Meet Our Entreprenista of the Year: Arion Long, Founder of Femly

3

Join us in congratulating the founder of Femly and our Entreprenista of the Year Arion Long. Changing the way women take care of “the flow,” Entreprenista Arion Long, launched her company Femly after being diagnosed with a tumor linked directly to chemicals in popular pads and tampons. When she started Femly, she was living at home with her entire family. At the time, she was working full-time with a healthcare organization and was having the heaviest periods of her life. Leaking through outfits while at work, or having her period for 10 days or more was her norm, but yet, she couldn’t seem to get a doctor to take her complaints seriously. 

After being prescribed birth control, and having horrible side effects, she decided to take her chances with one last Obgyn. At her first visit she felt heard for the first time ever, and was notified that she had an abnormal growth that would need to be surgically removed. The same doctor that was willing to listen to her and dig deeper to find her issue also told her about the chemicals hiding in the pads and tampons that she and many other women were using. She instantly knew that she needed to go organic, but couldn’t find a pad that was leak-free and comfortable.

So she sought out to create one herself. In 2016 she founded Femly, a tech startup that increases free access to organic pads and tampons. She’s developed a patent-pending dispenser that allows users to walk up and wave “hello” for products without a cost. She sells her dispenser and accompanying products to restrooms for schools, hospitals, and hotels around the world.

Her journey into entrepreneurship has been anything but easy. While most startups have common missteps and bumps in the road, Arion faced one of the most devastating challenges of all. In 2018 she lost her daughter, Sage to late-term stillbirth and medical negligence. She nearly died and spent days on life support. Black women like herself are four times likely to die from cervical cancer and six times more likely to die in labor. Two weeks after being discharged from the hospital she won her first big pitch competition. Thereafter, she leveraged grant funding, competitions and investments to launch her dispenser while making organic period care in public spaces freely available.

Like many female founded businesses, access to capital was her biggest challenge. But once again, she persevered and became one of the first 150 Black women in the history of the United States to get more than $1M in venture capital.

We haven’t had access to capital in the same way that our non-minority competitors have.” 

In 2021, while battling covid pneumonia, she was chosen as the Ifundwomen Entrepreneur of the Year. This win was such a huge deal because she had spent the previous year quietly building what would be her high-tech dispenser.

Femly is built on impact and scale to actualize period equity. With laws now requiring period care around the world, Femly is the only minority-led organization in the B2B/enterprise space. In the past year they’ve shipped more than 325,000 period care products and have changed more than 50,000 lives. 

And 2023 has a lot in store for Femly. Arion will be announcing partnerships with one of the biggest universities in New York, an NFL team, and launching their national student impact fellowship program.

She truly is changing the world for generations to come
Congratulations again to our Entreprenista of the Year Award Winner, Arion Long, Founder of Femly. You are truly paving the way for women leaders everywhere we are so honored to have you as an Entreprenista. Learn more about Arion and connect with her in our Entreprenista League community of founders!

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Entreprenista Announces Winners of its 2023 Top 100 Women Business Leaders Awards Presented by Chase Ink

Leading Membership Community for Founders Amplifies Stories of Outstanding Entrepreneurs New York, United States – February 20, 2024 — The Entreprenista League, a leading membership community for ambitious, entrepreneurial women, is excited to ​​announce the winners of its 2023 Entreprenista 100 Awards. The Entreprenista Awards, presented by Chase® Ink®, honors the achievements of 100 women business leaders across…

Pitching Yourself and Finding Your Voice with Brianna Ruelas

“I see that a lot of these young women are struggling to feel like their impact matters and I really want to create something that incorporates my own stories, my own journey, to show them that our choices matter. But more importantly, that they matter, and that everything they bring to the table is significant…

Franchising, Scaling, and Selling a Business with Jillian Lorenz & Ariana Chernin

“You really, really need to trust your gut. Human nature is everything. It’s like your first date where everyone’s on their best behavior. But when there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you feel something in your intuition, it’s not right.”  –Ariana Chernin In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down with Jillian Lorenz and Ariana Chernin,…

The Finishing Touch with Stephanie Purzycki

“I time block and I say, ‘This is going to be the time specific to managing the business.’ Being able to manage my time correctly and know when I’m doing what. In this post COVID era where we’re all working remotely, being able to connect face to face is also important. So, our weekly zoom…

Growing Through Partnerships with Abby Price

“If you’re not good at it, that is 100% okay. You don’t need to be good at everything. But just make sure, in the beginning at least, you’re spending a little extra time figuring it out—or you can lean on someone to look into it for you to make sure you’re doing it right.” – Abby…

Minisode with Steph: Spilling Wellness Secrets

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here again with another quick minisode. Today, I’m sharing all about the inspiration behind making my 2024 all about wellness. You’ll hear some of my favorite wellness tips and secrets, why it pays to give yourself grace, and all about the importance of having an accountability partner.  You’re going to hear…

Minisode with Steph: Making the Most of Your Founders Weekend Experience

Hi Entreprenistas! It’s Steph here and this year we are going to be bringing you content beyond our weekly interviews with founders. This is our first Minisode of the year and I am excited to share with you some of my best relationship building tips and how I handle events as an introverted extrovert. Plus…

Ali Hicks-Wright’s Mission to Help Creative Entrepreneurs Build and Scale with Amari Creative

Hi Ali! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Ali Hicks-Wright is the Founder and Creative Director of Amari Creative, a branding studio that specializes in building strategic brands and websites for ambitious entrepreneurs by pairing engaging copy with striking design. Since starting Amari Creative in 2016, Ali has worked with hundreds…

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

BMO Fellowship Application Notes Note that when applying, be sure to acknowledge the impact of the virtual workshops and resources provided by BMO and how that will support you just as much if not more than the prize $ itself! What you could receive: $15,000 across select applicants Deadline: Jan 31, 2024 DearGod Grant Application…

Making the Bed with Ruby Russell

“I’ve had a few setbacks. One was our first [launch in] March 2020. And guess what? The world shut down. And so I tried again on March the 13th 2023. I was at the London Stock Exchange when, guess what? That was the day that Silicon Valley crashed. So, all you can do is laugh…

Optimizing and Scaling Your Business with Tylar Brannon

“I think you have to stay calm when the world is on fire. You might have a small fire, you might have a massive fire, but your job as a leader is to create that calm… There’s days you feel like you’re drowning, but you still have to be able to show up for your…

Certifying Your Company With Heather Cox

“If you don’t have the time or money to do it once, you definitely do not have the time or money to do it twice—so make sure you outsource to experts the first time.” – Heather Cox When Heather Cox was pregnant with her first baby, she knew continuing to work was a non-negotiable—she just wasn’t…

Crafting a Powerful Pitch with Katie Dunn & Kat Weaver

“We’ve helped founders secure so much money just by sticking to the foundations and not doing crazy-flashy things or over-thinking… We had one founder secure $85,000 in one pitch opportunity—the money really is out there.” – Kat Weaver In this episode of Entreprenista, we’re sitting down with angel investor Katie Dunn and serial entrepreneur Kat…

Finding Your Ultimate Purpose with Harli Gawronski

“You’re always focused on the big goal, and you don’t celebrate the little wins in between. And that is so important. And for me, it’s something that I had to learn, was to celebrate the little wins in between—because that’s what keeps you going to the ultimate goal.” – Harli Gawronski Harli Gawronski had a realization…

Building Gravitas and Catalyzing Confidence with Lisa Sun

“When we tie so much of our happiness to [the] brass ring… It really just keeps us even more insecure and more overachieving.” – Lisa Sun In this episode of Entreprenista, we sit down with fashion entrepreneur Lisa Sun, founder and CEO of Gravitas New York, a lifestyle and apparel company that’s revolutionizing the concept…