Box Babe: Amanda Wilson
Meet Box Babe Amanda Wilson, humanitarian and entrepreneur. After discovering how toxic tampons were for her body and the planet, she decided to innovate a more sanitary, comfortable option for menstrual cups. Read more about VOXAPOD and how Amanda is helping girls in developing countries get easier access to period products.
You live in the Portland area, what keeps you there? What makes the city special?
Portland offers city life with easy access to nature. I can walk five minutes from my place downtown and be hiking in the forest. Within 90 minutes, I can be forest bathing, making my way to a stunning waterfall for a dip, climbing a volcano, or combing the tide pools on the coast, and be back to the city for dinner which envelopes a food and drink mecca.
I happen to also love my community of people here and the opportunities it gives my daughters.
What is the story of how you started VOXAPOD?
Frankly, I was having trouble with tampons. They just weren’t getting the job done for me, and once I learned how toxic most of them were for my body and the planet, I was determined to find something better. A friend told me about menstrual cups--I tried several before deciding to innovate one that was more comfortable and easier to insert and remove.
I knew from day one that we would use the business as a vehicle to address the systemic issues around period equity. Including policy reform to ensure all menstruators have access to period care that is safe for their bodies and the planet. In addition, to ensure that girls in the developing world have access to period products and education that allows them to stay in school confidently.
No girl should be denied opportunity because of her biology.
How do you overcome day-to-day obstacles in your life and business?
I often do things that give me a chemistry reset, like hiking, lifting weights, or sleep. It’s amazing what a solid night of sleep can do. Other times I reach out to someone in my sisterhood for advice or support. For work I will often write out the problem and break it down into bite-size tasks to make it less overwhelming.
Say a reader wanted to start their own business, what advice would you give them?
It will quite possibly be the hardest and most rewarding thing you ever do. Make it a habit to ask for what you need from others. Most people want to help, if only we would ask. Learn to delegate tasks that you aren’t skilled at. Perfectionism will kill you (and your budget). Set quarterly goals and have peer mentors in your life that will hold you accountable to them.
Entrepreneurship will require that you deal with all of your interpersonal ‘stuff’: relationship building, communication flaws, your ability or lack thereof to lead others, your relationship with money from childhood on, your security and confidence, how you handle failure and own mistakes, self-awareness around burnout and knowing what you need to avoid it, being able to tell the people in your life what you need and asking what they need to protect those relationships.
You’ll need to be vulnerable and have grit (sometimes at the same time) and pull from the depths of your creativity to make something magical others can believe in when only given peanuts to create it with.
It short, it will be bloody hard. Most really incredible things in life are. Believe you can do it when no one else does, and don’t forget why you started in the first place.
Name a book everybody should read right now.
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. It’s poetry that explores the human condition honestly--particularly for women. Exposing the kinds of self-truths that can be extraordinarily healing.
Who is the coolest woman you can think of right now? What makes her so cool?
Just one!?!? Amy Goodman for a lifelong career of fighting for true journalism. Gloria Steinem for her dedication to equity for women--pour a glass of bourbon and google “quotes by Gloria Steinem”. Enjoy. Vandana Shiva, an Indian scholar known for her environmental activism. Rosa Parks for her activism in the Civil Rights Movement that is still evolving. Emmeline Pankhurst for her fight to ensure women’s voting rights. Frida Kahlo for demonstrating that strength can come in the form of vulnerability.
And, likely, millions more whose stories have never been told. Women are remarkable creatures.
What's the last purchase you made that simplified your day-to-day life the most?
A coffee subscription to crema.co that I can customize and pause whenever I want.
What do you believe to be true that almost no one else agrees with you on?
Mermaids could be real. There’s a significant amount of the oceans that have never been explored.
How can we find out what you're doing these days?
If you had a Renzoe Box right now, what will we find in yours?
VOXAPOD is a modern menstrual cup with a unique, patent-pending design that’s more comfortable and functional, while reducing waste! It folds and inserts like a tampon, but works better and is reusable--saving you thousands of dollars!