This Woman Is On a Mission to Make a Menstrual Cup for Even the Heaviest of Flows
Best, Periodt. founder Gayneté Jones knows firsthand that not all periods are created equal, so she set out to create a cup that's comfortable and leak-proof for even heavy period flows.
Since a young age, Gayneté Jones has had an entrepreneurial spirit. The Bermuda-born badass (say that five times fast!) "was always looking for ways to make to people's lives easier," she says — and continues to do just that today.
As the founder and CEO of Best, Periodt., Jones is on a mission to make menstruation a little less, well, messy and menstrual cups a lot more comfy. But she didn't start slinging sustainable period supplies right off the bat. Rather, she first wrote a best-selling book (Lucky Code), founded her first company, developed her brand on Instagram (where she has a cool 20.5k followers), and started a podcast, just to name a few of her many ventures. And while they're all very impressive, it was her podcast — Freedom Slay — that acted as a springboard for her latest creation.
"I was interviewing Ranay Orton, the owner of Glow by Daye, on my podcast who [built an entire business on] a product — hair bonnets. That sparked something in me. I thought it would be cool to create a product that solves a real problem. At the time, [however], I didn't really know what that would be or look like," says Jones. But, as fate would have it, just a few weeks later Jones was introduced to a product creator (which is exactly what it sounds like: someone who creates physical products for sale). "After talking to her, I had this fire inside of me. I wanted to create something, too," she adds.
Jones went to sleep that night, and when she woke up the next morning, her cycle had started. As she reached for her menstrual cup, she discovered her product idea.
A long-time user of menstrual cups, Jones knew there had to be a way to take these period products to the next level — she wanted them to work better with menstruators' bodies, be better for the environment, and be easier economically. "I was never satisfied with the cups I used," she says. "They leaked and didn't have enough capacity [for my flow], so I always had to wear a pad with them. Then, it clicked: I need to create a better menstrual product that solves these issues," she says. (Related: All the Questions You Definitely Have About How to Use a Menstrual Cup)
Having a heavy flow is an issue for Jones, as it is for many Black women. "Black menstruators, on average, tend to have heavier periods and are more likely to have uterine fibroids," she explains. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus that can cause heavy, painful periods. A study that surveyed 274 African American women between the ages of 18-60 found that the proportion of women with heavy menstrual bleeding was higher than the average nationwide prevalence of about 10 percent. The study found that 38 percent of women reported going to the doctor for heavy menstrual bleeding, 30 percent had fibroids, and 32 percent mentioned missing work or school because of their period. While fibroids are fairly common — affecting 40 to 80 percent of reproductive-age women, according to the Cleveland Clinic — they disproportionately affect African American women. In fact, research shows that Black women are two to three times more likely to suffer from fibroids than their white counterparts. (Related: Why Is It So Hard for Black Women to Get Diagnosed with Endometriosis?)
Sure, she couldn't stop the heavy period flows plaguing people such as her, but she could create a product to would help them better handle their cycles so they don't have to sit on the sidelines of life each month. "I want to give Best, Periodt. users more benefits with our cups than [with] the cups I tried in the past. I also want it to fix the problems I had with menstrual cups, including making larger cup sizes."
With the idea blooming in her spirit, Jones got to work developing the idea — only for a global pandemic to bring everything to a screeching halt. Although she wanted to move swiftly, the pandemic, understandably, caused delays. Her original goal was to create the product in March 2020. The reality? "We finished [around the] end of October, beginning of November."
Ultimately, however, the pandemic was a silver lining: The delays gave Jones extra time to create the menstrual cup that aligned exactly with her vision. Jones spent months researching, sketching, and testing different versions until she (alongside her female menstrual cup engineer) arrived at the product purchasers call "life-changing."
"A lot of thought and design went into creating this," she explains. Compared to several others on the market, Jones' cups feature a unique, grip-able base and stem that makes insertion and removal a no-brainer (even for newbies). They're also made of the highest quality medical grade silicone — which "gives a smooth and safe experience for our customers," she says — and without latex, dyes, and plastics. "Our cups are USA-made, non-toxic, vegan, reusable, cost-efficient, FDA-registered, and ob-gyn approved," says Jones. And she held true to her goal of making menstrual cups ideal for heavier flows. "Our size one holds 29 ml and our size two holds 40 ml," she says. "The average size two cup from other companies ranges from 25-30 ml."
Another small difference that goes a long way? Best, Periodt. cups come with a silicone carrying case — "which is more convenient and counter-cute so you can have it in your bathroom," says Jones. While a lot of other cups come with a drawstring bag to "protect" the product, the Best, Periodt. silicone case is easier to clean, better repels lint, and ensures the cup stays clean and protected when it's, say, bouncing around in your bag the days leading up to Flo's arrival.
On January 11, 2021 — just a little under a year after Jones started — Best, Periodt. launched. Within the first month, the brand solidified a spot on shelves in 15 retail stores in Bermuda and sold about 1,000 menstrual cups. (And if you spend time watching Shark Tank, you know these numbers are enough to make Daymond John's jaw drop.)
"Only 5 percent of menstruators use a cup for periods. I want to make sure it is a more sought-after product," says Jones. And she's off to a great start — users have left a number of rave reviews on the softness and smooth texture of the product, many pledging that now that they've used a Best, Periodt. cup, they're "never going back."
In addition to fulfilling Jones' dream of making peoples' lives easier through an elevated menstrual cup, Best, Periodt. is also dedicated to educating customers, as well as raising awareness and breaking the stigmas that we have around periods and the products. Not only does the brand provide a comprehensive booklet on how exactly to use the cups, but Jones is also thinking of ways to teach customers more about their bodies and cycles to ultimately have an enjoyable (*gasp*) period experience.
On that note, being fully inclusive is a top priority, too. "We make sure our product is gender neutral as we realize not everyone that bleeds identifies as a woman," she says. "We don't use [the words] 'women' or 'girls,' we say 'bleeders, menstruators, or people.'"
Giving back is also a big part of this larger mission. "We give back one dollar from every cup purchase. One dollar goes to a charity that helps end child trafficking," she says. The customers who purchased a cup throughout the year will vote on the one charity — out of five that Jones' has extensively researched and personally vetted — that will get the annual donation. Best, Periodt. purchasers also have the option to donate a cup to a resource center that helps reduce period poverty when they make a purchase on brand's website. The company wants to do its part to ensure that all individuals have the proper care when it comes to menstruating. (Related: Why You Absolutely Need to Care About Period Poverty and Stigma)
While it's not necessarily the beginning for Jones (girlfriend has lots of entrepreneurial experience), it is for Best, Periodt. — and it's growing at a rapid speed, making its mark on the menstruation market.