Jordana Kier & Alex Friedman: Cofounders at LOLA
What is LOLA?
LOLA is a new feminine care brand offering 100% cotton tampons in BPA-free plastic applicators via a subscription service. Products are sourced through Europe, packaged in the U.S. and sold direct-to-consumer on mylola.com. LOLA is for women of all ages who care about what’s in their products and want a natural and convenient alternative to traditional big-box feminine care brands. We deliver where and when she needs it, in the absorbency breakdown and delivery cadence that she needs it.
How are you disrupting the feminine hygiene industry?
There are a few ways LOLA is different from other feminine hygiene products available today. Most importantly, LOLA tampons are all-natural products and customers are able to customize their box of eighteen tampons by choosing the breakdown of supers, regulars and lights. The second way we’re standing out is our brand as a whole - women have really related to a brand that is “for women by women.” We’ve taken a thoughtful approach to what LOLA product looks like, what it feels like, what voice we use to speak to our customers, and eventually, we’ll have more content available for women to learn about reproductive and menstrual health. The third piece is convenience: a lot of women buy feminine care in a frantic rush. LOLA is here to provide regularity, predictability and organization for women with an otherwise busy lifestyle.
How did you decide on your company’s name LOLA?
We chose LOLA because it represents a cool and confident girl who is informed, down-to-earth and resourceful.
What is the social impact of LOLA?
Our mission is to ensure that women are informed enough to make educated decisions about their product choices. We’ve found that our biggest impact so far has been simply raising the question, “do you know what’s in your tampon?” A lot of women we’ve talked to have been enthusiastic about this conversation in general because many of them had never considered the issue before LOLA. Education is our primary goal in the long term - we’re starting to work with young girls in female empowerment organizations and doing our best to bring up the conversation in new communities.
How did you go from inspiration to implementation?
We started talking about the idea for LOLA a little more than a year ago. I (Jordana) was fresh out of business school, while Alex was working at a different startup. We were setup by our friends, and immediately hit it off and started working together. The first big step was understanding if there was an appetite and need for this type of product and brand. We launched a beta survey and did a lot of focus groups to determine whether knowledge of the lack of FDA regulations around the feminine care industry would make women want to change their behavior. We found that once women were aware of the issue, they had a lot of questions and wanted to talk about it much more than they had ever talked about it before. Many of them remarked that they had never given much thought to their feminine care. They were excited and interested to learn more and feel better informed about the product they were putting into their body - and that gave us a great sense that there was a place for us in the market.
What advice would you give yourself when you first started this process?
One thing would be time management. It’s helpful to take a step back and identify what’s important and high-impact for an early stage company and then devote the most time and energy there.
How have you used your Ivy network?
We’ve both used our network extensively to help us get LOLA off the ground, relying on our school and professional networks as much as we can in the appropriate places. For example, as we started thinking about starting a college ambassador program, we reached back to our connections with different campus organizations. When we think about our B2B strategy for placing LOLA in businesses bathrooms, we tap into our friend networks to see which businesses are excited about having a natural, new tampon brand in their bathroom for their employees.
What is a big lesson you have learned so far?
“Nothing is as scary as it seems.”
What hopes do you have for LOLA?
Our vision is for LOLA to be the go-to natural, convenient feminine care brand choice for women and a place that everyone can come to with questions about feminine and reproductive health. Eventually, we’ll expand on both the product and content side. Stay tuned for more from LOLA!
Thanks Jordana & Alex for the interview! We can't wait to use LOLA in the future! .::Ivy Startup Mag::.