Female Entrepreneur Seeks to End Menstrual Discomfort with Innovative Panty Line.

    JN Group

    Photo Caption: De-Andrea Bryan, owner of Luna Care.

    Being a woman is to be aware of the many challenges and discomforts that sometimes come with womanhood. For De-Andrea Bryan, a 30-year-old GIS Engineer, wearing menstrual pads were just too uncomfortable, and she found that there was a gap in the Jamaican market for convenient and organic sanitary products for women.

    Coupled with her passion for wellness and business, this led her to embark on her own research and start the Luna Care line of products in July 2021 during the pandemic – a business providing safe and efficient menstrual supplies and feminine care products for women, to include her flagship line- Jamaica’s first period underwear.

    “I was always displeased with the protection that [menstrual] pads had to offer and the more I was utilising it month after month, the more I became uncomfortable,” the young entrepreneur disclosed.  Her products were among those on display by some 70 micro and small business operators who were provided with free storefronts at the JN Mall Pop-up Shopping Experience last December at the JN Bank Chief Office. Her Luna Care line attracted much attention.

    “One time, I went out to the supermarket to get some pads and I was discussing with my cousin that there must be another alternative to this. We can’t be constantly using these, they’re so uncomfortable,” she said.

    She added that having a Geography degree prompted her to want a menstrual product that was more sustainable considering that the traditional ones are made from plastic and take a long time to decompose. According to data from Menstrual Health Alliance India, a single sanitary napkin takes 500 to 800 years to decompose, which leads to health and environmental hazards.

    “I just wanted something different so during that time I was really contemplating what I could use for myself, and I was thinking that if I was having the issue, it means that other women must be having this issue as well. And so that led me into a whirlwind of research, reading countless articles and really just digging deep to see what it is that I could create,” she explained. “And from that I stumbled upon this concept.”

    She noted that the initial plan was to create a completely new line of sanitary pads, but it did not materialise due to a lack of funds, so she pivoted to focus on the period underwear, which is used in other countries.

    “I believe it first emerged in America and it’s quite global. USA, UK, Australia and Asian countries are major consumers of the product,” she stated.

    After testing the product for herself and being satisfied, and learning that several women are allergic to plastic sanitary napkins, she decided to introduce an alternative wear to her fellow Jamaican women.

    The panties, which are leak-proof, reusable and can be hand or machine-washed, are made from different fabric types to support the different styles available, such as bikini cut, high-waist, hipsters, brief cut, and maternity. However, all have an inside layer made from organic cotton.

    The Kingston native also informed that the panties have three absorbency types, moderate, high and super, absorbing from one to two tampons worth of liquid, to up to six tampons worth, and can be used not only for menstrual, but incontinence and postpartum purposes.

    “The initial interest was good; persons were curious as to how it works and if it would contain their flow, but they did buy into the concept. From conversations with customers, we have expanded the product range to include more styles such as maternity underwear for pregnant ladies and period underwear for kids,” she stated.

    Simeca Alexander Williamson, a customer who used Luna Care’s period panty to support with her post-partum bleeding, said sanitary napkins gave her a yeast infection because of the moisture associated with same. She, therefore, found the period panty to be a much better alternative.

    “These panties wicked away the moisture real fast. One less thing to worry about with a newborn,” she said. “I was explaining to someone that it’s a learning curve for a heavy flow, but I definitely prefer it to pads and tampons.”

    Ms Bryan pointed out that the period panties have several benefits such as a four-layer fabric technology that ensures comfort, prevents leaks and eliminates odour. There is no risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome associated with tampons, and it is environmentally friendly and sustainable- with a lifespan of up to two years with proper care.

    Additionally, Luna Care also provides hot water bottles to aid in soothing menstrual cramps.

    “We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with JN and we were quite pleased with our sales. And, for all the information that we have disseminated, more persons left knowing more about the products and so when we do other initiatives, they’ll eventually come back and make a purchase,” she said of the JN Mall, where her products were on display.

    Luna Care currently supplies select pharmacies in the Kingston and St Andrew and Spanish Town, St Catherine, as well as through the company’s social media @lunacareja and their website at www.lunacareja.com.

    “Our biggest success has been our growth, and we are looking at expanding into the Portmore area and the other parishes. We would love to have the products distributed island-wide and eventually in the Caribbean,” Ms Bryan shared.

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