November 18, 2020
In this session of The Personal Mastery Podcast, we speak with Maria Molland who touches base on normalizing period talk. She has been working towards empowering women, making their experiences better and allowing a solution that fits each individual woman. Through Thinx, Maria has actively been able to bring attention to creating something that could be environmentally friendly, reduces use of chemicals, and ultimately end period poverty. She is the definition of a boss woman, working to align her values into her personal life as well as her working life.
Maria Molland is the CEO of Thinx, the feminine hygiene company behind the eponymous leak- proof underwear brand. Maria has over 22 years of experience in the global leadership and development of businesses at the intersection of fashion, health and wellness, sustainability and digital media. She brings broad, international experience and experience scaling different sized companies, from small teams to hundreds of people. In past roles, Maria was an advisor to eBay’s CEO as well as Chief European Officer at Fab.com. Prior to Fab, Maria held global executive roles at corporations like Thomas Reuters, Dow Jones, Yahoo, and Disney. Maria received her BA in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from Northwestern University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.
You can learn more about Maria below:
Arri Bagah: You're listening to the Personal Mastery podcast with Arri Bagah interviewing CEOs and executives who are performing at the highest level in their industry, working purposefully towards a vision in alignment with their values and in a state of constant learning about yourself. Welcome to the first episode of Season two of the personal MASKEW podcast. And in this very first episode, we have Maria Marland, who is CEO of Things, a feminine hygiene brand behind the leakproof underwear brand. Maria has over 22 years of experience in global leadership, in the development of businesses with intersection with fashion, health and wellness, sustainability and digital media. And this episode, we're going to talk about her professional background and how she's been able to rise up in many different brands like Disney, eBay, Fab.com and now things. And we also are going to dive into how she's led things to another 50 percent growth this year. And lastly, how she's been able to help many families, children and women empower themselves. Maria, welcome to the show.
Maria Molland: Thanks for having me.
Arri Bagah: Also now wanted to first get to know you a little bit more. A lot of people know you from the brand things which we're going to get into. And when I was looking in your backgrounds, it looks like you study economics going into college. Can you tell me what made you choose the economics? Is that something that you're always interested in growing up?
Maria Molland: No, no, I grew up to two parents that were hippies and I was very much brought up that the only thing that really mattered was liberal arts and English was my first major. I was going to be a writer. And then I took a class at Northwestern and that I just really love macroeconomics. And from there it just kind of spiraled into doing a lot more around the business side and ultimately ended up with a job in investment banking. But it was definitely not my plan throughout college. It just kind of randomly happened that way in my senior year.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I've switched majors quite some time. First started with pharmacy and I realized this is about it. And then I went into computer and I was like, man, the computer science is a lot harder than the pharmacy. Maybe I should have kept pharmacy.
Maria Molland: And that's the good thing about so I go to the right school. You can switch a lot and you never know when you're twenty, twenty one. I just I'm always jealous of people that have a plan at that point, but I certainly did not. And it's nice for people like me that you can switch and decide based on that kind of wonderful college experience.
Arri Bagah: And now I know the world has changed a little bit over the past year, but can you talk about what your interests are just like in general, what you like to do?
Maria Molland: Well, I just had my second baby, so right now, most of my time is oriented towards my three year old and my five month old, so I like to spend whatever free time I have with them. But I'm currently living because of covid on a two hundred acre ranch in the Sierras with my nearest neighbor is like 40 miles away. So it's been such a change for my New York City tiny apartment. So I'm just enjoying this different life. Like I go hiking every weekend I'm looking at in a meadow with a bunch of cows and I go out actually after work and walk around the meadow with my kids. So it's been nice doing things that are just completely unexpected and I'm really enjoying it.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, it's amazing. I'm sure kids, they keep you busy enough, you don't have to do anything else, but yeah, I enjoy hiking too. I try to go as much as I can, especially being in the city. It's always good to go out. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Maria Molland: L.a. has some good right around it, so.
Arri Bagah: Oh yes. Yeah. So now I'm in a little bit more into your role at Thinx. So you had. A lot of experience with brands like Disney, eBay, Fab.com, can you talk about what drew you to things and why you decided to take on that position?
Maria Molland: Yeah, so I had spent a lot of time at big companies and in financial services in some parts of e-commerce, and I'd really I'd moved around quite a bit and loved the business opportunity and the financial opportunity, both at the businesses, but also personally. And I got 40 and I had just a horrific time getting pregnant. I went through eight rounds of IVF, multiple miscarriages, and I just realized there's so many people that actually went through, maybe not the exact same experience, but a similar experience. A lot of people, a lot of women lose babies and a lot of fathers lose babies, too. And I really felt that I wanted to do something with my business mind that would be in line with my personal interests of ensuring women can talk about these type of events that unfortunately happen to us. And so I ended up putting a list together of 10 companies, and one of those companies was things because I thought they were just doing great things for women, addressing topics that were previously taboo from periods to infertility, menopause, miscarriages, all of those things are not taboo here. And so I wanted to be involved in the company. I actually didn't think about being the CEO. I just wanted board membership or even just being a C-level and being involved in the company I was interested in. And so actually, two days after the birth of my daughter, the Board of Things reached out around the CEO role. So it just ended up being very, very fortuitous.
Arri Bagah: Yeah. To great news in the end. Just two days. So that's amazing. Right, exactly. Yeah. No, I, I don't know anything about periods. I know what you are, but obviously I don't know what it feels like to be in a woman's body. So I'm going to try to have this conversation about what Thinx is all about. But to get started, can you give a quick overview about what things is and the problem that you guys are solving?
Maria Molland: Yes, so the feminine hygiene space, just in general, there hasn't been any innovation since nineteen thirty with the invention of the menstrual cup. And so the goal here was to innovate in a space that hasn't seen much innovation because we all deserve better products. And the products that exist today are bad for the environment. It takes five hundred years for a plastic applicator as part of a tampon or a pad to decompose. And we know climate change is a massive issue. Secondly, women very much are concerned about the levels of chemicals in traditional disposable feminine hygiene products. So our product solves those two issues. So actually three issues. What it's innovative. It's it's it's reusable underwear. So it looks and feels like regular underwear, but there's technology built inside of it that replaces pads, panty liners and tampons. And we have three lines or three brands. One thing's for four periods speaks by things, which is for incontinence and then things between, which is our subbrand for young girls ages eight to 14.
Arri Bagah: Mm hmm. Yeah, one of the things I really like about the brand is how transparent you guys are, even about the manufacturing. You talk to a lot of brands and everybody wants to hide, like how the product is produced, et cetera. But right on the on the top navigation of your site, you have manufacturing and you walk them through like how the product is produced, who's making the product, et cetera, et cetera. I think that's really amazing how you guys are showing exactly the whole entire process of how the product is produced. I think it gives the customer a lot of confidence in actually buying the product. And I was actually I've talked to your chief brand officer and who's amazing, and you guys always are about empowering women to talk about these topics. Right. So can I talk about how like through the product you guys are doing that?
Maria Molland: Yeah, so the way we empower women is through what a new solution, right, in terms of not having them to just walk down the aisle and choose from tampons and pads. But the way that we empower women, too, is that the use of our messaging, the use of our creative use of the models, they're very broad-based. They're very diverse. And that's really important to us, because our point is that any woman or any person with a period really should be able to use our product that is very, very important to our brand ethos into us as a culture. And that's always been the case. And now we're expanding internationally as well, and we still have that. But we really want to encourage people to think that we're all different. But in some respects, we're all the same. We're all human, right? And we and all people with periods have have those things. So how can we make those experiences better for them and make them feel like they're they're unique and they have a solution that fits them?
Arri Bagah: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And going back to being able to have that conversation, like women in general, like, can you talk about why like obviously like we know and you don't have to be like smart to know, like every woman has period. Like why is it so like. I don't know what the right word to use, but why is it so weird for people to think about, like other people having that conversation or just like in general talking about periods like people just like, you know, don't to hear about it? Can you talk a little more about that?
Maria Molland: Yeah, I think it goes back to when we're a little right. And the fact that you went to school. But we had like separate classes for girls to be taught about periods and for boys to be taught about something else. And I think that creates the sense of for young children, what is the other sex learning and then the coolness that pokes fun at what the other sex has. Right. So in this case, boys making fun of girls for having a period, not because of the fact they have a period because they don't understand it. And so I think that's part of what we're trying to do is make it much more of an approachable topic for young kids as well. We have a we have a give back. It's about education in schools at that age to make it across both sexes, because if we can solve it there, that breaks the taboo. And I think it also ultimately change the culture around this. I do think it started to happen like you do see women much more apt to talk about periods, but I think it's in line with a lot of the feminist topics that have become much more approachable, the metoo movement, et cetera. So it is it is happening. I think we've helped accelerated it to some extent. But there's a lot of other companies that are in the fintech space that are doing something similar, which is great.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I think the education part is really important. I mean, personally, like, I didn't learn anything about periods until I was like after high school and like I had to like, look it up myself when I was like hearing like, people talk about it is something that never came up in, like school or anything like that. And I can just imagine, like, if you don't know anything like how like normal it is, like the biology of like how even like happens like it's yeah. I think a lot is something that like you don't get to learn. And honestly, like there's a lot of things that we don't learn that we should be learning, which then even like topics like money. Right. You know, learning about credit or different things like that that you should learn. And then it makes it really like weird to even, like, have a conversation about it. So. Yeah. Yeah.
Maria Molland: Right. Yeah.
Arri Bagah: So going more into like the brand, right, obviously, you guys have grown a lot, you have tons and tons of customers. Can you talk about what the process has been like for building the brand, especially because like a lot of people think about like bringing Bran and Amazon and like how Amazon copies a lot of products that are brands like you are making and how that plays into like your customer acquisition.
Maria Molland: Mm hmm. Yeah, so in terms of how we started, as you can imagine, back in 2014 when the business was kicked off, no VC really wanted to touch this space or the company with a ten-foot pole. It was a combination of these. These are typical, typically male. So don't understand the product and how it would fit consumer need. And then secondly, VCs typically don't like to go into spaces that have really large multinational companies that are the leaders. And so we had that with Kimberly Clark and P&G in that space. So it was really tough at the beginning, but we ended up being really focused on acquiring customers in a profitable way. And so for many, many years we just bootstrapped the company. Last year we raised money actually from Kimberly Clark, and that has enabled us to accelerate a lot of our growth and has made it, I think, especially a lot easier partnering with the strategic that can really give us the insight around the disposables market and how they got into that and how we can basically bridge the gap. And we're now really focused on getting into the retail market as well, since ninety eight percent of consumers actually still purchase their products within offline channels like CVS. So so that's been kind of part of our journey. And in terms of Amazon, Amazon, we we started selling a small percentage of our overall skews on Amazon a couple of years ago. And it's been this great way. And we've done a lot of analysis on this from a business intelligent perspective of getting people introduced to the brand, but they only see limited skews. And so then they seek out additional colors, additional patterns or other brands that potentially aren't on Amazon. And so we found it as so far as a great acquisition tool, but we monitor it constantly to see if we should change strategies or even ultimately pull the product off Amazon. But so far, we've just seen good data around it rather than bad. But certainly that can change on a dime, as you pointed out, because a lot of a lot of companies certainly have changed their strategies randoms on, especially when Amazon goes into the private label business and starts competing directly. But so far we haven't seen that.
Arri Bagah: Mhm. Yeah, I've heard just tons and tons of brands like mentioned, like we were selling a lot of our product on Amazon. Next thing you know there is another version of the product that's out and then the sales are going down. So yeah. Well it's good that you guys are in that position at all. So yeah, I wanted to talk more about your acquisition strategy like today for a woman that has never heard of your brand, how are you taking them from someone who has never heard of you to becoming a customer?
Maria Molland: Yes, it's a really good question, so we're operating in a space where there's a lot of education, these are women that have used the same product, not only in terms of form factor, i.e. tampons or pads, but they're using the same brand as their grandmother. Right. This is passed out. And so introducing a new product to them that is obviously a different brand, a new brand. And secondly, where there's a lot of concern around how to wash it is it grows. You feel like you're sending your own blood. All of those pieces need to be addressed. And so we've done that is we first did a campaign in the subway in late 2015 that really captured people's attention. It was more about, hey, we've arrived, not necessarily product education focus, but more pay attention there. There's a new product. Right. And so that got us a lot attention, a lot of attention, a lot of grassroots word of mouth, but a lot of those people I've done so many talks in which I asked the audience, have you heard of the brand? And a good chunk of people raised their hand. But when you ask them, have you purchased the product, very few people would raise their hand. Right. And so we about three years ago embarked on a real focus on product education. So the ads you see on Facebook, on Instagram, on YouTube, Google, they're very focused on explaining how the product works, how to wash it, why the price point is what it is. Obviously, it ties into sustainability and chemicals and making sure that none of that is a part of our product. Right. That's been a key part of our existence from the very beginning. And then we then convince people to check it out, learn a little bit more and ultimately purchase. But that lead time is a lot longer than a typical company. Right. And so that's been sort of the the challenge over the last few years. covid is really interesting. covid has been a massive accelerator for the category and for us because people are sitting at home and there's not as much risk of having a public embarrassment. If you think a product doesn't work right here, your work, that can be very, very, very traumatizing. But if you're sitting on your couch, obviously not so and so that got a lot of people starting to think about purchasing. And then it was obviously accentuated by not wanting to run down to the CVS and experience the stock out and potentially get the virus. And so that, again, has enabled us to see a lot more growth in the last year. So this year we will we'll grow over 50 percent based on a lot of those factors I just mentioned.
Arri Bagah: And speaking of staying at home and taking calls, there was a survey that 10 percent of people on Zoome Sessions aren't wearing pants. Some Republican, although guess I'll have to quote that.
Maria Molland: That's a good one.
Arri Bagah: Yeah. So, yeah, I can definitely see that, like, people not having to go to public places, especially work, where this is something that is really important to take care of right now. One thing that you didn't mention was like like for a product that is so essential, like when someone finds a brand that kind of works, they just stick to it. Or maybe they grew up, their parents were using it and they just keep passing it down. So for you to be able to get someone to a new product, there definitely needs to be a lot of education. Why the product is better that like from like let's say someone knows everything about the product. Like, did they get to like, try one pair, like a discount or like how do you get them to try? Because like sometimes like the customer can have all the information, but there's still like something like really stopping them from like making that purchase.
Maria Molland: Yeah, so what we do is we have a 60 back, 60 day back money guarantee, so if you don't like the product for whatever reason, we fully give you your money back. We don't ask even for the product in return. So, as you can imagine, that probably would be wouldn't be the best thing for our operations. So that has really worked. And sometimes I feel like we don't talk about it quite as much as we should. We've also been really been really focused on less on discounts because actually that's less of someone's someone's barrier to trying it. It's more about feeling like you have an influencer or a friend or a doctor that recommends it. And so we've had a real focus on what we call a leaders program, which are kind of everyday people that can spread the word and earn a commission off of it. And that has really garnered a lot of interest over the last few years and works kind of in tandem with that 60 day money back guarantee.
Arri Bagah: I'm now talking a little more about those subway ads. I've seen pictures of them. They were really like out there, like it's very hard to miss them from someone looking at that ad. Like, do you think people are thinking, oh, like this is like too much? Or is it just like enough getting your attention enough to want to know more about what the company is about?
Maria Molland: So it was definitely done to create attention and say our brand has arrived, pay attention to us, like not even a question, but it was done for a good reason, not just business reasons, but also these are topics that should not be taboo. Right. They're just completely natural. And you look at subway cars and the number of ads that I used to see, now that I'm in New York, I don't see them quite as much. But the you know, there's apples and oranges and lemons representing breast augmentation. Right. And that is not natural and that people feel somehow pretty comfortable talking about that, but they don't feel comfortable talking about something like. So it was done for that reason. But I think it's a very good reason. And I think ultimately people didn't think it was. I mean, I think some people, I'm sure, thought it was too much, but the vast majority of people thought, oh, that's interesting, I'm going to pay attention to the brand. I actually thought the imagery was beautiful. I love the overall intent. And so, again, this goes back to my point of it caught people's attention. People heard of us and then we followed it up with product education over the last three years. So that doesn't work to convert people to actually purchase. But it does get you to if your objective is to get to be known and known in a positive way, you know, be in a negative way. I think it did achieve that.
Arri Bagah: Yeah. And like talking about being bold, like for a brand that is thinking about doing something that bold and maybe they're thinking about, OK, what if this has like like negative PR instead of positive PR? Can you talk about like what steps to take to ensure that they can be successful doing such a bold campaign? Because like obviously like we know like, you know, not everybody is in a like you are going to like you. Some people are going to hate you as like that approach that you're taking.
Maria Molland: Yeah, I think listen, we didn't do it back then, but we'll say I took I took a as CEO about three and a half years ago and everything we do now is very much based on data and consumer insights. So we run the numbers around whether or not our target consumer might not be our current consumer, but our target consumer. What what will turn them off and what will peak their interest? They might not like it, per, but what will their interest in down the road be more interested in purchasing? So we look at it that way and I will say to we do it per market. So some markets are going to be much more progressive than than others. And so we do change our marketing slightly to still in line with our brand values and culture. But you can tweak it slightly based on the consumer need.
Arri Bagah: So basically split testing in different areas to see what the responses and if it's working, then take it on the scale.
Maria Molland: That's right, yeah, and we do a lot of both Kwanten Clal research prior to launching, especially like tee'd campaigns like Big for digital campaigns, we're willing to do more small test. Right, with local local audiences and about with big campaigns that we do everything and a post and launching the actual campaign itself.
Arri Bagah: Now, there's a little deeper into customer acquisition on YouTube. If you type in things. There's a lot of women showing like their videos and reviews about the product. Can you talk about how that's helping with customer acquisition and how you've been able to get so many women, which just looks like just like the average person, just like reviewing the product? Is there like a strategy that is just something that was intentional or something that just came as a byproduct of the products?
Maria Molland: I would say it was somewhat intentional because that was in many ways why we launched the company was like how ridiculous it is that this is not this is still a taboo. Right. And so we knew a lot of women would feel the same way. So, of course, if you're launching campaigns around that, more women are going to talk about it. And we've done a lot of things even since then around menstrual equity. We actually put we we projected on the Brooklyn Bridge and the UN tower around the need for menstrual equity and the end of period poverty. And that got a lot of attention. Right. And some people started talking about a brand in that context. So we're constantly looking at other ways of getting people to chat about us and our product. But I will also say that if we had a product that didn't work, I'm sure people wouldn't be so interested in talking about it. I will say, like, our product really does work, like I was a customer prior to becoming CEO. And what we see is once we get people over the hump of purchasing, they stay with us because they're just like, wow, this product really does work. It feels like I'm just in my underwear. Right? So it's not as uncomfortable as the products I used to use. And so that I think certainly helps. You can't expect to have a strategy of people spreading the word about you and what your campaign even represents if your product doesn't work. So you have to have both things like how do you go into a space that's more apt to have people talk about you? How do you create the campaigns, enable people to think about talking about you, and then how do you a product that ensures they continue talking about you after they try it?
Arri Bagah: Now, earlier you mentioned going into retail. Obviously, with everything that's happening in retail stores closing, is this something that still like you're interested in? Are you interested in like having your own stores or is that something that you've already done?
Maria Molland: Yeah, so definitely we're investing a lot in retail. The reality is pharmacies target Target said one of its best years. They're still going to be they're still going to be retail. Like, I just I really believe that. Do I think there's going to be acceleration of online? Of course, like even more so than we've seen today. But that doesn't mean there won't be retail. And so especially in our category, where 98 percent of women still buy and offline mediums and pharmacies that stay open targets and big box retailers that are staying open, that is going to continue to be important. So we're still investing there. And then and in terms of your other question, can you expand upon it? I can't remember.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I honestly, I was just listening to how you're saying. And I think the second part is like, OK, retail has been affected as something. Is that something that you guys are getting to? And the second part was, do you have your own stores or is that something that you're looking to do in the future?
Maria Molland: You know, we did we were looking at that a couple of years ago as part of a long range planning process and ultimately having decided, no, I don't think we will do it. And the reason is it's very expensive with covid. So almost made it even more expensive. Right, because we're not going to be at least when there's we're not an essential business which is going to come back. So I don't think they would view our particular store as an essential business. They view it would view pharmacies as essential and CVS. But I don't it wouldn't be I think they would view this as a parallel story. Right. And we could probably counter that as much as possible, but there would be pretty difficult to win on that one. So but regardless, it's an expensive proposition. We don't have a ton of Skewes to fill up an entire store. So we're a startup and we need to focus on our bottom line. And I really believe that partnerships is the way to go. So whether or not that's working with the targets, the Walmart's of the world or, you know, smaller ones, that potentially could be apparel stores. But we take a section of it. Right. That is about where we we pay a little bit of rent. So those type of things are interesting. But having taking all the risk around a full store for us, I think is it's just too much for us right now. And especially given what's happening in the world, in the retail space.
Arri Bagah: You know, there's been a lot of support from the beginning, right, with all the ad campaigns, all the PR and everything else. Now, this is just personally just me wondering, has there been like any group of women that have ever been like against like the messaging? And is there something that you guys are doing to like or is there something that you guys are saying to those women?
Maria Molland: Definitely, we always I mean, you mentioned this in one of your comments, but you can't appeal to everyone, right? And so there are certainly going to be groups that find what we are doing to be against their values or whatever. Maybe we did launch a campaign last fall around. The theme of it was like men having periods and making kind of a it was funny, it was humorous, but I think there was a lot of when well, not a lot, but a good chunk of women that come from more conservative groups that felt like we were bending gender dynamics and values and had huge issues with that. There was one that was like tried to fill out a campaign and get our TV to get removed from some of the different media outlets. But I like of I heard that news and I was like, oh, we are like that means we are actually succeeding because, you know, having groups like that that truly feel that way around periods and that we shouldn't be able to talk about them and and we shouldn't even consider men having like I just it was, in my view, pretty ridiculous. So I would say that only helps really us try to come up with more creative ways of bending people's minds and kind of getting them to understand that this really shouldn't be a taboo topic. Yeah. So there's definitely going to be there's going to be people that don't like us, but I think that's OK. Right. And as long as you know who your target audience is and you're happy with that and have you got the numbers, if you're able to grow the business via that target audience, that's the key.
Arri Bagah: Mhm. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Once you have your target audience, you know exactly what they're interested in, what they want to hear and how they speak to each other. As long as you stick to that, you can't really go wrong because that's your core group of customers. Right. So that's why it's always really important to, like, not try to like be in the gray area, like in the middle is trying to play safe. Like if you know your ideal customer, just like go ahead and say that things are going to be relatable to them. Obviously, you're going to, you know, really need a lot of people. But like, you're just going to add more group more people to like your core group of customers. And those people are going to love you more because you're going to love the campaign. They're going to love how old you are. And that's always going to turn into more customers.
Maria Molland: Yeah, I agree. And as long as that as long as you're not super niche, right, we're talking about periods is definitely not a topic like a lot of women, even from more conservative backgrounds are completely fine with that. So it's actually a pretty large audience. And I think our focus is how do we become much more middle America but still maintain that edge? And I and I do believe, based on the research as well as my gut, that that is definitely something we can do.
Arri Bagah: Hmm. Now, going more into your involvement in community, you have the give rise program, which is about empowering young people to learn about periods on a bunch of other topics. Can you talk about, like, why you decided to invest in this program and how that's been going so far?
Maria Molland: Yeah, I think a couple of reasons, one is obviously we have to break taboos, like I mentioned earlier, at an earlier age, for that to really be ingrained in our culture, to change that cultural dynamic. And so that was always very core to who we are and is a good chunk of why we are all employees at this company. We very much believe in that. And then in terms of the other areas, the reality, as we were for the most part, New York, now we're living our seventy five employees are living throughout the world, but we are all very lucky, right? We all have jobs we can afford to live in, or at least we still afford to live in New York City. A lot of people don't have that. They were born into families that unfortunately just didn't have those type of resources. And there's lots of reasons for that. And so we want to be able to give back. And so my view on this is like, how do how do we help people through talking and using our brand to highlight especially the need to end poverty? I mean, there are so many girls in particular that can't afford to their families can't afford to purchase disposable feminine hygiene products when they get their period. So they're literally missing school not only in developing and emerging economies, but in developed economies as well. And so that is something that people just don't talk about enough. And we want to play a role in solving that we can't solve it ourselves but are using our voice. We can at least be activist to to try to get more people to pay attention to this issue, donate products to support organizations that are giving money to these NGOs that are helping these groups. So that is so key, I think, to our culture and to every employee here. And I really believe as a business leader, we have a role, of course, as a startup to make money and try to develop the company for our shareholders. But we also have a duty to the broader community and especially the broader community that hasn't had the resources that each of us has had as employees.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, that's something that I truly believe in, because when you live in a city, it is very easy to forget where there's like everything New York City, L.A. or any big city is so easy to forget, like when everything is around you that, like a lot of people still don't have, like just like normal essentials or necessities that we take for granted. So I really like the fact that you guys are actually investing and helping kids learn about these topics very, very early on, because like I mentioned, I got it. I grew up. I never heard anything about these essential topics that you grew up needing. You realize like this is something that you should definitely know and be talking about with friends or family, even like with the families, like parents. It's also like a really big thing where, like even my parents, I can go to have a conversation about sex in general with my parents. It's just like, oh, there's one of those things that you never talk about. It's like so weird. And it's just like a normal conversation. Like if you know the science behind or your biological composition, that's how your body works. Why is it so weird to have this conversation? So I think it's really important for not only kids, but also cancer.
Maria Molland: Yeah, yeah, we actually it's a really good point we put together when we launched things between which is our line for young girls, we launched a series of content on YouTube for parents to be able to have the conversation with their girls as they were getting their parents in for a lot of a lot of dads. Right, that don't have a wife or a female partner to kind of help relate to that conversation with their kids, like they need those tools to be. Right. And so I think it's a really good point. Like, how do we as an organization make it easier for kids via their parents as well? And so that's that's that has been a big focus for us as part of our young girls.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I definitely think parents should definitely have it, because even today, like, it's like I'm sure everybody has been like through this where like you're watching a movie and like that people are just like circusy. And I like I have to like, look away because is like so weird to even think about having a conversation about those things. So I think, like, if parents are able to teach their kids that, hey, this is normal, I think we would definitely go a long way. And I think that's something that because we were kids, we missed. We weren't thought then we grew up. We think it's weird and we don't talk to our kids. And yeah, it's.
Maria Molland: A whole cycle.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, exactly right. All right. Now, one of the questions that I wanted to ask you is more like a personal question. Obviously, you've been like you have a lot of experience. You've been able to grow and rise up the ranks in the retail e-commerce space for the women out there. They're also looking to do great things. Is there any advice that you can give them?
Maria Molland: Yeah, I think the first thing that I wish I had discovered a lot earlier in my career, I mean, it was 40 when I joined things and I it's my it's definitely been really hard, it's a doing a startup is incredibly hard and you kind of it also fluctuates week to week, but it's interesting, it's almost like addictive. And I will tell you that the thing about that has been so wonderful for me is that I'm working on a product that I just care so much about and I care so much about it because we have to solve this problem around climate change. And I'm not saying, like what I'm doing is going to solve climate change, but I'm playing a role in improving it. Right. And I think the more I get to spend time thinking about it, too, it lends my network to start really solving bigger problems around climate change, even outside of things which has been wonderful. So I give that advice in the context of I wish I'd done it earlier because my career has been very interesting. But I have to say I never really liked it as much as I like it now and I wish I had I wish I could have spent more of my career doing that. I wish I had discovered this when I was 30 rather than when I was 40. And it would have yeah, I think it would have changed. I probably would have been even better and moved up faster because I think when you like something and when you enjoy doing it, it's not a grind. You're going to be much, much better at it. Right. And you're going to enjoy the whole process. So I think that would be my no no. What advice is is find something that you are passionate about as early as you can. And if you can't figure it out, just keep trying lots of different things until something sticks and don't give up. And then the other piece is, I think it is really tied into that is I think a lot of. A lot of people, but I think in particular women, we we try to be so perfect all the time and keep everything together and I think we got to get rid of that. As much as it looks like from the outside. You know, that I have this I have people come up to me all the time, say, oh, you have these two beautiful kids and you know, this great job. And I mean, I am literally feeling like I'm barely keeping it together and I'm screwing up things left and right, like, believe me. So I think the point is that no matter what, I just let things go. You can't be great at everything all the time and focus on one thing, you know, for for a year, focus on doing one thing really well and let the other things go in the next year or two years after that, you can switch. Right. And perhaps in two years I'll be a better man than I have been over the last few years. But I'm trying to, like, do everything at the same time, really putting a little bit more emphasis on my business. And that's OK. So I think that's a key point is just like give our give, we need to all give ourselves a break and not worry about being being perfect all the time.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, that's definitely great advice. And other like certain routines or things that you do that keep you safe. And obviously as a CEO, you're very busy. You have kids that you're dealing with and even like me dealing with my little sister, that was like it's not even my kid, but it was like the hardest thing to do because, like, isn't it. Yeah. So routines are things that you do.
Maria Molland: Yeah, I mean, I'm a big outdoors person, I grew up in California, so to me, fresh air and no matter what that is like, I used to be a big runner. I run not that much anymore, but now I do a lot more hiking. And I think that, you know, you got to figure out the way to just free up your time, free up your mental space. And so for me, again, that's outdoors. It's time with my kids. It's merging those two things as much as possible. I'm also a big reader. I haven't had a lot of time recently, so I'm now addicted to Audible and I like literally listening all the time, even background. And I catch a little bit of these books that I've been wanting to read for four years so that I think getting keeping informed and feeling like you have an outlet that's different than work is just really key, at least for me and probably for most people.
Arri Bagah: Yeah, I love Audible to and it's funny that like a lot of readers actually it on Audible and they always say like, oh it's not really reading because like it's like an audio book, but anyway.
Maria Molland: I've had numerous people tell me that I'm like, well the alternative is not reading, so. Yeah.
Arri Bagah: Maria, thanks for being on the podcast. And how can people find you or get a hold of your things.
Maria Molland: Yeah, so I you can find us in a bunch of retailers, including Nordström. The best way to find and what to find more information about our product as well as buy it is she thinks so. S h e t h i n x dotcom.
Arri Bagah: Now I have one more question for you here, and this is going to only be on YouTube. So if you listen, Spotify or iTunes feeds over to YouTube. Thanks for checking out this episode of the Personal Mastery podcast, if you're listening on iTunes or Spotify, please follow this podcast and leave us a five star review. And as always, thanks again for listening to another episode of the Personal Machree podcast.