Advice Column, beauty, Lifestyle, Recently, Tween & Teen

Blushproof® Q & A

  • Blushproof®
  • Category Advice Column, beauty, Lifestyle, Recently, Tween & Teen

As a local manufacturer of period panties, we thought we’d answer some common questions about our business just to explain who we are and what we do.

Q: How long has Blushproof® been in operation? 

Blushproof® started as an idea in September 2020, with our first sales being in August 2021. I have a tween daughter at junior school and so was thinking about her, and her friends’ introduction to puberty and my own experiences. I had also seen some of the alternative menstrual products that were being offered overseas. This coincided with an increased awareness of environmental issues after learning that each person uses approximately 14,000 pads and tampons during their menstrual years, which all end up in landfills and water systems.

Q: Who founded Blushproof®?

I, Thandi Hartmann, founded the company. I’m married with two children, living in Johannesburg. I obtained a B.Comm in the 1990s and later did a MBA to support me working in a number of corporates in Johannesburg and London. Shortly after having children, I took the decision to step back from my career to focus on raising my family. In 2020 (that COVID time where we all had lots of time on our hands!) I came across period panties and was amazed that such a wonderful alternative existed. I knew this was something I wanted to bring to the girls and women of South Africa. 

Q: How has Blushproof® expanded over the years?

In 2020 I explored the topic of the menstrual product options for young girls and women and thought about what matters to them, as well as the issues that are relevant in South Africa at this time. I started thinking that period panties could be an effective solution – easy to use whilst having a lower impact on the environment. I also wanted to see if I could help (in some small way) to create jobs in our country. Finally, I believed that period panties could play a role in fighting “period poverty” by providing cost effective solutions to girls and women with limited means and limited access to other sanitary products. So the challenge started… Whilst I have a strong IT systems background and passion for the product, I had no experience in setting up a clothing manufacturing business. My team and I have learnt as we go and have had to “course correct” a few times along the way. It’s been an exciting journey so far, made possible by the support of friends and family and enabled by the tech world we live in. This has meant that it has been possible to set up Blushproof® as an E-commerce business that sells and delivers directly to consumers nationwide.

Q: What is Blushproof’s® approach to creating the best product in the community?

I decided that I wanted my business to try its hand at manufacturing locally, so that I could control the product quality and achieve the aim of providing local employment. It’s been exciting for me to design the product range, import the right materials in the right quantities and then produce the Blushproof® period panties that I believe in. Plus, making locally has ensured that our sizing fits our Rainbow Nation, rather than trying to squash uncomfortably into Chinese imports. The fact that we offer exchanges and give outstanding customer service certainly sets us apart from the large retail chains.

Q: What new products can customers expect from Blushproof®?

This is a tough one. If it were up to me, I’d be creating new products every month but this isn’t the best way to run a business. Our customers have their absolute favourites so I’ve learnt to focus on making what the customers actually want. We’ll certainly look at designing and making gym shorts, pyjama shorts and expand our swim range over time but right now, we’re focusing on what we do best.

Q: How does ordering from Blushproof® work?

Since our business is primarily online, customers simply go onto our website, choose the products they want, add them to cart and pay. They can choose between collecting from our Joburg workshop or having us ship their blushproofs nationwide. We might look at getting into shops over time but again, we’re focused on our core business for now. 

Q: Will/does Blushproof® offer any special programs for its customers?

When customers sign up on our website for our newsletters, they always get the inside scoop on what’s new and promotional offers from discounts to free goodies to prizes. We love the support we get from our followers and like to reward them when we can.

Q: Do you plan on opening any Blushproof® in person stores, or introducing your product in other stores and if so who? 

I’d love to get to a point where customers can come into our workshop to choose their items and pay right away. Although this already happens to a limited degree (we have to have the right style, size, absorption and colour in stock for this to happen) I’d love to have everything available all of the time. Once we get to this point, I’ll look at possibly getting into a few stores (we actually already sell our products through TigerLilly). It all comes down to whether or not it makes good business sense. Of course we have lots of small business owners already selling our products, like salons and spas, as well as swim schools. I’m being approached more and more by people wanting to expand their product offering and am honoured that they choose to include Blushproof® products. Oh, and we have an Affiliate programme whereby our customers become an affiliate and when someone uses their referral link to make a purchase, that person gets a discount and the affiliate gets a commission. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Q: What brings Blushproof® joy?

Gosh, I’d have to say it’s the positive reviews and feedback. Our customers truly find our products to be life-changing. That’s really such a wonderful thing to know as a business owner – that what you and your team do, actually improves the quality of someone’s life. The other thing that always makes me excited is to know how many single use products are no longer ending up in landfills. With over 5400 customers, the landfills will be saved from 1,9m disposables over the next 12 months! How amazing is that?!?

Q: Who are Blushproofs’ customers?

Our customers are tweens, teens, sports women, moms, career women and everyone in between. If you menstruate then we have a product for you. We’ve also recently created our Bladder Leak Bundle which includes two super absorbent panties for those that experience mild to moderate bladder leaks. One day I hope to have a solution for incontinence but I’m not there yet. The elderly deserve a dignified way to manage their daily troubles too. 

Q: What are Blushproofs’ best selling items?

Our customers’ absolute favourites are our Bikini style period panties for light to moderate flow, our Brief style period panties for heavy to extremely heavy flow, our super soft, seam free bamboo Shorties and our Swim bikini bottoms. Yes, it is possible to swim on your period without a tampon! Oh, and the moms and daughters LOVE our first period kit. It’s full of amazing goodies to get tweens and teens started on their journey.

Q: Why period panties? Has there been a high demand?

If we look at the trend worldwide, period panties are massively popular. Go into any store or shop online in the UK, EU, USA, Australia, New Zealand – you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. Here, most people have never even heard of period panties. So it’s been a long road in terms of educating people not only about Blushproof® but also about period panties. We’ve actually still got a very long way to go. Creating awareness needs to happen on all the social media platforms and in news articles, magazines, adverts… you name it. The benefits of period panties are so amazing – they’re much more comfortable, they don’t have any toxins in them and are made in a toxin free environment, they’re reusable, sustainable, washable and completely remove any stigmas associated with menstrual products. I’m sure South Africa catchup to the rest of the world (eventually) – really, what’s not to love about them.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

I think supporting local businesses is imperative as this builds our South African economy and creates jobs. Of course, SHEIN, Temu and the like are offering products at a fraction of the cost but there’s no customer journey taken hand-in-hand with the business. Local businesses can answer questions, guide you in the transition to using sustainable products, assist with exchanges and just generally be there for you. A product like period underwear is such a personal thing. You need to know that the product you buy has got you covered, that the quality is top-notch, that the fabric used is free of nasty chemicals and that it will do as promised. We’ve all experienced leaks (some people get more embarrassed than others) but when choosing a period panty, your hope is that those leaks will be, if not eliminated, then at least massively reduced.

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