Archive for the ‘Businesses We Love’ Category

For the love of “M.”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 by Madeleine

monica performing

A shining star of a person has been blazing her way across Vancouver and the Lunaverse for the past few years: we are sad to see her move on to other solar systems (namely California), however so grateful for the time that she was here with us.

The one and only “M.” (then known as World Hip Hop Mom Monica Morong) entered our orbit at a Living Extraordinary event in 2012 where Suzanne and I had been invited to share our story. She came up to our table afterward and instantly blew us away with her energy, enthusiasm and original vision. Who else, after all, would consider writing and performing a rap song about our products?


The joy of personal liberation

Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Madeleine

madsleftOne of the greatest gifts that switching from tampons to Lunapads and the DivaCup (in addition to all of the obvious things that we are always talking about) has given me is the inspiration to question all kinds of personal and consumer choices that we often take for granted as necessary or inevitable.

For some women, casting aside caring about others’ opinions of them, or even the notion of being a woman at all, can open up whole new worlds of freedom and self-expression.

I have been enjoying the Raw Beauty Talks campaign, where Vancouver social entrepreneur Erin Treloar has been photographing local women without makeup, and pairing the portraits with frank interviews about photoshop, “inner beauty” and how we navigate judgement about appearance.

As someone who uses some makeup pretty much every day, I have been moved by beholding the real faces of many women that I know, effectively “seeing” them for the first time, and reconsidering my own choices as a result. Am I “empowered” in my choices around my appearance, or a still-deluded consumer too shamed to accept myself in my natural state?

While I’m not ready to give up my mascara and mineral powder just yet, there are many other related choices that I have become conscious of since I discovered that I didn’t “need” disposable menstrual products. I still remember the first time I passed by the “feminine paper” aisle in the drugstore in my post-tampon euphoria: I felt so free, like I didn’t have to believe a particularly pernicious lie anymore. In what other ways does the Emperor have no clothes?, I wondered.

What about the practice of hair dyeing and removal? Most women that I know dye or at least highlight their hair, as I did for many years. I still remember the burning sensation at my roots as I tried to do what is still taken for granted as a rationale: conceal the inevitable grey. I have been proudly and happily dye-free for 8 years and feel fantastic about it. When asked what my hair colour is, my joke has become that I have no idea and honestly don’t care. (For a longer, excellent read on the hair topic, head over to our friend Marnie Goldenberg’s blog.)

What if I could feel the same way about the crows feet around my eyes, the scars on my belly, my post-nursing breasts, and acne-pocked skin? How great would that be?

I know other women who have “let themselves off the hook” (literally!) by ditching bras, or at least those with underwire. Others say no to waxing, dieting, nylons, skinny jeans, thong underwear or high heels, just to name a few. What standard “beauty rap” have you let go of (or do you embrace?) Here’s my “off the hook” list: lipstick, hair dye, waxing, high heels, nylons. And still going there (for now): teeth whitening, picky haircut, eyebrow maintenance, eye makeup, the odd facial.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that “beauty” maintenance is necessarily bad. Some women I know love their high heels, for example: they make them feel powerful. Right on, Sister! The point is to become more conscious about whether or not something is a true, freely-made choice that supports your fabulousness, or just something that you do because of a false, unquestioned belief (who would want to look old if they could help it, right?) that doesn’t actually serve you (or anyone, for that matter). Maybe one day I’ll find the perfect pair of heels, discover that tooth whiteneing is toxic, or decide to cut my hair short or dye it purple, who knows? In the meantime, I’m just going to keep checking in to see what feels good to me today.

Ageism is rampant in our society, and nowhere is it visited more harshly than upon women. Look beautiful, stay beautiful, fight ageing: this is what we’re told. How about this instead: love, accept, care for and celebrate yourself in whatever ways serve you, free yourself and others from judgement, and seek joy and liberation in whatever forms they take for you.

AFRIpads & Lunapads: putting a ring on it

Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Madeleine

It’s amazing timing that AFRIpads founders Paul Grinvalds and Sophia (Sonia) Klumpp have recently become engaged (hooray! we wish them every happiness), because we have some commitment news of our own: Lunapads has just become an official shareholder in AFRIpads.

Lunapads becomes AFRIpads shareholderMadeleine, Paul, Sonia & Suzanne meet in Uganda for the first time in 2012

Like most long-term relationships, you keep building it over time (in this case, since 2008), not really paying attention to all the incremental pieces of trust and co-creation that are taking place. And then from time to time it hits you that it’s actually something special that’s worth pausing to take stock of and celebrate: this is one of those moments.

Looking back at our over-20 year career as entrepreneurs, our relationship and visit with AFRIpads stands out as a high point. For those of you new to the story, the journey started in 2008 when Carrie-Jane Williams, then a UBC student, brought over some Lunapads kits to the Ugandan village where she was working on a literacy project. There she happened to meet Paul and Sonia, themselves also volunteers working on a development project, and showed them the pads she had left.

Paul and Sonia, for their part already having identified the issue of girls missing school due to lack of feminine hygiene products, were inspired to start their own business making pads modeled after Lunapads. They wrote to us to ask for our support, we said yes, and “off to the races” they went.

By the time we met Paul and Sonia and the AFRIpads team for the first time in January of 2012, they had 30 employees working in 2 facilities, and had supplied over 100,000 girls with AFRIpads kits. Since then their team has grown to over 60 and they have supplied over 250,000 girls with pad kits.  And, as new investors, we are beyond proud to be directly supporting the building of their new factory, which just broke ground this year!

Following our 2012 meeting, we decided to launch our One4Her partnership, whereby for each Lunapads One4Her product sold, AFRIpads are donated to girls in need in East Africa. To date, the One4Her program will have provided over 34,000 AFRIpads to thousands of girls: the largest distribution being 2,000 kits in Kibera, Kenya in October 2013.

While our relationship with AFRIpads’ most obvious benefit is providing girls with pads to support their school attendance, another key aspect is sustainable employment for local Ugandan women, and we have also been proud to support AFRIpads’ staff professional development.

Like getting married, becoming shareholders is a big step: but when it feels right – well, it just feels right. We’re excited for the future, knowing that we are stronger together.

Congratulations to everyone, and many, many happy returns!

The Way of the Happy Woman review & giveaway

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Madeleine


I have noticed that the older I get, the more my interests diversify. In the case of my bedside table, this translates to a stack of books that is over 2 feet high (at last count, about 18 books!), not including magazines.

So I don’t feel too badly that it’s taken me just under a year to finish The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the best year of your life by Sara Avant Stover. In a happy coincidence, the book itself charts a year-long path to feminine wellness, so reading it in small morsels throughout the seasons has been perfect for me. And if you happen to be looking for an inspiring way to create a New Year self-care plan, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I should admit that when I first heard the title I was a bit suspicious – was there really a definite “way” to happiness for women in general that could fit into one book? Surely happiness is more individual than that? Having had the pleasure of both reading the book and meeting its author (at the Emerging Women Live conference) I can tell you that there is a great deal of detail as well as nuance to Sara’s work.


A New Look for Lunapads!

Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Madeleine


As some of you may have seen via Facebook yesterday, the Lunapads logo is getting a new visual groove on, and we’re so excited! Other examples of her new look can be seen here as a Sponsor of the Vancouver edition of Urban Campfire, as well as for G Day, a new event for girls ages 10-12 that will take place in Vancouver on April 28, 2014.

I don’t know abut you, but when I turned 20 I was ready to bust out of my teenage geekiness and look more modern and grown up. The original Lunapads logo is actually little more than a typeface choice made a couple of decades ago. No “brand identity” or other marketing fanfare was planned – it just seemed like a cool font at the time (and it was!)


Pirates, B Corps & Disruption: Not Business as Usual

Monday, January 20th, 2014 by Madeleine

Not Business As Usual Documentary from institute B on Vimeo.

It won’t come as news to most people reading this blog that our business philosophy is firmly grounded in the belief that capitalism can be a powerful force for positive social change. You just don’t often get to see these types of values expressed every day, let alone as a documentary film with you in it.

As some background, Institute B is a Vancouver-based social impact business think tank/incubation/education and venture capital firm. Suzanne and I have participated in their highly regarded Changemakers series, and are proud and excited about the work they’re doing and community they’re building. They are massive champions of the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) movement, a group of almost 1,000 companies worldwide who participate in a rigorous evaluation process of their impact, then go a step further to amend their legal articles of incorporation to enshrine a commitment that pursuit of profit will never come at the expense of social or environmental considerations.

When we were approached to be interviewed for the video, naturally we agreed to share our story. What we didn’t know was that the “video” was actually destined to become an hour-long documentary about the evolution and future of capitalism. Several of our favourite friend/colleagues/B Corporations (hello Fairware, Junxion Strategy, Save On Meats, Potluck Cafe, Renewal Partners) were also interviewed, and the result is pure inspiration. We were also delighted to see our sister company AFRIpads featured too!


Following the screening, Suzanne was invited to join a panel of fellow entrepreneurs for a discussion, moderated by Kevin Lee Royes, a serial “soulcial-preneur” who successfully closed a deal on Dragons Den (the Canadian version of reality TV entrepreneurial pitching) and parlayed that into a guest hosting gig on future shows. His first question to the panel was “Is it too late to save the world?” In response Suzanne retold the story of the Little Hummingbird & the Forest Fire and said that “we (ie: Lunapads & AFRIpads) are simply doing what we can.” And so thanks to all our customers and supporters: you are helping make that happen!

The “Pirates and “Disruption” in the title of this post are references to a couple of particularly cheeky lines of my and Suzanne’s. There’s not much more to say other than thank you to the IB team for this incredible opportunity to be part of such a powerful and innovative movement. We’re not stopping anytime soon ;-)


Positive period tips with Alisa Vitti

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 by Madeleine



Alisa Vitti is an integrative nutritionist who teaches women how to use their hormonal and neurochemical patterns to create extraordinary lives. She is the best-selling author of WomanCode and the founder of, a virtual health center that supports women’s hormonal and reproductive health. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to seek her expert advice on some of our community’s most common questions:

What are your top 5 tips for dealing with cramps and PMS?

1.) Hot Yoga. The sweating you’ll do is part of a detox process that flushes out excess cortisol and increasing estrogen metabolism, which is essential for balanced hormones at this time of month. Plus, the sweat will help with excess water weight and bloating! And finally, you’re giving your serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels a big boost which will keep your mood in a positive state.

2.) Create your own spa rituals at home. Try adding salts to a hot bath, using salts in the water for your hot towel scrub, or scrubbing down with salts and essential oils in the shower. Allow yourself to make these practices a consistent and conscious part of your self-care routine – you’ll notice the difference, and your body will thank you!

3.) Make a PMS Prevention Juice: 2 medium beets (not the greens), ½ bunch cilantro, 1 small lemon with peel, 3-4 leaves of kale, ½ green apple, 2 stalks celery, 1 inch cube of ginger

4.) Cut back on dairy. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and even yogurt can contribute to cramping and other symptoms by contributing estrogen dominance. Replace dairy products with almond milk and coconut or almond milk yogurt. (It’s also best to minimize soy, so watch out for overloading on the soy milk!)

5.) Don’t skip meals. You’ll compromise your blood sugar balance, and at this time of the month that’s especially not good! Imbalanced blood sugar will contribute to mood swings and amplify your PMS symptoms.


Giveaway! 2014 Moon Calendar

Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Guest


Janeen has generously offered to gift one of our readers with one of  her beautiful 2014 lunar calendars. Comment below about why you’d like to be the lucky recipient for your chance for it to be so!

This contest is now closed.

My name is Janeen and I am a 32 year old queer Sagittarian living in the Bay Area, CA. I grew up in in Ohio and when I began menstruating, there was no question that the choices (if you can call them that) available to me were commercially produced pads &/or tampons. It wasn’t until age 29 that I discovered not only how toxic these disposables are, but that there are actually wonderful alternatives. It also wasn’t until this time that I began to really pay attention to my body and her cycles.

On my cross-country road trip moving to California from Philadelphia, I stayed several days at a women’s retreat center in New Mexico and read Inga Muscio’s Cunt. That was the beginning of my love affair with sea sponges (a spa for your pussy, as I affectionately call them) and cloth pads (pussy pillows). I switched from disposables to sponges and within a year I saved nearly $100, spared the earth 300 tampons & applicators, and began unraveling my menstrual shame to find beauty and power within my body. I immediately shared my new wisdom with women in my life, resulting in the assembling of sponge kits for friends- the beginnings of Holy Sponge!


I have been lucky enough to collaborate with my friend, Alma Reyes Evans, in the making of the 2013 and 2014 Holy Sponge! Lunar Calendars. Alma and I have known each other for over 10 years and have both had to do a lot of undoing of patriarchy in our lives. Working together to get these calendars into the world connects us to the moon and to our matriarchal ancestors. I imagine women who bled with the new moon and danced with the full moon, and my hope is that more and more women reclaim the power in their intuition, their blood, their cycles, and their deep body wisdom.

Janeen has generously offered to give one of these beautiful calendars away to our readers. Comment below about why you’d like to win it for your chance for it to be so! Contest closes Nov 30th, 2013.

New! Dear Kates at Lunapads

Friday, November 8th, 2013 by Madeleine


We have been in the “period panty” business for as long as we have been making Lunapads, and have been inspired and impressed by the host of new, “high tech” products of this variety that have recently come onto the market.

While we are still totally committed to our own, fabulous Lunapanties, we felt that Dear Kate offered a different value proposition: leak-proof panties that could be worn either on their own for small leaks, spotting and discharge, or as backup for menstrual or light bladder leakage products.

I have to admit that at first I was skeptical. I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to natural fibre fabrics, and yet can tell you that it’s practically impossible to be able to offer something truly sleek and leak-proof without going there. Dear Kates have had the benefit of years of R&D to create something truly amazing that won me over with their softness, perfect fit and pure functionality. While I will still stick to my more absorbent Lunapanties for heavier flow and overnight needs, Dear Kates offer great lighter flow peace of mind – they really feel like they’re there for you.

So, welcome to the family, Kate – we’re glad you’re here, sister!

Win lunch with me & Arlene!

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 by Madeleine


You can’t be a Canadian entrepreneur and not be a fan of Arlene Dickinson: she is such a totally fabulous, ass-kicking business person and human being.

So how excited are we that she will be in Vancouver on Saturday November 16th to speak at M Summit, a fabulous, ass-kicking conference (“Reinventing Today’s Savvy Working Mom“)? VERY! The force behind all of this is our cherished colleague (yet another fabulous ass-kicker, surprise!)msummit Mom CEO Vancouver Chapter Director Katharine Todd Millar.

Thanks to Katharine’s generosity, we have one ticket to give away which includes lunch with Arlene (not at the same table, mind you – however as a consolation prize, you get to sit with me and – possibly, if we are very lucky! – Suzanne as well) as well as 2 fabulous, ass-kicking workshops (a $129 value, but actually priceless). S’gonna be a good one.

In case you don’t win, you can get FREE admission to the tradeshow by using code “INSIDER” upon registration. For more information about mSummit, visit:

So who’s in? Here’s all we need you to do in order to enter:
Tell us what you would say to Arlene if you had the chance to meet her.

This contest is now closed.