Aunt Flo got you down? The Crimson Tide wearing you out? Well, the good news is that you no longer have to make that awful run to the drug store for tampons and pads, and better yet, you don’t need to make your boyfriend do it, either.
A new service called HelloFlo has just launched, which offers a subscription service for feminine hygiene products. To be clear, HelloFlo isn’t the first company to take advantage of the subscription model, and it isn’t even the first to offer subscription-based tampons. Le Parcel launched around Christmas last year to offer a similar product, and Juniper does the same thing, plus teas, chocolates and other goodies.
Founder Naama Bloom has very little to say on competition other than “my competitors and I all have different approaches to this market,” she said. “I believe that my approach is the right way for my business.”
There is virtually no difference between HelloFlo and Le Parcel, except the brands they’ve partnered with. There are other services that do a similar thing and even offer candies or flowers. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for everyone.
Truth is, it can’t hurt to have some solid competition in a sector that’s so terribly broken, and worth so much.
Speaking from a woman’s perspective, I can honestly say that the only thing worse than buying tampons is actually having your period. Unfortunately, those two things often come hand-in-hand, usually with some sort of awkward walk, a leak, and an overwhelming sense of embarrassment.
“I have always hated buying pads and tampons,” said Bloom. “There are so many things wrong with the experience. Specifically, there are no good reminders that are also tied in with the product. There have been so many times when I’ve been caught off guard and needed to run out to the drugstore at an inconvenient time.”
She’s preaching to the choir, of course. Even if, like myself, you were raised to put a nice big dot (or period, hehe) on your calendar as a reminder, there’s no woman on earth who has never been surprised by a visit from Aunt Flo.
But Bloom’s gripes extend beyond that.
“The boxes aren’t packaged in a way that makes sense,” she said. “For example, if you use overnight pads, you only need about two per period, but you are forced to buy a huge box that could last a year or more.”
HelloFlo sends you a combination of pads and tampons that fit your period, based on low, medium or heavy flow. It also solves the problem of remembering your period by doing it for you, as HelloFlo’s packages are delivered based on the time you say you have your period.
“Lastly,” adds Bloom, “I don’t want people knowing my business. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, it’s just that it’s not anyone else’s business. I knew with a little technology I could fix what’s broken.”
HelloFlo is starting out by offering the basics, Always and Tampax Pearl products, on a monthly basis. But Bloom believes there’s a lot of opportunity to be found within the relationship she’s creating between brand and customer.
This certainly isn’t the last you’ll hear about subscription menstrual products, but we’re glad to see HelloFlo join ranks and offer more competition. After all, competition fosters innovation.