What if that dreaded time of the month — wasn’t dreaded? What if, instead of whispers, women and men talked openly about periods? You know, the natural literal life-giving thing that nearly half the world’s population experiences every 28 or so days!
Imagine communities where we exchange tips and even celebrate the remarkable workings of the female body.
In this new episode of the Think Tank of Three podcast, Julie Holton & Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris talk with founder, Katie Krick of The Period Pick-Me-Up. Hear what she’s doing to shed the stigma and embrace the cycle that is as natural as the changing tides.

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Think Tank of Three Podcast Transcript: Smashing Period Stigmas with Katie Krick

[00:00:00] Julie Holton: 13 year old Julie right now is dying that we’re going to have the conversation that we’re going to have today on a podcast in public. We’re going to talk about periods. Because 13 year old Julie didn’t even want to tell her own parents. I like, I don’t know. It was part of what the culture was like then we had learned about it in school, but everyone.

[00:00:22] kind of laughed about tampons and you’d, you know, find kids throwing them at each other in the hallway or whatever, you know, whatever kids do. And so like 13 year old me, when I started my period, I didn’t even like, my parents are amazing, but I didn’t even want to tell them because, because it’s a good thing.

[00:00:38] It’s not a good thing. Should we

[00:00:39] Katie Krick: talk about it? Do we whisper about it?

[00:00:41] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: So. And seeing, I was, I was, I started about two and a half years earlier than that. So now I was really freaking out. Mom, what is this? Just like, Oh, 13 year old. Rishi was like, how do I get out of swim? Cause I’m not swimming.

[00:00:59] Yeah, but here we are. We’re going to talk about periods, people.

[00:01:05] Katie Krick: Here we are. So

[00:01:06] Julie Holton: 13 year old Julie is probably like, Oh my gosh, don’t talk about this. But 90 year old Julie is, I can only hope that she’s like, yes, you started the conversation and look at where we are now because this is something that we all need to be talking more about.

[00:01:22] So I think like the future us. is really cheering us on right now and helping to guide this conversation because I really believe that this world would be a very different place if periods were celebrated or even just talked about even if we just didn’t whisper about them anymore. So today we’re going to talk about it.

[00:01:42] with the founder of a super cool new startup.

[00:01:45] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Ah, yes, let’s do this. The Think Tank of Three podcast starts now.

[00:02:11] Welcome to the Think Tank of Three podcast. I am your show host, Freishia Candidate Capasouras, along with Julie Holton. Our third today is Katie Crick, the founder of the period pick me up. I mean, that’s… That even just sounds a little bit on the awesome side. It’s a monthly subscription box full of self care goodies so that when it’s time for your period for once.

[00:02:35] In your life, you can actually look forward to it because there’s something coming to you that’s like on the positives. I mean, there’s clearly something coming to you, but I’m so

[00:02:48] Katie Krick: excited to have you on the show. Oh my gosh. Good morning. Hello. Clearly

[00:02:54] Julie Holton: when you designed reshop for this box, because it like, I don’t know that I look forward to my period now.

[00:03:00] Uh, cause I don’t know that I’ll ever do that, but I look forward to getting my subscription box.

[00:03:06] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: There’s a gift coming. There’s something you can put in your hand that you want, not the other thing per se, because there’s everything attached to that, but there’s this something that you get. I’m finally getting something that I’m looking forward to that goes with this.

[00:03:19] Ridiculousness. That’s annoying on every month.

[00:03:23] Julie Holton: First of all, welcome to the show. Tell us about the period. Pick me up. What is it?

[00:03:28] Katie Krick: Thank you for having me. This is so much fun. Um, I founded the period. Pick me up truly. Like if I was kind of looking farther ahead than my brain was at the time that I was doing the nitty gritty, I founded it because I believe that the time is or a total disruption of mindsets and markets.

[00:03:49] Around menstruation, just completely, we have it upside down, we have it backwards, nothing about it is good. So,

[00:03:59] Julie Holton: um, I really

[00:04:01] Katie Krick: was like, gosh, I just, so much of my life is informed by having a period. Whether or not I want to admit that right and I mean we can get into this very deeply but basically I recognize that we’ve conditioned girls and women to expect that their period is going to be awful and that they are required to keep it completely secret and there’s no support offered to them to do either of those two things.

[00:04:28] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Right. That’s a good point, which is

[00:04:31] Katie Krick: bonkers. Plus. The work of having a period is critical to humanity. So those things do not square at all, right? Something that is so critical to humanity and so impactful to the daily life experience of women should not also be kept secret. And it certainly shouldn’t be unsupported, but it completely is.

[00:04:56] I had this moment during the pandemic when I was, I tell this story now, um, when I was by my toaster and I was buttering a piece of toast and just like fuming with the rage that comes from being the day before your period starts, I guess. And then I’m like, I cannot believe. That I am hemorrhaging from my uterus.

[00:05:18] I’m like, I’m getting a present for it. Like, there’s like nothing happening for

[00:05:24] Julie Holton: me.

[00:05:26] Katie Krick: To really accurately reflect the significance of what’s going on. Like, I get presents on my birthday. And I didn’t do anything to get born. So I just looked for one. Like, well there’s subscription boxes coming out of our ears for everything, right?

[00:05:38] Like, I should be able to find. Something like this that comes to me every 28 days just to make myself feel better. And I couldn’t find anything. I could get tampons delivered. I could get pads delivered. But I couldn’t just get, I mean, I use a cup, so I don’t need those things. Um, and so I was like, well, what if I just made one?

[00:05:54] And then that brought me into a year of open conversations with a lot of women who were like, yes. Please do that thing. And now

[00:06:03] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: here we are. Isn’t it amazing when you just have a discussion about something, how it just leads to that next step. It’s like, we just opened up our mouths in the first place.

[00:06:15] But if you have. But no, for me, it wasn’t necessarily like, Oh, I don’t want to talk about it or from a sense of, um, secrecy or, or type of thing. For me, it was just like, I had such horrible cycles for such a long time because I had uterine fibroids. And so I was, I, Maybe the period pick me up box would have been helpful, but I don’t know, because I was cycling for like two to three weeks.

[00:06:44] Well, I

[00:06:45] Katie Krick: talk about that too, like with my friends or with my husband or even in my own brain, like, God, is this, am I making light of periods that are like medically? That need medical intervention, I don’t, I don’t wanna do that. So it is kind of a balance. Right, right. And obviously it’s a, like a luxury to be able to buy things for yourself that you don’t need to support your life.

[00:07:04] And so how do we, you know, deal with inclusion in the right way? And so it is kind of an ongoing conversation. Um, when did you, so your early periods were terrible, even

[00:07:15] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: as a young girl? So as a young girl, my early ones were just very, were, I had really bad cramps. I always had really bad cramps. Um, and usually mine were about seven days, even when I was younger.

[00:07:33] So I always was like, when they told us for PE, when we had swim that particular week, you know, you had your sections of whatever. And so if I happen to hit my cycle, when we were on the swim part of the PE class, um, they were like, you get three days. I’m like, Um, what do you mean I get three days? My cycle just started today, uh, three days takes me to, you know, Wednesday.

[00:08:01] And I’m still going. So I don’t understand this three days thing. And, oh, well, you don’t do this in the pool. And I’m like, what are you talking about? And even

[00:08:14] Julie Holton: that shows how little is known. I think sometimes it’s like. The lack of education is really astounding. And, and it’s not lost on me either reaches you’re describing like the pain and discomfort that you like discomfort’s even like a nice way of putting it, like you had some serious, have had some serious pain from your periods, from your cycle, from the natural thing that your body is doing.

[00:08:38] And it’s interesting to me that the only time. In general, that periods are talked about like on TV shows or like wherever kids were, you know, where anyone might see them is they’re being described as like, we’re laughing about them, or we’re like blowing someone off because they’re hormonal or they have an opinion or they’re having emotions.

[00:09:01] And so it must be their time of the month. And so it’s like. Like, it’s just so degrading because, yes, your emotions are heightened. Like, yes, our hormones are that, you know, that, that ramp up and, and cause you to feel and act in certain ways, but we’re going to make fun of that instead of actually acknowledging the person that it’s impacting.

[00:09:22] Like, even sometimes now I look at, You know, like the little girls in my life who are, you know, the young teenagers and I, you know, how we kind of roll our eyes and we’re all guilty of this. Even us women, we kind of roll our eyes. Sometimes we’re like, Oh my gosh, like those hormones, like those teenager hormones.

[00:09:37] And the reality is like, like, yes. And we can privately roll our eyes. But also there’s a human being that is that is going through like what we are seeing someone is actually feeling and experiencing. And it’s just crazy to me that all we can do as a society is kind of laugh about it or scoff about it and.

[00:09:57] and brush it off. But we’re talking about like half the world’s population that is feeling and experiencing these very real body, you know, natural things that our bodies go through.

[00:10:09] Katie Krick: It comes at the cost of, or has at least until now, come at the cost of participation in the workforce. Right? Like, we better not be honest about how much our bodies are impacted by this.

[00:10:22] So that’s going to be another reason why hiring women is too expensive.

[00:10:26] Julie Holton: Yeah. Well look at Risha’s example, you know, here she has to sit out of gym class and also by the way, that sucks. Like everyone in gym class now knows this is supposed to be a secret and then she has to sit out and, and like for what, but now you take that example and what that does to a kid.

[00:10:46] And now we’re talking about women in, in the workforce, like something that we, you know, we do to make ends meet and, and we, you know, it’s like on a whole, whole different level. Yeah.

[00:10:58] Katie Krick: Did you feel shame or embarrassed about that? Or were you like, yes. Like, I mean, what was the culture like in your school around that?

[00:11:05] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: I’ll be honest. So I, I came from growing up in, you know, I had a strong mom and my dad, so I, it took a lot for me to feel shame about it. Anything I was, I was that person who was like, whatever, but you,

[00:11:25] Julie Holton: you were

[00:11:27] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: like, how many times have I said to someone, this is not the week. All right. This is not the week.

[00:11:36] Julie Holton: See, and I’ll say that now, right? And

[00:11:39] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: I do. And I, right, and I do still say that now, like me as

[00:11:41] Julie Holton: a kid, no way. Like I was shy. It’s a hard to believe. Yeah. But like, I was so much more in my shell, like I did not want anyone to know my business.

[00:11:50] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Right. And so I, I. I never personally had an issue discussing it or whatever, or, you know, I mean, well, I mean, maybe that typical, when the boys were around that might, that’s probably when you were like, I’m not really kind of getting into this, but we’re all the girls in the locker room.

[00:12:06] I’m like, you know, whatever that’s the, that’s not to say though. I did know girls who were like, they didn’t want to really want to talk about it or whatever. And I remember first learning about it. In elementary school and I can’t remember what the movie was, but we were like all outside and all of a sudden everybody kept saying my stomach hurts, you know, and that they were, that’s, you know, that was like the big joke.

[00:12:29] But I, I can, I can emphasize, empathize with individuals who probably did feel a certain some kind of way because of how societies look at it and you know, Oh, she’s a girl or whatever. And, and if you are in mixed company, uh, with your male counterparts, I mean, listen, I’m going to be how old I’m going to be past well past 45, but, um, I, you know, I’m getting physical therapy for my shoulder right now.

[00:13:01] And, uh, we’re in the workout room and I’m sitting there and I’m, and I’m like, I need my, my jacket. I’m like, I don’t. And I said out loud, I’m like, I don’t have a happy medium of temperature. I’m either really, really hot or really, really cold. And there’s nothing I can do about it because I’m approaching 50.

[00:13:18] And the guy was like, the guy looked at me, he’s like. I’m, I’m just, I’m just not going to say anything and I’m just going to walk that way.

[00:13:27] Julie Holton: Let’s empower our men to not feel that way.

[00:13:31] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: Calm down, dude. You’re not in trouble.

[00:13:33] Julie Holton: I feel sorry for him that he’s so uncomfortable with that. Like I was telling Katie at one point, um, had her on, on my show expert connections.

[00:13:42] And as we were talking, you know, that was the week I just wrapped. I’ve got my period and I was like, yeah, like last night at the dinner table, I’m in my pajamas at dinnertime at five 30. And Colin was like, Oh, are you, are you like, are you feeling okay? And I was like, yeah, it’s my time of the month. You know, like we just normalize it in our house, you know, my 15 year old and, uh, boy.

[00:14:02] And it’s like, you know, because that’s how it should be so that he doesn’t grow up into, you know, the man that is doing physical therapy with you and feeling. Like, I don’t know what to say. I’m so uncomfortable.

[00:14:14] Katie Krick: But even though you were willing to talk about it, both of you, and Risha as a child, which is what you were when you were 13, you talked about it, but you still weren’t really getting support that actually helped.

[00:14:27] Right. Right. Like we tolerate way more dramatic symptoms for our periods and menopause than we actually need to, but our healthco providers fail us a lot of the time.

[00:14:42] Julie Holton: And Katie, I want to get into your actual startup because it’s so cool. But, but first I think it’s a really important point that part of like, you’ve developed a product.

[00:14:53] Um, that’s in support of, you know, period wellness and, and, and raising the positivity levels. But for you, it’s also just as much about conversations like these, like what changes do you want to see this world making when it comes to women and their periods?

[00:15:10] Katie Krick: So many things, right? I mean, we we’ve known for a long time that scientific research up until several years ago when this was finally, I believe, changed formally, scientific research has historically been done on the majority of the patients were male and the research was applied to female bodies.

[00:15:28] Well, this is true in like nutrition and exercise and sleep and also in things like safety like seat belt designs. More women die in car accidents than men because seat belt designs fit male bodies. You know what I mean? Like, what can be done about that? We’re not going to like build cars for women and for men.

[00:15:45] So I’m not saying there’s easy solution there. But my point is that. Like, truly, there is a general, genuine lack of information about women’s bodies, and so that’s very hard to operationalize. So one, I think, crucially important thing is to, to not be afraid of offending people when we just talk frankly and factually about biological femininity, biological masculinity, as it relates to medical care.

[00:16:08] And that’s a complex. Question a complex conversation that goes on. But, um, when we don’t, when we don’t talk to girls about how the nutritional needs are different than boys, then girls are not eating foods that help them during times in their period and during their cycles. So our diet, I love

[00:16:26] Julie Holton: this, by the way, we did, we did a podcast episode with Claudine Francois, episode number 58, we’ll link to it.

[00:16:34] She talks about she’s a health and nutrition coach, and she talks about all of the research that has not been done on women and our diets and what we should be eating. And so if anyone’s interested in hearing more about that, check back on that episode with, with Claudine, because you’re right. Like, it’s crazy.

[00:16:51] Like even. The, the food pyramid that we all look to for guidance, like not only was that developed by the lobbyists, but also it’s not based on women’s bodies and our, I mean, in case you didn’t notice, our bodies are different. For instance, we have periods, but I mean, our needs are very different.

[00:17:11] Katie Krick: Right.

[00:17:12] They really are. And again, at least from a medical perspective, as far as it relates to care, um, nutrition, sleep, exercise. And like, I, I was an avid CrossFitter for like seven years. Sometimes I did two a days. I loved it. My husband and I like developed a relationship. There we go. Married. We had a CrossFitty wedding.

[00:17:28] It was the whole thing. And then I had a baby and then the pandemic hit. And I was like, Oh my God, like I need rest. Like I cannot exercise at this intensity five days a week when I’m only sleeping for six interrupted hours a night. And so I stopped completely and I felt so much failure and shame because there are moms in the gym who are bringing their babies and strollers and they were having a great time.

[00:17:52] I, it was just depleting me so, so hard. And so when I did finally quit my job, my full time insurance career job, which had a grieving process of its own to start this business full time, I began to sleep more soundly and I began to eat more, um, appropriately for my cycle because I was digging into this kind of stuff.

[00:18:13] And I also started exercising again, way less intense. It’s like two or three intense days a week, and it kind of depends on my cycle or whatever, and I’m seeing the same results. It’s on the outside, but feeling like just way, way, way better. So it’s a crucial thing. And even, Oh, I’m like ranting, I’m sorry, but no, not at all.

[00:18:35] There is a great book called, um, good for a girl. And it’s by a woman named Lauren Fleshman, who was a professional long distance runner. So she wrote her book about how when she played collegiate soccer, the many of the girls were missing their periods. And it was just a thing that happened when you. Re should probably like gonna know all about this when you are more intense athletically and you miss your periods.

[00:18:56] But what they didn’t know and what is just kind of being discussed now is what happens to the rest of you when you miss a period . Right, right, right. So I think the US Women’s Soccer team really made this topic kind of come into the forefront when they began to, um, organize their training around the cycles of the women on the team.

[00:19:15] And that was the year that they won the World Cup.

[00:19:17] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: That that, that in and of itself is a whole other. Conversation. When you bring in the diet, the exercise, uh, and the effects on women’s bodies and, and yes, the intensity of training. I, even when I was in the best shape of my life, I still, I never, um, I never lost my cycle, but I did know I had fellow, uh, athletes and what have you who, who did.

[00:19:42] Um, and so that was. You know, it’s own thing that you’re, that you’re dealing with, but I experienced, right. And then there’s the whole, your, your body fat and, and, you know, all of these other things. I remember a conversation with one of my coaches and I did a, uh, a dunk tank body fat test. And I think it came back to like 12 or 10 percent or something like that, which by the way was really, really good.

[00:20:11] And then his response is, Oh, we’ll get it below 10. And I’m like, I don’t, I don’t want to get it. Below 10. That’s not, no, no. I don’t need to get it below 10, even though there are plenty of women that do. But once you start getting it below 10, and those are the individuals who are starting to lose their cycles.

[00:20:29] Oh. Is when they’re getting it below 10 into that, that that extreme seven, 5%. That is part of, of what was going on there. And all

[00:20:38] Katie Krick: he knew was what the boys were being advised to do. That’s what he’d been taught. Right.

[00:20:42] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: The, the one thing I always found interesting with cycles in women is how. Eventually, if you’re around a certain group enough, you kind of all got on the same.

[00:20:52] Train that I always was like, we’re cycling up together.

[00:20:57] Katie Krick: And

[00:21:01] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: to this day, I don’t get it. I don’t understand how that happens. Cause your cycle is your cycle and you’ve got your cycle figured out now. Yes, it shifts because it’s what you’re 21 to 28 to maybe 31 days, depending on who you are. But I always found it interesting that eventually like in college.

[00:21:20] I’m cycling up with my roommate or yeah, my, my track mates. I’m like, why are we cycled up together? We weren’t before we were a good, like two, three weeks off. And now we’re like, Oh, it’s you. Yeah. It’s us. It’s us. It’s the crew, the crews on

[00:21:36] Katie Krick: witchcraft is what it is.

[00:21:40] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: So listen, Katie, as, as, uh, you were getting ready to launch, you were asking women to, to share their period stories.

[00:21:48] What were you learning? Did anything in particular, um, in that feedback stand out to you? Yes.

[00:21:55] Katie Krick: One very strong thing that stood out to me, which was that many women who I consider bold and personable and outgoing completely clammed up and shut down when I asked them to share their period story. And still having a very hard time getting them into do it.

[00:22:11] So I had this long term vision of my company where it’s really not just a box, right? The box is the physical representation of the membership. But what you’re actually getting in that month is access to expert advice. From doctors, nutritionists, yoga instructors, that kind of thing, mental health therapists, whatever.

[00:22:32] Um, as well as a digital virtual community with other women who are talking openly about this. Sharing best practices, maybe, um, offering to speak in different engagements. So much more of like a community of women doing this together. And the box is what comes to connect you, right? But I want to include an option for women, my customers to record videos of themselves, talking about their periods.

[00:22:55] They kind of jumpstart that community building. It’s been very, very difficult. Most women don’t. If I ask the question, like, tell me about your first period. And then they, that child who had their first period just like comes over them again and you can see them almost like physically not shrink, but like settle in to the vision of what they were seeing when they were 11.

[00:23:21] And it’s, it’s really tender and sad almost. So that’s been surprising to me that there, there is much more, I think, healing to do than I thought there was at the beginning. That’s really

[00:23:36] Julie Holton: interesting to put, to word it in that way to the healing. I mean, imagine we have half the world’s population that has a healing process to go through over a very natural, like, like you said earlier, I loved how you said like this, this critical component of the human existence.

[00:23:54] And we have to heal about how that started. Yeah, it’s

[00:24:00] Katie Krick: heavy. It’s really heavy. We do. And I mean, there’s a book called the body keeps the score. You’ve probably heard of that. And it’s about, um, the way that even memories like that happened as an early child that we don’t cognizantly have in our brains, but like our muscles and our cells are very, our very physical body keeps memories of trauma.

[00:24:22] And so I truly do I do wonder and it’s a little bit kind of spiritual, I guess, but I do wonder what would happen to mental health in general to relationships and Julie, you mentioned like you think the whole world would be different if periods were more positive. What kind of chronic experiences would women at large release from their bodies if they went back?

[00:24:45] to their menstrual experiences and their pubescent experiences and heal

[00:24:50] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: those. Well, you have to look at it from a perspective of, you know, let’s replace the word period with Any type of experience that you had in your life that had a negative effect on you. And then if you can visualize that, then you say, okay, so replace that bullying encounter.

[00:25:11] You had an elementary school with the word period. And when you are able to discuss it and break it down and release it, and then all of a sudden your shoulders loosen up the tightness, the stress. And so when you’re able to release and I hate, I don’t like referring to my cyclist trauma, but when you’re able to release trauma, the bullying experience, whatever bad thing that happened to you, when you’re able to let that go, you do find yourself able to quote sleep better or just in general, feeling lighter, being able to do more because you’re not.

[00:25:52] Holding on to something and trying to keep it buried. And it keeps finding its way to bubble up to the surface. So if you can do that with other areas in your life, and it just so happens that the cycle is that thing. That’s always kind of been a source of psychological warfare with you. And imagine if you could let that go, just like any other.

[00:26:17] Thing, how much better of a person you would be for yourself just to be in a better headspace because you’re no longer envisioning the quote for lack of a better term trauma that goes with it. For me, while it wasn’t an issue to have a discussion about it, um, when I got older and the uterine fibroids kicked in the, the realizing that my period is coming was extremely stressful.

[00:26:45] Yeah. It was extremely stressful and it wasn’t that I couldn’t discuss it, but it was that I knew that at some point I was going to be laid down. I’m going to say it naked on the floor with a bucket next to me because I couldn’t stop sweating and I’m throwing up or feeling like I’m going to throw up and everything that went along with it.

[00:27:02] And my poor husband might’ve been boyfriend or husband at the time. I can’t remember where we are. Oh, we were married. Okay. So.

[00:27:17] I don’t know how to help you. I’m like, just get me a cold towel.

[00:27:25] And once I had the surgery and all of a sudden. You know, I’m not dealing with that anymore. And I used to laugh and I know I’m rambling here, but there was a commercial for always pads and it was have a happy period. And I would get so mad every time I watched that ad because I’m like, who has a happy period?

[00:27:47] Have you experienced my period? It’s fricking three weeks long.

[00:27:52] Katie Krick: Toxic positivity. There it is. Yeah.

[00:27:56] Julie Holton: So toxic.

[00:27:58] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: And I was like, I’m having a happy period. They’re like a normal leg. There’s no stress. I barely have a, a cramp. I sweat. I sweat at night. I know when it’s coming, but it’s not as traumafying anymore.

[00:28:15] It’s not as stressful anymore because I know there are parts of it that I don’t have to deal with anymore. Now, granted, that’s because of a surgical thing that I had to do, but if you can. Find a way to release it. I think it helps. It has to. It’s, it’s, it’s, well, I also

[00:28:33] Katie Krick: think Risha,

[00:28:34] Julie Holton: how many years did you go not having surgery when like, even knowing if it was an option for you, knowing that there are other interventions, I mean, how many things, and it would not just our periods, but Other, you know, female related health conditions or symptoms we experienced that we just don’t talk about, you know, I was talking with a friend the other day about menopause.

[00:28:56] In fact, she ended up featuring me, um, on her, on her podcast, talking about menopause in the workplace. But, you know, we were talking about it and she mentioned to me about like this severe joint pain that she has and feeling like she was never going to be able to run again. And, and I was like, Like that’s a part of, like, I didn’t know that’s a part, like, I don’t even know that it’s a part of it.

[00:29:19] Like, I don’t know what all these symptoms are. If I don’t know, how are men supposed to know? How are people in general supposed to know? I don’t remember ever even learning about menopause, for instance, we learned about. You know how to use a condom and abstinence and tampons and pads like that was about the extent of it and how I remember what the crazy scary STIs

[00:29:41] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: look, you know, remember and remember what the term was.

[00:29:44] They wouldn’t even use the term menopause. It was. The change.

[00:29:48] Katie Krick: Oh,

[00:29:50] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: yes. And

[00:29:51] Julie Holton: I think it’s important too to point out that like when we’re talking, reach back to your point about the trauma of this, like it, it really is trauma. You know, and Katie, you were talking about how the body holds onto that trauma. And we’re not just talking about for the little girls who are starting their periods for the first time, like this is ongoing all throughout life.

[00:30:12] I mean, I think if I were to even, okay, let me paint the scene and see how you guys feel. As I say this, like, imagine you’re sitting in a board meeting and all of the sudden you can tell that your period is coming on. Like, I say that and we all go back to that feeling of like, Oh, F how am I going to, am I going to bleed through?

[00:30:37] Am I going to be like, is it going to be on my clothing? Is it going to be on the chair? Like, what if I have to stand up or like all of the things that we go through? And that’s just one teeny tiny example of something that could happen to a woman. Every single month or multiple times throughout the month, throughout their board, you’re

[00:30:55] Katie Krick: having a hot flash while you’re conducting a meeting.

[00:30:59] What are your options there? I know a woman who had, um, uterine cancer and she had her hysterectomy, um, which was great and she survived it and she was doing really, really well, but she’s like, part of that is having insane hot flash. She’s like, I had like seven or eight a day and because I was having these so often and they’re so disruptive when I started having one coming on.

[00:31:20] They started to give me panic attacks. I would get a panic attack about the hot flush I was going to have. She was like, I was a mess, right? But not knowing that there are solutions out there, not knowing that it doesn’t have to be this way, is, it’s so debilitating, right? But we, we again, tolerate way more madness around our bodies than we actually have to.

[00:31:43] And beginning to hold our providers accountable for that, I think is another thing that women need to do. Your doctor is not necessarily an expert in your body. Actually, you are the expert of your

[00:31:57] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: body. But we also need to tell our health care providers what we’re experiencing because that’s the other side of it.

[00:32:06] While we may not necessarily discuss it, the persons or person that we definitely need to have that open conversation with, sometimes we’re not. Uh, we will just kind of. You know, gloss over it. Oh, it’s a little whatever. Oh, it’s instead of saying, I am sweating my ass off at from, from the time I go to bed and I can’t, you know, having the open dialogue with your healthcare provider, telling them, this is what I’m experiencing.

[00:32:36] This is what it’s like. What can we do? Because they’re all I’m finding out they’re actually now. Just kind of figuring it all out themselves because no one was ever really studying it and paying close attention to it. And so you have, we have to open up our mouths. And speak, not even just amongst ourselves, but to the healthcare providers and tell them what’s happening with our bodies and what’s happening with our mental experience.

[00:33:01] And you know, and, and, and now when I’m thinking about it, as we’re having this conversation, the other side of it, Julie, you talked about, imagine sitting in a, in a board meeting and you can tell that it’s coming on or, you know, recognizing. I was one. Like I said, I had very heavy cycles, so I was wearing tampons and pads simultaneously recognizing I need to go change my pad and I need to change it now and I’m on the air.

[00:33:30] What am I, you know, and now you’re thinking about your clothes and, and, and I’m lucky I had a clothing allowance and I, it. Nothing of that nature affected my clothes that I needed to, but can that thought of, do I have everything I need to get through today?

[00:33:46] Katie Krick: Well, and then, so we got to talk about that as it relates to poverty.

[00:33:50] We cannot end this without talking about that because, Oh my gosh. Yes. So helping women period is a nonprofit that, um, began in 2015 and. You should totally listen to the

[00:34:00] Julie Holton: founder on founder on our podcast. So we’ll

[00:34:04] Katie Krick: link to that episode too. Yeah. So important. And one thing she told me really early on in the journey of this product was, um, the, not only does not having period products in schools create weeding for girls and issues for girls, girls in poverty often only have one or two pairs of pants.

[00:34:23] So imagine you don’t have pads with you at school. Your school doesn’t stock the pads and you’ve stained one of the only pairs of pants that you own. And now every day you walk around on your period or not, and there it is. Right. Like period poverty is such an issue that needs to be eradicated. There’s, there’s just no excuse.

[00:34:46] If you’re willing to put toilet paper in the bathrooms and not ask kids to bring their own toilet paper to school, then there should not be any different treatment with menstrual products. There simply shouldn’t be. And the only reason that it is different. It’s because the boys don’t have periods, right?

[00:35:03] If they did, this would not be happening. So I’m starting to like ruffle some feathers a little bit with honesty around that issue too. And my professional circle is like, this is, this

[00:35:14] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: is a ruffling feathers. Oh, so. Style.

[00:35:17] Katie Krick: Ruffle those

[00:35:19] Julie Holton: feathers. And Katie, you’re doing more than just ruffling feathers, too.

[00:35:23] You donate a percentage of your proceeds, your profits, to, tell us about that. You have a partnership, I believe, with. Yeah, I

[00:35:31] Katie Krick: do. So 10 percent of profits from my company are donated to Helping Women Period, specifically to target equity in schools, or period poverty in schools. I honestly hope that I can.

[00:35:43] Increase that percentage over time, right? Because the mission of the company, again, is to disrupt mindsets around menstruation. And now I’m in a pause to the mission of the company is not to be a billionaire. So what I would love is for there to never be another girl. Ever in my community, in my state, in my country, in the world, who has shame, confusion, no products that she needs, and she has a period.

[00:36:10] That’s, that’s the goal of the company. Um, and so, we were, I just launched in April, right? I’ve been planning this for a year. I just went live in April. And so, this has only been, I’ve been doing, this is my third cycle right now. So, my boxes are not monthly. They’re periodic and in the, in that cycle that I’m sending out there’s products that are sourced from women owned businesses all over the world.

[00:36:31] Fairtrade. So

[00:36:33] Julie Holton: let’s dive into the box a little bit. Like tell us about, tell us about your products. Tell us about like, what do women get in this box each month?

[00:36:41] Katie Krick: It’s always different. Um, there’s typically a spot item, a sweet item, sometimes a salty item, and then some things that you can keep for yourself, like jewelry pieces or like a shower steamer.

[00:36:52] Um, The shelf. So the whole idea is that it was just such a natural fit, right? Like if I began with, I want a box that comes to my door to congratulate me for the fact that I am amazing enough to have a period while I live my life. Like that was really like the beginning of it in my head. I love

[00:37:08] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: that. I’m amazing enough to have a period

[00:37:11] Katie Krick: in my life.

[00:37:11] This is incredible. My body is doing an incredible miraculous process as I’m just like picking up laundry off the floor and writing a commercial auto policy. Like, this is amazing that I can do this. Right? And then quickly that morphed into like, what am I going to source these products from giant manufacturers when there are women that I know who can create amazing candles and snacks and whatever, you know, in their houses.

[00:37:35] So, knowing that I’m not contributing to waste. Is great. Uh, so everything in the box that I can has minimal packaging. I have eco friendly, um, filler in the box as well. So that when I package things that are heavy, like glass or whatever, they’re safe, but they don’t fill up and up in landfills and there’s typically four to six items in a box, depending on the particular product that month.

[00:37:58] Um, and I’m not sure when this is going to air, but I will be doing more like trade shows and kind of vendor events this summer too, so people can see the boxes for their

[00:38:06] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: themselves. What’s the, uh, what’s the website? Where can people find the period pick me up? Oh wait, that

[00:38:13] Katie Krick: way. Okay. There’s the URL, pickmeupbox.

[00:38:17] net right there. They can find me on there, so they can order their products. And then I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, which has been a whole adventure by itself with at the period pick me up. Um, and this is, it’s a startup, right? We’re in iterative processes, and I’ve already made some changes from the beginning.

[00:38:33] And so I, Like extend my most sincere gratitude and thank you to the customers like Julie, who ordered from the beginning, because, um, I really need the support and the feedback in order to create a process and a product that actually speaks to the needs that women are experiencing. So this will continue to grow and evolve and change.

[00:38:55] It’s, I want a company that reflects real women, not a company that tries to tell women. How they should be real, you know? Yes.

[00:39:07] Julie Holton: Oh, huge distinction there. Okay. I have one, one more question before we kind of wrap things up. I know you’ve faced, um, some challenges, one in particular around, um, well, I know you face, you know, like all startups, we have like all the ups and downs that we experienced in the first couple of months, but one in particular, I think brings this conversation full circle.

[00:39:28] And it’s dealing with the calendar and men who I’m sure came up with how to set up subscriptions. Tell us about, tell us about the challenge just with the monthly cycle. And so

[00:39:41] Katie Krick: this is nuts, right? So, uh, the COVID created a rise of e commerce. And online retail and entrepreneurs. And so it’s easier than ever to create a website and to sell things online.

[00:39:51] It just is the subscription models that are out of the box. Plugins for a website allow the company to say, okay, this product gets sent out every 30 days. Or once a week or whatever. And you can pick your frequency. So you can say, I want it to come on Wednesdays. Okay, great. I want it to come every two weeks.

[00:40:11] Okay, great. But there is nothing that exists out of the box that allows you to have an order date that does not also trigger order fulfillment. So the first time someone goes to order their box, like my box, my system says, okay, great, Katie, go fill that order right now, but the customer doesn’t want it.

[00:40:32] For three more weeks is their period doesn’t start then right and the reoccurring frequency is other another technological thing. So I have. Spent many, many months and many, many hours with many, many experts trying to find a way to separate order date from order fulfillment and reoccurring frequency, but because they’re all built around like the Roman calendar and they’re not built around periods.

[00:40:58] That’s been the source of conflict in my business. It’s been nuts. So some cycles

[00:41:07] Julie Holton: are 28 days. Some women make 30, some women are, you know, it’s all different. And it’s just, so to me, that’s been, um, you know, as someone who works with a lot of startups, it’s just a very unique challenge that again.

[00:41:20] Emphasizes the challenges that women have in general,

[00:41:24] Katie Krick: um, like even meeting our own needs, even if we have the best of intentions and want to do it, meeting our own needs does come up against this norm, right? This like masculine norm, um, in technology, even though I’m pretty sure it might be a folktale, but like women created the calendar.

[00:41:41] Because why, why would men need to track 28 days or something? Like a bone was found in a cave or whatever with like 28 day cycles. It’s about issue from the beginning

[00:41:52] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: of time. Yeah. You know, it’s. We’ve got, there’s just so much, there’s so, there’s

[00:41:59] Katie Krick: so much, but it’s changing, right? Like this podcast would have five years ago, this podcast wouldn’t have happened three years ago.

[00:42:07] It may not have happened. I mean, this is, it’s new, it’s happening. The conversation is kind of like picking up steam and energy around our own community in the mid Michigan area. But I think all over, um, and it’s not going to stop, right? I’m not going to, my five year old girl, a future menstruator. It’s gonna have no qualms talking about this or getting help that she needs and she’s not going to tolerate needing a tampon and a pad and a bucket to have a period, right?

[00:42:35] There

[00:42:38] Julie Holton: you go. We are huge fans. Love your passion. Love what you’re doing. Love the conversations that you’re sparking along the way. Keep us in the loop and let us. know, as you make changes to your business, as you, you know, offer new, new products or subscription services. I know you’re thinking about a few things along the way, so keep us in the loop on that and audience.

[00:42:57] Make sure you check out pickmeupbox. net to learn more about the period pick me up and about Katie and what she’s doing, but before we go, Katie, we have three rapid fire questions that we ask every woman, every guest on this show. Are you ready? Get Yes. What is one piece of advice that you would give to aspiring women leaders?

[00:43:19] Katie Krick: Life happens in seasons and you just might not be in the season, right? But you’re always planting or harvesting. It’s okay to be in the season that you are. and see a different future for yourself. It doesn’t mean you’re not working hard enough or you’re failing. You’re

[00:43:35] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: just in a season. What a nice way to look at that.

[00:43:40] Can you share a book, a quote, a thought, a resource, something that was significant that impacted you on

[00:43:47] Katie Krick: your journey? The Bible. I gotta say it. It just is. It’s true. Also, a book called The Big Enough Company. It’s by two women who own a business incubator in New York City, and they take entrepreneurs in their book, um, side by side.

[00:44:01] So like two women who, one runs an online boutique, one runs a physical boutique, and they both make the same decision for their business. One is miserable, one is happy. Their whole premise is entrepreneurship is hard enough. It’s a tragedy if you end up with a job that you hate. So from the very beginning of your company, try to create the job that you love in your company so that when it is big, you’re doing what you love all along.

[00:44:25] The big enough

[00:44:26] Julie Holton: company. Katie, if you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it

[00:44:32] Katie Krick: be? I actually think it’s the same advice that I would give aspiring entrepreneurs, right? You just, you’re in different seasons. It’s okay, Katie, like you see a future for yourself. And right now you’re not living in that future.

[00:44:45] It doesn’t mean. That you have failed doesn’t mean that you’re not hustling. It just means that you’re being prepared, right? Continue to allow preparation to happen. Don’t force, just facilitate and flow and you’ll get there. Katie,

[00:45:00] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: thank you so much for just getting rid of the, just sloughing off the silence and the, the, The negativity that comes with the conversation actually brings some smiles and joy to the discussion.

[00:45:14] Listen, it’s not a comfortable thing and I mean physically it’s not a comfortable thing and there’s no way to change that. But to be able to have a conversation and laugh and smile and Not feel like quiet talking about my cycle is awesome. So thank you for that. Oh, thank

[00:45:38] Katie Krick: you. And thank you for your candor and your stories.

[00:45:40] I mean, they

[00:45:41] Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris: really do make change. We’re doing it one day at a time. One cycle at a time. Yeah, girl. And that is all for this episode of Think Tank of Three.