There are so many different philosophies around birth control. Does Sustain see condoms as the best option for women who are not looking to get pregnant?
Condoms are the only form of birth control that protects against both STDs and unplanned pregnancy. It’s not about one option being better than another; it’s about the fact that only 21 percent of single sexually active women use condoms regularly. This is in part because they are only concerned with getting pregnant, but they're ignoring a critical part of the safe sex equation: disease prevention.
Your messaging is geared toward women. How does this differ from the traditional dialogue around condoms?
Walking down the condom aisle, it quickly becomes very clear that major condom brands have only been marketing to men and have been leaving women out of this critical conversation.
What Sustain is doing is starting a real and honest dialogue among women (and men) everywhere around traditionally taboo topics like sex, sexual health, and women’s rights. We believe that by creating better products, more contemporary and appealing packaging, and relevant and real content, we can influence a future where women feel good about having sex and empowered to do it safely.
Women have taken control in the classroom and the boardroom, but what about in the bedroom? As the awesome author Peggy Orenstein stated in her recent book, Girls & Sex, it’s time for #intimatejustice.
Why is Sustain about more than just making healthy condoms?
Because only 21 percent of single women use condoms.
Because 48 percent of pregnancies are unplanned.
Because 1 in 4 college freshmen contract an STD.
Because that’s just not OK.
We will never solve these complex issues by just selling condoms. We need to do it through education, inspiration, and real conversations.
What's the best advice you've received since starting Sustain?
"Reflect, don’t react."
There have been so many times I've wanted to react based on what I was feeling right in that moment, but my dad taught me the value in reflecting before reacting.
What are your favorite ways to unwind from the stress of entrepreneurship?
I meditate for 20 minutes most mornings before I even look at my phone. I practice Transcendental Meditation, which I see as an incredible way to clear the mind and get focused at the beginning of each day.
I rarely cooked before starting Sustain, but I’ve realized cooking is another great way to focus and transition into my evening after work. Not to mention, you can't check email when you're busy in the kitchen, which is a huge plus! I also make it a point to put my phone in another room around 8:30 p.m. every night. It’s so important to give your brain a break from your screen and be available to connect with the people around you.