We are Zoe and Mika, two sisters and the co-founders of Hey Zomi, the company that has brought you Australia’s first reusable menstrual disc. We are focused on creating exceptional menstrual solutions that embody innovative femtech design and bring empowerment to all people that use them. We both came to use menstrual discs in our separate ways, and talking to each other about our experiences set in motion the start of our business journey together.
We believe that improved menstrual health often starts with openly discussing individual experiences with menstruation. True to this idea, the Hey Zomi co-founder story begins with our unique period stories.
Zoe’s period journey has evolved over the last decade, shifting in response to her diverse experiences in life and business. She started with pads and tampons and as she moved into a demanding job in corporate finance, Zoe would often use a tampon and pad at the same time, leaving the tampon in for well beyond the recommended six hours. As a response, Zoe began questioning why these unhealthy practices weren’t addressed and became interested in trying a reusable menstrual ‘cup’.
She made the switch prior to moving overseas, as she didn’t like the thought of not being able to get the menstrual care products she needed. The idea of being self-sufficient and eco-friendly with her period was also starting to become a priority. Zoe was one of the ‘lucky ones’: the first cup she bought fit and worked perfectly. She was so impressed that she kept telling Mika to try it. Happy with her period product, she never looked further until Mika, who had many struggles with the cup, told her she really needed to try a menstrual disc. Eventually, in the name of sisterhood, she decided to try a disc and was blown away.
Mika relied on using tampons, as this seemed the most convenient option for her active lifestyle. Tampons worked well enough, as pads made Mika feel like she was ‘sitting in her period’ all day. As a full-time teacher it was also extremely challenging to get to the bathroom during the day to swap over tampons. Periods became an anxious time of the month for Mika. With the constant worries around developing TSS and other conditions historically linked to using tampons, Mika had had enough of below par period care.
Zoe’s introduction to using a reusable menstrual ‘cup’ sounded like the dream. So, Mika ordered a cup but had limited success. It would leak, it felt uncomfortable, and a gynaecologist appointment revealed that struggling with the cup had contributed to inflaming her cervix. After a small procedure to repair the damage, Mika decided to do everything she could to learn more about her body and improve her menstrual health. She discovered menstrual discs and after in-depth exploration as to whether it would cause further internal complications, she went for it. From the very first go, it worked, and the experience was completely life changing - Mika wanted to tell the world!
Starting a new business and bringing a product to market has been quite the journey. From our very first strategy meeting in a hot-desk space in Lismore to developing a product launch with our digital marketers, there have been many new challenges and a huge range of supportive colleagues to meet. Our manufacturing team in Melbourne has been wonderful to work with and have helped navigate supply chain issues for medical grade silicone in the difficult covid era.
Taking empowerment seriously we are passionate about seeking out and nurturing femme collaborations across all industries. This includes our celebratory femme artwork by the awesome Marissa Mu, who shares her thoughts on using our disc for the first time in this interview with Mika during her solo art exhibition at Leda gallery in Newcastle. We sought out Marissa to discuss a collaboration, as we loved her femme positive and fun style, and we have loved working with her! You can see her fantastic artwork on our packaging.
Zoe, Marisa Mu and Mika at her gorgeous studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
We have also partnered with Share the Dignity, a fantastic organisation focused on bringing an end to period poverty in Australia. We have pledged 5% of every sale goes towards fighting period poverty so everyone can have access to safe and necessary period care.
We would not have wanted to create a business that didn’t fit with our ethics and values. We love the environment! And that's why we love that one Hey Zomi disc can be used for up to five years. Considering the average Australian menstruator uses 10,000 – 12,000 disposable products over their lifetime, it’s a big improvement!
We have had a fantastic time starting this business and look forward to making it grow into the future. Working through the highs and lows of starting a small business along with designing and manufacturing a product has been as rewarding as it has been challenging. We want to encourage anyone who is interested in the femtech space to get involved and get talking! Menstruators deserve better options for period care, and the way to make that happen is to have people with periods at the forefront of the industry.
Taking our long standing passion for women’s health and wellbeing along with our diverse skill sets across business, product development, the creative industries and education, it has seemed like a natural fit, and one we are enjoying immensely. Our vision is to give women the power to have periods on their own terms, embrace the flow and live unapologetically.
We are so here for it!