In this episode of Hashtag Influencer, Sherri confronts stigma head on to talk periods with Leesa Raab of Thinx, Inc. Leesa is a New York-based PR and communications professional with over 15 years of experience. She spent the majority of her career in boutique PR agencies focused on wellness, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands. In 2018, Leesa moved to an in-house PR position with Thinx, where she dedicates her time to helping continue to break the taboos associated with menstruation, and bladder leaks.  Leesa shares valuable insights from her PR career as well as the value of working for a company with a mission you can get behind. Thinx has capitalized on the influencer space to push a game changing product but more importantly to educate a new generation all while promoting sustainability.   

Key Takeaways

  • Leesa’s journey into PR.
    • College at Ball State – after a trip to NYC, felt the need to live there and find a career that would lead her there.
    • Honed her skills through internships
    • His latest venture: Thinx
  • Advice to someone venturing into PR
    • Go to everything, meet as many people as you can.
    • Hone in on people that you are interested, either in the company they’re working for or familiar with their work and don’t be afraid to go introduce yourself. Write a LinkedIn message or find their email and introduce yourself.” (3:19)
  • What is Thinx all about
    • Thinx is a brand that sells washable period proof underwear as well as Speaks by Thinx, which is underwear for light to moderate bladder leaks.
    • Discovered Thinx from a Subway campaign but also from personal experience following and loving the brand from afar. 
    • Having worked with period cup and vibrator brands, Leesa had carved a niche for herself.
    • I love being part of a conversation that you know helps break taboos.” (8:40)
    • What makes Thinx different: “we take a lot of pride in being a solutions company for periods and bladder leaks and making sure that we offered the best product that it’s well made.(11:10)
    • Sustainable manufacturing space, large variety of styles colors and prints, giving consumers confidence to wear and talk about them.
  • Sustainability in period products
    • “7 billion tampons that are thrown out in the US every year, and most of them 88% are sold with applicators. So it takes 500 years for a single use plastic applicator to decompose.” (12:15) 
    • So much waste coming from something that happens every single month for about 38 years.
    • One Thinx pair can last up to two years or 24 wash cycles
    • “it makes you feel good to have that thought.”
    • Know your flow tool on the Thinx website – tells you not only what product suits you but it also tells you how much waste you’re personally able to eliminate by switching.
  • Give back initiatives
    • Boys and Girls Club – Thinx between 15,000 pairs of Thinx Between donated across  19 of their chapters (14:22).
    • Consistently partnering with organizations and non-profits
  • Challenges
    • Good news is it’s gotten better – Taboo is there but it’s more widely accepted to talk and advertise in this space.
    • “Interesting to see where you know there has been some improvement, some progress, but there are other spaces where it’s so continues to come up.” (17:20)
    • Different for men – In some ways Thinx has paved the way for the expansion of this conversation and in many ways it continues to be easier to advertise for products related to men.
    • We definitely want to keep working to break that mold and make people realize it’s OK to talk about it and you know we’re all here because someone had a period.” (18:51)
  • Social media & its impact
    • Using social mediato educate women on feminine health and hygiene and especially for younger women.
    • Use for product education as well as showcasing new product launches
    • We use these social platforms to demonstrate a lot of like how the underwear works and how to care for it and what to expect from it. (20:44)
    • Try not to go humorous – talk directly, use correct terminology
    • Influencers are inspired and excited to work with us
      • Ilana Glazer campaign was particularly successful 
    • Addressing bladder leaks: “It is more challenging to get people to say, yeah, I’ll do a campaign with you on that, you know, and I think it’s because periods are a function of the body and bladder leaks are seen as more of a dysfunction of the body, so that’s a harder space.” (22:38)
      • Busting myths and education is important: Bladder leaks are not just associated with getting older, one in three women has them and many college athletes use them. 
  • New and exciting for 2021 for Thinx
    • Thinx activewear
      • “Obviously it was designed for working out but considering we’re all spending a lot more time in our in our comfort clothes it’s great for working out at home or just working from home.” (25:18)
    • Lot’s coming down the road to look forward to – keep an eye on this space.
  • Name an influencer you love to follow – but hate to admit it!
    • Andy Cohen – NO hate about it at all
    • I just I think it’s so funny and entertaining. 26:35

About Sherri:

Sherri Langburt is the CEO of BabbleBoxx and has been a pioneer in the influencer marketing space since 2007. A passion for storytelling and brand marketing, and a desire to create an innovative social media solution, led Sherri to create BabbleBoxx – the influencer marketing agency best known for its co-sampling and signature box solutions. BabbleBoxx currently provides a full-range of integrated marketing services to brands across industries. Launched in December 2015, BabbleBoxx was named to the Inc. 500 fastest-growing private companies in 2018. 

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