We need to talk. It’s about that time of the month. Aunt Flo. Your monthly visitor. The Curse.
JK. If you’re sick of perioding all over the place because you forgot to buy tampons, you’re in luck. Tampon subscription companies are taking off, and a new startup, HelloFlo, has been added to the ranks. The company officially launched Monday as your new favorite monthly box o’ stuff.
No one likes buying tampons. If you can remember to throw a box in with the groceries, it’s not a big deal, but if you forget, that’s where you run into problems. There’s the hassle and inconvenience of having to make a late-night trip to the drug store. And then there’s the embarrassment of having to walk through the store, or office, or where-ever—with a box of tampons. You’re essentially making the announcement: Yep. I was unprepared. (That’s why I always grab a magazine too. Because then people are like, did she come to the store in her jammies at five in the morning for a box of tampons, or a magazine?)
For $15 to $18 a month, you can avoid being caught unprepared. HelloFlo is designed to time its deliveries with your unique cycle, so you can receive a box of tampons, backup pads, and panty-liners right before you start your period. It beats having four half-empty boxes of tampons and one whole package of pads, when you might only need two per month.
“We are really focused on simplicity. All you need to tell us is what your ‘flo’ is like and we take care of the rest. While there are other startups in this space, we think we have a unique approach,” said founder and CEO Naama Bloom.
But HelloFlo is jumping into a busy market. In January, Le Parcel launched to offer essentially the same thing, but with an extra trinket in each box. Prior to that, there was the launch of My Cotton Bunny (what?) in November. And before that, there was Juniper, which launched in September for the classy lady’s period.
All of the services offer a little something extra, whether it’s chocolate, tea, or a McDonald’s-style prize. But the potential for this market is big. It’s hard to say whether it’s worth it to pay $15 to $18 a month for a box of tampons and pads versus $8 a month on Amazon, but it has the potential to expand to a wide variety of women’s health needs, like contraceptives (for the day when birth control pills are finally sold over the counter), vitamins and supplements, beauty and pampering products, baby needs, and more.
But overall, it speaks to a larger movement in the e-commerce world. These are the types of products and services that women need—products and services that haven’t existed until now because the venture capital community is a big sausage-fest largely devoid of ladies. Women don’t necessarily need a new pair of shoes every month—but it would make sense that a room full of male VCs would back that, ‘cause, you know, bitches be shoppin’ all the time.
So it’s worth noting that HelloFlo is all bootstrapped and hasn’t raised any money yet. But that’s bound to change as services like this grow.