We had the good fortune of connecting with Ali Aston and Emmy Hancock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ali & Emmy, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Oluna’s mission to end period poverty is approachable, transparent, and measured. We shine a light on the UN-deemed ‘public health crisis’ happening in our own backyards. Period poverty is a solvable issue, but no one talks about it. Why? Most people do not even know this issue exists or they are unaware of how prevalent it is in the US. Oluna’s primary goal is simply to get people talking. We realize people have different comfort levels talking about periods, so our brand creates a fun and playful space where everyone feels comfortable joining in the conversation. With period poverty, one person can make a difference. Oluna uses its platform to inform the consumer on how to create ground up impact within their communities. Whether that be writing to local rep fighting to eliminate the sales tax on femcare items or asking an employer to include free menstrual products in the bathroom, Oluna arms the consumer with the info and data they need to join the fight for menstrual equality.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Emmy was a model signed in Dallas, New York, and Paris. She loved the fashion industry and wanted to return to it. At Penn, Emmy majored in Criminology where she learned the importance of taking an upstream approach to lowering crime in America. Upon learning about period poverty in prisons, she realized that she could target a cause of community dysfunction. While in Dallas (back home due to COVID), Emmy reconnected with Ali Aston, one of her oldest friends who she attended an all-girls school with for fourteen years. Inspired by her great grandfather, Stanley Marcus, Ali always had a passion for fashion and as a student mentor in a low income middle school she saw and understood first-hand the effects that period poverty had on young girls. Helping to solve this issue through fashion with one of her best friends, just made perfect sense. Ali and Emmy have since joined forces into an unstoppable team! It has been far from easy, but there is one thing that has truly helped us both. Our secret? Laughter. We bring joy to everything we do. We’ve learned that through the mistakes and miscommunications, exhaustion and stress, lots of laughter and not taking ourselves too seriously has gotten us so far. We hope this tone of joy resonates with our consumers through Oluna’s brand. We also hope to inspire others to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new because if it means finding your passion and helping others in the process, it is beyond worth it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to do in Denver it would be hard to fill it all in one week, but if we had to pick our perfect itinerary , we would have to include the following: walking/picnicking in Wash Park, taking a yoga class at Red Rocks, eating and exploring Union Station and Larimer Square and hopefully squeezing in a Denver Broncos game at Mile High Stadium.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would love to dedicate our shoutout to Dara Wilk, Development Director at our amazing non-profit partner: PERIOD, Inc. Dara reached out to Oluna in its early days via Instagram. We then connected over a call and she was beyond supportive of our company and mission. It was so inspiring to talk to a woman who has created so much impact and progress in the period equity space that we were so new to. We found out during the call that Dara was also a Dallas, Texas native, so we all immediately hit it off. When she was visiting from her now home Portland, Oregon, we were able to have another amazing chat over coffee in person. We discussed the ins and outs of the period equity space and worked together to construct different ways that Oluna could best support PERIOD’s education and advocacy work. In early 2021, we put together the #payitforward campaign and Dara helped launch our young, new brand to the national stage. Dara has been an amazing friend, mentor, role model and advocate for Oluna and will forever be a part of our story. We love you Dara!!
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Olunaco/_created/
Editorial Images: Molly Dickson