As Delphine Veilleux opens the door to her Squamish home, her young toddler and baby are on their way out with her partner so she can have a few minutes to chat quietly.
Veilleux is a busy mom and business owner.
She is the co-founder, with Miriam Leckenby, of Rosaseven Lingerie, a sustainable period underwear company.
Veilleux exudes an accepting openness that makes talking about the products she sells a perfect fit.
The company has several styles of period underwear, period bodysuits and, most recently, period bathing suits.
You can shop by size and flow — there's a night-time shorts version, too.
While North American culture has historically imposed silence or even shame around women's menstrual cycles, Veilleux speaks about it with frank exuberance.
The idea of the underwear is that they are like "special" lingerie — lacy, pretty and comfortable, said Veilleux, who moved to Squamish from Whistler two years ago.
She came to Canada from France five years ago.
She was previously with Salomon, the sporting goods brand, but after a decade, wanted a change.
When her son was about six months old, at the start of the pandemic, she got the idea to start her own period underwear company after listening to a French-language podcast featuring women talking about subscriptions for organic tampons.
"I woke up with the vision of creating period underwear that would be made in Vancouver. I love lingerie, so [they] would be feminine, too," she said.
She connected with Leckenby after a call-out for a sustainable partner on LinkedIn, and the company launched a year later in March of 2021.
Veilleux said our culture is changing to be more open about menstruation and period products, it takes time and involves educating folks along the way.
"Slowly, it's changing — definitely recently," she said.
"I think the discussions around periods between generations — like between moms to daughters — is way more open."
She has noticed when the company has booths at markets, many people come up to ask questions or find out more.
The goal is to stamp out the shame and taboos around menstruation and empower people during their period, she said.
"The period doesn't have to be shame[ful] .... You can feel feminine; you can feel good. And you can look forward to your period because you know you're going to be able to wear your favourite super soft, super cute, period underwear,” she said.
While the underwear isn't cheap — about $60 per pair — compared with disposable period products that have to be bought frequently, period underwear saves money in the long run, she said.
The items can be rinsed in cold water and thrown in with regular wash.
Like many locals, Veilleux and Leckenby worry about the environment, thus the products are zero waste and slow fashion — cut and made from organic fabrics in small quantities by a manufacturer in Vancouver.
The company is primarily online, but a couple of pharmacies have reached out and are selling the products retail — one in Tofino and one in Calgary.
The goal for 2023 is to expand into more brick and mortar opportunities, Veilleux said.
As the interview ends and she is shutting the door to her home, she pops her head back out to say, “You could mention they make an avant-garde gift for Valentine’s Day!”
Find out more on Rosaseven Lingerie's website.
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