Considering the fact that each year, approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. enter menopause – including 34 potential physical and mental health symptoms – and it’s easy to understand that this once-neglected phase of life represents an opportunity worth $ 600 billion. But, if TV personality Stacey London, CEO of the menopausal care company State of Menopause, heard those facts once, she told me she was going to scream. For him, the most interesting idea is the “why” behind that vacancy and the consequent lack of service.
“In the past, we have been taught to internalize the shame about menopause,” says London, referring to the resulting lack of information, products or services for menopause up to this point. But now, one of Well + Good’s 2022 changemakers to fill that void is the confluence of forces pushing inventors like London. First and foremost is the fact that Gen-X is now largely entering menopause, and “we, as a generation, do not sleep in old age,” says London. “As we are, you have told me that everyone before me has white-copied it. Well, I have no way of doing that,” she laughs.
What helps is that technological advances in the healthcare industry are allowing us to live longer – on a regular basis, through menopause and beyond, for menopausal people – and consumer knowledge about health has grown exponentially. “We are more conscious than ever about how to take care of ourselves physically and mentally,” says London. “It’s creating longevity, like menopause isn’t really the autumn phase of anyone’s life.”
“Menopause is Mother Nature’s way of forcing us to refocus our energy on ourselves.” -Stacy London, CEO of the State of Menopause
Instead, London sees menopause as a long-term mercury retro: “It can feel like nothing is going well or every circuit in your body and mind is short,” she says. And as any astrologer will tell you before the retrograde transit, you’d be better off guessing and embracing it “slow to pause, relax and get up”, says London. “This, for me, is what menopause is all about: it’s Mother Nature’s way of forcing us to focus our energy on ourselves.”
Doing so requires both education and the tools to handle this step – all of which London has been working to provide since the brand was formally launched last year. Below, she and I talk about the company’s growth and its vision for the future where menopause is openly discussed and addressed as menstruation or pregnancy.
Good + Good: What inspired you to start a menopause and start your own brand?
Stacey London: It’s important to know that I had no interest in any business before it came out. But the reason I’m so acquired-minded is that I was initially a beta-tester for some of the products that were going to be a menopausal skin-care line. And I realized the real investment in the company I started thinking about menopause in 2018, mostly because I was just beginning to realize that what I was experiencing at the time was that menopause is a search for information.
I didn’t get the help I needed from the doctors because they didn’t know what to ask, and my mind was on gymnastics to explain what was happening to me. In the past, I used to think that recovering from spinal surgery was the reason I felt anxious. Then, I got night sweats and depression, which I was just worried about. And then, once my dad had a heart attack, I started having heart palpitations, skin blemishes – I thought it was a physical expression of grief. And when my doctor finally told me, “Oh, it’s just menopause,” I thought I was overreacting.
I was given antidepressants. I was given anti-anxiety medication. But once I understand the role of hormones and menopause in all of my symptoms – a real one or two punches to experience menopause on both a physical and psychological level – I think it’s time to treat the problem and treat the person. I wanted a big reference to what was happening, and there was none. So for me, it was important not only to sort out the line with the ability to address something, but also to reconfigure it in the market. Menopausal skin care is a part of it, for sure, but I’ve seen a lot of big games on board in terms of acute symptomatic relief of menopausal symptoms.
W + G: Why did you feel that direct symptomatic relief was so important?
SL: Menopause happens at a rapid pace, and everything changes at once: your tastes change, your emotions change, and hormones control them all. So, I was like, “Why don’t we talk about everything we can to adapt to this time of life?” And that means creating products for the symptoms, in particular, so that there are options. One person might say, “Hey, maybe I don’t need an estrogen patch, and I just need a cooling spray.” And the other person needs something when they feel muscle fatigue or breast tenderness. Well, well, our CBD oil is perfect for that.
Basically, I wanted to provide products for immediate relief – that’s why we’re phasing out the supplements we started this year. It’s not that I don’t believe in supplements, but they are consumers’ responsibility: you have to remember to take them every day, and medical professionals will tell you that you need to wait three months for any possible changes. Well, I don’t want you to have to wait three months to find out if I have any work to do. I want you to know within 30 minutes … or 20 minutes or two minutes, in some cases. So, when you sweat in the middle of a meeting and you apologize or apologize, instead, you may feel like “I got it” and you can get something out of your device’s arsenal. .
W + G: So, how do you address menopausal symptoms that cannot be treated immediately?
SL: Of course, there are things that fall into that category, with weight gain being one of them. What I see going on in terms of those things is the partnership with other companies where we can say, “Hey, are you doing an incredible program for menopause? Let us do that with you.” For example, we’re working with a nutrition company to help them create a program geared toward menopause and the specific weight-distribution changes it can bring. We are also working with an exercise company that is creating a menopause-focused regime. But in general, if someone brings something out of our reach, we can at least point them in the right direction and educate them about it.
W + G: You talked a lot about the need for education about menopause. Why is that, and how are you working to provide it?
SL: People need to know in advance that there are options available to treat their symptoms because I didn’t know it at the time. And I don’t want anyone to know what I’ve been through. I had a crisis of confidence that took me out of my game and broke my heart. But with at least a little bit of knowledge already at this stage of life, the way I experienced it would change.
“We can offer products to help menopause, but you can’t buy something you don’t understand. And if you don’t have an education you can’t make informed choices.” -London
We can offer products to help menopause, but you can’t buy something you don’t understand. And if you don’t have an education, you can’t make informed choices. So, on our new website, you will find an option called “Learn more” in the navigation bar and it has two sections. The first is “Menopause 101,” which includes articles written by doctors or approved by our medical advisory team on how to manage the more difficult aspects of menopause. And the second is our blog, “On Pause”, which includes newsletters collected from me, and for which we are going to allow our clients to write first-person pieces – not product testimonials but essays about their experience with menopause.
Ultimately, I want to be a destination where people can interact the way we do on social platforms. We want our site to be a safe place to connect for anyone who is going through menopause. And this includes not only people within the chronological age group of 40 to 60 years, but also people undergoing medical menopause or surgical menopause or gender non-binary menopause at any point in life.
W + G: That’s amazing. What happens in the duct for menopause?
SL: We knew that sex during menopause was another thing we should address. This is probably the number one request I’ve ever received. So, we started a CBD suppository to really help with vaginal dampness and painful sex, and we did that in partnership with a company called In Your Pleasure, which came to us and said, “Our biggest clientele is menopause.” I was like, “Yeah, we need to cooperate right now.”
We also have four new products for this year, and some of them will be collaborations because that’s what I really believe.
W + G: How do you see the state of menopause providing better service to future menopausal consumers?
SL: Menopause companies benefit greatly from working together. If we are promoting each other’s companies, we are really proving to our consumers that it is their experience or their experience or anyone else’s experience at this stage.
The fact is, there are so many different signs of menopause that we need to think about the best way to address each of them – and no company will ever win. We need to work together to say, “Hey, we need our own corridors in the store. We need our own shelves. We need our own footprints.”
What I don’t want is a new thing for menopause in which people invest because no one has done it before, and then the fade fades. It needs to be part of the sky. We need [menopause care] As much as we need tampons. And why is this something we are not talking about in the same way?
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