Kaitilyn Nicole is a 27-year-old female entrepreneur making waves in the feminine hygiene world. She was tired of taking pills to reduce cramps, felt guilty about the waste disposable products were creating, and was frustrated with how much money was being spent. Every month it felt like the same routine, and she knew there had to be other options out there.
After conducting some research she came across menstrual cups, a feminine hygiene product that many women in the United States are unfortunately unfamiliar with, despite their international popularity. Menstrual cups are not a new invention though, the first patent was established in 1937, and have been sold commercially since the 1980’s. Menstrual cups are classified as a class II medical device and require FDA registration. Made from 100% medical grade silicone, they offer a hygienic reusable solution to your feminine hygiene product needs. Menstrual cups are ecological, economical and a healthier option as opposed to tampons and disposable pads.
Kaitilyn decided to take the leap out of her comfort zone and join the cupverted™ club. After purchasing a few different styles of cups to try, she instantly fell in love and wished she had discovered them sooner. This is when she started to formulate her plan and started building the foundation for V-CUPS®.
The goal was to create a company that not only educated women about feminine hygiene, but one that offered value, dependability and empowerment. She asked the questions that needed to be asked, such as: why hadn’t she heard of them before? Why are they so expensive for one cup? How do I know what my size is? How was she so oblivious to the negative health risk associated with tampons?
Kaitilyn knew that she could not accomplish this task alone, she would need to build a team. So, she talked to everyone she could about her plan and was waited for her stars to align. In the summer of 2016, she traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica to volunteer on a construction and renovation project. She is extremely passionate about community service, and got a cultural shock after learning that she could not flush any paper products down the toilet. All products were to be placed in a waste bin, this is because the sewer systems were not integrated, and it would cause flooding. This is when she realized how strong the ecological benefits of menstrual cups were, and it ignited her passion even more.
While in Costa Rica, Kaitilyn was introduced to Dana Stricker and her daughter Alexis, who were assigned to the same volunteer project as she was. After learning that this was their second trip in 6 months to volunteer, Kaitilyn started telling Dana about her vision for V-CUPS. The stars had aligned perfectly. They instantly hit is off, within 10 minutes they were bouncing ideas off each other and exchanging email addresses. Dana Stricker has been practicing law in New York for over 25 years. Helping people inside and out of the courtroom, she does a good deal of pro bono legal work, and loves to volunteer her time to help others. She is an invaluable asset to V-CUPS.
V-CUPS launched in October of 2016 after the two had become partners in the endeavor. V-CUPS can be found online at v-cups.com, Amazon.com and Jet.com They are manufactured overseas and will be moving to the United States in the near future. They have a large overseas market and hope to make a much larger impact in the United States. Born and raised in Rochester, Kaitilyn hopes to align with some of the local grocery stores such as Wegmans, to better serve the community.
Affordability was a major concern when creating the pricing structure of V-CUPS. The competition currently sells one cup for up to $40 each. Kaitilyn sells her package of menstrual cups for $34.99, which includes both size cups. V-CUPS is also 1 of 3 brands to offer a cleansing wash for their cups. This 12oz wash can be purchased separately for $12.99, or combined with the cups as a combo for $39.99. “It was a necessity to have both sizes in each box because every woman’s body is different and we want to take the guess work out of trying to calculate your size before purchasing”, says Kaitilyn. The unique bell shape of V-CUPS is also universal and can accommodate a high or a low cervix.
Growing up Kaitilyn has always looked up to her mother as a main source of inspiration. This is because she was raised by her single mother of three children who instilled in her a sense of gratitude for everything she has, and an impeccable work ethic. Her mother always said to her “If there is a will, there is a way. ” Her Mother truly supports her in chasing her dreams and building her business. Kaitilyn said this about her family and their support:
“My mother has always been my #1 cheerleader, along with my brother. We have it set up so whenever an order comes through on any platform, it makes a loud cash register sound on all of our mobile devices. We then call each other or shout through the house ‘order’, it’s a beautiful thing to have a family so supportive of your dreams.”
In life you have to be prepared for all of the plot twists that will be thrown your way. This was a problem for Kaitilyn, who had tried planning her life out very rigidly. She would compare herself to her peers, and feel like a failure because she did not follow the tradition path many of had chose. She came to the realization that she couldn’t compare herself; it was unhealthy and not productive. The key was to be flexible and to always have an open mind. Kaitilyn said that once she took responsibility for her future and gave 100% that she came over the feeling of failure.
She has been building her company around the notion of educating and empowering women about their feminine hygiene health. In many countries young girls and teens are missing school because they cannot afford feminine hygiene products, this is a very serious issue. The average women spends around $180 a year on tampons/pads, a package of V-CUPS is $34.99, that’s a savings of at least $145 a year. This economical benefit makes feminine hygiene products more accessible to women across the world. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours as well; this will eliminate children having to miss school and women missing work.
Since V-CUPS launched in 2016 they have teamed up with many different charities and fundraisers. In March, they teamed up with the Colon Cancer Coalition and V-CUPS donated 10% of their sales for the month. Kaitilyn chose this organization because her Grandfather, who played a large role in her life, passed away from colon cancer in 2013. This was her way to honor his memory.
V-CUPS is leading the revolution in feminine hygiene products, be sure to check them out on social media or visit their website to learn more about joining the cupverted club!