Those of us who experience periods know the pain we go through each month, not just the physical kind but also the figurative kind.
We sometimes get leaks and it’s also been known that commercial sanitary pads may contain toxic chemicals that cause ovarian cancer, among less serious health concerns.
Elaine Pee noticed that these issues faced by other women around her couldn’t be mitigated by the sanitary pad brands already in the market.
So, she established JOUI in 2019 with the aim to provide a quality sanitary that enhances Malaysian women’s health through their periods.
Conquering The Red Sea
Elaine was in the F&B industry before this, and in her time there she noticed staff and customers often had a hard time dealing with their periods. Staff would apply for period leaves and Elaine would often find period stains on chairs, too.
These repeated issues made her look into how women’s wellness care could be bettered by sanitary pads, which led to her starting JOUI. “JOUI does not merely focus on the basic needs such as absorption and comfort but also focuses on providing health benefits to women,” she said.
JOUI is designed to combat undesired symptoms during one’s period through its Cozeft™ technology. Cozeft™ consists of 5 core elements: Analgesia, Nano Silver, Negative Ions, Rejuvenate Cells, and Far Infrared.
In a nutshell, Cozeft™ helps to reduce period pain and rashes, improves microcirculation and balances PH, and it also claims to repair cells.
Some of the raw material’s for JOUI’s pad technology are obtained from Taiwan and Japan before being imported into China, where JOUI’s products are then manufactured.
“We chose to manufacture our pads in China because Malaysia does not have sufficient resources for production. It is also cost-effective to manufacture in China for the time being due to cheaper labour cost,” Elaine explained.
However, she also said that JOUI would consider having its manufacturing line in Malaysia in the future once Malaysia has the resources to support the manufacturing process.
Doing More Than Fulfilling Basic Needs
Elaine and her team spent 18 months doing initial research, looking into the aspects of gaps they could address when it came to the local market’s needs.
“As more preparation and testing were done, we have gathered some initial funding from a few investors who see this as an opportunity to penetrate the market. Up till now, RM500,000 capital has been pumped in,” she said.
She added, “We are expecting to breakeven within two years’ time frame in hopes of capitalising the offline and online market in Malaysia.”
To do that, they’d need to convince Malaysian women that sanitary pads do play a role in their health.
“We noticed many Malaysian women are only concerned about fulfilling basic needs and because of this concern, they are much more conservative and search for the cheapest sanitary pads in the market,” Elaine said.
We also observed that the majority of Malaysian women are not aware that low-quality pads can also affect their body in the long-term perspective. They are not concerned with brands, benefits, or even the materials used in the sanitary pads purchased.Elaine Pee, JOUI.
In efforts to better educate Malaysian women on this topic, JOUI has been creating social ads and campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Elaine believes that doing things this way will give them a higher chance of reaching out to more women.
“Besides that, we also plan to collaborate with schools, universities and corporations to increase the awareness of using the right sanitary pads within society,” she said.
There’s Always Room For Improvement
With commercial cotton dubbed as “the world’s dirtiest crop”, the rise of sanitary pads made from organic cotton in Malaysia has not gone unnoticed, with brands like Enya marketing themselves from that angle.
On the other hand, Elaine stated that JOUI uses natural cotton over organic cotton because of its efficient absorption and that the absorption rate affects the comfort of the wearer.
If JOUI were to switch out natural cotton for another material, they would consider bamboo material that Elaine said could provide similar results to maintain the comfort of their pads.
JOUI’s pads are also packaged individually twice for hygiene purposes before being packaged as a bunch, which seems to create more waste than commercial pads packaging.
When asked about it, Elaine said that JOUI would consider adopting an eco-friendlier packaging for their upcoming batch, provided they could upkeep the hygiene factor of their sanitary pads.
Reusable pads are also becoming more common in Malaysia, especially among the zero-waste community. However, Elaine believes that the target market for their sanitary pads and reusable pads are two different markets.
“We are emphasising more on health rather than just catering to basic needs. Considering the factors of our busy lives, we believe our philosophy would capture a larger audience in the market,” she said.
That being said, Elaine wouldn’t rule out the possibility of JOUI introducing new product lines to the market if there was demand for them.
For now, JOUI will focus on increasing its market presence by collaborating with bigger distributing partners to expand into offline regional channels alongside doing market awareness campaigns online.
- You can find out more about JOUI here.
6 Simple But Practical Tips On Digital Marketing You Can Apply Immediately, As Shared By Experts
Featured Image Credit: JOUI