Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw
Lunapads.com Founders Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw came from very different backgrounds, and yet have created a highly successful, 7-figure business that has online sales at its core.
Madeleine started her career as a social change leader in university, while Suzanne, was a successful Controller for a large company. Madeleine had been working on her own for a few years, developing Lunapads, a line of washable cloth menstrual pads, in addition to operating a small garment manufacturing and retail fashion boutique business.
When they met at a Community Leadership course in Vancouver in 1999, they recognized their shared interest in doing work that was personally meaningful. Their shared values of gender equality and environmental sustainability, as well as a desire for independence, led them to create a business together. Choosing to dedicate themselves to bringing Lunapads to a global market was an ideal way to help women take care of themselves and the planet while creating a business of their own.
How did they know that they were successful? “Profitability is a key metric for us.” It took several years of effort and hard work to get there, but once they hit their stride with the right mix of brand, margin and sales channels they felt a great sense of ease and satisfaction.
“Whereas once upon a time our products were considered to be somewhat ahead of their time, it feels like conscious consumerism has now caught up with us: we are enjoying it!” They updated the Lunapads brand and launched a new website in 2014/2015 and now have their products showcased with a major retailer chain including Whole Foods and London Drugs.
Their advice to other entrepreneurs? “Develop a strong peer network, and be prepared to help others. In other words: give to get. Be clear on where your skills are - and are not. We believe that it also helps to choose a product or service that you are deeply passionate about: it will give you the extra energy you may need when you encounter challenges.”
Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw are a Top 5 SheEO Venture selected as part of the Radical Generosity Initiative. With the help of SheEO and Radical Generosity they received coaching, capital and access to a network of likeminded entrepreneurs. “It's like having 500 new customers and advocates. We love the experience of working with other entrepreneurs: as a peer network, we ask each other hard questions and share business connections and best practices.”
What's next for Suzanne and Madeleine? “We are expanding the Lunapads and Lunapanties product lines and are ready to go beyond the online and natural products space to having a larger, more mainstream retail presence across North America!”
Lunapads International Products Ltd.
Lunapads is an award winning, globally recognized manufacturer and web retailer of natural personal hygiene products.
This success story is provided by SHeEO – an act of radical generosity to finance, support and celebrate women.