A Canterbury girl until her late teens Kimberli called the world her home for many years, living abroad, exploring cultures and environments, gaining knowledge on the planet and how it effected her journey in life.
In 2002 she landed back in Aotearoa, starting a family and her first business which allowed her to be with her children as much as possible. Over the years her skills morphed into specializing in business startups and innovative products. Each company unique in its own way, giving way to an exciting journey into the business world.
In 2014 she discovered the humble menstrual cup, leading to a HUGE epiphany:
- How was she not told about these when she was 16?
- How come not one of her friends had ever told her about them over her lifetime?
- Why did we use disposables?
- She was horrified at the amount of menstrual waste she had accumulated over her life
- No-one talked about periods, why?
- Menstrual Cup were associated with hippies, why?
- Menstrual Cups can save the world (well not quite but it felt like that)
After buying cups for her friends and starting a bit of research she started selling international branded cups online. She sent 100's of sample menstrual cups all over Aotearoa to people that had never heard of them before, along with a survey to find out what they felt when they tried one for the first time. The results were unbelievable: over 95% of the people that she sent sample menstrual cups would never use a disposable product again.
After 3 years of research and development My Cup NZ was launched, along with her dream of producing the first two menstrual cups made in NZ. In fact the first menstrual cups ever made in NZ, along with a dream of helping people own a menstrual cup.
She was fortunate to have the support of SIFT (Sustainable Initiative Funds Trust) and Callaghan Innovations for their seed funding, enabling her to develop a strong IP strategy and seek innovative local engineers to assist her with her project.
My Cup NZ is an Impact Enterprise (or social enterprise) that uses their business model to help others. So far they have donated 7200 menstrual cups to Community Partners all over NZ (and abroad) who gift the cups with education. Their focus is to help alleviate period poverty in Aotearoa.
But there was something missing. Stories emerged of people not having a choice when it came to managing their periods. Pads that were itchy and uncomfortable, tampons that were not doing the job, menstrual cups being gifted with no education to people that didnt want to insert anything inside their bodies, people wanting to try reusable menstrual products (cloth pads, period underwear and menstrual cups) but could not afford the initial investment.
Kimberli realized that the key to period poverty in NZ was choice. Every person was unique and had different needs, menstrual cups were not the answer for everyone.
So where to from here?
The first step was creating a website which sold all types of reusable period products. DONE #choice
The second step was producing a range of educational videos to help people make the choice as to what product might suit them best. Thanks to Kate Hall, My Cup now has a set of 7 fabulous videos designed for ages 10 years+. DONE #choice
The next step was to work how how she could help those in need with more than a menstrual cup.
After a lot of talking, soul searching and brain storming, The Good Fund was born. And it was a huge birth, it came out screaming! It answered so many of my questions, gave me a more defined purpose and allowed me to work more with one of my favourite people Emily Holdaway. Its our baby and it is going to grow up fast!
There is a lot more to Kimberli's story but thats the bones of it. Her new mahi is #choicesarechoice.