#SWAAYthenarrative

Move Over Lola: Big Investment For Buzzy Organic Menstrual Brand

Business

It’s another win for a female-founded menstrual brand. Like recent success stories in the space including Lola, which secured a $11.1 million in investment from multiple sources like Lena Dunham; and Kensington-based Cora, which has generated $6 million in the three years since its founding. Now, one-year-old California-based feminine product brand, Rael, which has made a name for itself on Amazon, has reeled in $2.1 million from technology-based firm SoftBank Ventures.


“We’re excited to partner with investors like SoftBank Ventures Korea and Thrive Market, whose visions align with ours-offering innovative and healthy products at approachable price points while providing the resources women need to make safe and educated decisions for their bodies,” states brand co-founder Yanghee Paik, about the recent deal.

Clearly, as women become more and more aware of the secret toxins and chemicals hiding within their tampons and pads, they are seeking female-founded brands that utilize organic ingredients and sustainable packaging. To wit, these brands are more and more so getting on investors’ radar, as more funding continues rolling in for their in-demand product. Rael, which was founded in 2017 by former journalist and author of Lady, You Deserve It, Aness An; former studio distributor Yanghee Paik, and architect and artist Binna Won, aims to provide comfort and functionality with organic cotton pads and tampons.

With the help of its new investors SoftBank, a company focusing on technology and services, and Thrive, an organic product provider, the pre-series A funding round is meant to enable the company to continue to do what they do best; benefiting females with the best feminine care as possible.

Sourced from Texas, Rael’s cotton is packaged and shipped to the company’s laboratory in South Korea. There, within one of the safest and sterile labs in the world, the cotton is transformed into products that range from pantyliners, period underwear, facial sheet masks, cleansing wipes, and also biodegradable tampons, all made from 100 percent organic cotton. Once created, the products are shipped back to California where the distribution process begins. With the goal of reaching new consumers, Paik and Won took their product to Amazon, expecting it to not receive much feedback. However, the brand became an instant hit after just a few months.

“Despite knowing what types of products we personally wanted in our own lives, we weren’t certain if there was an actual need for this new type of feminine care,” says Paik, Co-Founder and CEO at Rael. “So, after months of research and development, we conducted an initial test on Amazon. The response was overwhelming. We became an Amazon Best seller within a few months. Women started writing in, sharing their stories, thanking us for creating organic pads that actually worked. In that moment, or vision for Rael was affirmed.”

With the help of its new investor, Rael is looking to further expand its company in all aspects, including research and development and distribution. According to the investment firm, the move is to continue the expansion of their products, but also create a more stable team that could possibly move their company overseas.

Rael 100% Organic Cotton Pads

Rael Cleansing Face Mask

3 min read
Culture

Please Don't Forget to Say Thank You

"More grapes, please," my daughter asked, as she continued to color her Peppa Pig drawing at the kitchen table.

"What do you say?" I asked her, as I was about to hand her the bowl.

"More grapes?"

I shook my head.

"Please?"

I stood there.

"I want green grapes instead of red grapes?"

I shook my head again. I handed her the bowl of green grapes. "Thank you. Please don't forget to say thank you."

"Thank you, Momma!"

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children?

Many of us are busy training our young children on manners on the other side of the Zoom camera during this pandemic. Reminding them to say please, excuse me, I tried it and it's not my favorite, I am sorry, and thank you. And yet somehow simple manners continue to be undervalued and underappreciated in our workplaces. Because who has time to say thank you?

"Call me. This needs to be completed in the next hour."

"They didn't like the deck. Needs to be redone."

"When are you planning on sending the proposal?"

"Did you see the questions he asked? Where are the responses?"

"Needs to be done by Monday."

Let me take a look. I didn't see a please. No please. Let me re-read it again. Nope, no thank you either. Sure, I'll get to that right away. Oh yes, you're welcome.

Organizations are under enormous pressure in this pandemic. Therefore, leaders are under enormous pressure. Business models collapsing, budget cuts, layoffs, or scrapping plans… Companies are trying to pivot as quickly as possible—afraid of extinction. With employees and leaders everywhere teaching and parenting at home, taking care of elderly parents, or maybe even living alone with little social interaction, more and more of us are dealing with all forms of grief, including losing loved ones to COVID-19.

So we could argue we just don't have time to say thank you; we don't have time to express gratitude. There's too much happening in the world to be grateful for anything. We are all living day to day, the pendulum for us swinging between surviving and thriving. But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

If you don't think you have to say thank you; if you don't think they deserve a thank you (it's their job, it's what they get paid to do); or if you think, "Why should I say thank you, no one ever thanks me for anything?" It's time to remember that while we might be living through one of the worst recessions of our lifetimes, the market will turn again. Jobs will open up, and those who don't feel recognized or valued will be the first to go. Those who don't feel appreciated and respected will make the easy decision to work for leaders who show gratitude.

But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children? Remind them with flashcards? Bribe them with a cookie? Tell them how I proud I am of them when they say those two magical words?

Showing gratitude isn't that difficult. You can send a thoughtful email or a text, send a handwritten card, send something small as a gesture of thank you, or just tell them. Call them and tell them how thankful you are for them and for their contributions. Just say thank you.

A coworker recently mailed me a thank you card, saying how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone from work has sent me during this pandemic. It was another reminder for me of how much we underestimate the power of a thank you card.

Apparently, quarantine gratitude journals are all the rage right now. So it's great if you have a beautiful, leather-bound gratitude journal. You can write down all of the people and the things that you are thankful for in your life. Apparently, it helps you sleep better, helps you stay grounded, and makes you in general happier. Just don't forget to take a moment to stop writing in that journal, and to show thanks and gratitude to those you are working with every single day.