Entrepreneurs are natural problem solvers. They are innovative and creative thinkers, taking their problem solving to the next level to build brands, innovations, and communities around it. A shining example of entrepreneurship in action is the four co-founders of Marlow, a group of young, newly graduated Ivey business students who banded around an idea that flourished into the thriving company that it is today. When one co-founder saw an issue with the current use of traditional menstrual products, specifically tampons, the four of them created an impressive innovation through trial and error, at-home prototyping, hours and hours of work, and dedication. This became Marlow — a brand of environmentally friendly, all natural tampons and lubricant designed to be used together for smoother insertion, proving itself to be more than just an innovative product, but also a community of like-minded folks with a focus on reproductive health and a goal to become a safe space for sustainability, health innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.
What started as a conversation among friends and now co-founders, Nadia Ladak, Simone Godbout, Kiara Botha, and Harit Sohal, turned into action when they realized that the taboo conversations and lack of innovation were affecting their comfort and confidence with menstrual products. They made the decision to stir things up, creating an innovative and never-before-seen product that solved the very problems they were facing. What’s different about Marlow, aside from the innovation itself, is its powerful and inspiring brand. Marlow is more than just a tampon company, they are a community of educators, storytellers, and welcoming people who work hard to break down the barriers of these sometimes awkward (but shouldn’t be) conversations around menstrual and sexual health.
The team at Marlow created 100% organic tampons and an applicator made from plant-based, sugarcane plastics, as well as an all-natural tampon lubricant packaged up with a compostable wrapper and shipped in a compostable mailer. They take pride in their minimal excess waste, inspiring others to do the same. With their product approved by Health Canada, they moved forward using heavily vetted manufacturers. The team at Marlow consistently moves the needle on social and environmental change, focusing their branding and marketing on being gender-inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and curating a welcoming community.
This brand is built with a friendly, non-judgmental, community-based mindset, which has allowed the conversations about menstrual and sexual health to flourish. “We knew that we didn’t want to just be a product”, said Nadia Ladak, Co-founder and CEO of Marlow, “We also found that there is not enough education in the menstrual and sexual health space, so we’ve been working to grow our social media communities and blog that help people get better educated and find a community. We want Marlow to become a thought leader in this space beyond product creation”. Since launching their official website in January, Marlow has been able to build this community from trust, feedback, and genuine connection. With four empowering female founders leading the way, they have built a space that is more than a product or a brand, but an inspirational and educational journey.
With successful initial funding opportunities and quick expansion, Marlow is set for an exciting and impactful future. Its founders focus on what it means to be an entrepreneur, each helping other young entrepreneurs create their dreams through campus partnerships and speaking opportunities, doing educational workshops and panels on both menstrual and sexual education as well as entrepreneurship. “We didn’t realize how valuable of a career path entrepreneurship could be”, said Ladak, “Now we are really passionate about inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs”. With plans of U.S expansion and new product development in the works, the excitement and spark never stops for the Marlow team.
Looking for your one-stop-shop on sexual wellness and menstrual health and a community to build your confidence? Look no further – head to www.wearemarlow.ca for more information.