Interview; Roslyn Campbell
founder of tsuno
Roz is a 31 year old female living in Melbourne. A desinger and social entrepreneur running her own company Tsuno - which sells sanitary products made from natural fibres and donates 50% of profits to charities empowering women and girls living in poverty. We were lucky enough to have a little chat to Roz about her experience running such an amazing company.
"My branding and voice for Tsuno is not crafted or planned, it's just what feels natural for me as I do it."
So Roz, why was it important for you to venture into the world of sanitray products?
At Uni whilst studying industrial design I became interested in the environmental impacts of everyday products, and focussed my attention to sanitary products after being given a menstrual cup by a friend. I then found myself learning about the fact that millions of women and girls around the world don't have effective methods of managing their periods, which was impacting their ability to stay in school - which has a huge impact on their lives. I had the idea for Tsuno and kept it in my head for over a year so I eventually decided to make it happen.
Tsuno promotes a fun, healthy, creative and positive messege. Why did you prioritise these when you were building your business model?
Because it's who I am! My branding and voice for Tsuno is not crafted or planned, it's just what feels natural for me as I do it. So many brands try to sell a feeling of safety/focus on fear with their products and I think that is so bad. I just want to be inclusive, positive and want the products to look really nice so people don't feel like hiding them away.
This month we are exploring the over-arching topic 'enlighten'. Why is it important for everyone to learn about sanitary products?
I think if you stop to think about how lucky you are to be able to afford sanitary products, and think about what it would be like to try and do your daily routine without them, and how much of an impact that would have on your routine and lifestyle - and know that you can do something simple to help people in that situation, that is enlightening.
we know you've studied industrial design, but how did you go about designing pads and tampons?!
I source my pads and tampons from manufacturers who specialise in the design and manufacturing of these things, but in the case of pads, I have influenced material decisions to try to make the pads moree sustainable. It's a never ending process, whenever I get feedback from a customer, (or when I use them myself) I always think - how can I make this better? Right now I am looking at the adhesive used on the pads, researching different options and getting samples made, because imrpovements are always needed.
What has been the hardest thing about Tsuno so far and what have you done to overcome it?
I think the hardest thing has been to endure and persist when things don't seen to be working. There was a big period of time where I just wasn't selling enough to be able to pay the bills let alone donate any money. It's very tempting to throw my arms up in the air and say 'oh this isn't working, I quit, I'm just going to get a normal job!' but for some reason, probably just stubbornness, I have managed to stick at it to a point where more retailers have come onboard and I was able to grow the product line to include tampons. It's also about being kind to myself and remembering that things do take time and I have achieved a lot for one person.
Lastly, what's the most interesting menstrual fact you've learnt along the way to making sanitary items?
I've leanrt a lot, but I have met some awesome people who are doing research into the menstrual cycle, and our hormone fluctuations throughout the month and how working with those can help us live easier, more productive, less stressful lives. It is so interesting and I have only just dipped my toe in, but have already noticed how the awareness has helped me personally and in my relationships.