Kind Cup founder, Christine Brown, grew up here in Carpinteria and has family roots that go back before the majestic Torrey Pine outside the Heritage Goods Shop. However, it wasn't until after several chapters, opportunities, and adventures in other parts of the country and world that I realized how truly fortunate I was to call Carpinteria home. After several years of wanting to see design improvements with menstrual cups, and not yet noticing the desired changes, I saw a way to provide a meaningful change in the lives of folks who menstruate, and could build that foundation in my hometown. From the start, our goal with Kind Cup was to create a more comfortable and effective cup for our users that streamlined the learning curve and offered seamless functionality through great design. It was important to also select the highest quality materials available for all aspects - from the silicone, that comes from one of the top suppliers just down the road here in Carpinteria, to the earth-friendly linen bag, FSC packaging, and vegetable based inks printed and produced in Oxnard. It was important to us to keep our footprint local as well. Coming from a long line of farmers, the details matter when providing folks with a cup that's creating a new standard and is kind to your body, the earth, and others.
We are so fortunate to have the Kind Cup here at the Heritage Goods and Supply storefront! Come stop by to learn more!
What inspired you to create Kind Cup?
I saw an opportunity to provide a more comfortable, effective, user friendly cup that created a new standard across the board from sourcing materials, manufacturing, and post-production.
After just recently launching, how has the community received your creations?
I've had a few pop-ups locally, and it's incredible when customers share after even just one cycle that they absolutely love their Kind Cup. I've had some folks who bought it from one of the local retail shops, so I had no idea they already were Kind Cup users, approach full of smiles and share that it's the best cup they've ever used and are already telling all their friends. Having just launched a little over two months ago, and hearing from folks who are beaming about their experience, it's been almost surreal yet incredibly humbling to have been able to provide such a positive period product for our users.
How has using Kind Cup changed your life?
I've been able to connect with individuals in such an immediate and profound way. Even though I've been working on the design and building this company for several years now, amidst teaching part-time and other responsibilities, there's no way I could have guessed ten years ago that this would be my journey and path. It took realizing the potential positive impact that this product could have in the lives of our users, and in the lives of those experiencing period poverty, that ultimately compelled me to take that leap. I've connected with some incredible individuals who've appeared in moments when I was unsure how to achieve the next step in the process, such as the regulatory component, web design, or the books. I love that Carp enables such organic connections and that folks here quickly understand the value of a product that is body-friendly, sustainable, reduces waste, and has a social justice component.
What is unique about the Kind Cup in regards to other menstrual products?
Our cup is designed to conform to your body - not the other way around, which makes it much more comfortable and effective for our users. Kind Cup is designed so that users can achieve a one-handed collapse for insertion, instead of needing to use two hands, and make contact all over the body of the cup just to collapse the cup. The removal stem is longer, flexible, and strong, and is angled forward for proper placement to make removal easier. Honestly, I incorporated over 20 unique design elements into our non-provisional utility patent, all with the goal to streamline the process for users. I'm thrilled that so many of our users have had such immediate success with Kind Cup, but of course, a learning curve with a new product is completely natural, and we love when our users reach out so that we can support them in having complete success with their cup.
Is there one piece of advice you would like to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business?
Be open and persistent. It's a long journey filled with late nights, so remember to take a moment to acknowledge how far you've come in the process (there will always be plenty more ahead!). Be open to the insight, experience, and expertise of others. It is because of the support of so many that Kind Cup is here today. It means a great deal that Heritage and their team were early supporters of our product and vision. We are excited to be a part of their incredible space and story as well!