Sankt Augustin · To make something beautiful and sustainable is her goal: Sophie Marie von Eichstedt sells reusable period panties from her office in Hangelar. Contrary to many negative ideas about the design of absorbent underwear, she wants to show that it can be done differently.
They are called "June", "Maja" or "Elsa", are made of lace or fine tulle, and their actual purpose is not immediately obvious. Sophie Marie von Eichstedt, a young entrepreneur from Hangelar, is currently conquering a market niche with her period panties. "My goal is to combine sustainability with beautiful design and to strengthen women's self-confidence in order to break the taboo surrounding the topic of periods," the recent business administration graduate tells us about her mission.
With a lot of affection and a personal, handwritten message for each customer, Sophie Marie von Eichstedt packs the period panties in a small box and makes them ready for shipping. The woman from Hangelar has only been selling absorbent underwear for female menstruation as a sustainable replacement for tampons and pads in her online shop for a few weeks.
In her environment, she has noticed how shameful the subject of menstruation is for many women and how little knowledge there is about the female body and its health. That's why she is not only concerned with selling her product, but also with talking openly about it on her blog, on Instagram or other channels in the social media. "I'm really into the topic right now," the 23-year-old says with a laugh.
As comfortable as normal underwear
The period panties are sold via an online shop directly from her office in Hangelar. So far there are three variants: lace, fine tulle and thong, with feminine names like "June", "Maja" or "Elsa". They are supposed to be as absorbent as up to four tampons. In addition, von Eichstedt promises that they are odourless, stay tight for six to twelve hours, and are as comfortable as normal underwear. "Many people might think of baby nappies when they think of absorbent period panties or have some negative ideas, but it's also important to me that you don't have to compromise on beauty," she says.
That's why she looked at competing products beforehand and thought about what she could improve. "I have never been satisfied with a period product, I have always perceived menstruation as an annoying, uncomfortable and unpleasant time and so I thought: this can be better," says the young entrepreneur enthusiastically. A few months before graduation, she was already tinkering with her idea, and at the beginning of January von Eichstedt finally founded her company "oh moon“.
"Founding a company is not something you just decide to do," she says resolutely. In September, she will probably continue her studies at a university: "I want to do my Master's in International Business in Maastricht," she says of her future plans. Until then, she wants to devote all her time to a successful start for "oh moon“.
Most of her preparation time was spent looking for a suitable producer. "Before, I didn't know at all where and how I could get production, so I had to google myself first," von Eichstedt recalls. Finally, she found a producer in Asia who meets all her requirements and with whom she always stays in close contact if changes are desired.
Oeko-Tex certificate for the period panties
"We use pure organic cotton and are Oeko-Tex certified," she says with satisfaction. The certification attests that the panties are free of harmful substances. In time, she would like to expand her portfolio and add more colours or other models to her range. "I am still at the very beginning and first have to gain experience of which shapes and models work well," analyses the young entrepreneur.
She has already had her first successes with her online shop: she has already received orders for the period panties from the Black Forest, northern Germany and even Austria. "It's cool to see that I already have customers I don't know," says von Eichstedt happily. She chose the name "oh moon" for her company after much deliberation: "There is this myth of the moon and periods, both have a 28-day cycle, and I found that interesting," she says. Another reason for choosing the brand name was that it is understood internationally. Sophie Marie von Eichstedt deliberately chose not to use the word "period" in the brand name.
(Original text: Scarlet Schmitz, Translation: Mareike Graepel)