Aunt Flo has come to visit and she brings a wave of pain with her.
For many of us, periods are part and parcel of life. They aren’t always pleasant and are often disruptive; cramps, aches, feeling bloated, nausea and fatigue are just some of the ailments that we need to live with. While hugging a hot water bottle in bed all day feels like the ideal option, it’s not something we always get to do.
This means having to find ways of menstrual management that is both effective and cost efficient. There is also a fine balance between relying on painkillers and using natural remedies to ease pain and discomfort every month – we certainly would not want to manage our pain at the expense of our overall health.
It isn’t always easy as feminine care products can be sparse and sometimes costly in Singapore.
An Entrepreneurial Approach
Enter the pslove company, which was started in 2014 by young start up entrepreneurs, Tan Peck Ying and Caleb Leow. The inspiration for the company originated from Peck Ying’s personal struggle in finding solutions to manage the terrible cramps she experienced every month.
To help her with her pain management, Caleb, Peck Ying’s partner in business and in life, purchased an electrically operated hot water bag that was very useful for her.
But while it certainly provided relief, she couldn’t help but notice that it was not practical for everyday life. It was not portable and required a plug point in order to work.
Knowing that she was not isolated in her experiences, it got her thinking about how to improve on something that appeared to be a good and natural solution.
“At the time I was also taking pills and I was telling myself that I can’t do this every month. It’s bad for health and I don’t want to suffer the consequences,” she explains.
Building A Fempire
In their research, they learnt that heat was one of the most effective natural solutions. The next step was to then make heat portable.
The idea was to create heat pads, similar to the ones used during winter, that produced enough heat to tackle cramps for a prolonged period of time. They also created one for neck pain with appropriate heat levels.
These products were then packaged and sold at bazaars and markets they participated in.
However, their decision to turn pslove into a viable business stemmed from the positive feedback they received from the women who purchased earlier versions of their products.
“When females who use our products tell us that we really helped them tide through their pains, it’s a really nice feeling to know that your products are helping. So that was how we decided to get more serious with this.”
With a small office space at an incubator and a little help from their friends in the entrepreneurship community, they were able to grow from strength to strength.
The turning point came when a bookshop at Ngee Ann Polytechnic gave them the opportunity to stock their products there. And the rest – as they say, is history.
Since then, the pslove company has grown into a fully functioning team, expanding the sale of their products into Malaysia and even into a new office space.
Their success gave them an opportunity to build further on the business of feminine healthcare with a blog that covers topics about female issues and most recently a period tracker app.
The free app allows women to predict their cycles more accurately, record symptoms they experience and get deeper insight into their feminine health. The motivation to build a tracker app of their own stemmed from their dissatisfaction of existing apps.
“They are often designed by men, which are stereotypical in assuming that all females love pink, cutesy, flowers. This may work for some individuals, but can also be a turn-of to many who feel that feminine health matters are to be taken seriously,” Peck Ying explains.
“We wanted to draw on our experience in helping thousands of women deal with menstrual pain through our natural pain relief patches, and turn it into a convenient app that helps women deal with their feminine cycles.”
The app itself was designed by an inhouse, female-led team with a strong focus on keeping it user friendly and providing a new approach to tracking menstruation.
As the head of pslove’s UI/Ux team explains, ”Most women tend to ‘count down’ the number of days to their next period. As such, we designed our period tracking app to represent periods as a linear ‘countdown’, so that it reflects how a user naturally views her period.”
The app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. To commemorate the launch of pslove Period Tracker App globally, pslove is giving away a year’s supply of MenstruHeat. In order to qualify, users will need to register their details at the following registration page.
A Prominent Female Voice In The Femtech Industry
More than anything else though, Peck Ying’s hopes for the ps love company come back to empowering women and their health. “pslove actually stands for powering and supporting females with love. The motivation and goal of wanting to help females around the world is very core to our company,” she explains.
“Our vision is really to go global.”
The next steps for the company include expanding into other Southeast Asian markets and building on their core mission of helping women around the world take control of their feminine health.
With the femtech industry estimated to be worth almost $50 billion by 2050, it will be exciting to see what the pslove company does next.