Jennifer Eden is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Tampon Tribe, an organic and plastic-free brand that offers plastic-free and sustainable tampons, pads, pantyliners, menstrual cups, and recently launched period panties. Along with her co-founder Gaby Alves, they were inspired by the pollution they saw along the California coast to make a big impact on our environment. Together they lead a team of international women who are on a mission to reduce their carbon footprint while creating products that are affordable and accessible to all women. Tampon Tribe currently offers a wide range of products including tampons pads, pantyliners, menstrual cups, and period panties, all of which are plastic-free, organics, toxin-free, and sustainable. The brand was created as a movement to protect the earth and women’s bodies – all while giving back to women in need. For every subscription box or product sold, a daily feminine hygiene pack is donated to a homeless woman or girl in need through Project Code Red.
Where did the idea for Tampon Tribe come from?
Well, my business partner and I were in Los Angeles looking for high-quality and organic period care. However, we couldn’t find a product that we loved consistently on shelves or online. We’re also super passionate about the environment so walking along the beaches in LA, we kept seeing these plastic tampon applicators! Seeing that in Brazil and Asia, we’ve never seen that in America. So we thought, “How can we combine our passion for improving period health with the environment?” After searching far and wide, we developed a totally organic and plastic-free tampon, pad, and pantyliner range. As a team of diverse women, we’ve now just added Ashers, our absorbent underwear that is chemical-free, plastic-free, and protects our bodies as well as the Earth.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I’m normally up pretty early with my day starting at about 5:30 am. Next, I like to have coffee, catch up on the news, and throw in some meditation before I jump on emails at about 6:30 am. Having that space in the morning is always a lovely time to stop the mind buzzing, as it normally does all evening and while sleeping. Heading into our warehouse in West Adams, Los Angeles, I then go to work, send more emails, and get down to operations. As a founder, my day is split between product development, fulfillment, customer service, admin, graphic design, product design, web design, and pretty much everything! This makes my day really interesting. And of course, running and growing the business, which is a very important part. In the late afternoon, I like to take a break and play some sports like tennis or pickleball. And after dinner, I normally start working with our overseas manufacturers and partners. It’s a long day for me, but it’s something I really enjoy.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I usually start with envisaging the product itself on a retail shelf or arriving at someone’s doorstep. This includes thinking about the packaging, feel, and emotion that comes from a customer seeing and interacting with the product for the first time, and then pairing that with the product itself. This often starts with a combination of not just sourcing materials and product design, but packaging and marketing design as well. We like to see the convergence of all those ideas hit the mark before moving forward and then we just make it happen! We source it, cost it, and put all the elements together.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Definitely sustainability. It has been at the core of Tampon Tribe since we began and were pushing a green sustainable wagon around as an outlier. By seeing the climate crisis come first and foremost in everybody’s mind, we love the shift towards sustainable products with the consumer becoming aware of how they’re impacting our earth.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Strict time blocking in the middle of my day. I’ll set a 30 minute limit and get something done, because I’m someone that works really well with deadlines. However, the hardest thing as an entrepreneur is that you have to set your own deadlines with so much going on all the time! If I time block at least a couple of hours a day, I normally find that’s when I get the most things done.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To be wary of distractions, because it’s very easy to be distracted by what your competitor is doing. While you need to be aware of what’s happening in the market, trust in your ideas and stay true to that! If it fails, it fails. Just keep your focus and believe in yourself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s better to eat a bite of every chocolate in the box rather than three whole chocolates.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Show up for yourself, be there every day, do the work, and don’t give up.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Outsourcing time-consuming tasks is something pretty easy to do these days, along with the ability to use freelancers. It makes a huge difference and can really help with tasks you get stuck on, whether it’s graphic design, web design, or accounting. You just have to be careful where you put your time and efforts. Often, it’s more beneficial to get smaller tasks outsourced that you’re not as great in and keep the business, as well as the management on track to yourself.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The trickiest thing as an entrepreneur is deciding which teams to work with. Sometimes, you can engage an advertising or web design team you have faith in and they can let you down. With that being said, the best thing to do is to pick yourself back up and get somebody else on the task.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An Uber for senior citizens, that would be a great business idea!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A new pair of tennis shoes, they make me so happy!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use Upwork for a lot of things! It’s such a resource for super talented freelancers and I use it on a weekly basis to help with design tasks.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’d recommend “Sell Like Crazy” by Sabri Suby. It breaks down the fundamentals of business, which is getting back to selling. Every business needs to sell something to survive and we can get caught up in the elements of business and product design, that we forget if we’re not selling- there is no business. I just love that it breaks things down to old fashion sales, which to me is at the heart of everything.
What is your favorite quote?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams” by David Thoreau.
- The hardest thing as an entrepreneur is that you have to set your own deadlines with so much going on all the time!
- It’s very easy to be distracted by what your competitor is doing.
– Show up for yourself, be there every day, do the work, and don’t give up.
- “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams” by David Thoreau.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.