What if every menstruator had access to menstrual products during their period? And what if at the same time, you could also give struggling families access to stable employment and business opportunities?
This is the question we set out to answer when we started G&N, Healthier Happier Periods. We wanted to make a product that was easy to use, effective and accessible to all those who needed it. This meant coming up with a way to make sure that everyone buying our products paid what they can afford while building a successful business.
We therefore came up with a business model that considers the location and financial position of the consumer. Those in wealthier countries pay a little more so those in poorer parts of the world can pay a little less. In the end, everyone has access to what they need, and no one goes without. Each purchase of a G&N pad goes towards subsidizing the cost of pads sold in rural communities in Zimbabwe and providing pads to girls in school for free. Sales also fund The Grace & Nelly Project’s programs and services for women in girls in those areas to give them the opportunities they need to succeed as entrepreneurs, in their education or other areas of their lives.
We hope to make G&N’s products in Zimbabwe and Canada, while supporting local initiatives to better the lives of women in both countries. By making pads in rural communities in Zimbabwe, we give women in those communities a chance to make a better living for themselves and their children. With an estimated unemployment rate of 90%, Zimbabwe is in dire need to new companies that can provide employment. We spent time talking with women in rural communities in Zimbabwe to understand their needs. They informed us time and again that they did not want anything for free. What they want is product that works and at a price they could afford and the means to purchase them.
We are proud to be an African/black owned and female led business that is implementing sustainable change on the African continent. We believe that period products don’t just need to be functional but can also be beautiful and can tell the story of the rich cultural heritage of the Zimbabwean people. The unique designed prints on our products are meant to capture the beauty of the African continent and make your feel like showing off your pads to all your friends.
Founder: Ruvimbo Chimutsa
The Founder of The Grace & Nelly Project and G&N, Healthier Happier Periods, Ruvimbo Chimutsa is a passionate advocate for women’s rights. She is the proud granddaughter of Grace and Nelly who taught her the importance being independent and giving back to the community. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she moved to Canada to continue her tertiary education and discovered she could still make an impact on the lives of those in her home country even if she was thousands of miles away. In 2016 she started The Grace & Nelly Project with a group of friends and the organization began distributing reusable pads to girls at the Mukombami Primary School to make sure the girls did not miss a day of school because of period poverty. However, she knew this alone would not be enough and embarked on the journey of making a more inclusive and sustainable period brand.