Molly Hayward | Cora
Cora is the smart, modern, conscious method for managing your period. Cora offers 100% premium organic tampons, plus accessories that fit your period with your lifestyle, and convenient home delivery, all while giving period products to girls in need globally.
I started Cora after meeting a girl named Purity while travelling in Kenya. She told me that when she and her friends had their periods, they would stay home from school, simply because they couldn't access or afford period products like pads.
I wanted to completely revolutionize the menstrual care industry by creating a brand of period products that were healthy, high-performing, sexy AF, and would give back to girls in need, particularly after learning that…
- Most of the tampons at the drugstore contain synthetics and chemical residues, and we will use around 10,000 of these in a lifetime against our ultra-absorbent vaginal tissue.
- Conventional (non-organic cotton) is literally the dirtiest crop in the world. It’s heavily sprayed with pesticides that are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
- In addition to pesticide-laden cotton, tampons are also typically made with viscose rayon, a highly absorbent synthetic created through a chemical-heavy process and then bleached to achieve a bright white cotton-y appearance.
- Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), can be caused by these highly absorbent tampons by creating an ideal environment for feeding the bacteria that causes TSS. The synthetic fibers that get left behind when you remove a tampon can cause irritation that leads to endometriosis and chronic inflammation, which can also cause infertility.
My biggest doubt was that at 25, without a business degree, I wasn’t qualified to start a company that would challenge the multi-billion-dollar feminine care industry. I probably wasn’t qualified on paper, but I did it anyway. I was so passionate about offering women safer healthier menstrual products, and giving girls access to pads and education in the developing world, that I couldn’t not do it. There was nothing else I could imagine spending my time on.
"I am still learning what it means to be a leader, but I think it’s about being comfortable in your own skin, knowing what you know and what you don’t know, and surrounding yourself with positive, kickass people who are good at the things you aren’t good at."
It takes a village. Grit and determination pay off. If you focus on something with enough passion, it will manifest.
As a founder, I am constantly jumping hurdles, learning new skills, and having to rise to meet the next challenge. I always have a to-do list that’s a million tasks long. It helps to have a great team that make work feel more like play. But when I get stressed or discouraged, I think about WHY I do this, and the women that we serve, and my strength and resolve instantly return. When you live from that place, the well of inspiration and energy is truly endless.
My definition of success: leaving the world better than I found it. I want to be remembered as a though-provoking voice and an inspiring presence for women. I want to be remembered for changing the experience of womanhood by changing the experience of menstruation for all women everywhere.
I have found that the most important skill in my career is courage - and I do consider that a skill. I wish I'd known before starting out to use this courage and trust myself; I actually do know what the fuck I’m doing most of the time, in spite of my self-doubt.
My advice to other women would be to get quiet. Meditate. Do what you have to do to still your mind. Then ask yourself three questions: Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose in life?
Wait for the answer and use that to guide all of your choices in work and life. That voice will never steer you wrong.