Saturday, November 28, 2009

Twitter Party Is A Huge Success on Black Friday

Boy, was last night a fun night for Womentorz and participants of our Twitter Launch Party hosted by Resourceful Mommy. Everyone was so excited about the prizes and inventions on Womentorz. The biggest news of the night is that #womentorz was the 8th trending topic on Twitter, which means the party was a huge success and gave Womentorz unheard of exposure. We tracked over 3,500 tweets about Womentorz and close to 2,000 visitors to the site in just one hour. Every participant of the party was tweeting about their favorite inventions. We received very positive feedback with many party goers having plans of purchasing gifts for the holidays from the site.

Between our physical launch party in Seattle and our social media networking, Womentorz is quickly becoming a destination for women inventors to get their product to market and shoppers to find unique purchases. You can literally feel the buzz it's so strong. Big things are in store for the month of December!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Formula for Success ~ Something to Think About

When Melinda Knight came up with the idea for this website her intentions were pure. She had just been surrounded by a large group of women, a large percentage of whom shared the same frustration about how to get their products to market. Melinda saw a way that she could help these women and, as an inventor herself, felt passionately about the power we have when we unite.

It is important to remember that when we inadvertently drive traffic away from Womentorz when we are talking about individual products on Twitter, Facebook, etc., we are, in essence, defeating the purpose of what is all about.

It is also important to remember the big picture and ask: Is it beneficial to join with other women in a mutually supportive environment, to stack the odds in favor of success, or go it alone?

Marketing a site like this is a tricky thing. Melinda is spending and will continue to spend, thousands of dollars each month to drive viable traffic (i.e., shoppers) to our site. While we do not require our members to sell exclusively on our site, we would hope that everyone can see that to make the most out of their membership we need to start thinking as a whole. is unique in its make-up and what it represents. We will continue to work hard to serve our members and be true to what we set out to do. We do so hope that our members feel the same and realize that while Melinda and I, along with our wonderful PR team, can stir up some magic - we also need our members to be team players in this venture as well!

Simply put - if we do not actively support one another as fellow inventors there will be no Womentorz.

So, as official Executive Cheerleader I say "All for one and one for all!"

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inventor Showcase: Hookupz Charms

We are so excited to have ‘Hookupz charms ®’ available on Womentorz. They have such a fun and sassy collectable gift for girlfriends – or for bachelorette party/bridesmaid gifts. Now you can have your dream man without the heartbreak!

We are also proud to announce that they are going to be offering a Vampire and Werewolf charm inspired by the "Twilight" series. Now there's a charm for every fantasy.

Here's our interview with Michele and Leslie, co-creators of Hookupz Charms ®:

1. What are Hookupz charms?

They’re a series of whimsical charms that represent the ‘dream men’ in our lives. With each charm comes a collectible card presenting an artist’s depiction of the fantasy man and a humorous biography. We aren’t ‘too spicy’…just celebrate the fun of romantic fantasies. We encourage finding the joy, humor, friendship, honor and integrity in relationships of women and men in the simplicity of our daily lives. Hookupz charms renews the ‘knight in shining armor’ fantasy we grew up with from childhood to the reality that womanhood presents for us all.

2. How did you come up with the idea?

A glass of wine over dinner helped! When Michele came back from England, she brought me a birthday present - a little knight in shining armor. The card she gave me said, “Finally…the man you’ve been waiting for your whole life”. Anyway, a couple dinner parties later, that idea just kinda took off. We laughed about ‘why settle for just a knight?’ and started a list of all our ‘dream men’. Our imaginations just took off and we came up with all kinds of guys. We kicked the idea around for quite awhile until we heard about “Oprah’s Big Ideas” product search in Los Angeles. Within about three weeks, we had a prototype and were able to fly out for the product search! We pulled so much together so fast!

3. What’s been your biggest challenges? Rewards?

If you’re persistent and just keep digging and researching things will come together. We had to find a graphic artist, a jeweler to carve the wax molds…a company to cast the charms…not to mention money. We knew NOTHING about how to make it happen….but we did it - lots of faith and networking. Doing things we never thought we could started out as our biggest challenges…and have ended up being some of our most rewarding experiences.

4. If you could pick your favorite ‘dream man’ who would he be? What would be your ‘dream date’?

Michele: My dream man has attributes from each of our guys.

Leslie: We haven’t even made my ‘dream man’ yet…he’s on the drawing board. But, I really like how ‘Harly the Biker’ turned out. He’s just so funny and he was carved with a cute little behind. My dream date would be a day in a beach house with my dream guy. A cottage right on the ocean - a stormy day with a fire in the fireplace…curled up together on the couch watching the waves crash… Hmmmmmm - oh, yeah… back to reality!!

5. Do men ‘get’ the concept behind Hookupz charms? What’s their reaction?

Some men get it and laugh…they are SURE they are our dream men… Other guys seem a little bewildered…don’t quite get it. Some guys are anxious to find out when we’re going to make ‘dream women’ for them!!

6. Are there more 'men' waiting in the wings?

Of course! We have at least 10 more all ready to go, including the "Twilight" inspired offerings - a Vampire and a Werewolf to add to our "Fairytale" men series - and there are other 'guys' who are just a smile on our faces right now’.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Party Time!

It's 10:02 p.m. The house has been what I like to call "squared around". All of the laundry is done, folded and put away. There are four complete outfits laid out neatly in both of the girls' rooms. Notes have been written about what to pack for lunches, not to forget about Syd's riding lesson tomorrow, allergy meds each night and to definitely not forget about the mandatory parent meeting at church tomorrow evening. I've made dinner suggestions and listed ideas about potentially fun activities for the weekend. Oh yes, and I've packed my suitcase, polished my nails and plucked my eyebrows...

I know what you might be thinking, so I must confess that, while my husband is more than capable of taking care of our girls for a few days while I am away, somehow all of this prepping to try to make it a little easier makes me feel much better about heading off on this fun-filled adventure!

I am on my way to Seattle tomorrow to see my good friend Melinda, who I have not seen since we met in Chicago that Thursday in late June.

The launch party this Saturday will be a celebration of many things, not the least of which is the culmination of Melinda's tireless energy and our dual determination to help our fellow women inventors by bringing to life!

It's going to be a BIG night. As we've said, the Sisters of Sizzle will be adding their flair, we're expecting a full house at Zeitgeist, and are also hoping to confirm some media coverage of this milestone event. There will be fabulous food and drink, along with hundreds of dollars worth of door prizes!

There will also be a "Skype Station" set up so you can party with us from the comfort of your own home. We will be posting instructions for this at some point tomorrow.

Can't wait to see everyone Saturday night!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sisters of Sizzle Will Be Emceeing Womentorz Launch Party

The Womentorz Launch Party just keeps getting better and better. Not only are we going to have the amazing Kellee Bradley performing live, but we are also having the talent and life of the party Sisters of Sizzle emceeing the event! They will bring the right amount of energy and enthusiasm to warm up our guests and get the event off on the right foot.

The party is going to be held at the famous Zeitgeist in the hip part of downtown Seattle called Pioneer Square. We will be giving out door prizes and providing shopping stations for party goers to see all of the awesome inventions on Womentorz. They will be asked to Tweet and announce on Facebook about being at the party. We will also have Womentorz members Skyping in live to see the party and show off their inventions. We are working on media coverage of the event and have already received a lot of interest. We wish you could all be at the party. It's going to be a blast!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Infamous Women Inventors: Ruth Wakefield

Have you heard of the inspiring Ruth Wakefield? You may not have, but I know that you have eaten her invention. She is the marvelous inventor of the delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie. Yum!

It was an invention born quite by accident. Ruth and her husband ran an inn, called The Toll House. She was making a cookie recipe that usually used unsweetened baker's chocolate. But she was out of that and instead broke up a Nestle chocolate bar to put in the recipe. The recipe, of course, was a resounding success.

Here is where Ruth made a very smart move. Instead of publishing the recipe (she later did publish cookbooks that sold massive copies), she called Nestle and struck a deal. They could print the recipe on their chocolate bars in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Smart! With that move, she affected millions of people with a wonderful recipe that we now equate with tradition and warm, fuzzy childhood memories. We also pass it onto our children. She made a huge impact in history and for all women inventors.

Perhaps your invention too was created "by accident" or perhaps because it was something that you needed but there wasn't anything like it on the market. Have you taken that next step to impact the world? Your creation can also make a difference, if you let it. Take the next move and get it out to your audience by listing it on We bet that other people are in need of it too!

Inventor Showcase: Ficklets

We are so excited to have the amazing Ros Guerrero and her invention called Ficklets, Eyewear Charm Huggers, available on Womentorz. Her product has been featured in Parents and Celebrity Parents Magazines to name a few. I wish her product was available when I was a child wearing glasses. Her invention is bringing self esteem to kids across the nation. No more four eyes name calling! Now kids will wish they were all wearing glasses! Here's an interview to give you even more insight into this amazing invention and inventor:

Q: Tell us a bit about your business and the inspiration behind it.
I call it my “couch potato” idea because I was literally sitting on my couch watching TV when my daughter walked in the kitchen behind the breakfast counter and the only part of her I could see were her eyes and her eyeglasses and thought, “wow, time to add some color and life to your old, boring eyeglasses”. This I believe was my “a-ha” moment.

I created a product called Ficklets, interchangeable eye wear charm huggers. I came up with the idea couple years ago for my daughter, Gem, as a way to jazz up her old eyeglass frames to give them a fresh, fashionable and unique look. After producing a working charm, Gem wore the eyewear charms to school. Her teacher wrote a note home that day describing how much attention Gem received about her glasses and how everyone thought they were so cool. This is when I thought, hmm… I really think I should run with this. I later came up with the name Ficklets, derived from the word “fickle”, unpredictable change or changeable, which appropriately described how much fun we had changing out her charms to coordinate with her outfits or occasion.

In addition to Gem being the direct inspiration behind Ficklets, she is also the main reason for my entrepreneurial drive to build a successful business. Gem is mentally handicapped and understanding her limited opportunities, it’s one of my missions to build a successful business that would create the opportunities for her as well as a business that will provide a quality life long after I’m gone.

It’s exciting and fulfilling to build a business that allows me to be creative and productive with a purpose and I’m grateful to Gem for inspiring me to grow as a mom, woman and an entrepreneur.

Q: How long did it take for you to go from idea to business launch and reality?
The initial concept was born in early 2006, developed a working prototype latter part of that year. Filed our provisional patent application and launched our website in April 2007. Our Patent was granted in September 2009.

Q: What were your business start-up costs and how long did it take for you to become profitable?
Our initial start-up was minimal and gradually invested more as we continued to ramp up marketing and PR efforts and attended our first tradeshow. We’re still in the building stage, thus continue to reinvest back into the business.

Q: How did you finance your business (personal contributions, loans from friends & family, loans from bank, credit cards, outside investors?).
Our initial start-up cost was from personal savings.

Q: What are a few of your marketing and PR strategies for getting the word out about Ficklets?
Initially attended a vision trade show, but with a limited marketing budget, I focus my main marketing and PR efforts working with bloggers, pitching directly to the media, obtained a “low-cost” public relations company to expand PR efforts for a short period, and most recently listed with a new and pioneering company called, an e-commerce site that essentially allows inventors to set up an online store and provides an ongoing PR and marketing campaign at an affordable membership fee. For start-ups and unknown inventors with limited capital, is a godsend providing a venue for distribution and marketing, two main issues new entrepreneurs struggle with. The extra bonus of is being a part of a community that offers support, leadership and camaraderie from both the founders and fellow women inventors. The founders are inventors themselves, so they truly understand the struggles and challenges entrepreneurs face. Inventors will discover is like no other, a business with heart and a champion for your success.

Q: What has been a major challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
I think the ongoing challenge is gaining exposure and building brand awareness especially on a limited budget. Most of my efforts at this point in the business are focused on PR and marketing and because we’re working with a restrictive budget, it’s crucial to find creative ways to get the word out. makes it possible for inventors to distribute and market their ideas at an affordable cost. They provide a state of the art e-commerce site along with ongoing PR/marketing campaign—both projects that typically fall short for most start-ups. provides both services eliminating the challenge and struggle, thus freeing up inventors and entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on creating and bringing their ideas to life.

Q: Is there a resource that proved to be invaluable that you would like to share with other Mom Entrepreneurs?
I have a few resources that I stay plugged into:
1. – State of the art e-commerce site for inventors to distribute and market their ideas at a low membership fee.
2. The Mogul Mom blog/Heather Allard – Resource site and business coach for mom entrepreneurs.
3. HARO – Connects media leads with sources. Great site for the DIY PR entrepreneur.
3. Buzz Cooperative – Connects influential bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Although, The Big Idea show is currently off the air, it still deserves a mention. I was a huge, loyal and avid fan of The Big Idea hosted by Donny Deutsch and faithfully watched the show every evening. TBI was not only entertaining, but Donny was a big inspiration and champion for entrepreneurs. He has the charisma to instill the belief that you truly have what it takes to make your dreams come true. More than that, he is a knowledgeable businessman, honest, humble and down to earth kind of guy, so it was easy to relate to him on both a business and personal level. My favorite part of TBI, were the guest entrepreneurs and listening to their stories. I found their stories to be inspiring, enlightening and educational. One of the specific things I learned from most of the guests is that making mistakes is all a part of business and despite the blunders and stumbles you make along the way, success is still possible. Unfortunately, because of the current economic climate and how the show’s theme may not fit in today’s business environment, TBI is temporarily on hiatus. I hope to see TBI back in action real soon… with the current dismal economic tone, TBI would provide entrepreneurs the much needed inspiration, knowledge and guidance with a twist of entertainment value for added fun.

Q: How have you managed to juggle the roles of business owner, mom, wife, etc?
This was years in the making. Since learning about my daughter’s mental disability at the age of three years, I have been on a mission to build a life of normalcy for Gem. Understanding from the beginning that Gem’s opportunities would be limited based on society’s standards, it was up to me to create the opportunities for her. This is when I believe my entrepreneurial spirit was born. To create the opportunities I wanted for Gem, I knew I needed to own my own business. With this seed planted, over the span of eight years I periodically discussed with my husband, Roy, about starting a business someday when Gem was older and he was living at home full-time from working abroad. I would discuss thoroughly our roles and what it was going to require from both of us, both personally and professionally. I believed it was vital that my husband understood completely the purpose behind my desire to start a business in order to make it work, which was clear and what we both wanted ultimately – to create opportunities for Gem and build a business that would provide a quality life for her long after we’re gone.

While Roy worked abroad, I dabbled in various ventures in my search for a business to build – real estate, co-owned a window treatment design and nail salon business. It was by accident that I stumbled across the Ficklets idea and since then my business passion has soared like never before… this is when I knew, this was “IT”. And who knew Gem would be the direct inspiration behind the concept as she is the very reason for my desire to get into business in the first place.

With Roy at home full-time, I am able to devote more time and energy to building and growing our business. We work as a team and understand well our roles in both business and in our home life. In the business, my husband Roy handles the administrative and technology aspects and in our home, Roy handles a majority of the home care responsibilities and most importantly, shares equal responsibilities in attending to Gem’s daily needs. His role is highly crucial in keeping both entities moving forward and has been instrumental to the growth of our business as well as my personal growth as a mom, wife and entrepreneur. I’m grateful to my husband for supporting my entrepreneurial passion and allowing himself to open his mind and dream along side me.

Q: What advice do you have for new Mompreneurs?
DREAM… and then take ACTION! Never stop growing and evolving as an individual, be a student of life with an open mind and can-do attitude, be a perpetual inspirational seeker, and always, always be grateful for the blessings in your life.

Praise and Blessings to your success!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

8. Don't be afraid to innovate; to be different breaking away from the crowd

As inventors, we are obviously the type of people who dance to the beat of our own unique drum. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity, so we tend to find our own path and in turn we discover ourselves looking at life a little differently. Instead of complaining about the challenges that day to day life brings, we are constantly looking for solutions in new and creative ways with great curiosity.

While trying to run a household, we strive for efficiency in our day to day life and want more than the average Jane. Without innovation and this entrepreneurial spirit, Womentorz would not exist. We are built around this sense of innovation and creativity. Our members are a cultivation of inventors with the spirit of entrepreneurship. The overall concept of what we’re bringing is something new, different and presents a much need platform for women to bring their ideas to market. We should all feel proud of being a part of a movement that supports women across the nation in becoming independent inventors. Together we will give women everywhere hope that their ideas will yield results they could only imagine!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Special Inventor Showcase: Carry-Her

This is a very special showcase because Ro, the inventor of Carry-Her backpack, holds a very special place in our hearts. She has been the most supportive and ambitious inventor and friend from the inception of the Womentorz concept to its birth. Her product showcase is a long time coming.

Carry-Her will be celebrating its one year anniversary from when Ro’s husband first came up with the name in his sleep. He has been a huge support system throughout the process and has been Ro’s rock. He was even helped sew the first Carry-Hers. Now that’s a man! We love Ro, her husband and her invention! We proudly introduce you to Carry-Her:

About Roberta Wagner

An upstate NY resident, Roberta Wagner is President of Carry-Her, Inc. She is a mom of a 9year old daughter, and a wife of ten years. Her daughter is always an inspiration, helping to create Carry-Her was no exception. Daughter Emily, helped Roberta create a comfortable, hands free doll carrier while planning a venture to NYC. After a long day of carrying her doll in the new Carry-Her, they both realized what a great product they had. Friends and family were placing orders, and word of mom started to spread. Roberta cherishes her accomplishments not for herself, but for her daughter. Emily can see that anything is possible if you apply yourself and limit goals to only your greatest dreams!

Carry-Her® Doll Carrier Backpack

Carry-Her is a doll carrier backpack for 16"-18" dolls, such as American Girl Doll. It is lightweight and easy to use. Moms love it just as much as little girls. Moms hands are now free, and so are her little girls. Your daughter will be proud to bring along her doll, as Carry-Her makes it easy. A comfortable design allows the doll to piggy back all day long. Fatigue is not an issue, with the lightweight design and adjustable straps. Your daughter won't even realize she is carrying her doll all by herself!

With this Carry-Her, you get two products. You get the doll carrier backpack to fit your 16"-18" doll. You also get the Carry-Her Mini. The Mini will hold your folded up full size backpack. The mini can be worn by your doll or tossed in mom's purse for easy storage while not in use. Both the Carry-Her backpack and the mini, are made with a plush, black micro suede fabric. It will compliment any outfit on your little girl and her doll. Carry-Her is proudly made in the USA! -Patent Pending-

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Inventor Showcase: Pieces of Me

I wake up every morning now wondering who we will meet next and what great invention have they come up with. Pieces of Me is yet another example of the unique gift items and products finding their way to Womentorz daily! Welcome!

Our family, friends and significant others comprise one whole unit. When one member is missing, a piece of us is missing. Introducing PIECES OF ME charms. Each fine silver* puzzle piece fits together to complete a whole puzzle, representing the group, which can be customized with birthstones on each piece. The individual charms can be separated and worn on leather cords, chains, charm bracelets or carried on keychains. Great for your kids to always carry around a piece of you. Fun for preteens and teens to trade and be connected with their friends and families. Don't forget parents and grandparents. Great for Bridesmaids and Graduates. Order today! Paypal available. Patent Pending Featured as seen in Family Circle Magazine and the Big Idea.

Team Kalyx Calendar Supports a Great Cause

Happy Thursday everyone! We have had the pleasure of getting to know Kimberly Cayce with Kalyx Technologies during the process of forming Womentorz. You may have seen her on Shark Tank. She's a pretty speak lady with a lot of heart, talent and class. Since the show her line of sports bras have gone through the roof. Please check out their products at

Kimberly is also passionate about supporting breast cancer research and has developed a calendar with Team Kalyx models and $1.00 from the sale of each calendar will be donated to City of Hope to support breast cancer research, treatment and education. Please join them as they celebrate the launch of their 2010 Team KALYX Calendar! Here's more information about their event:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

Jeanie Madsen Gallery
1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Valet Parking will be provided
- Meet the lovely ladies of Team KALYX

- See the breathtaking photography of Brie Childers, Matthew Boyd and Zarc Lompart

- Watch a Fashion Show featuring the SPRING 2010 KALYX Collection

- Listen to the musical entertainment provided by celebrity DJ Jacquie Jack

- Enjoy Cocktails from our sponsors - Cabana Cachaca, Izze Soda and Quadry Winery.

- There is no charge for this event! Donations are encouraged, and, all donations of $20.00 or more and receive a VIP Swag Bag that includes a 2010 Team KALYX Calendar. Proceeds will go to support breast cancer research, treatment and education.

To be added to our guest list, please email us at

Kimberly Cayce
KALYX Technologies, Inc.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome Baby Dipper Bowl!

This is the part where we usually write a short bit about a newly discovered product added to Womentorz. In this case, Barbara's story is so inspirational, I thought we should share it.

A bit about Barbara Schantz

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, living there until 2000 when I met my husband, Hans, and moved to Huntsville, Alabama. I attended Georgia Tech, majoring first in architecture and then in history. I worked for Volvo Cars of North America for eight years, the last four as a Product Specialist training sales consultants on the features and benefits of Volvo cars. I left Volvo in 2004 when our twin girls, Cora and Greta, were born and I have been a stay-at-home mom ever since. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the same day the patent for the Baby Dipper bowl was filed, August 17, 2005. So far I have not been affected very much by the disease, but since there is no telling when there will be a sudden downturn, I keep going full steam all the time. And recently added to the excitement of my life is a second set of twins, this time two boys, Carlton and Franklin!!!

Who says a bowl has to be round? The triangular-shaped Baby Dipper bowl allows one-handed feeding of infants and makes self-feeding easy for toddlers. The non-slip base, contoured interior, spoon-shaped lower corner, and colorful transparent sides combine to make mealtime a fun and clean experience for all. Parents can use their free hand to clean or entertain baby or to keep baby's hands out of the bowl. Toddlers can concentrate on getting their food onto their spoons and into their mouths and avoid the frustrations of chasing the food around the bowl and the bowl around the table.

Non-slip base Triangular shape Slanted interior with food collection point at lowest corner Transparent sides Phthalate-free Lead-free CPSIA-compliant

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Inventor Showcase: Dot Girls

Today Jen and are feeling very sentimental, so I thought it fitting to showcase a product I wish I had had when I was a young girl becoming a woman. We are proud to have Dot Girls available on Womentorz. We feel this will be a wonderful gift to celebrate a very special time in a young girl's life. This is a perfect complement to the Red Goddess Box that's also found on Womentorz.

Dot Girl’s First Period Kit®
Prepare your daughter for a positive first step into womanhood with The Dot Girl’s First Period Kit®, a stylish and discreet carrying case with all the essentials a girl needs for her first period.

Our period kit is an excellent way to help you and your daughter talk more comfortably about her upcoming first period ensuring a more positive experience

At Dot Girl we believe that girls who have an open dialogue with their parents about menstruation, puberty and women’s issues are more likely to grow into healthy, empowered women. That’s why we offer our period kit as well as other products and resources to help parents guide their girls through this important transition.

Dot Girl Moms

Two sisters, Terri and Kathy, founded Dot Girl First Period Products. Who better than two women, who are also daughters and mothers, to honestly address an uncomfortable topic?

Their motivation to create The Dot Girl's First Period Kit® grew from their own awkward teenage experiences. Despite the fact that their mother was a wonderful nurturer to four daughters, she was never comfortable talking to them about their bodies. They found that this is more often the rule than the exception for both moms and dads. And the reality today is that parents often find themselves in the awkward position of having avoided the subject at all costs, to the detriment of their daughters.

Terri and Kathy's goal for the kit is to provide parents with the tools you need to explain the basics of menstruation to your daughters. And for the girls, they hope that having the kit will lessen their anxiety about their first period and instead turn it into a positive experience.

Kathy's Story
Our family was on a motor home trip when my first period started and I had no idea what was happening. To be honest, I thought I was dying. It took about a day before I had the courage to tell my mother. An immediate, quick trip to the grocery store followed and I still remember my mom hiding the bag from my siblings and handing me a hygiene pad with minimal explanation. I vowed then that if I ever had a daughter, she would be prepared.

Twenty-eight years later and sure enough, that day arrived. One afternoon, I picked up my daughter from grade school and she hopped into the car and told me they had discussed periods in class. Her reaction, "yuck" gave me the opening I needed. On the way home, we talked about periods and the role they fill in a woman's life. She still was saying "yuck" when we got home but at least she understood that periods were just a normal step in becoming a woman. That evening I put together a small bag of supplies for her to use in case she was away from home when her first period started. I included a clean pair of underpants, feminine hygiene products and a washcloth. I had her store it in her gym bag so she would be prepared.

As it happened, she was home when her first period started, and in a very matter of fact voice, informed me what was happening. She was comfortable and I was pleased that such an anxiety-laden day for me was a simple transition for my daughter.

Terri's Story
It was about a week after my older brother died in a traffic accident when I started my first period. Needless to say, my mom was preoccupied by grief. She managed to get me the pads I needed but didn't have much else to say. Unfortunately, I was out of school when the menstruation details were presented by the visiting health expert so I had very little understanding of what was happening to my body.

My mom was from a generation that didn't talk about their bodies so it didn't come easily for her. In the best of times, it would have been an awkward and uncomfortable topic to broach. During a time of immeasurable grief, there was simply no opportunity to have a conversation. When Kathy and I were creating the first period kit, my mom shook her head and said, "Boy, I sure could have used one of those." That was perhaps the greatest compliment our mother could have paid us.