I often get asked how I came up with the idea of a bag to store period care. Young girls and women have been coping for years with shoving tampons or pads in the zipped side of their handbags. Some use an old make up case or even make handy pencil cases that prepares girls for when their first period arrives.
My story starts with watching a 60 minutes programme. Two women designed a nappy clutch that had everything you needed when changing your baby in a public toilet. And it got me thinking. Why can’t we as women have the same thing. Why can’t we have a nice clutch that stores everything we need when going to the toilet?
So I did some research. There was nothing on the market that met the criteria of a bag that has compartmentalised (organised!) pockets to store all your period care needs. So Raigan J was born with a passion to make periods look good. With a patented design delivered by a woman for women!
But to be very clear, it’s not just a period bag. The bags are designed to make life organised. The pockets can carry anything from lip balm to 100ml travel bottles. (perfect for the airplane). The unique J hook is the perfect accessory to hang your bag when using a public toilet. Make-up, sanitary care or even tech cords are organised to make life easy!
SHYING AWAY FROM PERIODS
Talking about periods is still a taboo subject. In fact, if you search “menstrual taboos”, there is an ongoing discussion about how women still deal with uncomfortable feelings when period is mentioned. Some women embrace it. Some accept. Others ignore it and the rest make slightly contorted faces at the mention of the word!
I have seen many different reactions when I tell people I sell bags for period care. I’m happy to say that many are positive and I love seeing the lightbulb go off as I explain how the bag is designed. Women aged in their 20’s and up have commented. “YES! Somebody has finally come up with a solution” or “I so wish this was around when I was at school”.
But with the good also comes the bad. Seeing women cringe when the word period is said or mums with daughters who look embarrassed when “period” has been mentioned. I’m certainly not here to change the minds of everyone, but I see the impact that the word period does to people. The education and removal of the stigma of periods becomes a part of why I started this business.
STARTING OUT ON THE PERIOD ROLLERCOASTER
Hands up those who were uncomfortable and embarrassed talking about and having their period? I’ve written about my own experiences in “my period story so far”. It highlights that being young and unprepared can be very daunting. The stigma of getting your period needs to be reduced. Introducing practical solutions for what girls and women experience on a regular basis can be a start.
It can be somewhat embarrassing for girls starting out because they are young and new to the concept of bleeding on a regular basis. There will be times they have accidents. There will be times they aren’t prepared because it is common for young girls within their first few years of having a period for it to be irregular.
Here are some thoughtful things that young girls and women can prepare for when they get their period:
- Be prepared at all times. Periods like to have a mind of their own when first starting out. Knowing you have everything with you means you are comfortable knowing you can walk to the toilet prepared with what you need.
- We recommend having a Raigan J Shirley packed with pads or tampons (or both!), liners, underwear, plastic bags and wipes in your schoolbag, workbag or everyday bag. In times of emergency, it has everything you need to make yourself feel fresh and in charge again.
- Don’t have a Shirley? Choose an A5 sized bag that will fit all your necessities in without looking too bulky. Spare underwear, pads, tampons and plastic bags for soiled underwear are great to have on you at all times.
- Use your network of girlfriends or co-workers if you forget your period care. Remember, it’s an unsaid thing, but your friends and work colleagues go through the same thing, so don’t feel shy to ask, because one day it may be them asking the same thing back.
- Talk to your mum about her experiences. If she feels uncomfortable, find a health care nurse, your GP or an older friend or sister that can talk you through some of the ways to deal with your period.
- Go to the library and look up books for teens. Todays authors do a great job in explaining periods in a way that you’ll understand. It opens up a world of interesting facts!
- Don’t feel you have to stay home when your friends are having a party. We recommend taking a Raigan J Ella that has a separate compartment that stores your period care away from your everyday things so there aren’t any falling tampon moments or failure to pack the necessities when you’re out for a good night.
- Don’t have Ella? Choose a bag that has a side zip. If carrying pads, use a coin purse to put them in so you can differentiate the items in your bag.
WHY A PERIOD BAG?
By starting Raigan J I wanted to reach out to girls and women around the world. To give them a suitable option when going about their daily routine when they have their period. The options for today’s storage of period items is bland and outdated. We should not feel that periods come down to hiding sanitary items up our sleeves or in our bras (if pockets are non-existent!).
Raigan J products are a practical design and we love providing a solution and making a difference in the lives of young girls, young adults and women. The bags blend in with every day life; therefore your period fits in with you. It’s the freedom of being who you want to be at any time of the month with a really good back up plan if your period comes unexpectedly.
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