Meet... Danika Revell from The Period Place
Growing up, there were times we used facecloths for pads.
It wasn’t until a few years ago, after a discussion with a client and KidsCan, I realised we weren’t a home of eco-warriors. We were penny pinching.
Period poverty, like not being able to afford sanitary items, affects one in five Kiwi women. We all know education is the best way out of hardship but many girls in low-income families are having to miss out just because they can’t afford basic health products like pads and tampons.
See below more stats from the recent KidsCan study.
There are so many incredible New Zealand social enterprises and non profits working toward eradicating period poverty. I Am Eva (period proof underwear) and My Cup (menstrual cups) both utilise a buy one-give one model and KidsCan (in 2018 the charity donated more than 16,000 sanitary items), just to name a few. I highly recommend you look into these businesses and support where you can.
But today, I introduce you to Danika Revell, one half of The Period Place. The Period Place is an advocacy group with three core principles:
Smash period stigma
Eradicate period poverty
Danika has worked her way across the world, from Sydney to London to Paris, before setting up a social media marketing business in New Zealand. While she loved the business, she decided to move her focus from business to her family, and in the process, eradicating period poverty - as you do!
Danika Revell (left) and Sarah Mikkelsen at their first The Period Place event.
Hi Danika! What is the The Period Place? How did you start this?
When Harry (first born) was about six months old, one of my best friends (and co-founder, Sarah) came to me with a radical idea to do something about period product information, access/education and period poverty in Aotearoa.
The Period Place’s three core principles (smash period stigma, provide education and eradicate period poverty) govern every choice we make; from the language we use, to the free public events we create, to the resources we provide and the brands we are a working with to promote.
How do you define "success"? Both within the The Period Place, and personally.
Sarah and I have been lucky in that we've been on "mat leave" from the working world for the last 1.5 years, so we've been able to work on this in every spare moment when we're not parenting our kids. We've been able to evolve The Period Place organically (such a puff-piece term but in this case SO TRUE!) with outside influence and advice and trial and error.
We're at the point now where we are about to put some big targets on the wall and run at them as fast as we can - this is the first time the idea of 'success' has been implemented in the social enterprise. It's interesting though, because even if we don't hit all our goals for 2019, I wouldn't feel that we failed in anyway. There are so many positives to what we are doing, each big goal has so many tentacles coming off it on the path to achieving it, that if we didn't hit the big target at the end we will still have achieved so much. It's a win-win!
Success in my personal life is staying mindful about having a calm home (as calm as possible with two little dudes 20 months apart), working on The Period Place, supporting my husband in his career and his personal life goals, finding time to be with my incredible female friends who carry me through life with their love and remembering to call my poor mother back home in Australia who barely hears from me as it is. Sorry Mumma, I love you!
What is your biggest learning for marketing / PR and social media of The Period Place? Is there a difference promoting your own business, rather than clients?
We don't have a product to promote, we don't have a service to sell to the consumer. We don't want to reinvent the wheel and add another 'thing' to the period marketplace in New Zealand. We want to help lift up and give a voice to everyone already doing that - so it's harder to promote because it's a 'where the f*** do I start' feeling, when you have 4,000 stories you could tell.
However, every single person we have spoken to has been so amped up by what we are doing, we're not having to sell them the message which is a huge change from trying to flog things you don't really believe in.
The words fall out naturally because they are in me, I don't have to conjure up the sentences.
For me, there is a huge different between The Period Place and anything I have ever done before. I worked on a lot of awesome stuff in NZ, in Aussie, lead award-winning campaigns, and I am so f***ing proud of the work we did - but this feels different.