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Reflection Letter: hannahpad 2 Years On

This is a letter of reflection on how far hannahpad Australia and New Zealand has come and a thanks to everyone who made this possible for us.

It seems long ago when my wife, Jenny had this crazy idea of creating a business selling washable organic cloth pads in Australia and New Zealand. I was hesitant at first, as I didn't understand the positive impact that cloth pads can have on people and Earth. However, I realised that my wife was actually benefiting so much from her own experience with hannahpads that we decided 2 years ago in 2015 to leave our jobs and spread the cloth pad love full time.

Here's a snap shot of what it's been like: 

The Struggles

Like every small business, the struggles are inevitable and necessary. Here’s what we found at times challenging.

  • Starting out as an e-commerce company, we had to learn how to build and manage a site from scratch. It was a crash course in everything website related. 

  • Figuring out how best to spread the cloth pad love via social media and word of mouth. We tried it all.

  • As a small business, my wife and I were hands on in all aspects of the business. We were the business owner, administrator, customer service, marketer, delivery person, accountant, decision maker, packer... so many roles and shoes to fill.  

  • Rejections, because some people just couldn’t envision a cloth pad alternative that’s healthier and earth friendly becoming a mainstream option. 

  • The negative response both online and in person we received in the beginning about what we were aiming to do and why.

  • Working from home. When professional and private lives come together in the one space it often can be hard to switch off. 

  • Finding the right answers from the right people to guide us through creating a business dream come true. Like-minded business mentors are a must.

The Lessons

With every struggle we encounter, we’ve realised that it’s all part of the learning curve.

  • Learned how to access information and build a support network that has a similar ethos and believes in a similar mission.

  • As much as we want to educate people, it’s also crucial to be a good listener. Listening to people’s individual stories and understanding their needs has helped us and our team learn about how our products can help and how our products can be suitable for different circumstances.

  • Got better at approaching and communicating the mission of hannahpad to people who are willing to listen and learn. Our mission is simply to provide a healthier alternative to menstrual, maternity and LBL management that can be accessible to everyone in Australia and New Zealand.

  • There will always be different reactions to our washable cloth pads and our message to the world but that’s okay.

The Achievements

From ideas and lessons learned along the way, many goals have been achieved and we’re so excited to give you a bit of an update.

  • hannahpad has gone beyond our online store and is now available in over 80 stores across Australia. Choose your state under our Stockist List on our  site

  • People are actually talking about hannahpads to their family and friends. “Have you heard of hannahpad?”, “Do you want to try one?”, “How do they work?” It’s so amazing to know the period talk is being openly discussed across the country. 

  • It was time to get rid of unnecessary plastic we were including in each order. We stopped including small zip lock bags with every order (included for people new to cloth pad use as a carrying solution for their used pads). We also found some biodegradable packing peanuts and only use recyclable kraft paper boxes and krapt paper in our packaging process.

  • Increased our social media following from 0 only 2 years ago to over 6,500 on Facebook and 3,500 on Instagram. We have worked hard to stay relevant and consistent as we spread the cloth pad love with many more people. 

  • We mean it when we say that we love receiving feedback from our customers who have given hannahpads a really good try. Over the past two years, we’ve been able to improve our product range all because of customers’ feedback. These include the range of patternscleaning items and accessories.

 

Follow me: @aussie_padman on Instagram to check out what I'm up to from time to time 

I love getting involved and seeing the positive differences our organic cloth pads can make in the world.

Thanks from the Bottom of Our Hearts

A huge THANK YOU really goes out to you for being so willing to come on this journey to learn about the benefits of organic washable cloth pads and to use them for your own requirements. We’re very proud of you for making the switch and choosing hannahpad to do it. With your continuous support by keeping the period talk alive, it truly helps us achieve our ultimate goal to be a mainstream menstrual product of choice available throughout retail stores across Australia and New Zealand.  

Jenny and I at the Vegan Festival in Adelaide late October 2017 

Lots of love:

Marcus (Aussie Padman) & Jenny 

January 02, 2018 — Marcus Steve