First, tell us a little bit about Become
Become is a clothing brand with a mission to significantly reduce hot flushes and night sweats caused by menopause, illness, surgery and prescribed drugs. The brand’s range of intelligent clothing solutions includes layering pieces like underwear, nightwear, t-shirts, camisoles, leggings, shapewear and a recently added face mask, which are all made from a seamless, breathable, cooling lightweight fabric that is silky to the touch. The complex yarns are coated with
Become’s patent-pending Anti-Flush Technology, designed to absorb heat from the surface of the skin during a flush, then restore warmth in the body during the chill that follows. The fabric wicks away moisture to cool the body, and the added anti-microbial finish also immobilises odour to keep clothes fresh and to give women the freedom to perform at their best, even during a flush.
The technology is powered by MAS, one of the leading apparel tech companies in South Asia with ground-breaking innovations based on extensive R&D in material science, nanotechnology and e-textiles. MAS recognised the unique and largely underserved requirements in women’s wellbeing that could be addressed with its expertise and experience in smart clothing. Seeking to fill this gap in the market and give women more control over their health and their bodies, MAS established Become as its venture into the industry-disrupting fem-tech space. Our products have been proven effective amongst a diverse range of women, each experiencing various stages of the menopause.
What are your aspirations for the business over the next 24 months?
As someone who is deeply committed to providing solutions to make women’s lives easier and to boost their confidence, I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work in the area of Femtech innovations with the amazing partnership of MAS. We have exciting new product launches in the pipeline for Become, as well as partnerships with key players in the menopause space.
How has your own menopause transition influenced your outlook towards work and life?
Honestly, I am just learning about the menopause “transition”. Both my mother and sister had chemo-induced, premature menopause. They were literally thrown into it, so I had no model for what a transition into menopause would look like. I had my daughter at 38, and pretty much had irregular periods after that. I assumed this was due to postpartum/post nursing hormonal shifts, but in hindsight, I was probably already experiencing perimenopause. During that time I was also managing a tough family situation as my sister was losing a long term battle with endometrial cancer, so I guess I was just powering through life and work and not really paying attention to my own body.
There is such a scarcity of information about menopause in the US. It's astonishing how much more advanced the conversation is in the UK. Doctors in the US barely receive the training to recognize symptoms as menopausal. We’re just recently seeing a rise in telehealth services and resources for women to find adequate care and solutions. There is also very little information in the US regarding HRT. Luckily, I do not have severe menopausal symptoms, but since my sister and mother both had estrogen receptive cancers, and there is such a lack of education about it, that I doubt that I would’ve pursued it.
How do you define success for your business and yourself individually?
Success for the business is all about good teamwork, knowing that the products we provide benefit women all along our supply chain as well as our customers, and healthy KPIs of course:) Success for me personally has more to do with staying balanced and present to enjoy each day with my family, friends and colleagues.
Has your definition of success changed over time as entrepreneurs and individuals?
In my early entrepreneurial days I founded a maternity apparel brand called Belabumbum. We started as a very small scrappy startup, by moms for moms, with a strong international development mission.
Belabumbum is now part of a larger parent company called Adore Me – a disruptive lingerie e-commerce company, well known for its inclusive size range and mission to promote inner confidence for all women. I continue to manage the Belabumbum brand as well as Become -- so I guess my definition of success is directly related to supporting women through an even longer period of their lives-- through the child bearing years and well into midlife.
Success for me personally still has to do with staying balanced and present each day --- it’s a continual process!
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
I think age has more to do with the wisdom of hindsight than ambition, but with aging parents and children, I am definitely clearer about what I spend my limited time and energy on. I’m a GenXer in a primarily millennial workplace, and I have learned a ton working in a fast paced, data driven environment-- which has certainly continued to fuel my ambition.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life = is finite
Love = is eternal
Health = is the most valuable thing we have
Work = will keep you going
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today? What practical steps could they take to better support their bodies and minds?
Take a moment everyday to make yourself a priority. Whatever that looks like for you, a 15 minute meditation, a walk while listening to your favorite podcast, a soak in the tub. Seek the support of other women, the conversations and communities are growing and the resources and solutions for peri and
menopausal symptoms are getting better and better.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
Gen X women rule! I truly believe we grew up in a world that was much less complicated and way more fun--children of the 70s, teens of the awesome 80s and 90s, with careers well underway at the turn of the century. We had it so good, times were simpler, we could roam about the planet much more freely and the music was SO much better!
Finally, we all know that stress can exacerbate menopause symptoms and we’re all living with a constant underlying anxiety right now. What have you done to better support yourself in the last 10 months?
The last year of COVID complications has helped to simplify my life and to weed out many things that no longer serve me. I also spend a lot of time in my home office on the third floor of our house for some very
necessary alone time.