Nina Smith Fights Period Stigmas With Fri Period Sustainable Underwear

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Hi, Nina! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi! I’m Nina Smith. I started Fri Period because I’m on a mission to make periods better—for our customers, for our planet, and for those who can’t afford to be our customers. We offer a range of sustainable period underwear made in the U.S. (at a female-owned factory) out of supremely comfortable U.S.-grown organic cotton (no PFAS or nasty chemicals here!). Simply wear, wash, and repeat, Fri Period does the work of several tampons and makes it easy to have a sustainable period without sacrificing comfort or convenience. We’re committed to helping fight period poverty and are also developing a line of products to that effect.

Sounds like such an innovative product! What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

I have already met so many inspirational and supportive women. I absolutely love the uplifting atmosphere within the group, and the support provided by the League is so valuable. It’s fast become a tool I rely on in so many ways.

We’re so happy you’re finding value here! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I’d always wanted to do *something* and then took a big leap into Fri Period when I realized there was a chance to make a positive impact for those of us with a menstrual cycle.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Business Development for commercial law firms.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! I did a Young Entrepreneurs course in high school, and since then it’s always been something I wanted to do.

How amazing! Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

We’ve only recently launched Fri Period. As we are bootstrapping our venture, our early focus is on organic growth. We’ve quickly realized that our brand is about so much more than period underwear—it’s about eradicating the taboo that still exists around our cycles and empowering women to have a better connection with their bodies through fostering open and inclusive dialogue. We’ve participated in some incredible menstrual wellness events, and it has been phenomenal to see the immediate positive effect that these conversations have on women.

What an inspirational mission. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge in running a product-based business is managing escalating costs and knowing where to channel our limited funds. As we are in the early days, we’re able to dabble in different sales and marketing channels to see what really works. It’s a challenge, but an exciting and rewarding one.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

The feedback we’ve received from new customers who have never used period underwear before. Many have said our period underwear has revolutionized how they manage their periods, greatly enhancing what can otherwise be an unpleasant experience. This makes us beam with pride and happiness.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I believe in it but as an entrepreneur it needs to be factored in as a priority otherwise it’s very easy to sink into the habit of constantly being ‘switched on’. I have to remind myself that I am more productive and creative when rested and schedule in time to focus on my self-care. I’m also a big proponent of cycle-syncing. I know that I need to slow down a bit just before my period starts and into the first few days of my bleed, so I use that time to intentionally take my foot off the gas a bit and recharge. This works well for me and my business.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Don’t get bogged down by perfectionism: nothing will be perfect from the beginning, and you can’t perfect something that hasn’t even been started yet.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

We’ve developed some really cool new period products that we can’t wait to launch!

We’re so excited to see what’s in store! What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Expect us to talk non-stop about periods so there is no more shame or embarrassment about this very natural process that affects 1.8 billion people globally (and, without which, no human would exist!). Expect a growing range of innovative period care products that are all made sustainably and free of toxic chemicals. And expect us to make a meaningful difference to those affected by period poverty. We mean it when we say we want to make periods better!

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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