italy.

Periodical: How and when did you learn about periods?
Maurina: I learned of it just by reading an explicative book. I was 7. My mother had difficulties about saying anything. :)

P: Do you remember your first period? Were you prepared?
M: Yes and absolutely no! O_O I was in the middle school, during a break between lessons and I went to the bathroom. Well, seeing that something in my slip I felt like "oooook and now?????" My mother used to be a teacher in the same school but was in a trip with her students, so, I came outside and went to my friend Valentina, who already knew what to do. I remember I said "I have a little problem" and she said "Got it. Come with me". She was my hero!

How has period management in Italy changed over time?

M: I think the only thing changed is the tampons. That's it. There's still a sort of difficulty about talking about periods. It's something to hide and not tell anyone about.

P: Any cultural taboos related to periods in Italy?

M: The taboos have mostly disappeared but in the past people said that: women on their period couldn't touch nor water plants, they could die; not to paint or cut hair; don't prepare any food with yeast, the cakes or whatever couldn't rise; never kiss a baby (it's ok for the mother) 'cause this could cause a huge disease for the baby.
 
P: The Period Store is all about celebrating womanhood. In what ways does Italy celebrate womanhood?
M: Well, we celebrate International Woman Day, in March, the 8th. This is a civil holiday, we celebrate being a woman and talk about the women situation in our country, historically and politically. I know it started in USA but every country has some difference. In Italy, every man must offer to any woman he wants to, a mimosa, flower symbolic for this celebration which blossom that month.

The holiday remembers the acts of the first working class women who died in a factory, in 1908 in USA. We use that day to remember every accomplishment women have made in our country. Is an important holiday to us, it's the day when women have parties, conferences and so on, just for them. Is something like "best wishes for being a wonderful and strong woman"!

--Would you like to tell us about periods where you're from?  Send us an e-mail info[at]theperiodstore.com

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December 9th, 2013

One of our favorite things to do when temperatures drop is drink a cup of really good hot chocolate. Since it seems like winter has arrived in full swing in most parts of the US and Canada, we decided to include exactly that in our packages this month. We've partnered with Ticket Chocolate to bring you hot chocolate on a stick. Trust us, it's delicious. Get to know the Ticket Chocolate brand a little better in our interview below:

Periodical: Tell us about yourself.  Where are you located and what's your story?
Ticket Chocolate: I spent the first years of my life in a ridiculously picturesque part of Venezuela with a family of European immigrants. I was in a family of chocolate lovers, living among the world’s most revered cacao. And yes, that started me on the track to a lifelong chocolate obsession,  er, interest. After a few years of pouring melted chocolate into my milk, I started trying something different, putting my favorite blends of couverture chocolate as a block on the end of a stick, then swirling it into hot milk. There was something about the moments of stirring that just made the experience for me. Plus it created some unreal hot chocolate. So I started making hot chocolate on a stick for friends and family, and soon after Ticket Chocolate was born.

Our hot chocolate is hand made in San Francisco and our headquarters are in Loomis, CA (just outside Roseville/Sacramento).


P: Tell us what you think about periods.
T: Just a little something to add to the feminine mystic.

P: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

T: Oooh, ooh, I'm so glad you asked. I totally had this conversation with my sister on the phone last week. Drinking our hot chocolate is kind of like a good long soak in the tub or a long hot shower, something about it, as you dunk your chocolate into your mug of steaming milk, and you stir, and you lick the melting chocolate, then stir some more, and sip, your mind kind of just unwinds. Seriously. You get the best ideas, ya, like in the shower, and while your chocolate melts away, so does the stress. Oh, and of course there are all those clinical studies that chocolate unwinds anxiety. It's a good thing. We need to have these moments for ourselves, girls.

--
Thank you Ticket Chocolate! Keep up with them on twitter and facebook.

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December 3rd, 2013

Who doesn't enjoy a little Holiday shopping? If you're like us and still haven't bought all your gifts this season then this gift guide is for you.

Include a Period Store Heat Pack (1) for anyone who needs a little extra comfort this season. A travel size aromatherapy spray (3) or candle (4) would make a great stocking stuffer. An Ideal Woman necklace (2) for someone who likes a little sparkle. Everyone could use a "Go With the Flow" tote bag (4). Don't forget to add a pair of underthings for yourself with Dear Kate (7) and Box Intimates Wipes (6).

We're shipping our packages out a little earlier this month to make sure they are delivered before Christmas and New Years. Log in and update your package before the 12th to get your package by the 24th. A little post-Holiday gift won't hurt anyone either though. ;)

Happy Holidays from all of us at The Period Store!

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December 2nd, 2013

The Period Store loves the movie Frances Ha. We may have a soft spot in our hearts for this because we're fans of Greta Gerwig (check out her interview on Rookie Mag). It could also be the fact that it shows a New York we know and love, or the fact that the movie is in black and white. And you can't forget the dancing. Have you seen Frances Ha? What did you think of it?

p.s. it's currently streaming on Netflix.

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November 27th, 2013


Menstrupedia is a website run by a group trying to change the way menstruation is looked at and taught in India and around the world. What started out as a study on menstruation in Indian society evolved to a comic that explains menstruation, and later to what Menstrupedia is today. Through their comic and curriculum, Menstrupedia has taught young girls in schools throughout India how to stay healthy and active during their period and has received a very positive response from girls, parents, and teachers alike.

The Beauty of Red is a video they created with Mypromovideos which talks about the issues surrounding menstruation in India, but it can also be applied to other societies around the world. I love this quote from their website:

"We believe that the topic doesn’t just have to do with females but humanity as a whole. When women use unhygienic rags and get infected, when girls feel ashamed and drop out of school, when a section of society prevents women from worshiping just because they are menstruating, when girls get married off because puberty means they are now old enough to bear children…when this and many, many other outdated, ill-informed practices continue to plague our system, then the issue becomes the whole society’s issue. We simply cannot label it as women’s issue."

Watch the video and tell us your thoughts in the comments. Read a Periods Around the World in India here


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November 25th, 2013

“I was ten years old. I had noticed something was weird earlier in the day but I knew from commercials that one's menstrual period was a blue liquid that you poured like laundry detergent onto maxi pads to test their absorbency. This wasn't blue so...I ignored it for a few hours." - Tina Fey, Bossypants

image source
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November 22nd, 2013

One of the goals of The Period Store is to give you an easy way to shop for all the different period products that are in the market. We are always excited when we introduce another product into our shop and are especially exited to now have a second brand of 100% organic cotton tampons available. Alongside Natracare, we have now added True Moon 100% organic cotton tampons to our shop.

True Moon tampons are made from 100% organic, GMO-free cotton and the rounded-tip, cardboard applicator is biodegradable. TrueMoon products are free of rayon, bleach, dioxins and shame. Their mission is: to promote a healthier body AND attitude – to inspire every girl and woman to feel proud of her natural, powerful cycle and take control of her health.

To celebrate this new product addition to our shop, we are giving away a True Moon Starter Kit!

Starter Kit Includes:

- 16ct. organic tampons
- The Essential Guide book
-  Dry erase moon cycle chart with pen
-  Signature carrying case for tampons and more
-  Unique code for a personal keepsake
-  Info for celeb designed jewelry

To Enter:

- Follow the instructions in the widget bellow.

You have FOUR chances to enter so good luck!

The winner will be chosen at random at 12:00am on November 30th and contacted via email by Dec. 1st.

*The Period Store and Rafflecounter won't use your email address for any reason but to contact the winner of the giveaway and to keep track of the number of times you entered.
This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.

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November 20th, 2013

We've partnered with Underland NY to bring you a new music playlist curated exclusively for The Period Store customers and followers every month. Have you downloaded your November music playlist yet? Listen to Smooth curated by Underland here.

Underland only works with independent artists, so much of the music you’re going to hear is completely new and off the radar. We encourage you to explore the bands you like and appreciate any feedback you may have (love notes to bands are always appreciated). Happy menstruating!

Special thanks to Underland and all of the wonderful musicians featured in this months playlist. Check them out below.

Jeanette Berry and The Soul Nerds, Billy Rock, Camille Harris, D>tOUr, Love Science Music, Andrew Hammond

TAGS: UNDERLAND NY cache cache


November 18th, 2013
We have partnered with The ( • ) Project and will be sharing one story every other month on our blog The Periodical. See past stories here.

The ( • ) Project is a tumblr devoted to first period stories of 300 words or less (fiction and nonfiction) written by individuals of any gender or age. The stories are short enough to make you click through all of their archives without giving it a second thought.

Submit your own first period story to The Period Project by emailing it to theperiodprojectblog@gmail.com. Your story can be fiction or nonfiction — 300 words or less— of first periods, written by individuals of any gender or age.

TAGS: THE PERIOD PROJECT cache cache


November 13th, 2013

If you live in New York City, you’ve probably walked by a mikveh hundreds of times without knowing it. These discreet buildings are at the heart of the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish communities; they’re so important, in fact, that they’re required to be built before synagogues. The mikveh, at the center of Jewish laws concerning sexuality and menstruation, is a ritual bath and a complicated collision of feminism and tradition.

During the time of niddah (when a woman is menstruating), couples are forbidden from engaging in any type of sexual activity. They can’t sleep in the same bed, hold hands, or even pass objects to one another. Once a woman—specifically a married woman—has stopped her period, she counts seven successive days without any more blood. (She knows she has not bled, by the way, because she checks herself twice a day with white cloths.)

The woman must then go to the mikveh to cleanse herself. The mikveh is a tub filled with warm, chest-high water, and there is a small hole within the tub that filters in collected rain water. It’s a ritual bath meant to spiritually purify and not physically cleanse; on that end, the woman is required to thoroughly clean herself before partaking in the custom. She is asked to remove all makeup, polish and jewelry, brush her teeth and hair, clip her nails, and tweeze any stray hairs on her body. The idea, here, is that nothing should come between the woman and the mikveh water. Once she is ready, she says a prayer and immerses herself in the tub for a brief second; she may then resume sexual relations with her husband.

I should clarify that a mikveh can be (and once commonly was) used by men. Hasidic and Orthodox men still typically visit the mikveh prior to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and both sexes immerse themselves during conversion to Judaism. Men, however, are not considered to be cyclically impure and in need of the mikveh in the same way.

So, why all this mishegas over a few tablespoons of blood? In Orthodoxy, menstruating women are considered to be spiritually impure, which is partially why there is such strict segregation between the sexes in very frum (religious) groups. Every period is considered to be a whisper of death—a sign, in a way, that potential life was lost (an uncomfortable bit of pro-life rhetoric and an odd conflation of miscarriage and menstruation). Menstruant women are thus thought to be spiritual pollutants, the mikveh being the only way to return them to cleanliness.

Some people might find this practice problematic for several reasons. To start with, it implies that women are spiritually and physically less than, and is another example of the ways in which society conditions women to be ashamed of their period. It's also essentialist, in that it draws boundaries around who is considered to be a woman. The mikveh is a defining and important act for an Orthodox woman—to be left out of it almost implies that she isn’t a woman. Only married, menstruant women can partake in the practice, so it leaves out amenhorreic women (menopausal and post-menopausal women do not have to participate in the ritual). There is, too, a disturbing sense of heteronormativity in the tradition, which overlooks what role trans and queer women play in Judaism, as well as infers that traditional marriage is the only true relationship.

The tradition—in dictating when a woman can be sexual and centering her sexuality on when she is clean enough for her husband—diminishes physical agency and reduces women to wives and wives to vessels of reproduction. Ovulation typically coincides with the first day women are able to have sex again in this timeline, and the scheduling is too convenient to be a coincidence.

The mikveh also caters unfairly to Ashkenazi women (Jews of European descent) and may disenfranchise Jewish women of color. Since you’re required to completely brush out your hair before going into the bath, dreadlocks, braids and weaves are forbidden. Non-Ashkenazi Jews may feel forced to choose one identity over another.

I was raised in the Jewish Reconstructionist community, a progressive movement that welcomes queer members and supports feminist ideals. When I was a graduate student researching the mikveh for my thesis, I did a lot of furious underlining in my reading, and my contact lenses almost came loose from my eye rolling. I couldn’t reconcile the welcoming religion I grew up in with the misogynistic practices I was reading about. There was a lot I overlooked in Orthodoxy’s support of the tradition, though: that many women take pride in going to the mikveh and see it as a transformative, spiritual experience, and that women may find comfort by connecting with their mothers and daughters through a religious tradition. I failed, at first, to understand how the mikveh can almost be placed within a radical feminist framework: consider how it is a specifically feminine tradition for which there is no real masculine equivalent. It is, in some ways, not dissimilar to same-sex education, in that it gives women a safe, supportive space to learn about themselves.

So, while it took me time to find the feminist action within a sexist tradition, many Jewish feminists had already found it. In Boston, there is a wonderful community center/mikveh, Mayyim Hayyim, that opens its doors to all Jewish women--Orthodox or not, trans, queer, single, pre-menstrual, post-menstrual, and women recovering from illness or addiction. You can still use the mikveh in the traditional way there, but Mayyim Hayyim views the practice as an all-encompassing healing act and encourages women to use it as a source of empowerment on their own terms. Modern mikvehs, like Mayyim Hayyim, create pro-women spaces where menstruation is not surrounded in shame or secrecy, and where women at all stages of their reproductive lives are given room to connect to their religious customs. They’re changing the way women engage with the practice, and are doing amazing work in respecting tradition while also embracing progressive attitudes.

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Guest blogger Molly Labell is Boston-based and pro-period. She writes freelance to support her dream of temping.See what she's up to here.

Collage by Ashley Seil Smith.
TAGS: CLEANSING, JUDAISM, MIKVEH cache cache


November 11th, 2013

Gothamist recently posted a list compiled from a Reddit thread with the best public bathroom spots in NYC. You can see the original Reddit list here. New Yorkers, and anyone traveling to NY, you're going to want to bookmark that. We already did.

We've all had those moments when our light flow turned out to be a heavy flow and we need to change our pad, empty out our menstrual cup, or maybe make an emergency tampon change and there is no bathroom to be found. You never think about free public bathrooms until you need one, and suddenly that's the only thing you can think of.

Although the original Reddit list is only about NYC, a lot of it can be related to the rest of the US and Canada. Below is our list of where you can find clean public bathrooms in the US and Canada, please add your suggestions in the comments.

Barnes & Noble or other large bookstores: Cleaner than Starbucks, almost everywhere in the US.

Nordstrom, Hudsons Bay and other nice department stores: Much nicer bathrooms than other retail stores, sometimes there is a nice sitting area.

Hotels: Large upscale hotels usually have so many guests that they don't think twice about someone walking in and using the bathroom. Just walk in like you belong there. 

Large Chain Restaurants: Think a step above fast-food. The type of place that would have someone cleaning their bathroom every hour or so but isn't super selective about who gets past the hostess (or maybe doesn't have a hostess). Again, act like you belong.

photo: Madonna Inn, Oak Leaves by Allie Pohl. Buy an Ideal Woman necklace in our shop.

TAGS: BATHROOMS cache cache


November 8th, 2013

We were first smitten by Antidote Chocolate's genius packaging, and when we opened up our first bar, it did not disappoint. Plus, we can get behind anyone that says chocolate can be good for you, and Antidote dedicates an entire section of their (beautiful) website to the health benefits of chocolate. We're sold. Read more about the story behind this cycle's chocolate bar, which also happens to be certified organic, vegan, and gluten free.

Periodical: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Antidote Chocolate: My text: "Sorry, I've been poisonous today." His text: "Don’t worry. I make an Antidote for you”

Wow what could that be? I was thinking of an Antidote to the blues and emotional challenges for women. My mind couldn’t stop thinking what the answer and Antidote could be.

Next morning I woke up and I laughed, what if chocolate WAS the antidote?  I decided to make it so, to create the chocolate cure for life's insufferable moments.  One that was not only deliciously satisfying in a time of need, but also with long-lasting health benefits. Not just chocolate, but a POWER chocolate.  The equivalent of Popeye's spinach.

I'm originally from Austria, moved to NY 13 years ago and we are located in Brooklyn NY though I travel to Ecuador for production periods as we produce Antidote from bean to bar in Ecuador with finest "arriba nacional" cacao beans.

P: Tell us what you think about periods.

A: It's great to live through cycles and periods. And now you have Antidote to get you through it happily.

P: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

A: I made Antidote specifically with women in mind - to have a cure for those blues and emotional roller coasters. They will be thrilled to choose from our range of Antidote. For more info look at: www.antidotechoco.com


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Thank you Antidote! Keep up with them on twitter and facebook.

TAGS: ANTIDOTE CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, GLUTEN FREE, ORGANIC, VEGAN cache cache


November 6th, 2013

We designed this bag for our Girl Rising screening in NYC on International Day of the Girl in 2013. We are now selling the tote in our store to give those who couldn't make it to the screening a way to join us in supporting girls' education every day of the year. All of the profits of each Girl Rising tote bag will be donated to the Girl Rising Fund for Girls' Education.

Check out all our tote bags in the Accessories section of the "Fill Your Package" page and check the "next package only" to include it in your next period package.

TAGS: GIRL RISING, TOTE BAG cache cache


November 4th, 2013

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

Jen Lewis is an emerging conceptual artist from Michigan whose debut art project, Beauty in Blood, addresses the social taboo surrounding menstruation through the lens of abstract photography. Her work is heavily influenced by bioartography, feminism, and art history more broadly. Beauty in Blood is jointly produced with the assistance of her husband and artistic partner Rob Lewis.

The Period Store: How's your period?

Jennifer Lowe Lewis: I have to say, I’m very fortunate to have an easy period – minimal pain and suffering as well as short, relatively light flow days. Now that I have this art project going on, I could actually use a heavier, longer flow because we need more material to test new techniques and further develop the concept. …never thought I would say such a thing about my period! In fact, it feels a little weird to want my period, like I’m breaking some unwritten girl-code about menstruation by enjoying my period and having a positive experience with it because we so rarely see this side of menstruation in pop culture. 

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for The Period Store.

JLL: Dragon #1 is one of our earliest pieces, from December 2012, and is both a fan and personal favorite. I really love the representational figure that showed up during the film review process; I definitely did not see a dragon forming in the bowl while I was pouring the blood or while we were photographing. The detail in the neck area is incredible and gets me excited every time I look at it - those long, sinewy lines that twist this way and that, almost like real muscle tissue. 

Some sources say that Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricanes, and floods[1]…Mother Nature’s other flows. Given that, it seemed very appropriate for The Period Store packages.

TPS: What got you started in bioartography?  

JLL: Because I work in an academic research laboratory, I’m exposed to bioart as décor and design elements throughout the biomedical research buildings daily. When I started using a menstrual cup, I think it was very natural that my brain would see abstract art in the toilet bowl with the poured blood because of my prior exposure to biological substances as subject matter. Magnified blood cells, and even bacteria growth, made for great art so why not whole blood? And why should menstrual blood be any more objectionable than other blood? The idea to capture what I was seeing in the bathroom came pretty quickly after switching to the cup and I feel confident in attributing that to working in an environment where people regularly observe biological substances as art. It gave me encouragement to cross the line with more mainstream audiences. I realized that I could use a more scientific presentation/approach to bridge a larger feminist-oriented discussion about the social narrative behind menstruation. Suddenly, my monthly visitor ceased being a gross curse and became a monthly art-making event. I’m not sure I would have made the connection between blood and art without my exposure to bioart in the laboratory. 

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work? 

JLL: Considering my work is completely based on the physical act of menstruating, a uniquely female life experience, being a woman significantly influences my art. The literal act of emptying my menstrual cup turned into this unexpectedly beautiful and fun activity that I felt compelled to share with others. What I was seeing was truly interesting; surely other people could join me in appreciating the art made from the fluid dynamics between blood and water.

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Thanks, Jen! You can find Beauty in Blood on Twitter @BeautyinBloodUSAre you an artist with work you'd like to submit to The Period Store?  Send us an e-mail at info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: BIOARTOGRAPHY, BLOOD, JENNIFER LOWE LEWIS cache cache


November 1st, 2013

PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) is a severe form of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) that affects between 2-5% of women.  This disorder is commonly misdiagnosed as depression or bipolar disorder by OB/GYN's, primary care doctors, and even psychologists and psychiatrists. Many of the symptoms are similar, but if your period brings about a serious depression each month, you might consider seeing a doctor for PMDD.  While medication can be used to treat PMDD, many women are able to naturally treat symptoms by getting plenty of exercise, eating healthy and keeping close family or friends around for support during those difficult weeks.

Do you or anyone you know have PMDD? How do you treat it? Medicine, aromatherapy, or diet? We would love to know.

TAGS: PMDD, PMS, SYMPTOMS cache cache


October 30th, 2013

As women around the world we all, of course, experience life differently. But ask a woman to talk to you about her period, and you will find an instant connection. We at The Period Store love women and feel a sisterhood with women in the US and abroad. Perhaps this sisterhood is due to our history of struggle together, through women's suffrage to the women's liberation movement and on. Perhaps it is because of how our brains are hardwired. Regardless, this sisterhood and connectivity is one of the many reasons we have The Periodical and the "Periods Around the World" series in particular. We want to educate ourselves and others about how women experience and manage their periods in different cultures. 

Meet Mildred from Paris, France. Mildred is the artist and designer behind the quirky French brand, Girls Have Periods. We carry one of her totes our shop! Her instagram accounts is one of our favorites, be sure to follow her as @girlshaveperiods. Thank you for being a part of this series Mildred! Bisous!

Periodical: How and when did you learn about periods?
Mildred: Around the age of nine. My mother and my grandmother told me about it. They were talking about them between themselves too. I quickly realized that every month something "special" was also feared expected.

P: Do you remember your first period? Were you prepared?
M: I was totally prepared. However, I did not think it would happen to me so quickly. I got my period when I was almost 11 years old. My pretty white nightdress was stained one morning. It was summer. My grandmother told me: "You're a woman now." With hindsight I realize the significance of this sentence. What mental images piggyback on the word woman? Before and after our periods, what are we? GIRLS?

How has period management in France changed over time?
M: In the 20s, women were making pads with terrycloth towels. In 1930, they went to the lingerie department to buy strips of cloth  with a folded sponge inside attached to rubber bands. They boiled them in bleach to wash them. Towels that caused irritation even emerged. Tampons appeared in the 1960s. Today we search this quasi-cultural product in the hygienic section. We are Green, we use cups or hand-stitched cloth pads with beautiful printed fabric. We are girly - we buy Nanas (French brand of pads) stamped with Christian Lacroix logos. It's almost a fashion accessory, an added level of our identity.

P: Any cultural taboos related to periods in France?
M: To my knowledge, no. I would say that we talk about it more and more. Advertisements tend to highlight the freedom of women. "I have my period but I do sports," "I have my period but I'm wearing a tight white dress." The first message is assertiveness. Yes, have my period and? The second message is emotional stability. I have my period but I do not make a something of it.
 
P: The Period Store is all about celebrating womanhood. In what ways does France celebrate womanhood?
M: France happily glorifies the aesthetic aspects of womanhood. Womanhood in general, not so much. The French woman oftentimes finds herself with her head against the glass ceiling, but has a hard time getting past it. It took a long time for her to get the right to vote, the freedom to leave France alone (lol...). Nonetheless, she's the true ambassador of France's specialties: fashion, perfume... What would the luxury industry be without French women? In France, women are celebrated essentially for aesthetic reasons. Maybe cultural. Not so much societal.

--Would you like to tell us about periods where you're from?  Send us an e-mail info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: FRANCE, GIRLS HAVE PERIODS, PARIS cache cache


October 28th, 2013

Have you tasted the chocolate bar included in this cycle's period kit? The team here at The Period Store was craving an orange-flavored chocolate for fall and we couldn't have been more excited when we tasted Chuao Chocolatier's Orange-a-go-go bar. Several of you have tweeted to us about how much you love it too which makes us so happy! Get to know the story behind the Chuao Chocolatier with our interview below:

Periodical: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?
Chuao Chocolatier: Chuao Chocolatier was founded on the idea that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. In his 30’s, Chef Michael left a successful tech career in Venezuela to follow his passion for food…. all the way to culinary school in Paris. From there, he moved his wife and daughters to San Diego, where he went to college, to start a gourmet chocolate shop with his brother. Since 2002, Chuao Chocolatier has been on a mission to spread joy to the world through delicious chocolate experiences that arouse the senses. And Chef Michael’s gourmet goodies, handcrafted with ethically sourced cacao and all natural ingredients, do just that!

P: Tell us what you think about periods.
CC: We like to consider them a prescription for 5-7 days of chocolate consumption. Get it, girl!

P: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?
CC: Periods call for comfort- blankets, heating pads, chick flicks and…. CHOCOLATE. Luckily, Chef Michael, has mastered the last one. With culinary driven chocolates like Potato Chip, Orange-A-Go-Go, Maple Bacon and Salted Chocolate Crunch, you can’t go wrong. Treat yourself!

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Thank you Chuao Chocolatier! Tell us what you think of this cycles chocolate on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

TAGS: CHOCOLATE cache cache


October 23rd, 2013


The Period Store sends out two packets of tea in every period subscription box because we feel like a good cup of tea can really make your day just a little better. We currently carry Yogi tea, Earth Mama Angel Baby, and Pacific Herbs PMS relief , and we're always looking for new brands to try.

I personally was never a big tea drinker until just recently, and now I'm fascinated with tea culture. I did a little research with my English friends from "across the pond" and asked them "how to make a PROPER cup of tea". Here's what I learned:

1. Boil water in a tea kettle. Preferably one with multiple holes in it. Microwaving water is taboo!

2. Pour the boiled water in a tea pot (or your tea cup), let it sit for a minute and then pour it back in the tea kettle. This "warms" your tea pot or cup and is very important. (this was news to me!)

3. Bring the water to a boil again in your tea kettle.

4. Put the tea bag or bags in your tea pot or cup and when your water is boiling pour the water on top of the bag.

5. Let the tea bag sit in the teapot or cup for 3-5 minutes (depending on how strong you want it) and then remove the bag. If you're using a teapot, you now pour it into your tea cup.

6. Adding milk, honey, and sugar. I got mixed feedback about when to add milk. Some are adamant that you should pour milk before adding water and others say you should let the tea brew with water before adding milk. Your call. Honey and sugar are added after your tea has brewed.

*Tea cosy. I always wondered about these! They are so cute and you keep them on your tea pot to keep your tea warm because ew, nobody likes cold tea (unless it's iced tea which is a whole other story). If you're using loose tea then the steps are the same but you will need a tea strainer for your pot or cup.

Image sources: tea kettle, tea pot, tea cup.

TAGS: HOW TO, TEA cache cache


October 21st, 2013


Was your first time using a tampon as awkward an experience as this girl scouts'? My older sister gave me cryptic directions that helped me figure it out. How did you learn to use a tampon? Did anyone help you?

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store living in Paris, France.

TAGS: TAMPON cache cache


October 18th, 2013

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

This cycle's piece was created by Eliza Stein, a freelance illustrator based in New York City. You can see her portfolio at elizastein.com, buy her artwork at elizasteindesigns.etsy.com, and read her thoughts at @MsElizaStein on Twitter.  See our interview with Eliza below!

The Period Store: How's your period?

Eliza Stein: First of all, I truly appreciate the chance to complain about my period publicly! I wish I could be someone who doesn't think much about my period, or romanticizes and celebrates it, but it has a bad effect on my life. It's a pretty big source of physical and emotional pain for me each month. I am always looking for little remedies to distract myself from it. For example, popsicles made from ginger ale are great for when I have trouble eating.

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for this month's period package.

ES: PMS Man was this silly cartoon character I created back in college. I decided to take the sketches out of storage and give him the full-color treatment, because PMS deserves its own supervillain (but I drew him as more of an antihero then- less angry, more angsty.)

TPS: How does being a woman influence your work?

ES: I'm sure it does, unconsciously. Usually I'm working on an assignment, so I'm looking at an idea through someone else's eyes and my own. I don't like thinking of gender very much while I'm at work, because in my mind it always leads to some kind of label.

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Thanks, ElizaAre you an artist with work you'd like to submit to The Period Store?  Send us an e-mail at info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: ART, COMIC, ILLUSTRATION, PMS cache cache


October 16th, 2013

Hello menses.  This morning as you made your brash departure, I arranged some space in my life for your impending move and somewhere deep in this tender heart of mine, I stirred up my fragile hope that after this visit we won't meet again for quite some time.  I have accepted your timely and jarring manifestations these long years as you have reminded me bluntly of the emptiness that's inside me.  As you clear out each month, taking the frayed edges of my hope with you, I try to remind myself that you leave in peace.  Though you don't intend to antagonize, frustrate or demean me, your regular, uncomfortable appearances usually leave me feeling slightly taunted and depleted, both body and soul.  I know many people welcome you for the very reasons that I nurse a broken heart each time you come my way.  I tell myself with great regularity, to expect you, to find myself surprised if by some great miracle, you happen to stay put for a time.  

But somewhere in me is a mother who just won't give up.  So I hope, ever so frequently, that changes are happening and that you are being stretched in different ways and that you'll be busy for a while and so immersed in your work that you will find it hard to leave.   Sometimes my hope is buoyant, strong and sure, confident that I am different in some small way and that this time you will stay out of sight.  Sometimes my hope feigns indifference and pretends that it doesn't even know when you're scheduled to show yourself.  Sometimes my hope is angry, and vitriol flies as soon as you even hint that you're on your way.  And sometimes my hope is tired, weighed down by disappointment and helplessness and barely raises it's head to acknowledge your movement.   And yet, after each departure, I eventually manage to gather what's left of my hope and no matter what sorry shape it's in, I dust it off, check it for new scratches or bruises and gently settle it back in my heart where it belongs.

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Guest blogger Lindsay Miller is a Texas native with a background in childhood development.  Photo proudly taken by her four-year-old.

Waiting Schiele/Darger Collage by Ashley Seil Smith.

TAGS: INFERTILITY, PREGNANCY, WAITING cache cache


October 14th, 2013

                       


"Period - No Period! What's the deal?" We have a new tote bag in our shop from our chic Parisian friend Girls Have Periods.

Just like The Period Store - Girls Have Periods was founded in April of 2013 which we take as a sign that we were destined BFF's. I met the founder Mildred Simantov in Paris and we bonded over periods and girltalk so, naturally a collaboration was born.

Remember what time of the month it is with your hashtag and our first Girls Have Periods product. This limited edition tote is 100% bio (that means organic in French) and is screen printed in black and pink ink with the text "#period #noperiod".

Add a tote to your next period package by clicking on "Accessories" and choose "next package only". Et voila!

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store living in Paris, France.

TAGS: TOTE BAG cache cache


October 11th, 2013

Just over two decades after women received the right to vote, psychologist William Moulton Marston created the character Wonder Woman.  Marston's 1942 creation served as an archetype for the modern, liberated female.  The comic industry, while hit hard by the Great Depression, was still alive and well during this time and DC Comics needed a strong female character for its female readership.  Wonder Woman fought head-to-head with villains while her alter ego, Diana Prince, was just as successful in her personal life and career.  Certainly a figure any woman might aspire to.  Of course, with her short skirts, frequent tie-ups, and eventual movie adaptation it's anyone's guess what audience she was really catering to, but the intention was there. 

 

Often included in the Wonder Woman comic series were backup stories featuring prominent women in history.  The "Wonder Women of History" series became a frequent and much-loved addition to the Wonder Woman comic books.  We'll include occasional reviews of the "Wonder Women of History" here, starting first with Ellen Swallow Richards.

Ellen Swallow Richards was the first woman admitted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first woman to obtain a degree in chemistry and the first woman to instruct at MIT later.  She contributed to the field of sanitary chemistry and became one of the founding members of The American Association of University Women. Richards had interesting views of what it meant to be a feminist and found the role of domesticity, along with connecting to the environment and being socially aware, all part of the feminist equation.

This just leaves us with two questions - 1) Who knew you could learn so much from comics? And 2) What did Wonder Woman do on her period?  

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Ashley Seil Smith has a background in Anthropology and is currently earning her MFA in Illustration at The School of Visual Arts in New York City.  She's not very good at juggling multiple things at once, but still finds herself signing up for half marathons while trying to run TPS and go to school.  

Image via Comicvine

TAGS: COMICS, FEMINIST, MOVIES, WONDER WOMAN cache cache


October 9th, 2013

Petra Collins has been on my radar ever since I first saw her photography in Rookie Magazine. She's the founder and curator of The Ardorous - an all-female art collective based out of Toronto, Canada (a city we're dying to visit!). Earlier this year, she and Sonja Ahlers co-curated a group show entitled Period Piece: The Gynolandscape which I admired from afar via Field Guided's images. She is part of a wonderful group of talented young feminist artists that I admire because not only are they incredibly talented, but they also seem to have no fear holding them back from making something of themselves. 

Most recently, Petra's art collective The Ardorous designed several tee-shirts in collaboration with American Apparel. They have caused a bit of controversy, especially the design below, which is a line drawing of a woman's hand touching her vagina while menstruating.

She did an interview with VICE magazine about the tee-shirt and all the controversy behind it. Below are a couple of my favorite excerpts from the interview:

"Menstruation—and also pubic hair—really freaks people out. There’s pubic hair in the drawing, which I guess is super shocking to people, even though I cannot get over that. I feel like I’m so sheltered in a way. I always forget that people are so close-minded.

Grown women are taught to repress their postpubescent body or hide it. When you start puberty and you start growing hair you’re taught to shave it, because no one’s supposed to see it. With your period, it’s something that you conceal—no one’s supposed to know." - Petra Collins to VICE

as well as this question Patrick from VICE asks Petra:

"Clearly, you’re exposing people with this shirt, because anyone who’s offended only has one thing to say: “It’s gross.” But why is it gross? Are people just afraid of vaginas? Is that what it is?" - Patrick from VICE

What do you think? Why are people so upset over this image on a tee-shirt? Are people just afraid of vaginas like Patrick says? I think so. How many of you have taken a mirror to your own vaginas and really seen what's down there like Moontime Rising suggests we do? Why is it gross? And even if you don't agree with this - why do people feel the need to attack others (sometimes on a personal level) for being more willing to talk openly about something as natural as a vagina?

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store living in Paris, France.

TAGS: BLOOD, PUBIC HAIR, VAGINA cache cache


October 4th, 2013

The Period Store works with contemporary artists each cycle to bring you a limited edition 5"x7" print that touches on some aspect of womanhood.  Good or bad, we're all inspired in some way by menstruation and the feminine issues surrounding it.  Art is a visual language we can utilize to address these feminine topics, which is one of the many reasons we include art in each package.  We hope to eventually have a large collection of artwork dedicated to womanhood and menstruation.

This cycle's piece was created by Kimberly Ellen Hall - an artist and designer from Massachusetts. With freckles.  And wicked cramps. Below is a short interview with Kimberly so you can get to know her and her beautiful work a little better!


The Period Store:  Tell us about yourself.

Kimberly Ellen Hall: I'm an illustrator & designer living in Philly and working in New York. I have 2 little girls, a website, and a husband and we are thinking about getting bird. I also put up wallpaper in our house (yes, it was a big accomplishment). I love collecting junk, riding the train, exploring new people and places, and of course, drawing. I also run a little shop where I sell vintage clothes and accessories by illustration only. 

TPS: How's your period?

KEH: You know, no one really tells you how different your period can become after you have kids! OR how when you have two little girls and you never get to go to the bathroom by yourself how to explain a period to them….my 4 year old calls it "doing red" Ah, children have such a way with words!

TPS: Tell us about the artwork you created for this month's period package.

KEH: Well, I've been drawing lots of flowers and odd things I collect and I thought I would like to find a way to send a bouquet of flowers because that would be really nice to get when you have your period. I also have been working on hand lettering this fall, so I wanted to add some words. I just sort of riffed around with the parrot and pirates and boats…I love to write little headlines and stuff. Years ago I worked as a freelance designer at the New York Post and I was always trying to sneak in my own headlines. Usually the copyeditors caught me, but I got a few kooky ones in there!

TPS: How do you think being a woman influences your work?

KEH: I find this to be a tough question, I mean I've only ever been a woman so it is sort of at the core of my identity and being, right?…..how would my work be different if I were a man? I'm not sure. Would I draw phallic vegetables instead of flowers? Perhaps….I'm sure you can tell I was almost a philosophy major before I went for my BFA! Thanks so much for having me….love what you guys are doing!

p.s. "I don't smoke!"

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Thanks, Kimberly!  You can view Kimberly's website here, her etsy store here and find her on twitter @nottene_kim.  Are you an artist with work you'd like to submit to The Period Store?  Send us an e-mail at info[at]theperiodstore.com

TAGS: ILLUSTRATION, PMS cache cache


October 1st, 2013

We're celebrating our Dear Kate and Ideal Woman launch collaboration with a giveaway!

6 lucky winners will win one of our prizes: a print of Allie Pohl's 'Hot Seat' at the Madonna Inn or a pair of Dear Kate underwear.

To Enter:

- Follow the instructions in the widget below.

You have FOUR chances to enter, so good luck!


The winner will be chosen at random at 12:00am on Oct 9th.

*The Period Store and Rafflecounter won't use your email address for any reason but to contact the winner of the giveaway and to keep track of the number of times you entered.

Giveaway open to US and Canada residents only.
TAGS: GIVEAWAY cache cache


September 30th, 2013

The Period Store is now carrying Dear Kate underwear and Ideal Woman by Allie Pohl necklaces.

Allie Pohl is an artist whose works question what it means to be a "perfect woman" and Julie is the chemical engineer behind Dear Kate, a brand of eco-friendly, leak-resistant underwear. An introduction from The Period Store led to the above image.  A collaboration in which they brought both of their works together for one of Allie Pohl's "Hot Seat" images. "Hot Seat" is a series in which Allie photographs her underwear while going to the bathroom in iconic Los Angeles locations.

Allie says the series was inspired by "thinking about rituals that we do everyday but we don't necessarily think about or concentrate on. 'Hot Seat' gives the viewer a glimpse into one of a woman's most personal acts while still humanizing it." In this collaboration with The Period Store and Dear Kate underwear, Allie photographed herself wearing Dear Kates at the Madonna Inn.

We think it's the perfect introduction to both of their brands, which we are very excited to be carrying in our shop now. Below is an interview with Allie and Julie so you can get to know them a little better.

1. Tell us about yourself?

Allie Pohl: I am a Venice (Los Angeles) based multi-medium artist.  I created a symbol/logo titled “Ideal Woman”, which is based off of the toy, "Barbie". The logo is digitally enhanced to the ideal female measurements (an American social construct) of 36-24-36. The symbol, which serves as a kind of avatar, is a form that is repeated throughout my work. It is an agent for change: to question the social constructs of perfection. 

Julie - Dear Kate: I grew up in a rural town in KY, got my period at 11 years old, and now live in NYC. I've always been interested in fashion, and growing up in a household with a working Mom and stay-at-home Dad, identified early on as a feminist. It was a perfect fit when the opportunity arose in college to run a fashion + function startup and change the game for women on the underwear front. 

2. How's your period?

Allie Pohl: Pre-birth control, my period was very consistent and punctual. One week before my period was coming, I would always get a pimple!  Since I have been on the pill, I don't get my period (or the pimple) very often. 

Julie - Dear Kate: I have the Mirena IUD so my period is extremely light, however, totally unpredictable.

3. Both of your work and products open up topics that women don't necessarily feel comfortable talking about. The unattainable ideals women hold themselves up to and the sometimes messy transformations our bodies naturally go through. What inspired you to start this conversation?

Allie Pohl: How can we NOT talk about these things?!  We are women;  it happens to each and every one of us, but yet we are trained to think we are supposed to be hairless, odorless, and perfectly in place at all times. 

Julie - Dear Kate: In college there were 3 girls (and 1 guy) in our entrepreneurship team when we wrote the original business plan for the underwear line. The girls in our group started talking and we realized that all of us had "period underwear" in the back of our drawer (aka granny panties), hand washed stained undies, and had a horror story from our periods. However, no one had ever had a conversation about it before and we started dreaming of what could be possible if we made the "perfect" pair of period underwear. I think there's power in unearthing the realities of menstruation because without real conversation we are stuck accepting the status quo.

4. How do you think being a woman influences your work?

Allie Pohl: It is the only perspective I know how to see things from!  "Ideal Woman" originated from a porcelain series I was making,  where I had chai growing out of areas where unwanted hair (leg, under-arm, crotch) grows on the "perfect woman".  In my new show, "Peacocking", opening at "Plus Gallery" in Denver this coming September 12th, I explore how men "market" themselves online, on apps, and in person.  I am only able to think about these things because I am a woman! 

Julie - Dear Kate: Being a woman has allowed me to have intimate conversations with other women about their periods and see beauty in the thing that unites us as women. At the end of the day, I love knowing that our product brightens our customer's mood and that we've got her back on a stressful day. I can put myself in her shoes because regardless of geographical location, language, or income level, we, as women, have experienced so many of the same feelings every single month.

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Go ahead an add an Allie Pohl necklace and a pair of underwear to your next package. Log into your account, go to the "Fill your Package" page and click "next package only" under the product you'd like to add. Tag #theperiodstore on Twitter and Instagram when you get your products in your next package!

TAGS: ART, INTERVIEW, JEWELERY, UNDERWEAR cache cache


September 27th, 2013

We're in love with Christopher Kane's SS14 collection "inspiration derived from the process of photosynthesis, to the inadequacy of high school sex education".  Flowers, sequins, femininity, reproductive systems and fashion. We can get into that. 

images via style.com

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Rubi Jones is a freelance hairstylist and co-founder of The Period Store living in Paris, France.

TAGS: FASHION, FLOWERS, SEX EDUCATION cache cache


September 25th, 2013
Help us spread the word about the reality of girls' education and celebrate International Day of the Girl with Girl Rising. If you haven't bought a ticket to our event in NYC yet, please do, and bring your friends!

Share this with your children, your mothers, your fathers, and everyone you know. Let's change some of these facts. #WeAreGirlRising

1. There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in school.

2. 66 million girls are out of school globally.

3. If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, it's GDP would rise by $5.5 billion.

4. A girl with an extra year in education can earn 20% more as an adult.

5. Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married as children.

6. 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year. That's 38 thousand today - or 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.

7. In a single year, an estimated 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence.

50% of sexual assaults in the world victimize girls under the age of 15.

8. The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth.

9. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5.

10. Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.

Get your tickets and learn more about our Girl Rising film screening at: theperiodstore.eventbrite.com

TAGS: EDUCATION, GIRL RISING cache cache


September 23rd, 2013

I get a little squirmy when I hear euphemisms for periods. Because really, are "Aunt Flow coming to Town" and "Riding the Crimson Wave"  doing us any favors?

I would really rather not think of my bodily systems as an unexpected, unwanted and annoying family guest or an overwhelming force of nature that holds me captive during its run. (Although that often is exactly how I think of my period)

"Flowers" was a common term for periods in Medieval Europe. It  has been widely assumed that it was a corruption, or an early misspelling, of "flueurs" - flowing.

However, the historian Monica H. Green has found that many of the earliest references to "flowers" as the menses really were referencing flowers.

The Germen nun Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) wrote "The stream of the menstrual period in woman is her generative greenness and floridity, which sprouts forth offspring; for just as a tree flowers in its floridity and sends forth branches and produces fruit, so the female extrudes flowers from the viridity of the streams of menstrual blood and produces branches int he fruit of her womb."

This description is very similar to the way the Beng ethnic group in Ivory Coast discuss menstruation: "Menstrual blood is special because it carries in it a living being. It works like a tree. Before bearing fruit, a tree must first bear flowers. Menstrual blood is like the flower: it must emerge before the fruit - the baby - can be born."

Rather than a simply descriptive reference to the "flowing" nature of period blood, "flowers" is a term that celebrates the life-force behind our monthly visitors and the specialness and beauty of the process. I think that is one euphemism I can get behind.
So take that, Aunt Flow.
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Elisse Newey is a 4th grade teacher, genealogist and mother of a 3 month old -  deep in the heart of Texas

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September 20th, 2013

Have you received your bar of Chili Dark Chocolate by Theo in your period package this cycle? It's delicious!

Get to know Theo Chocolate, based in Seattle, Washington in the below interview. We think you'll like what you read.


If you are in the Seattle area, you should go visit them, they do factory tours!

Periodical: Tell us about yourself. Where are you located and what's your story?

Theo Chocolate: We are proud to be the first Organic, Fair Trade & Fair for Life, Bean-to-Bar chocolate factory in North America. Since 2006, we’ve been making the highest quality chocolate from the world’s best cocoa beans, grown in the most sustainable ways possible. At Theo, we’re dedicated to making our world a better place and we’re finding ways to do it through our passion for chocolate. The choices we make here in Seattle, Washington touch lives across the planet in real and lasting ways. That knowledge, and that responsibility, is what drives us to do things differently, to help make the world a better place. We think about every choice we make, every action we take and how it will impact our interconnected world.

P: Tell us what you think about periods.

Theo: At Theo, we believe in empowering and celebrating women! We do this by actively partnering with organizations that share our commitment and passion for social and environmental responsibility. We look for partners that can help us have a bigger impact, touch more lives and celebrate the connections between each and every one of us.

P: Why do you think women on their periods will enjoy your sweets?

Theo: Chocolate as a go-to snack while on your period is almost a cliché. But for excellent reasons! Aside from being great for you, dark chocolate is delicious. Try our classic 70% Dark Chocolate Chili bar for a spicy kick with a hint of citrus. We like to pair it with a salty snack and a glass of red.

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Thank you Theo! We're off to enjoy some chocolate!

TAGS: CHOCOLATE, INTERVIEW, ORGANIC cache cache


September 18th, 2013

We love Danielle Henderson. Her rad projects include being a freelance writer, an editor at one of our favorite websites, Rookie Mag, and creating the popular blog (now book!) Feminist Ryan Gosling among many other things.

Earlier this year, she wrote an article for Rookie Mag on how to make your own tampon for those emergency situations when you start your period and just aren't prepared. Go check out the article on Rookie Mag and watch the hilarious and instructive video below.

Obviously once you're subscribed to The Period Store, this DIY tampon shouldn't be necessary, but we still found the article incredibly entertaining, so enjoy.


TAGS: DIY, TAMPONS cache cache