Meet Madeleine

I am so excited to be here writing to all you wonderful women who do us the honor of being curious about who we are and what we do.

A few brief biographical details about me: I was born and raised here in Vancouver, and attended University in Ontario prior to doing a lot of traveling and working abroad. I am an enraptured parent to Genevieve (or Miss Milk, as she is commonly known), who was born on April 10, 2005. I am married to her Dad, a very sweet man called Tim, who is an incredible source of love and support to me.

Some other random personal tidbits: I am a left-handed Capricorn with a wicked sweet tooth who is also a proud reformed smoker, tennis enthusiast (although I refuse to keep score), novel-reader, armchair fashionista and gardener.

I started experimenting with making washable menstrual pads in 1993 and wrote the first business plan for Lunapads in 1994. I was 25, and until the early 90s was actually fairly ambivalent around my period. Although I definitely considered myself to be a feminist, I had not yet considered the feminine hygiene products industry from a politicized perspective (at one point in fact, my University Women’s Center was considering looking onto purchasing tampons on a wholesale basis, which I never thought to question), and had yet to really start to get it about environmental issues.

Using washable pads changed all that, not to mention bringing me to a place where I felt more truly and deeply connected with my body than I could previously have imagined. For me, the shift in consciousness was profound and life-changing. The feeling of consciously experiencing my cycle from start to finish for the first time in my life was incredibly powerful. Until that point I had been using tampons and taking birth control pills, so when I say that it was like re-living menarche, I’m not kidding. I felt humbled, grounded, connected, actualized, complete.

When I was a girl, I looked forward with such anticipation to starting my cycle. For me, it symbolized being initiated into that mysterious state that so intrigued me: being a woman. The reality was quite a letdown, however – very painful, and there was certainly no ceremony or fanfare. In 2013 I started speaking publicly (here’s my infamous Pecha Kucha talk!) about this experience, and as a result a new project was born: G Day for Girls. The first event will take place on April 28, 2014 in Vancouver – I can hardly wait!

A customer once told us that “the whole Lunapads experience has been like a second, healed version of menarche”, which is still one of my favorite testimonials.

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