Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Arnold, Co-Founder of The Period Project, located in Greenville, SC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Period Project is a 501c3 nonprofit providing menstrual products to those in need. Our customers are the working poor, homeless living on the streets and in shelters, foster homes, domestic violence shelters, and students attending our public schools. In short, anyone that needs a pad/tampon and cannot afford it.
Tell us about yourself
My first thought was that women in the US surely didn't have this problem after seeing a video about the problem in the UK. But I was wrong. I'm a mother of three and the first member of my family to go to college, so I'm familiar with breaking new ground.
In 2015 I co-founded The Period Project (formerly the Homeless Period Project), an innovative nonprofit meeting a very practical need for menstruators all over the country. The need keeps me motivated. When it gets hard and I feel overwhelmed, all I have to do is speak with a shelter director or school nurse, and I am re-energized. Hearing their stories keeps me going.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing it grow in order to help more people. I love bringing people together and working together to solve the problem of period poverty. Their enthusiasm is contagious.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The most difficult aspect has been the business side of running a nonprofit. What are our responsibilities and duties as 501c3? How do we implement systems that ensure that we are good stewards of the money our donors entrust to us? This part isn't glamorous and will never make it onto social media, but it's so important.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be adaptable, building a solid infrastructure so that your organization will thrive after you.
- Willingness to listen to others, especially those who do not agree with you.
- Allow others to shine.