Erika and Lauren + The Flex Company
When Erika Jensen and Lauren Schulte started The Flex Company, they set out on a mission is to create life-changing, body positive experiences through the products they make and the conversations they spark. Their vision is to reimagine and deliver life-changing period products everywhere. Their first product is the menstrual disc™ -- the most substantial innovation in period products in nearly a century. Menstrual discs offer 12 hours of leak-free period protection and can be worn during intercourse.
Why do you do what you do?
We are working to create a world where every woman loves her body. At our core, we believe that if women felt more comfortable in their own skin, that we would free up time, energy and mind space to focus on things that fulfill us. Physiological needs are at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy for a reason. And so often our physiological needs are put last. This is evidenced by the lack of education we have about our bodies, the woeful lack of innovation in our products, and the utter disregard for conversation about basic physical functions for women like breastfeeding, menstruating, or masturbating.
How do you balance your working relationship and your friendship?
We are sure to make time to hang out together outside of the office (with our third cofounder Panpan Wang). We have breakfast together every Friday morning and cook dinner together every other week. On weekends you might find us sailing or getting a mani pedi.
Tell us about a failure you're grateful for.
Early on, startup founders told us to hire our friends. We hired a handful of friends, and sadly none of them ended up being a fit for the company long-term. We learned that lesson the hard way, but we are grateful because we learned the importance of building a phenomenal culture and hiring people who are aligned with our company values and mission. Today our team is performing better than ever and we have a clear process and evaluation criteria for interviewing and recruiting. Our culture and process provide the team and new recruits confidence that we are hiring people who are a genuine fit.
Where do you go to get inspired?
We all find the ocean to be very cathartic and are fortunate enough for our office to be a few blocks away. We also enjoy international travel; the people we meet provide perspective and inspiration for our work.
When you were kids, what did you each want to be when you grew up?
Erika was/is an aspiring F1 Driver. Lauren wanted to be the President of the United States.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned working together?
To choose love over fear. This is the first company value we created together and a lens we use to make all of our business decisions.