This week we’re excited to feature Meika Hollender, the founder & CEO of Sustain, a line of environment & vagina friendly products from periods to pleasure!
Meika, What does it mean to be a “well-woman” in 2019?
To me being a ‘well-woman’ means continually trying to explore myself and commit to personal growth.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself over the last decade?
That I can in fact figure most of the sh** out that comes my way! I used to be terrified and insecure when I started Sustain that I wasn’t smart enough to figure out everything that came across my plate…recognizing that I was more capable than I thought I was growing up has been a big and important learning for me.
If you could go back in time, what do you wish you knew about your health that you know now?
That dairy was a serious culprit of my life long allergies!
Where did the idea come from to start Sustain?
The genesis of Sustain was actually an idea that my dad (and co-founder) had to make the world’s most Sustainable condoms over 20 years ago…he actually trademarked the name Rainforest Rubbers at the time.
We talk a lot about design “by women for women” at Tia. What about you being a woman influenced your approach to building Sustain?
Sustain is the first brand of sexual wellness products that is truly vagina-centric — from our ingredients, to our marketing, to the social and political issues we take on and advocate for or against, we are a brand that has celebrated and honored female sexuality from day one, something hardly any sexual wellness brand with had done before us.
What do you think has been the key to your success?
My support system of friends and family…and the incredible members of my team.
In your experience, what is the biggest barrier facing female founders?
Oh man…so much, but I do think it’s starting to change.
Access to capital, the patriarchy, I could go on and on…but I think the patriarchy pretty much sums it up.
What do you see as the role of a company and in particular, a founder and CEO, in taking a public stance on important issues of our time?
Over the last five years at Sustain, we have worked tirelessly to advocate for safe sex, sex-positive sex education, and complete bodily autonomy, and in the past week, we’ve seen lawmakers try to dismantle these values.
As business owners, with the platforms we have, it is crucial for us to use our voices to support the rights of the people we serve, and beyond. The need for business and business leaders who want to create a more equitable world has never been more important, and sitting on the sidelines, in my opinion, is not an option.
Where do you want Sustain to be in 5 years?
In 5 years Sustain will be a global sexual wellness community ensuring women have the resources, education, and products they need to address all aspects of their sexual and reproductive health.