Hallie Mazurkiewicz’s mother started preparing for the “period conversation” the day she found out she was having a baby girl.
When Hallie was 12, her mother gave her a box of period-essentials, despite not having started her period yet. A few years later, she started spotting, so her mother sat her down and welcomed her into womanhood.
Now, at 28, Mazurkiewicz is trying to do the same for others by making the conversation around menstruation easier through her company Lunar Wild.
“Ask any one of your friends, ‘Do you remember your first period? Where were you? Who were you with?’ And I guarantee they have a story for you,” said Mazurkiewicz.
“You don’t remember, maybe, the first time you tied your shoe, but starting a period is so emotional for us. It’s deeply psychologically impactful.”
Mazurkiewicz, a St. Thomas University alumna, launched Lunar Wild in June 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. The company is a women’s empowerment brand that aims to raise awareness on women and their bodies and break down stigmas.
“I chose the name Lunar Wild because it’s kind of two-fold … you have the word lunar, which relates, to the moon and women’s bodies historically [are] physiologically synced up with the lunar calendar,” she said.
“The wild part for me, was sort of a sense of giving women permission to tap back into that innate wild thing within every single one of us. Kind of this unique goddess nature that I feel a lot of us have been separated from.”
Lunar Wild offers gift boxes, like the one her mother gave her, to help prepare for a first period.
Pre-orders for the Lunar Wild Period Gift Box were accepted six to eight months after she created the concept in June 2017. Mazurkiewicz and her family packed 200 gift boxes, which sold out in the first 48 hours. Since the launch, Mazurkiewicz has helped over 250 girls across North America prepare for their first period.
The First Period box retails at $125 and can be shipped for free anywhere in North America. They include 12 products from female-run companies that she tested herself.
Inside the box is a menstrual cup, a cloth pad, organic tampons and pads, chocolates infused with Chinese medicinal herbs, feminine balance tea, a guide about starting your period, bath salts, a handwritten note and more.
Mazurkiewicz said she receives orders from mothers, aunts, older sisters and fathers, trying to make their young girls’ first period experience special.
“I had a single dad reach out to me the other day … it brought me to tears,” she said.
“He was thanking me for giving him an opportunity to approach a very sensitive topic with his 12-year-old daughter. He couldn’t wait to just quietly place it on her bed and let her find it and let her know that she’s special … He’s there for her as a man, even though he’s not fully going to understand her experience.”
The box isn’t only for young girls nearing their first period. She said there is another standard box for anyone else who would like to try out the products.
“Every gift in there is something I would desire as a grown woman,” she said.
After receiving feedback, Mazurkiewicz decided to also create a mini version that’s $49 which will launch in a few weeks.
Mazurkiewicz wanted to give back to the STU community, where she double-majored in psychology and elementary education and minored in English. She created the coupon code TOMMIES for students to receive $10 off.
Aside from online sales, Mazurkiewicz wants to expand and sell boxes in stores in Fredericton, a place she lived for 12 years. She has been speaking with local business owners about making that a reality.
Mazurkiewicz also hopes to expand the product line, host events, women’s retreats, workshops and teachings in schools.
“Why are we not focusing more on this one-time event? We get one chance to welcome a girl into womanhood and to make sure she feels educated [and that] she feels prepared and we’re just not doing it,” she said.
“This is normal. This is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, your body has the ability to produce the miracle of life someday if you choose that and I think that needs to be celebrated.”