The Wise Why
#37 Lucy Self – Breaking Period Taboos
About This Episode
Feel favorite Knicker Amazing Every day of the Month.
Lucy Self founder of Save My Knickers a product that will remove period blood stains from your clothing and bedsheets discusses her business highs and lows, life story, and more with Kirsty van den Bulk.
I met Lucy during an OxLEP Business training course and have loved watching Lucy create content for social media, periods are a taboo subject, like the menopause. Lucy constantly has her social media marketing taken down as it can be considered too sexual or too shameful. Periods and menopause are not shameful subjects.
Yet, we all still say Aunt Flow- The Painters are in – On the Rag – Time of The Month, instead of I got my period.
The average age for a girl to start menstruation is 12 with the average age for menopause in the UK is between 45 and 55. That is a huge number of years trying to avoid accidents.
Save My Knickers is a multi-award-winning blood stain remover empowering women to feel favourite knicker amazing every day of the month, reducing waste whilst raising awareness and smashing period taboos.
Save My Knickers started life in Lucy’s kitchen; fed up with ruining her own underwear, pjs and bed sheets with blood stains. Like many women Lucy could not find anything on the market that was specifically for period blood stains and more importantly actually worked. </pLucy experimented until she found the magic formula that successfully removed blood stains every time and that’s when Save My Knickers was born.
Lucy is the driving force behind this incredible product and has gone from NHS children’s physiotherapist to hanging up her scrubs in February 2022 to take on full-time knicker saving.
Everyone will know someone who menstruates this is an episode to watch because Lucy has solved a problem that every person who has a period must deal with.
Episode #37 : Full Transcription
This episode starts with a warning to the audience as the subject matter is periods and monthly cycles.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Hello and welcome to the Wise, why this morning we are talking periods. I’m going to put it out there straight away. And the reason I’m putting out there is that some people may find this offensive, and some people will be uncomfortable. But you know what? Most of us know someone who menstruates. And I enjoyed this morning by the incredible Lucy Self, who I met on an offset course and her business model blew me away. Oh, my goodness. It’s revolutionary. It will change every person who menstruates life. So, as usual, the show is not about me. And I’m going to go straight to Lucy. Lucy, please introduce yourself.
Lucy Self: Hi, everyone. So, I’m Lucy, and I am the founder and creator of Save My Knickers. So, Save My Knickers is a stain removing powder that gets blurred out of underwear, clothing, bedding, pajamas. You name it, you get blood on it. Savior is here to come to the rescue. But, uh, I also lived a previous life as an NHS children’s studio, and I’m a mum of a four-year-old. Um, and I have an October with my husband. And, um, I love learning new things. So, my husband and I recently took up adult gymnastics. Lots of different things.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Well, every time I speak to you, I find out something new. I love that. The idea of me currently doing gymnastics is hysterical because as most people know, I’m not going to walk since August. I am now walking. But wow, adult gymnastics. I’m not going to try it. Uh, can I explain? How long were you in the NHS for?
Lucy Self: So, I was in the NHS for about 13 years, I think, um, and then left in February to take on the working fulltime. So that’s been a bit of a culture shock for sure.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I remember talking about that on that offset course of how you get, and this is something that a lot of business owners don’t do. And I was with a new client yesterday who’s also a new business owner. And we kind of go into a new business and we throw ourselves into it, hammer, and tongs. And yet we forget about our time, and we forget to actually celebrate how much we’ve achieved. Or I think in your case, I would say, have you given yourself time to kind of go through a decompression chamber? Did you actually get to do that in the end?
Lucy Self: Sort of. So, I definitely have. This coming out of the NHS has been like, I’ve got all this time now to work on Save My Knickers and to help as many people as possible. But I sort of threw myself into it too quickly. Um, and I did take some time to take a step back and think about what I wanted to achieve and how I was going to use my time. And then I think having a young child, then that obviously changes things a little bit. So she started school in September. So, I’m kind of like, going through this whole rethinking how I’m doing it process. So, whereas, actually, when I came out the NHS in February, I probably should have taken like, a week or so to decompress and do it all then it’s kind of been like a gradual journey and I feel like I’m going to use the next few weeks to continue that journey. And then the new Year, we’ll be like, right, OK, where do we go from here?
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, when my daughter went to school, I felt lost and, um, I ended up crocheting a jumper, which I’ve been honest about because I was almost crippled with not knowing who I was any longer. I kind of lost my mum identity, but I wasn’t quite a business owner and I really struggled in that space. How have you found adjusting to it?
Lucy Self: So, I feel like school has been a little bit easier. I think the bit that I found the hardest with the transition from being, like, uh, having a career and having an identity and then being a mum was actually going back to maternity leave in the first place, or from maternity leave sorry. To back into the NHS of I think when you have a child, that then changes your perspective on how you look at things. Um, and I was sort of mum at home and then I kind of was like, well, I’m a video at work, but is that really me? And is that what I really want to do with the rest of my time, that I’m not being mum? Um um, and I think then finding saved my knickers and doing all that, I could drive all my energy and passion to something that I really, really believed and really enjoyed. And so, I felt like I did a lot of that, finding myself and finding what I wanted to do then. And then it’s kind of been this long transition to now she’s at school. I feel really fortunate, really thankful that I’ve got that thing. I’ve got so many monikers that I can that is me. And I’m not sort of having that battle of like, oh, I’m my mum. Am I doing this, am I doing that? I think I kind of went through that a bit earlier on. Um, so, yeah, I’m really fortunate and really grateful that I haven’t got to add that into the mix as well. Now she’s at school.
Kirsty van den Bulk: That’s brilliant because a lot of people were going home. So, we’ve heard this period, we’ve heard menstruation, we’ve heard Save my knickers. And as a woman who is more mature, I desperately need to use your products. So, can you m explain how it actually, uh, works?
Lucy Self: So, it’s a powder and it comes in comes in a tube. And so, what you’re doing today, you’ve got some blood on some underwear or some clothing or bedding is before you put the item in the wash is you cover the stain in the powder, the same makeup powder and then a little bit of water at a time. Make a grainy paste on the same, roll that item up and then put it in some cold water to soak overnight. I use teacups. Vickers obviously put the teacups in the wash afterwards. But teacups are really good vinegars for soaking them overnight in the cold water or like a washing up bowl or a mixing bowl for a bigger item. And um, then you just put it in the wash as normal. So, you haven’t got to, um, you know, wash it separately or anything like that. You just pop it in with everything else. So, take maybe 60 seconds to use. Not very long at all.
Kirsty van den Bulk: And I love your branding. So, your branding has been quite a journey, isn’t it?
Lucy Self: Yeah, that’s something from day one that I knew I wanted to get right because I knew that periods of people don’t want to talk about, they want to shy away from it. And um, I wanted to create something that was beautiful, and people were happy to, uh, look at and happy to have around. And they want to pick it up and they want to touch it and they want to feel it. I also didn’t want to go down the route of having like a big air ah horn and being like we’re talking about periods because I realized that for some people, that’s way too much. And, um, I kind of wanted to find this happy middle ground of sort of being quite factual and quite matter of fact about things and not being in people’s faces, but also not being something that you want to hide under the sink. Yes, we’re kind of here to help with your laundry and with cleaning and that sort of thing. But we’re not going to be put under the sink with bleach. So yeah, the finding thing that’s been very important to us there’s is more.
Kirsty van den Bulk: To your branding though, isn’t it? Because it’s eco.
Lucy Self: Yes. So, we are plastic free as well, which I’m really, really proud to be because I think a lot of cleaning products and a lot of laundry products do come in plastic packaging. So, yeah, I choose a cardboard. And we’ve got a little extra, um, metal lid underneath just for extra security to make sure the powder doesn’t, um and we have a branded spoon, which is bamboo. So, everything we’re about reducing waste and, um, not trying to add to the pollution and the extra plastic that we already have in the world today.
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, as I said, your journey absolutely inspired me. And it does show that active listening works. I really did listen on those courses, um, because I think back to those and that was wonderful. I mean, we were able to support each other, and I think that’s also one of the strengths of optimizing and going to bring them in quickly because they have really supported me. And I’m sure you’ve also had some great support from them over the last year.
Lucy Self: Yes. I mean, before I started this, I kind of didn’t know what support was out there. And just there is so much support if you just don’t know where to look. And I think your local council, wherever you are in the country, there are some amazing support networks out there. And Oxlep for me has been incredible. I think that has been one of the biggest challenges coming out of the NHS and having that team and that support structure and all those people in place to go to and turn to for help. Being by yourself is quite lonely. And Oxlep are brilliant for putting in touch with somebody that knows XYZ or for running networking things or peer support things and online training. And they’re just fantastic. So, yeah, everybody go and search Oxlep.
Kirsty van den Bulk: And this is the interesting thing, because a lot of the clients I get are new startups who want to embrace video or want to know how to do their content marketing. And it’s great because I can really help them and I can look at every aspect of it, but they’ve never even heard of an LEP. And it astounds me how many people have no idea what is available for a small business owner, uh, to help and support. So, I’m really pleased that I met you on there. I want to talk about your daughter a little bit because she really inspires you, doesn’t she?
Lucy Self: Yes, she really does. And if anybody else out there has an under five, shall we make it like the older children? But I’m only experiencing it up to under five. They don’t stop picking their nose and I, um, don’t know what it is about noses and preschoolers ‘but. So she’s one of these kids, pick, pick, and then her nose will bleed and, um, blood will be everywhere. White bed, sheets, clothing, everything. And she’s like, oh, don’t worry, Mummy, we’ve got to save my nickers. I’m like, yes, that’s great, but please stop picking M. And I really do think as well, the period industry and periods have come along so much since we were teenagers. And I’m just not that I’m wishing her life away, but I’m really excited for when she gets to that time, that there’s going to be so many different options for her. You know, even with things like period products, you know, period pants are just one of the best inventions, I think, ever. And if I had them when I was a teenager, that would have been amazing. Think of all the anxiety that you face at school. Am I coming on my period? Am I not coming on my period? Just have something like curry pants is amazing. Or, you know when you go to the toilet and you’re embarrassed because, you know, the pads are rustling, or the temple packet is rustling. And to have a reasonable pad that doesn’t rustle. And it’s also better for the environment. There’re so many bonuses. And I think as well as a culture, as a nation, we’re talking about periods more. So, she’s going to grow up in a household where we use terms like vulgar and vagina and period and tampon, and we don’t shy away from them. That’s just what they are. And I think it’s really empowering and really important that that generation now is coming and growing up in that environment. And it’s not something that’s been buried about because it is something that happens to everybody. You know, half of the population have a period. So, yeah, I think it’s brilliant that we’re changing the way that we’re talking about periods.
Kirsty van den Bulk: It’s interesting what you said. I think it was, forgive me, forget state wrong, but I was at drama college studying. So, I was a little bit older. And the first tampon or not Tampon or might have been always, uh, and it’s my college friend of mine who I was training with, and she jumped out of a plane. And it might have been always with wings. I can’t remember. But it was like one of the very first period adverts. And she was really embarrassed. And I remember being as an actor going for a casting for a Canesten advert. And I didn’t want to get it. I remember going, I don’t want to get it. I don’t want to be associated with that. Uh, and that is such a shame to think about the way that we felt. And um, as I said in generation Older, that Russian red packet was, I remember the boys at school like, you’ve got your period and you’d be embarrassed. And, you know, you’d ah, the embarrassing times, especially at the beginning. And I’m going to bring it about the menopausal side of it because that embarrassment that you have as a teenager, it comes back when you go through the perimenopause, because you just have no idea when you’re going to have a period. And I believe you’ve had is it poly? I can never say this phrase.
Lucy Self: Leading syndrome. Yeah. So PCOS so with that is irregular period. And I think sometimes people, uh, do, uh, have a regular period, and that’s great. And that’s a percentage of the population. And then I think there’s lots of us out there don’t, as you say, like teenagers, people that go through the menopause, people with conditions that impact their periods, like PCOS, um, so it can cause really irregular bleeding. And I think sometimes there’s this misconception is like, well, surely you know when you’re coming on your period, or surely you know when that’s gonna happen. And actually, you don’t. And, um, that’s just, you know, we don’t necessarily want to be wearing a pad every single day or a pair of period knickers every single day. You want to wear your best knickers. Best knickers make you feel fantastic. There’s nothing worse than Saddam pants. Um, they make you feel like this, and brilliant, fantastic knickers make you feel great, and you don’t know when you’re going to come on your period. And I think that’s why I stayed with Nick’s, is a bit magic because you can m wear your favorite inquiries and it doesn’t matter. And, yeah, I think that’s one of the other messages is, yes, periods are great and, um, you can be prepared, but, uh, also, what are your favorite inkers? Because they make you look fantastic.
Kirsty van den Bulk: And I love that. And, you know, if I think I work in quite a male dominated environment, and you’d think that that would be more uncomfortable in some respects, but they all have wives or partners, and they would go out and get me paracetamol. Um, they would go and buy me if I was caught short. And I knew the guys I could go to and go; can you go to the chemist for me? And I think that’s also oh, uh, it’s magical that we can normalize this rather than hide it. And of course, we can normalize the metabolism, and we can normalize polycystic. Ovarian, did I get this right? Polycystic?
Lucy Self: I’ll just call it udos.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I love it because being dyslexic, I get so many things wrong. So, along the way. I mean, I know your daughter’s inspired you, but who else has absolutely inspired you to be who you are?
Lucy Self: Ah, you know what? I was thinking about this, and it’s probably been my husband. And I know that sounds really, really corny, um, but I feel like he’s been my biggest cheerleader throughout all of this, and he’s always believed me, and he’s never said, I don’t think that’s a very good idea, or I don’t think you could do it. Like, everything I’ve said to him, he’d be like, yes, do it 100%. You’ve got this. And I think he has given me the confidence to do this and to make it happen. I mean, I have to say, to start with, he would have been like, you want to do what? Again, I think that comes back to he doesn’t do the washing. And he did. I’m not even going to look at my pants. Look what happened. So, once he’s got his head around the fact that this was a problem and I, um, found a solution, he’s always been there as my biggest cheerleader, so I think it’s been him.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I love that I’ve got the same. I wouldn’t be able to do my business without my husband. Um, he’s my rock, and I tell everybody how much he is my rock, but he gave me the first capital to set up so I wouldn’t have KVDB without him. And he like you. He’s believed in me. He doesn’t watch the YSI, he’s never watched the Wise Way, and he’s never watched any of my YouTube channel and goes, yeah, you do your thing, just off you go. But he’s always there supporting. So, along the way, um, you’ve left the NHS, you’ve got saved my knickers, you’ve been inspired, you’ve had your ups and your downs, and it is challenging being a startup or getting to know your business, but you must have had some AHA moments along the way.
Lucy Self: Definitely. I think one of the biggest ones is when I first started out. So, I started out with this because I was bored of ruining my own knickers and my, um, own clothes and bedding and whatnot. And I sort of was like, there’s got to be something that works. And so, when I was experimenting and trying to find something that removed blood stains to start with, it was just for me, because I thought I was the only person that was a problem for. And then it’s only when I discovered this sort of magic solution, I was like, oh, I have to share this and talk about this to people, because I think this is really exciting. And then I realized I wasn’t alone, and I wasn’t the only person to get blood on anything. And I think that was probably one of the biggest AHA moments, was, oh, my goodness, this could help so many people. And, um, it’s not just me. And I’m not alone. And I think everybody I speak to like, yeah, I ruined this pair of pants. I ruined this, so I ruined that. And so I think probably right back at the beginning, when I was in my kitchen and just talking to a couple of friends, I was like, oh, my goodness, this is it. This is the answer. So that, I think, is probably the.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Biggest one, because it wasn’t a quick process, was it? You had to really play around, get your formula to make this work.
Lucy Self: Yeah. So, I came up with the idea back in 2019, which feels like a lifetime ago now, and experimenting in the kitchen and trying to work out different quantities of things and different fabrics and different, um, times to let it soak, and different ways of using it. I think one of the funniest bits about the whole story when I look back on that time, is that I don’t have a constant supply of blood. And so, whenever anybody had a nosebleed or cut themselves, I’d be like, Quick, get a pair of knickers. Um, and then only when I look back was that it didn’t have to be a pair of knickers. It could have been a flannel, or it could have been, like, some fabric samples. But every time I’d like to go to my nicknames, which one can’t be tested? Wipe your nose on that.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I love it. So, um, you’ve done all of this. You’ve got to where you are. There must have been some moments where you just went, why am I doing this?
Lucy Self: Oh, yeah, and I think one of the biggest ones was after I come out the NHS and I was really excited and like, oh, this is it, and I’m going to be saving niches everywhere. And then, uh, that sort of lonely when you’re working by yourself in a small business. Realization hit. And I think we had, there were just a couple of things that happened. Whereas if I’d been in my NHS role, I would have known exactly who to call. I would have been a procedure to follow, there would have been a person to talk to and it would have been really clear. And then I sort of had that moment in saying my nicknames where I was like, it’s just me and I’m the only person and I’m totally responsible and um, there’s nobody else, and friends and family and stuff. But eventually it would come back to me, and I don’t have that big team around me and we’ve been like, oh, okay, that’s quite scary and I think quite isolating. So, I think that’s probably been one of the hardest points.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Then another thing that really fascinates, because I love your marketing, because it is there, it’s strong, you know what you’re doing. But how do you find marketing your product on places like Instagram and LinkedIn?
Lucy Self: So that’s it, um, I think to start with, not everybody is ready to talk about it. And whether it’s periods or blood stains or, you know, people are embarrassed and people don’t want to talk about it. So that in itself is quite challenging. Whereas if we were a mascara or a T-shirt, people are willing to talk about that sort of thing openly on social media, whereas you might talk about your period with your close friends. There’s a very sort of small group of people that are willing to go out and share that, uh, in a social media context. Um, and we’ve also had quite a few issues with, um, my account being blocked and um, content being taken down because of the sorts of things that we’re showing, the things we’re talking about. So that is also quite difficult. Um, so um, I got some of our customers to film video clips of them, just sort of bottom half in their favorite knickers, just doing a bit of a dance. And I stitched them all together, um, and made a video. It was meant to be a happy, joyful look, everyone wearing their favorite pants. Um, and it got taken down because apparently it was deemed sexy. Um, and it had images of women in underwear. Ah. And then I had another image of, um, just, again, a pair of legs and a pair of knickers. Um, and there was some blood on the knickers. And that got taken down because it violated some policies. So that’s been really challenging. So, we’ve got the challenge that people don’t really want to talk about it. And then I’ve got the challenge that Meta keep taking everything down again and my account is still blocked. Okay, that’s probably one of my other moments. Makes me go, I really want to do this.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Uh, sorry if you already do this, but do you blog? Because that’s a really power I mean, I’ve started blogging, but it’s a powerful way that you can then share that onto Pinterest or something. And at least then we can, because your story is really important and getting that message out shouldn’t be. I appreciate that it’s sensitive. I really do understand that this is a sensitive subject. It’s an uncomfortable subject for a lot of people. As I was talking to you this, uh, week, I tried to find hashtags for Women’s Health on LinkedIn. And I was shocked, I was genuinely shocked at how, um, little people follow these hashtags. And yet the amount of people on LinkedIn who are women or are looking at health issues that are relatable to the female gender. I’m trying to be non-gender specific, but even that is really hard to find. And I appreciate that there is that, uh oh, I don’t want to talk about it. But we must talk about it. Otherwise, we’re shaming. We’re shaming our future generations. I know people find it shocking, but I want my daughter to be comfortable and confident to know that this is normal.
Lucy Self: Definitely. And it’s been interesting, actually. I think the majority of people that I talk to are, um, there for it. They want to talk about it. And after that initial shock of, oh my goodness, I can’t believe she said the word period on the Tuesday morning. But after entry shop, they’re really on board. And I think I’ve only had less than a handful of, um, people that have said that what I’m doing or talking about is disgusting. Um, and there has been a bit of an element of, um, we went through it, and we had to suffer it, so you should have to suffer that too. And I think that’s sad that generations don’t want to make it better for future generations. I just think if you have to suffer something like being ashamed of your period, why not make it better for somebody else? I think why they actually usually have to suffer that too. I think that’s sad.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yes. Um, and that’s the same as why, I guess Davina McCall is desperately trying to raise awareness of the menopause. And there’s lots of stuff going through Parliament right now to support women and HR changes, but they should also be there for the period because I can remember having to struggle with brain fog, trying desperately to concentrate, where I was almost doubled up. People don’t realize how debilitating a monthly can be, and just to change the words there, but, um, I’ve been rushed to hospital when I was 14, I was on a school trip, and I was rushed to hospital because they thought I had an appendicitis. I didn’t, I didn’t know I had what was coming. I had no idea because I wasn’t regular and what came, and the doctor was brilliant and understanding. They did all the tests, and they went, it’s just your monthly. And I think even that point when we are talking about the eighties, it’s like, has your mummy talk to you about Auntie Flow? It’s like, wow, if I said that to my daughter now, I’d be gutted because like you, I call the body what it is. I don’t need to hide it. And one of the things that’s really important is when we do name, uh, our body parts, that we use the correct name because we don’t want it to be called a foo food. Because if somebody touches you inappropriately or my daughter, I want them to say, no, he touched me here, or she touched me here, so that we or they touched me here, so I know exactly what’s going on. So, naming it and not shaming I think is really important, which is why I asked you controversially onto LinkedIn to talk about period. So, um, who’s helped you? And I’ve asked you about your husband, but is there anybody else who’s been immersive support to you?
Lucy Self: So there’s a few colleagues in my old team in the NHS who I didn’t tell them to start with what I was doing. Again, I think we had a little bit of that embarrassment about, ah, the whole scenario and, um, also the fear of failure, that side of things. But once I told them, they, um, have been brilliant and I still see them really regularly, there’s a couple of them I really keep in contact with and they are sort of there, like, waving the flags and they’re my biggest cheerleaders and advocates. So I think that’s fantastic because I was leaving them not being in their team anymore. So I just have a bit of I don’t want them to resembly. I don’t want them to obviously they’re going to be Sam, I’m not there. But, um, they were just like, go for it, you’re going to fly. And they have been incredibly supportive as well, which is really lovely. Um, and I’ve got some friends who also run for businesses. So, I think it’s nice to find somebody else that is doing a similar thing to you when you say, oh, this thing happened, there’s somebody else that understands what it is that you’re talking about and can appreciate. Oh, yeah, it’s really annoying when Instagram does that. Or it is really annoying when this thing happened. So, yeah, I’m really, really fortunate. Very good support network.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Uh, it has been, I mean, how long have you been going now? How many years?
Lucy Self: Two years. We had our birthday in October.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Well, yeah, we just had our wife wife’s birthday. I’m quite excited. We’ve been doing this for a year. Um, so there’s lots of people out there. We’ve talked about the type of customer; how can somebody find you? I think it’s really important to explain where they can find your product because I would like people to know exactly where to go, particularly if you’re like me and you’ve got a child who is going to not mean when she’s young, but she, uh, is at some point going to enter that time of her life. Where can they find you?
Lucy Self: Yeah, if you put into Google Save Money, we are the first people that come up. Or you can put in our website is Savers.com. And again, we’re on Instagram and Facebook. If you just search Save My Nicks, we should come up as well. And it’s interesting to say about the daughter’s thing because I’ve had quite a few customers with, um, that, uh, sort of teenage or sort of like coming up to teenage age brands who have used Saved Melissa’s as a discussion point. So rather than coming in with something that could be quite scary, like a box of tampons or, you know, a box of pads that might be a little bit overwhelming, is getting saved mini cos and saying, look, you’re going to leak, you’re going to get blood on stuff that’s okay. Let’s talk about, uh, why that’s going to happen. Um, and they said that that’s been a really lovely conversation started because it’s been a little bit less maybe scary and daunting than a period product. So that’s been lovely feedback.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Honestly, I think that’s a lovely way of looking at it. Because that is what happens, isn’t it? We get to a point we know it’s coming, but we don’t really know what it is until it happens to us. This is where you’ve been in the hot seat for a very long time and use it to turn the tables and ask me a question that I’ve got no idea what it’s going to be.
Lucy Self: Oh, great question. Um, how do you think you kind of answered this little bit already? But how else do you think you’re going to empower your daughter to talk openly about periods and women’s health issues?
Kirsty van den Bulk: So we are really open with her. Um, we use all the terminologies that we should use. Even now she’s six. We tell her that, um, it’s her body. Uh, if she doesn’t want to be kissed, she doesn’t have to be kissed. It’s up to her. We’ve empowered her from a really young age that it’s her choice. And I think it’s really important she doesn’t have to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. There are points where obviously I go, no, I’m your money. That’s being rude. But, uh, mostly we allow her the choice and even down to, um, whether or not she’s going to have the flu thing that goes through school. Are you happy to, have it? You are awesome. We’re going to book you on. So, we really empower her with choice and we’ve done that from a really young age because, um, in this day and age, no matter who you are, choice is the one thing that we can do. So, I give her choices.
Lucy Self: I love that. And I love the choice about whether you want to give someone a kiss or a hug, because you never really think about that. But actually, that is a choice that they should be able to make, isn’t it?
Kirsty van den Bulk: It’s difficult. Don’t get me wrong. Um, there are cultures, and obviously my husband is Dutch, so culturally in Holland, you greet people with three kisses. But we’ve had to say to our daughter, if you don’t want to, that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to say, no, thank you. And you can have your own space, your own choice, um, whether or not you want to go in for the kiss, if you don’t want to. So, you know, when you say goodbye to your grandparents, in our case, Oma and Opa or Granny and Granddad, instead of say, Go and give them a kiss, we go. Um, it’s up to you. Do you want to? And it’s been really difficult because obviously my parents and Oma and OPA are used to the culture of you put your child forward, but we felt that it was really important that she was empowered to make that choice. We don’t show anything, and this is very key. Um, we don’t share anything about her on social media, but that’s, again, a choice. The reason for that is I grew up without social media, so I want her to feel that it’s up to her if she goes on it or not. Again, I remember turning again It’s that shame thing. So, I just hit about 14. My monthlies were on and off. We were having a party at my house, and I’ve gone through the phone book, the photo books, and I found lots of pictures of me on the beach at the church. Child. I was only five, but I was topless. And I literally took them all. My mom’s gutted, I took them all out of the folder and burnt them because I didn’t want my school friends to see me. And it’s like Shane thing again, with shame from such an early age. And that’s partly why I love you. One of the reasons I love your product is because it helps us overcome that shame. So, we’ve had a couple of comments. We’re going to quickly go to them because they’ve been coming in and I normally go to the comments at the end, so huh. Morin, uh, has commented and she said it’s a great product. Lucy oh, thank you. And also, having a supportive network for small business owners is so important and well, I’m here to support you and I know you’re there to support me.
Lucy Self: Yeah.
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, thank you so much for sharing your journey and raising awareness of a subject that can be shameful.
Lucy Self: Thank you so much for having me Kirsty.
In this episode:
00:01 Kirsty van den Bulk Introduces Lucy Self
00;06 Warning We are talking Periods
00:41 Lucy Introduces herself and her life journey
01:49 New Business growing pains & burn out
02:54 Primary school and the Mum Identify crises
03:59 Finding yourself through starting a business
06:26 Eco and branding
07:34 Business Support – Oxlep
07:57 Start up business loneliness
08:40 Inspiring daughters
09:13 Period Industry
11:23 Menopause & PCOS
12:47 Supportive Men in the workplace
13:26 Who else has inspired you?
15:32 Not feeling isolated by women health issues
16:10 The Kitchen sink
16:41 Aha Moments
18:02 Marketing a period product challenges
19:44 Blogging & Pinterest
21:16 Periods should not be shamed
22:57 Name the body parts what they are
23:32 Other support
24:57 How does someone find you
26:31 Your turn to ask me a question
26:48 Empowering my daughter
29:45 Comments from the live audience
Connect with Lucy:
www.save my knickers.com
Mentioned in this Episode:
Daren Elsley talks with Kirsty van den Bulk about The Unspoken Truth of Male Cancers and how losing his best friend to cancer inspired him to launch MYBOLLOX underwear, a brand with a mission to raise awareness for men’s cancers through unique branding.
Ep 59, Paul Anderson talks about banking, acting via security, and embracing life’s twists on The Wise Why podcast with Kirsty van den Bulk.