“One mentor asked me, what was my ultimate goal? I told him financial security. He said but you’re already doing well financially. I didn’t understand what he meant then, because I was broke and just starting my company. I later understood that he really meant the wealth was not monetary and measurable, but was instead my intellectual capital, the power of my knowledge and my work ethic. He articulated once I have those things, I will be able to accumulate real wealth.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Davielle Jackson, Founder and President of Femi Secrets, a feminine care company dedicated to the health and wellness of women. With more than ten years of sales, marketing, management and business experience, Davielle is considered a millennial business mogul, making entrepreneurial history by entering into Walmart at a record period of six months. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, a 43North Startup Competition winner, author, and the founder of “I am #1”, a not for-profit dedicated to the success of young women.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I am a small-town girl from Marksville, Louisiana that attended local catholic schools. My parents, Mary and David, instilled in my sisters and I values such as love, teamwork, and greatness as core foundations to life. The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well in my household as both of my parents operated several businesses. I was able to observe the awards and challenges of entrepreneurship.
Another entrepreneurial foundation was established when I was a high school basketball player. By playing this sport, it showed me how great accomplishments could occur when working with a team.
After I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Louisiana, the plan was to continue on to medical school. However, I dropped out of medical school, resigned from my job, and followed my passion and dreams of making an impact.
Why did you found your company?
Innovating for the feminine hygiene care market had never crossed my mind until a longtime friend came to me with a problem. She said, “ I really need your help” and expressed that she had extreme flow during her period caused by PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) that was debilitating to her life. She was at the point of sleeping on multiple towels, while using two to three tampons at night, missing classes, and work.
Moved by her candor, I worked at this problem until I developed a solution. I named the invention “Pretty Panty” because it provided, not only full coverage, but was very pretty. Pretty Panty offers women a chemical-free feminine care option, that is disposable. The convenient design includes the pad and a fashionable, as well as breathable, designed panty as one unit providing a comfortable fit and no leaks.
What is it about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
As the founder of Femi Secrets, I feel that I am on a mission to not only change the feminine care industry, but to also change how women view their monthly cycles. Women should always embrace what is natural and beautiful about being a woman.
As a female feminine care owner in a male dominated industry, I feel the obligation to push the message forward in reference to the toxic chemicals that are currently used in leading feminine care brands. In addition, I have a strong desire to bring awareness to the cost of these products that has created an international menstrual equity movement.
We have already began an outreach focused on awareness and change by hosting “Femi Talks” with local OB/GYNs and have reached out to female legislative leaders with a focus on elevating the importance of feminine hygiene health.
We seek to create an international movement in which women put their health and wellness first by understanding the importance of using feminine care products that not only provide full coverage, but are natural and chemical free. Femi Secrets envisions a time when all women have access to healthy feminine care products; in addition to an expansion of research and a decrease in the number of medical conditions impacting women such as fibroids, ovarian cysts and ovarian cancer.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors?
My mentors range from Lonnie Johnson, who is the creator of over 40 patents,
including the super soaker water gun and Lorine Pendleton a startup advisor, attorney, and angel investor.
I feel honored that my entrepreneurial network includes talented women and men from diverse industries — all who have become mentors.
Since my move to Buffalo, New York as a 43North winner, I have been very fortunate to have been embraced by a diverse team of advisors and female mentors who are providing operational, marketing, and medical expertise.
How are you going to shake things up next?
The mission continues to elevate the health and wellness of women by changing the shame and stigma placed on them during their menstrual cycles. Another focus is how women PURCHASE these items.
With the introduction of a monthly subscription service, we are taking the products directly to the consumer. The new subscription service will include our signature product Pretty Panty, and an array of menstrual cycle accessories, plus a femi surprise discreetly delivered to subscribers.
Femi Secrets is all about making women “feel limitless”. We have 5 more patents pending with products ranging from breast feeding to beauty. We will continue to make women’s lives easier and better by breaking down barriers and creating innovative products.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1. One mentor asked me, what was my ultimate goal? I told him financial security. He said but you’re already doing well financially. I didn’t understand what he meant then, because I was broke and just starting my company. I later understood that he really meant the wealth was not monetary and measurable, but was instead my intellectual capital, the power of my knowledge and my work ethic. He articulated once I have those things, I will be able to accumulate real wealth.
2. Another mentor told me not to judge my success by a dollar amount, and that anything you see to completion is a success. If I set a goal, I must also create a list of measurable milestones that will guide me throughout the process. I must push through in order to be successful.
3. More words of wisdom: write it down and make it a reality. As innovators, we see the vision as the creator but often do not convey the vision properly to our team members. The vision and mission must be embraced by the entire team to be successful.
What’s a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Share a story with us.
I have read many business books, however writing my own book about my entrepreneurial journey has made a significant impact on how I view the foundation of becoming a successful business owner.
Many times after being asked how I accomplished my business success at such a young age and in such a short time, I wrote Ready, Set, GO! : The Green Print. The book is the guide to helping entrepreneurs jump start their business and assisting people with identifying their passions and making their dreams become a reality.
Today’s society is very fast paced and if you are not prepared, you can be left behind from a financial standpoint. The book will get readers prepared mentally and financially for the future.
The goal of “Ready, Set Go: The Green Print” is to provide readers with the necessary tools to not only be successful in life, but in business as well.
You can find Ready Set Go! on all major book sales websites as well as my own personal book webpage at www.Welcometothegreenprint.com.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Yes! Richelieu Dennis, creator of “SheaMoisture” and owner of Essence Magazine. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Black Women Talk Tech Conference 2018 in New York City.
I was inspired by his presentation and social mission for Essence Magazine. Most importantly, Mr. Dennis has traveled the path which I am currently navigating. He understands the value and importance of women innovators, especially women of color, and their ability to create startups and make major impacts in the world. He has demonstrated his commitment to women entrepreneurs with the creation of, “New Voices Fund”.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I encourage everyone to check out www.femisecrets.com and daviellejackson.com. They can follow me on Instagram @femisecrets and @daviellejackson as well.