Today we’d like to introduce you to Halli Briscoe, Marilyn Austin and McKenna Avery.
Marilyn Austin and Halli Briscoe met in college and began to work on Hempress in March 2019. Both Halli and Marilyn are extremely passionate about the environment and women’s health so Hempress was the perfect combination of their interests. Halli was an All-American D1 gymnast majoring in Business Administration and Marilyn was a double major in Economics and Business Management and very involved on campus, including being vice president of OSU Sales Club, and finance assistant for her sorority Alpha Phi. Both Halli and Marilyn graduated in June 2019. Halli began a one year accelerated MBA program while still competing in D1 gymnastics, and Marilyn moved back to San Diego her home town and got a job in finance. Once in San Diego McKenna Avery joined the team by connecting with Marilyn through mutual friends. McKenna was a third year Sustainability major at SDSU and incredibly involved on campus organization and in the San Diego community.
She is a member of the SDSU Office of Sustainability, chairs the sustainability commission on campus, and is part of the University Sustainability Senate, among many other responsibilities. Together the Hempress team have been working hard to get their products developed and ready for sale to the public. They are in the lab doing testing and finalizing their products in preparation to file our FDA application. At this time Halli has received her MBA and is teaching science in Dallas, TX, Marilyn is still working in finance, and McKenna is finishing up her last year of undergrad at SDSU and expects to graduate December 2020. We expect our products to be ready for purchase in 2021 and cannot wait to fully launch to the public!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not. When Halli and I first began the company we thought we would simply have to find a hemp supplier and feminine hygiene manufacture and make the products. It quickly became clear the road to products would be much more complicated. Because the hemp just became legal in 2019 with the passing of the Farm Bill there has been very little research and work done on hemp in the contexts we were interested in. Therefore, the normal process of starting a product based business of finding a contact manufacturer, finalizing the product, and being ready to sell was not an option for us. Manufacturers had never worked with hemp and were reluctant to take the risk. So, we had to do everything ourselves. We scoured the globe to not only find hemp suppliers but to find the type(s) of hemp fiber that would perform the best in our products.
This resulted in us trying multiple suppliers, types of hemp, treatments, etc until we finally found the perfect combination that allowed us to not only meet but exceed our competitions performance. We had to develop the technology of making hemp competitive in this context ourselves. This meant many days in the lab testing various types of prototypes. We had to find manufacturers willing to take our company on and every step in the supply chain needed to meet our strict no plastics, no chemicals/toxins, 100% biodegradable at room temperature, and organic requirements which is basically unheard of in the fiber and manufacturing spaces. It has been an extremely complicated and challenging road but we are so thankful for the experience because it forced us to learn so much about our products, the industry, and about starting a business. We can now enter the market will full confidence in our process and products because we know every aspect that goes into making them.
We’d love to hear more about the business.
Hempress Hygienics is an innovative and socially conscious feminine hygiene brand on a mission to provide women access to the high-quality, natural products they deserve while also continuously striving to fight the stigma surrounding the female menstrual cycle. Here at Hempress our first priority is to ensure the health of our products for women’s bodies and the health of the environment by creating biodegradable products supported by a sustainable supply chain through harnessing the power of hemp. Our products are tampons, pads, and liners that are 100% hemp, biodegradable, plastic free, and use no harm chemicals or toxic materials.
We are the first and only feminine hygiene company that uses hemp and is able to deliver products that can meet the accepted feminine hygiene performance goals, while also being environmentally and socially conscious.Hempress is founded as a benefit company and we make all decisions taking the environment and our communities in equal weight to financial metrics. We will donate a portion of every purchase to women friendly charities focused on providing women around the world with the health care, education, and support they need and deserve.
Our products are currently being finalized through lab testing and human trials and should be available for purchase in 2021. Please feel free to visit our website at hempresshygienics.com to sign up for our newsletter and stay updated on our product launch and company!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Halli Briscoe: Co-Founder
Marilyn Austin: Co-Founder
McKenna Avery: Co-Founder
We have no investors our received any outside funding but are a 100% owned private company.
- Website: Hemprresshygienics.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: HempressHygienics
- Facebook: HempressHygienics
- Twitter: HempressHygienics
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