You can do it, put your as…pirations into it

Originally posted on Medium. This is part of a 12 month series where Underclub founder, Katie Fritts will be giving a more personal look into the company, our mission, and her story as a female founder.

So many “but(t)s”

I absolutely love hearing from members about how our deliveries make them feel: “I know this sounds silly but getting the monthly surprise feels empowering” or “It feels kind of selfish but it just makes me feel so happy.” After pouring through feedback, I noticed something interesting: by ordering luxury underwear, women were doing something that made themselves happy but also feeling guilty about doing something kind and empowering for themselves. This left me feeling perplexed, frustrated and almost sad. It got me thinking about why is it that when we do something that’s supposed to make us feel good about ourselves, we end up feeling embarrassed or guilty instead. It’s because there’s some part of us that’s telling ourselves we don’t deserve it.

My wish is for every woman to know her self-worth, and to recognize when she isn’t giving herself the credit she deserves. By no means am I saying that if you don’t buy designer underwear, then you don’t love yourself. Our service is one way to show yourself self-love; one way to feel good about yourself. Investing in beautiful underwear can make you feel confident, and confidence is empowering. Just like prepping for a big meeting with a relaxing manicure, or sweating out a stressful day with a SoulCycle class. For me, getting dressed in the morning with intention is “what I do” for myself.

But(t) why Underclub?

The same sentiment in these members’ reviews, that sense of wanting but not deserving, was how I felt before starting Underclub. I’ve always had a passion for building and creating, and I felt painfully trapped in corporate jobs where creativity was not valued. So I broke free from the corporate world to go to business school and change careers… but after two years and $100K+ worth of schooling, networking and interning, I wasn’t sure I had “earned the right” to start a company yet. My inner critic was telling me that if I didn’t have a startup plan that was perfect, then people would judge my decision (and me) as silly or stupid.

I remember the exact moment when a family friend gave me the kick in the butt I needed to start Underclub. When I told him my goal was to start my own company but that first I needed to get more startup experience, he ignored all my requests for startup intros. Instead he advised me to go to the desert and do drugs until I came back with an idea to start a company, and that’s how Underclub began! Just kidding. After 30 minutes of me trying to get startup leads out of him and him suggesting ways to free my inner creative, I told him my idea to fix the terrible experience of buying new underwear, he said, “It’s not a stupid idea, you should do it.”

I knew my idea wasn’t stupid- that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I thought my idea had to be 100% perfect for me to consider it worthy at all. Fun fact: Men apply to jobs if they think they meet 60% of the qualifications whereas women only apply to jobs if they know they meet 100% of the qualifications.

Most women (myself included) have passed up opportunities or haven’t taken risks because of that inner critic telling us that we don’t deserve something, that we aren’t ready, or that we aren’t good enough yet. For me, that critic feels like guilt, embarrassment or shame. But here’s the thing- whether it’s asking for the job promotion, telling an overbearing friend “no,” or buying yourself really nice underwear, if it’s coming from a good place on the inside, it’s worth doing. We need to make a more conscious choice to invest in ourselves and to quiet that critical voice.

Which brings me to my biggest mission: Underclub represents my desire to build a female-founded and female-focused community that empowers strong, confident women. We’re starting with delivering, joy, comfort and confidence in the form of luxury underwear, because starting your day out with great underwear feels phenomenal. We have literally got your back.

Everything you need to throw the ultimate halloween party

Source: Heidi Klum and Gigi Hadid, bravotv.com

It’s fall again and that means it’s nearly time for one of our favorite holidays – Halloween! Leave the trick-or-treating to the kids and throw an epic Halloween bash that people will still be talking about at Thanksgiving. From clever costumes inspired by our favorite underthings, to decoration tricks and scrumptious treats, we’ve got you covered, ghoulfriend.

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1. Decorations that set the mood

Set the scene for an evening full of spooky magic by keeping the lighting low with tapered black candles and queueing up the Halloween hits on Spotify.  Simple black tablecloths, fake spider webbing suspended from the ceiling , and creative pumpkin skills go a long way to add a world of ghoulish glamour

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2. Hauntingly delicious dood

If you’re going the dinner party route, leave a killer impression with dishes that double as decor. Highlight the All Hallow’s Eve theme with squid ink pasta and roasted garlic and cauliflower soup. For finger foods, sprinkle in themed spreads like “poison” candy apples, stuffed bell pepper jack-o-lanterns, and Dexter-inspired cupcakes.

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3. A signature brew to sip on

Serve up a cocktail that’s sure to be the center of attention like The Witch’s Heart for a delicious (and spooky) show, or make a pre-party batch of Hocus Pocus Punch that won’t have you mixing drinks all night. And for the angels who attend (a.k.a. The D.D.’s), you can make an extra batch of the Hocus Pocus Punch without the rum.

Source: Hocus Pocus, cinemablend.com

4. Wickedly fun activities

Build up the party’s energy with an elaborately themed murder mystery party, or kick off the night with a “Who Am I?” mix-and-mingle game. For the latter, write down characters from famous scary movies on index cards and tape one to each person’s back as they arrive. The goal is for each person to guess who their character is by asking each of the other party goers yes or no questions.

Source: Marlene Dietrich, devorahmacdonald.blogspot.co.uk

5. A killer costume, underwear-inspired, of course

If there was ever a good time to wear your underwear as (tasteful) outerwear, Halloween is it. A black leotard or some leopard print boyshorts will help you channel your inner Beyonce. Feeling adventurous? Put together a Circus Ringmaster costume, complete with red sequin shorts and striped stockings. Whatever you do, don’t be a basic witch.

#FemaleFounder Series: Molly Hayward at Cora

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Throughout history, a woman’s time of the month has been considered taboo. Molly Hayward is working to change that, while making the world a better place for women everywhere.  

Unlike other feminine products, Cora tampons are 100% organic, which is better for both your body and the world. If that wasn’t enough, the brand matches all orders, by providing pads to women in India without access to feminine products.

We sat down Molly to get the inside scoop.

RAPID FIRE Q&A

Name: Molly Hayward

Neighborhood and City: Hayes Valley, San Francisco

Livelihood: Founder at Cora 

Twitter: @corawomen

Instagram: @corawomen

Woman I Admire: Michelle Obama

Go-to Outfit: Black leggings, slouchy sweater, Madewell booties, big bangles

Can’t Live Without Product: Rose Water

Cocktail of Choice: French 75

Travel Destination You’re Dreaming of: South Africa

Current Craving: All things home decor

Best Advice: Being yourself is the role of a lifetime.

Favorite Quote: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

De-Stress Technique: Yoga, a Hot Bath, a walk in the woods

Favorite Track On Your Current Playlist: Only If for a Night – Florence and the Machine

 

WHAT ARE THE THREE WORDS THAT BEST CAPTURE YOU?

Fierce, kind, wild. 

WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?

Sheer will! And coffee. And the chance to have an amazing day. I am not a morning person! 

IN YOUR WORDS, WHAT IS CORA AND WHAT IS ITS MISSION?

Cora is a modern method for managing your period.

Cora brings sophisticated and 100% premium organic tampons and lifestyle accessories to the modern, smart, and stylish woman (product shot below) while providing menstrual products to girls in India for every Cora supply purchased, so they can stay in school during their periods.

Our vision is to change the experience of womanhood, starting with the way we experience periods.

WHAT WAS THE MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU HAD TO CREATE CORA?

I was in Kenya, and I met a girl who told me that she and her friends stayed home during their periods because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.

WHAT PARTS OF YOURSELF ARE REFLECTED IN THE SOUL OF THE COMPANY?

The commitment to helping women and girls in need. That piece comes from the deepest part of my heart. There wouldn’t be a Cora if I hadn’t met that girl and felt a connection with her a responsibility to help.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST DOUBT BEFORE STARTING CORA?

That I wasn’t qualified to start a company.

WHAT MAKES CORA DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TAMPON COMPANIES?

Everything. Cora considers every aspect of the period management experience and its pain points and solves them in its offering–from the tampon (organic cotton in a compact BPA-free applicator), to the way women store their tampons at home (Cora’s Little Black Box) to the way women carry them throughout their day at the office/the yoga studio/the bar (Cora’s Little Black Clutch), to the way they sound when a woman is opening them in the bathroom stall (soft and silent wrappers). These are included in every subscription, because we believe this is how period management should be treated–as integral to women’s lives instead of an afterthought.

We’ve created an experience so different that we hear our customers say we’ve changed their attitudes about their periods, because with Cora it’s no longer stressful or embarrassing for them. Whereas their old brand made them feel like a 12-year old girl, using Cora feels grown-up and sexy and in line with who they are as women–smart, health conscious, and sophisticated.

HOW DOES CORA HELP WOMEN FEEL MORE FEARLESS?

With Cora, no woman has to fear that the product she’s putting into her body might be harmful to her health. She doesn’t have to fear using an organic product that doesn’t actually work. She doesn’t have to fear carrying a bright pink designed-for-a-12-year-old tampon in her hand while she walks to the bathroom at work. She doesn’t have to fear that she won’t have what she needs, when she needs it.

WHERE CAN THE CORA COMMUNITY CONNECT WITH CORA AND GET SOME FOR THEMSELVES (E.G. WEBSITE, SOCIAL HANDLES, ETC.)?

www.cora.life

@CoraWomen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

The 3 Pairs You Need for Your Next Weekend Getaway

What essentials are on your packing checklist? Most of us are so focused on packing the right outerwear that it’s easy to forget the importance of your underthings. While taking in the excitement and awe of a new city, the last emotion you want to feel is discomfort- of your underwear riding up into places it shouldn’t, or making a surprise guest appearance when the camera flash goes off.

Here are the three types of underwear you need to make your vacation feel simply fantasstic.

1. The Barely There Pairalice-olivia-nude-empowered-by-you-thong-beige-product-0-691418625-normal

Try: Empowered By You seamless thong, cheeky or boyshort.

If you’re anything like us, light breezy dresses are a given for a weekend getaway. Avoid the unwanted panty sightings and lines that can ruin an otherwise flawless outfit. Pack a seamless, nude thong to help keep VPL’s out of sight and out of mind.

2. The Oh La La Pair

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Try: Blush Smolder thong or brief.

Add a sparkle to your smile knowing you’re rocking the ultimate accessory underneath. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a special someone, keep confident with a pair of Underbottoms that will enthrall. Who sees them is up to you. Try:

3. The Fabulous and Functional Pair

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Try: Fleur’t cotton boypant.

The travel and logistics of getting to your destination can be exhausting. Be sure to depart in comfort (and style) with a pair that will support you even when the ride gets long.

Plus, we’ve got you covered from head to bottom: This week, when you subscribe to our 6 month plan, we’ll send you a free Fleur’t Eye Mask* to help you catch some zzz’s when you’re on the way to your next adventure.

Use code TRAVELEASY at checkoutUpgrade your travel plans today.

*while supplies last!

Summer Bucket List

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Source: Wanderlust + Co

Everything gets better in the summertime. The days get longer, the nights get warmer, and lounging around in your underwear is even more encouraged. As much as we love this time of year, it won’t be here forever. As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun, and Fall will be here before we know it.

Don’t let your summer set without doing these 22 things.

1. Move it

Whether it’s the sun’s beams, the heat, or the absence of your bulky winter wardrobe, there’s something about the summer that makes it easier to get into shape. Make time to work out this summer. You’ll be happy you did.

2. Chase down an ice-cream man

Remember the absolute joy that accompanied the ting of the ice cream man’s jingle when you were little? Summer is the best time to tap into your inner child. The next time you hear the tune of the ice cream man coming up your street, grab your wallet and flag him down. We promise the ice cream still as delicious.

3. Bon fire + s’mores

One word for 19 ways of goodness: Yum.

4. Jump into a pool

Next time you’re at the pool, ditch your doubts and jump in cannon-ball style.

5. Watch the sunset

Nothing marks the end of a long summer day like a stunning sunset.

6. Wear white

Labor day will be here before you know it. We’re firm believers that you can rock white any time of the year,  but you might as well take advantage of the summer months to channel your inner Marilyn Monroe in that little white dress.

7. Take a risk with your hair

Some of the most adventurous hair changes take place in the summer. Just ask Taylor Swift, Victoria Beckham, Emma Stone or the countless other celebrities who decided to shake it up this summer.

8. Make a picnic

Pack up some sandwiches and savor the scenic sights of the great outdoors.

9. Explore locally

When you don’t have the time or money to go far, you can still fulfill your wanderlust and check out somewhere you’ve never been to. Stop at a new coffee shop on your way home from work, or spend the day exploring that trendy new neighborhood you’ve been hearing about.

10. Ride your bike

Nothing is as picturesque as riding a bike on a beautiful summer day.

11. Do nothing

Yes, you heard right. Do nothing. When was the last time you sat and listened to the birds chirp, or spent a stress free day in bed?

12. Eat watermelon

You can only get it for a little while, so enjoy!

13. Watch a thunderstorm

Thunderstorms can get scary fast, but they’re vivid and spectacular from the comfort of your patio. The next time it rains wrap yourself in a cozy blanket and watch the show.

14. Sip on cold brew coffee

Fun fact: Consumption of cold brew coffee grew 115% from 2014-2015, and it doesn’t show any sign of stopping. You find cold brew coffee pretty much anywhere this summer, so enjoy and grab yourself a cup.

15. Take a road trip

Whether you take a marathon road trip across the country or you plan to drive a few towns over. Get out of your town and explore what’s around you.

16. Get outside

Take advantage of the radiant weather and get out of the house. Whether you’re an avid hiker, or just feel like taking a stroll while you play some Pokémon go, soak up some Vitamin D and head outdoors. When you head back inside, check out our tips to recover from a day in the sun.

17. Create something

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of making something with your own hands. Use your time off to get crafty and creative with some friends. Not only will you have a new project and great memories, but you’ll have a souvenir of the summer of 2016. Need inspiration? Check out Brit + Co’s 15 Must-Make DIYs perfect for any summer day.

18. Go camping

It could be out in the wilderness, or even in your own backyard (we don’t judge a good glamping weekend). Either way, take some time to get in touch with your wild side.

19. Make your own popsicles

They’re healthy, delicious and perfect for a hot summer day. We are loving these Coconut Mojito ice pops.

20. Read a book

From The Great Gatsby to Modern Lovers, a lot of our favorite books are set in the summer months, making summer the best time of the year to grab a book and sprawl out in the sun.

21. Enjoy sangria

Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own. It’s easy and is the perfect beverage for your carefree summer nights.

22. Have a summer romance- with yourself

When was the last time you were on a date with yourself? At the end of the day, your relationship with yourself is the most important. Get dressed up, and treat yourself out to a night on the town. Underclub will be there every step of the way. Take our Style Questionnaire to get matched with your next favorite pair.

Keep track of your adventures and Pin our summer checklist here

Beach, please. Your essentials for a day by the water

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Photographer: Patrick Pilz

Summer is officially in full swing and there’s nothing like soaking up Vitamin D with a long day at the beach or the pool. While prolonged or unprotected exposure can wreak havoc on your body, getting smart on protecting yourself with these tips can go a long way. Here’s how:

1. Hydrate: The salt, wind and sun all have a way of drying you out. Hydration is essential to any beauty regimen, and it’s especially important after a day under the blazing summer sun. 

  • H2O up: We lose 1 to 2 liters of water a day just from breathing alone, and more than double that amount if you’re sweating or exercising. Drink. Lots. Of. Water.
  • Lather on that moisturizer: Pick an after-sun moisturizer with aloe, the “plant of immortality“. This miracle plant is key for cooling and hydrating your skin, especially those spots the sunscreen missed.

2. Refresh: Fun in the sun can drain your energy for later. Make sure to refuel and refresh so you’re ready for your next adventure.

  • Refresh your undergarments: Running around in a wet bathing suit isn’t only uncomfortable, the conditions down south facilitate bacterial growth that can increase your chances of getting a yeast infection or UTI. Need fresh bottoms? Use code SUMMERFUN this week only for 25% off your first month of Underclub.

3. Get ready to repeat: More summer sun in your future? Make sure you pay attention to protecting the less obvious parts of your body from the sun’s rays.

  • Love your locks: Although your hair isn’t technically a living entity, it can still get dry and brittle from the sun. Protect your head with a hat and follow up with recovery serum like Alterna Haircare’s Bamboo Beach Summer Sun Recovery Spray to help condition, detangle and help to restore your hair’s shine.
  • Toss the lipgloss: Unlike your skin, your lips don’t have melanin, the pigment that makes you tan when exposed to sun. Because your lips can’t protect themselves from the sun, toss shiny lip gloss and opt for matte lip balms with SPF.

6 Tips to Adulting

Welcome back from the long weekend! July 4th, the national holiday known best for barbecues, fireworks and summer fun. We come together each year to celebrate our country’s independence, but what about your own independence? The freedom and responsibility that come with adulthood in our own lives tend to be something we casually age into rather than heroically declare, but regardless of our path to independence, with the greatness of adult freedom comes adult responsibilities.

Whether you need some motivation to get back on the horse after the long weekend or you are looking for extra tips to jumpstart the game that’s already on point, here are our 6 ways to make adulting a little easier.

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1. Make your bed. Let’s start with where your day starts. Although it may seem like an additional chore, making your bed every morning has been shown to increase productivity, create feelings of accomplishment, and even promote your level of happiness– a big gain in exchange for a few extra minutes of tidying up. Pro tip: check out The Lazy Gal’s Guide to Making the Bed.

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2. Write it down. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities that accompany adulthood. Recording important goals and deadlines ahead of time can help prioritize tasks for the week, and ensure that you never forget an appointment, meeting or date. The power of technology makes following a schedule even easier. We’re firm believers in Google Calendar to keep track of our schedules across devices, but if you prefer the old fashioned feeling of writing dates down, we’re obsessed with these notebooks from Minted.

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3. Snack smart. Eating whatever you want, whenever you want it, is one of the best things about being an adult, and also one of the hardest things to manage when looking for something tasty and fast and healthy. Knowing a few go-to options you can reach for that are good for your body and mind is key. Studies show that eating brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats and vitamins (including berries and dark chocolate), can help improve focus, reaction time, motivation and memory, while decreasing stress and slowing the aging of brain cells.

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4. Treat yo self. Adulting is hard. Taking time to reward yourself can help make it more worthwhile. Planning rewards make people more motivated, help them stick to a certain goal, avoid procrastination, and follow a schedule more closely, while leading to greater levels of overall happiness. Set goals for yourself. Once you accomplish those goals, indulge. You’ve earned the right to reward yourself.

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5. Say “no” to multitasking. At first glance, multitasking seems like an obvious solution to the many requirements of adulthood. Unfortunately, switching from one task to another has been shown to deplete your energy reserves, drain your ability to focus and can cause a task to take twice as long to accomplish. Instead, dedicate yourself to one activity, whether it’s cleaning your house, exercising or completing your work for a few hours, then schedule a 15-minute break to make a cup of tea, tune out on Instagram, or read an article. You’ll burn through your responsibilities more quickly and will have more energy once you’re finished.

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6. Look the part. No matter how uncertain you may be feeling, a little confidence goes a long way. Feeling self-assured in your wardrobe choices can inspire you to act more responsibly, and every great outfit starts with your underwear. Although you can’t depend on your mom to buy them for you anymore, Underclub can help turn the chore of underwear shopping into a treat, delivering a beautiful pair of underwear customized to your style preferences every month.