Lauren Derrett is founder and CEO of Wear ‘Em Out, the award-winning reusable period pads. Launched in January 2020, the business is firmly leading the charge in reusable period products.
Lauren left school aged 14 with no qualifications but went on to become a birth doula, hypnobirth teacher and placenta encapsulator. Lauren also led an Instagram account called ‘This Girl is Enough’, a women’s empowerment brand where she was an active motivational speaker and held multiple events to raise money for Women’s Aid (Lauren is a survivor of DV), going on to publish a book ‘Filter Free – Real Life Stories of Real Women’.
Prior to starting Wear ‘Em Out, Lauren had been a reusable pad wearer for five years. Having not been able to find a pad that she felt represented her, or a design that offered her what she wanted, Lauren spotted a gap in the market and started her own brand. She wanted a stylish and practical pad that she would be happy chatting to her friends about. One that would help open the conversation around reusable pads. Alongside this, her daughter was getting to an age where was about to begin her periods – through fear of her heading down the disposable route, Lauren decided that she would be the one to bring a must have period pad out of the shadows and into the hands of future generations.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
My background has been very unstructured, leaving school at 14 and having my first child/marriage/mortgage at 23 meant that anything beyond that was very adhoc and had to fit into my situation rather than me having pick of the opportunities
I founded my company Wear ‘em Out in January 2022 aged 46, having noticed a lack of this product being represented in the mainstream. There were other reusable period pad brands around (I was a wearer) but it still felt very ‘underground’, and was doing nothing to shine a light on the benefits this type of product brings. The lack of exposure to this product also brings the lack of conversation so without it we continue to perpetuate the period shame cycles we were all living with
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The need for a stylish and well designed reusable pad that can withstand modern life
How did you achieve awareness?
When thinking about our brand as a whole we knew what it needed to have to be ‘seen’ by mainstream media and mainstream people who had never seen this as an option before. The brand was an integral part of us being picked up by media which got a lot of people talking
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We are self-funded and will continue to do this as and when required for growth
What are the key successes?
I think the amount of repeat customers is a huge success, it means that they love the product we’ve created
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
We had a lot of challenges when we first launched during covid such as keeping the manufacturing side running smoothly, we were selling at such a rate that our factory were delivering stock to us weekly, also our suppliers were having trouble getting their supplies into the country so that was a bit stressful, but we managed to overcome them all. Other than that we have a very good set up as far as manufacturing and stock control goes now
What are your plans now/for the future?
Just to keep doing what we’re doing, I haven’t made any grand plans as I’d like our growth to stay at this manageable level so that I continue to have a good work/life balance – that’s vitally important to me
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
If you have an urge to start something, do it, life’s too short to stay safe. Also, be prepared to work hard, you can set your stall up, but you also have to bring the customers to you and that is a non-stop job, also, be open to asking for help, we can’t all know and do everything, leave any ego at the door and get the job done
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Show up, connect with your audience, and talk about your business everywhere you can, every single day whilst continuing to build a life that works for you, however that looks
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
It might sound arrogant but I’m going to say I inspire myself, I trust my judgment and I work for what matters to me, beyond that, I’m surrounded by inspiring people but if I had to name people specifically then I would say Holly Tucker, Fearne Cotton, Brene Brown
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
I don’t really watch movies but on Brene Browns Netflix show ‘Call to Courage’ she says ‘if you’re not in the arena also getting your arse kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback’, I can relate heavily to that in many areas of life
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
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