JETTE, OUR FOUNDER
Today we thought we'd delve a little deeper into the reason ilo is here and speak to Jette, the founder of ilo and without further ado, let's chat!
SO JETTE, TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOURSELF
Ok, my name is Jette and I'm 35 years old. I currently live in Singapore with my fiancé and 10month old daughter, Molly. We were based in Ireland but moved here in April 2018.
I was diagnosed in 2007 with PCOS and basically told I’d never conceive..I always had on the dot regular periods but was a pretty hairy girl. Even though I’m half Indian I was still on the high end of the spectrum - I get my lip waxed, bleached facial hair etc. When Tom and I decided to try for a baby I went through the route of really looking at my body and now it worked, looking at my diet, taking herbs, acupuncture etc to set my body up in tip top shape before trying and we conceived on the first go - which was a MASSIVE shock and change to our lives, especially considering we’d anticipated it taking about a year and only being together less than a year when we started trying.
I now want to help other women get in tune with their bodies because I truly believe that it was my ability to truly know what was going on with my body that helped with my conceiving and everything after that.
AND WHY DID YOU START ILO?
ilo has been a long time coming. I was always really conscious of waste and sanitary product toxicity but when I had my daughter it really brought home how uneducated women are in the most basic of hygiene and safety and I didn't want her growing up in a world where that happens. ilo started initially to bring to market an actual biodegradable nappy but the technology just isn't available right now. We were always going to be looking into female sanitary products and it just seemed a great place to start. I want to provide women and girls, men and boys with correct and honest information when it comes to all things period and products and I want to make sure that it isn't just for those who can afford it.
IT SOUNDS LIKE A MAMMOTH TASK! HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO BRING YOUR DREAM TO LIFE?
It is a mammoth task! We're currently looking for funding but in the meantime we're working on a couple of supportive products as well as creating a huge amount of resources for our community. It's so important to me that we're not just selling products - it's all about empowering females and teaching not only them but men and boys about periods and female bodies. I have a few people who I'm working with on a freelance basis but I'm really looking to get a team in place asap! Running a business and having a 10 month old is tough, I don't know what I used to do with all my time before! Actually I do - Netflix.
SO WHAT SHOULD WE CHECK OUT FIRST IF WE'RE NEW TO ILO?
I'd definitely go and read up about your cycle because knowing how it works versus just knowing you bleed for 6 days is VITAL to understanding your mood/hormones/being as well as what you should be eating and why to even making social plans. I’ve created a PERIOD JOURNAL for the ilo community which isn’t just for people who don’t take the pill! And it’s not JUST a tracker, it' really a cohesive look at your period and is one of the first steps to really getting in tune with your body and period.
Things like how to help PMS is always a good one, so many women tell me they have really bad PMS and then go and sign up for the newsletter because all of our content gets sent straight to your email and then put up on the blog a couple of days later. The newsletter is where we do giveaways, treats, discount codes etc.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR ILO?
LOTS! haha, that's the short answer anyway. We'll be launching our very own sanitary product range next year as well as retreats which are ALL about empowerment and learning about your cycle and how you can use that to improve your life. We'll be at lots of different festivals around the world, in Ireland, UK, Australia and more plus we'll be launching several of our own events and bringing together of amazing minds. Details will all be sent our through our newsletter so sign up!
THAT SOUNDS AMAZING, HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME TO RUN A BUSINESS LIKE THIS AND LOOK AFTER A 10MONTH OLD BABE?
It's really tough but we are extremely fortunate that we have a live in nanny. It was one of the reasons we moved to Singapore. It's actually uncommon if you don't have a live in nanny here and it means that I can spend all morning with Molly uninterrupted by phones etc and then the afternoons I can head off to a co-working space and get lots done! Parenthood is hard enough as it is and to have three of us raising our daughter is just amazing. A lot of people find it really odd but I see it as it's just one more person who shows our daughter love and for that I'll always be grateful.
WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU WOULD SAY TO WOMEN WHO WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR PERIODS OR WHO WANT TO HELP THEIR DAUGHTERS?
Learn about your cycle, work with your daughter to document it and keep track (if you sign up to our newsletter we actually send you our very own Period Journal PDF you can use). It will absolutely help you to learn about your seasons and your moods - it doesn't matter if you're on the pill and your period comes the same day every time. It's not just about tracking your period, it's about all the other stuff that gives us a complete picture of our bodies, mind and it's reactions. Then I’d say keep talking. It’s vital that she knows and understands and truly is aware that there are no subjects off limits..I get a lot of women saying to me that they’d wished their mothers had walked them through it/talked to them more about it etc.
CAN WE FIND ILO ELSEWHERE ONLINE?
Yes, ilo is on instagram and facebook (although we really don’t post on here). We also do a few events in Asia and you’ll find out about them first by signing up to our newsletter.
Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter and you could get yourself 15% off your ORGANIC COTTON sanitary subscription!