One of the best aspects of this business is all the like-minded people I get to meet (either in person or more often than not through social media and email) who are on similar paths to mine. That is, providing new and/or alternative methods of menstrual management.
One such woman is Natalia who has a cloth pad business with the lovely moniker Pretty Eco Intimates. This shortens down to PEI which is the province in Canada where Natalia spent part of her childhood and where she is now raising her own child.
Pretty Eco Intimates are delightful in their selection of patterns, sizes and absorbency strengths. Just check out the sweet colours and designs! Just looking at these pads though doesn't do them justice…they are so soft and comfortable to wear.
We’re giving one lucky winner of this draw a custom made pad from Pretty Eco Intimates. That means you get to choose the size, fabric and absorbency. Somehow that just seems so extravagant and wonderful especially considering it’s for FREE and it's good for you and the environment!
I conducted a short interview with Natalia a few days ago, asking a few questions about herself and her business.
Me: You mentioned on your website that you first discovered cloth pads when you were using cloth diapers for you daughter. How many years ago (approx.) was that and what would you say was your main reason for switching from traditional products to cloth?
I started cloth diapering my daughter 1.5 years ago, when I was introduced to mama cloth (reusable cloth menstrual pads) through researching different cloth diaper brands online. My first ever cloth pad to try for myself was an Environmental Cloth Pad that I had won through one of her many giveaways. Once I tried them 11 months postpartum I felt in love with them. And began to order more from different brands.
Last October I decided to start making them to sell locally and online. So it's been an exciting 9 months growing my little shop and selling all over the world.
Me: Your pads come in a multitude of sizes. If a girl/woman were new to cloth pads what size would you recommend? Do the sizes of your pad change more with the size of the woman using them or with the strength of her flow?
I offer a range of sizes starting from 6" all the way to 13.5". (6", 7", 8", 9", 10", 12.5" & 13.5") I try to make sure I have a length for everyone. I also currently sell a narrow & flared shape in most of my sizes. For those younger teens or older women who prefer a certain shape. Some are petite while others need more coverage.
All lengths have a selection of absorbencies, again so that women are not bond to only one length. You can order a 6 or 7" pad in a Heavy absorbency or you can order a 12.5" in a light. It all depends on the woman and what they feel they need.
For an extra amount I also offer a hidden waterproof lining to the pads called PUL (Polyurethane Laminate) which is a a laminated cotton that will set your mind at easy if your concerned about leaking. However the Organic Hemp/Bamboo fleece I use in my moderate-ultra pads is very absorbent and does the job quite well without PUL.
Me: The fabrics you use to make your pads are all so vibrant and lovely. Do you have any tried and true trick that helps you decide which fabrics to incorporate and what is your personal favourite?
Natalia: I have a mix of topper fabrics & prints to choose from. All of which are lovely to wear against your skin. ( print side up against your skin) I sell 100% cotton, flannel, minky, velour & most recently added knit. Every woman is different, while some love the smooth aspect of cotton, the comfy aspect of flannel, or the luxurious feeling of velour. The core is made up of terry for light liners or organic hemp/bamboo fleece for moderate to ultra heavy pads. I prefer 100% cotton myself as over time flannel will pill, which won't effect the functionality of the pad, while I find velour can get bulky feeling. I pride myself in making some of the thinnest pads around :-)
Me: Being a fellow mompreneur what would you say is the best part about it and what aspect do you find the most challenging?
Natalia: The best part about being a Mompreneur is of course being able to stay home with my Daughter, and not have to head off to a 9-5 job everyday. (I'd miss her too much). Being an owner of a small company is very rewarding however finding the right mix of work time & family time can get hard to figure out at first. But with supportive spouse, friends and family everything is great.
Me: If you could offer one piece of advice to young girls just beginning their menstrual journey, what would that be?
Natalia: To all those young ladies entering their menstrual journey my one piece of advice would be to Go Cloth! Do it now don't wait! I was 27 years old before I ever tried cloth pads for myself and I was one of the unfortunate ones to have started my period in grade 6 at 11 years old. I found it quite embarrassing and was always dealing with loud crunchy disposable pads that I'd leak off of or that would give me itching or rashes. It was terrible!
I love cloth pads! I can find the perfect length & absorbency that suits me just right! I can choose my fabrics & prints which is so much fun! They clean great; just use, then throw them in the wash till next month. What a money saver! No more itch, or rashes, or cramps, my periods are lighter since switching and what used to be 7 full days of heavy bleeding is now only 3 heavier days and a few days of just spotting! I'd also aside to not use tampons as both disposable pads & tampons have a toxic chemical called Dioxin in them which seeps into our bodies since we place them in one of the most absorbent parts of our body. Dioxin is the #1 toxin linked to all cancers. And can effect fertility. As well it can get into breast milk through our blood stream an be passed on to nursing infants. So invest in a menstrual cup instead of a tampon it will change your life.
Well said Natalia and thank you! It is so important for young women to make informed decisions about their menstrual management products and not jut blithely continue with the first product they try. There are a world of options that are healthier for your body, your wallet and the environment and discovering them can be fun.
Give cloth pads a try with this free sample from Pretty Eco Intimates.
Enter the giveaway now.