Tampon subscription services have some new competition.
The New York startup Athena Club joins the crowded delivery field with its launch this week.
The founders say they want to provide women with more choices — at a more affordable price point.
“At a time when customers have so many options out there, they want it all — they want value, they want price, they want convenience,” co-founder Allie Griswold, 25, said. “We wanted to bring all of those things to our customers.”
Griswold and co-founder Maria Markina, 24, met while working for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company (in an apt origin story, Griswold gave a stranded Markina a tampon on Markina’s first day).
After raising $3.8 million in seed funding, Athena Club launches with two price points: $6.50 for 18 premium tampons (made primarily of cotton and rayon), and $7.50 for 18 organic (100 percent cotton). Both are available in a range of absorbencies, which customers can customize. Deliveries can be every month, two months or six months. Shipping is free.
The tampons are free of dyes and bleach, are unscented and use BPA-free plastic applicators. “We were very, very strict about what we put in our tampons,” Markina said.
Athena Club is hardly the first company to deliver feminine products — especially ones labeled organic — straight to your door. Other names in the space include Cora, Lola, Monthly Gift, L., Kali and Tampon Tribe. (Devotees of store-bought brands like Tampax and Kotex can set up regular reorders with a Prime account, too.)
Markina and Griswold say what sets their subscription model apart from the pack is price: Whereas other organic lines may start as low as $10 a month, theirs is under $10.
Athena Club is able to keep costs down by being “very lean,” Markina said. “We’re not a lot of people.”
The two credit their experience at McKinsey, seeing what works and what doesn’t for dozens of companies, in helping keep their overhead costs low “and pass the savings on to our customers,” Griswold said.
The two landed on the goddess name for their brand because they wanted to avoid a name that “sounds very clinical,” Markina said. “It was important to have a name that means something.”
As Athena Club grows, the company plans to offer a larger line of feminine hygiene products, like pads.
It also is building partnerships; in addition to its website, its tampons are available through Free People. Athena Club’s referral program also gives customers the option to donate tampons to charity partners Support the Girls and Period.org.
“Tampons shouldn’t be a luxury,” Griswold said. “We wanted to make sure women, whatever situation they’re in, have access to feminine hygiene products.”