Having been a single parent of three children, two of which were girls, I fully understand the struggle of bringing up a family on benefits. I appreciate the fine balancing act that goes into managing a tight budget and providing for your kids so they don’t feel different from their peers.
There was no help to cover the costs of sanitary protection then and twenty years on there’s no help now – so I decided, with my two daughters, to do something about it and to tackle “Period Poverty” in the UK.
I spent a few months setting up the enterprise, carrying out research on the market opportunity and consulting with users groups. I took a collective approach to building the brand and developing the product and then found like-minded and flexible partners that were willing to support our set up, manufacture and go live stages. We ordered our first container of sanitary pads from China which arrived on the 7th Jan 2018 and we began our trading with retail sales on the 8th of the month.
A key achievement and a real game changing milestone was that we won the Scottish Virgin Start-Up of the year 2018 after trading for only two months. This brought a focus on the high growth potential of our enterprise and resulted in us being invited to join the Big Issue‘s Power Up program with access to matched investment.
Our marketing campaigns and packaging state that: At Hey Girls we know that girls and young women are all powerful individuals, care about their health, are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference.
That’s why we created Hey Girls – to offer a no leak, super comfy, chlorine and bleach free, environmentally friendly product that tackles period poverty in the UK.
The unique selling points of Hey Girls products are as follows:
- Our Buy One Give approach attracts customers who genuinely want to help end Period Poverty in the UK.
- The Sani Pads are very high quality, made from bamboo and corn starch – This sets them apart from many mainstream products which are made of plastic and derivatives.
- Hey Girls Sanitary Pads are all natural bamboo and corn-starch, bio degradable with recyclable packaging.
We launched our product with a huge fanfare and high impact media and PR campaigns took place with fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers these supported our marketing in the national press and magazines in January 2018. We have been lucky enough to have coverage in elleuk, Look, Stylist, the Evening Standard, Times, Observer, Guardian, Independent, Herald, The Scotsman and Third Sector News. These were followed by a number of news slots on the BBC.
We’ve held awareness raising event and educational workshops across the UK with Bloody Big Brunches in Glasgow and London with a few more in the pipeline this year.
We have contacts in place for B2B supply for schools in West Lothian, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, South Lanarkshire with other still to confirm. From August we will have listing in Waitrose and Asda stores across the UK. We have secured a major contract from the Scottish Government and FareShare to roll our period products out to all Scottish foodbanks and we are building a train the trainer menstrual education offering to support all donations in schools, communities and women’s centres in partnership with communities groups.