Taran and Bunny Ghatrora of Blume set out to create a community, and everything they do is driven by two S’s: sisterhood and self-care. When the brand was in its inception, there had never been a wellness line devoted to teens. Their authentic approach to the hard-hitting issues that affect young girls started an industry-wide movement of acceptance. Focusing on a cohesive line of products that are safe for our bodies (and the environment), the brand ensures that self-care is taught as early as possible. Puberty is the most vulnerable time in a girl’s life, and many are not given the tools and education to feel their best. Blume plans to change that.
Here’s what they have to say about the future of feminine wellness and what we can all do to practice a little more self-love.
Hometown / Favorite Food / Guilty Pleasure:
Taran: Vancouver / Coffee and Chocolate / Memes!
Bunny: Vancouver / Pizza / Binge-Watching The Mindy Project
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Taran: Curious, Adventurous, Caring
Bunny: Ambitious, Funny, Empathetic
What inspired you to create Blume?
Taran: There has never been a comprehensive wellness line for teens for puberty and beyond. We feel that it is so important to feel spoken to at an age that often feels isolating. Through this cohesive line of products, we avoid that fear and confusion that can come from disparate product offerings. It’s also crucial to start off with the right habits that make sense for your body — rather to simply use whatever you’re able to find on the shelves of your local grocery store or in your mom’s bathroom cabinet. Blume ensures that you start your self-care routine on the right foot.
What are your goals for Blume as a brand? Anything exciting on the horizon?
Taran: When Blume first launched, we interviewed our audience and 60% of girls & women said they felt their self-esteem plummet as they went through puberty. This is the stat we are trying to change! Not so fun fact: 9–12 are also the ages most girls drop out of STEM fields and sports. When you feel less alone during these ages, and get the right education about yourself, we think this can change — and you’ll be more likely to feel ready to participate in the world. Our team just launched The States of Sex Ed as part of our Puberty Re-Do campaign to provide accessible, medically accurate comprehensive sex ed to youth and adults across America. We’re ready to make 2020 the year that sex ed matters.
Why do you think openness around feminine wellness is so important?
Bunny: We conducted a survey last year with over 1,000 women and results showed that 68% of women didn’t feel that school prepared them for their first period. Because it’s often seen as a “private” matter, it’s expected that parents will address puberty with their children. But we’ve read parenting books that suggest having this talk in the car to avoid eye contact or a dimly lit room. Schools are also skirting around the issue, so no one is providing the information young girls need to have a healthy, comfortable period.
We want to meet teens where they’re at, and avoid talking down to them while also providing them educational resources and great products that they can grow with.
How can we encourage the next generation of young women to be more confident in their bodies?
Taran: Young women need realistic representations of themselves to look up to. Gen Z is all about transparency — they can see through what’s fake, photoshopped, and airbrushed. That was part of why we launched our #CelebrateSkin campaign, which shows real humans with gorgeous beauty looks who also happen to have acne.
When we only see “good skin” in the media, it becomes a sort of status symbol — and it can be a lot of pressure to live up to. We want to show that you can celebrate, and be proud of, your skin — regardless of its adherence to outdated, unattainable societal standards.
Does Blume use data when making creative decisions? If so, how?
Bunny: Absolutely! It’s incredibly important for us to listen to our customers. While our products can be used at all stages of life, many of our customers are going through puberty. It’s a phase that can feel like no one is listening to you — so it’s crucial we hear what they have to say.
Before our launch, we surveyed over 1,000 women about their experience with puberty. We found that most of them had been ashamed (61%), scared (51%) or embarrassed (61%) when they first got their period. A discouraging 54% felt that there was no one they could talk to about it, and 50% said that their parents didn’t prepare them for what would happen.
And as we mentioned above, perhaps most striking was that 60% felt their self-esteem plummeted during puberty. We knew from that stat alone that Blume needed to be a brand that uplifts and brings people together — to show our community that they are not alone.
We continue to survey our audience in order to provide the best products and education for them and ensure we’re meeting their needs.
What does “self-care” mean to you?
Bunny: Self-care is a health issue in our eyes. When you aren’t taking care of yourself — your mind and your body — it can affect your mental state, your physical energy, and everything in between. Having the right tools is crucial to overall well-being.
To me, self-care is anything from taking a few deep breaths when I’m feeling overwhelmed, to a yoga class or hike to canceling all plans and staying in for pizza and face masks. Self-care is about listening to your body and what it needs at that time.
What is the best (and worst) part about working with your sister?
Taran: The best part about working with my sister is that she’s always positive and can brighten up my day! Good vibes are contagious and I’m grateful to have the best partner in crime. Blume’s mission is inspired by sisterhood, and so much of our relationship shines through what we do. The worst part is we spend ALL of our time together so we run out of things to talk about, and of course, as all siblings do, we drive each other crazy at times.
Bunny: Echoing what Taran said — there’s no one I’d rather run a business with! We have very different skill sets and focus on different parts of the business, but that’s why it works :) Sisterhood & friendship is deeply ingrained in Blume’s values and it truly comes from our relationship.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Taran: My parents. They are so hardworking and showed us how to make something out of nothing. They came to Canada as immigrants and put us through university and built an amazing life for our families. We are so grateful for the life they gave us and it pushes us to be the best we can be. It sounds cheesy, but they are a constant reminder of what positivity and grace look like. Growing up, my dad worked 16 hours a day (2 full-time jobs) and I would wait up until 1 am just to see him! *Tears up thinking up about this*
Bunny: Our customers! The Blume community has always guided us and continues to inspire us daily with their stories and experiences. Hearing from them how Blume has helped them feel more confident in their skin, have conversations they were previously nervous to have or take time for self-care for themselves is so inspiring and truly what gets me out of bed every morning.
What does the future of feminine wellness look like to you?
Taran: Very bright! In all seriousness, we are so inspired by the wave of women-led businesses that all have innovative ideas of how to change lives for the better. Conversations are being had, and deep-rooted problems in our society are finally being addressed. We’re definitely on our way to a more shame-free world.
What do you think the next big beauty trend will be?
Taran: I hope the next big beauty trend will be embracing our skin and loving ourselves without filters and layers of make-up. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but there is so much pressure to be flawless in 2019. I think more and more people are learning to log out of social media when it gets to be too much and focus on that inner beauty glow!
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Bunny: You’re not alone, find your people. Every day we receive messages from customers who say that Blume helped change their relationship with their body, and from parents who were able to start a dialogue with their kids through our resources. If I had reached out to find people to talk through those uncomfortable, awkward moments with, my adolescence would have been completely different.
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