Back in 2019, now 22-year-old Drew Jarvis and 25-year-old Cindy Belardo met through a product engineering firm. The two young women learned that they were both working toward the same goal: creating a better alternative to traditional period care products. Driven by a shared passion, the two decided to join forces. They built the groundwork for what is now Sunny, a reusable menstrual cup and applicator that easily inserts like a tampon.
Jarvis first had the idea for this concept when she discovered menstrual cups during her senior year of high school. After experiencing difficulties using products that were currently available in the market, she entered into a business idea pitch competition and won $25,000. At the same time, her now business partner, Cindy Belardo, was simultaneously working on a similar concept inspired by her period care research in India.
Building a reusable menstrual cup
Upon meeting, the two realized that they could take their ideas further by working together. They formed their company, Menstrual Mates, in 2019 (and rebranded the company to Sunny in January of 2022). Over the next two years, the two won multiple pitch competitions including Elevate Ventures and Latinx Launchpad. With their winnings, they worked to hone their product.
In 2021, $1,775 in book and merchandise sales trickled in. In April of 2022, however, a TikTok video explaining how to use their product went viral and Sunny began accepting preorders, driving over $130,000 in sales over the course of only five days.
“We couldn’t believe how quickly our brand blew up,” commented Jarvis. “We never expected to see so many sales in such a short timeframe.”
Belardo added, “Seeing this type of interest directly from our audience is huge for us. It really validates our product and gives us the financial backing we need to move the manufacturing process forward.”
To date, Sunny has raised $240,000 in equity funding and $750,000 in a pre-seed round. Orders are slated to ship toward the end of the year. Furthermore, Jarvis and Belardo are involved in multiple initiatives to make advancements in period care, with a focus on ending period poverty.
“We’re doing this to make a positive difference in the lives of menstruators around the world,” added Jarvis. “That’s what motivates us each and every day.”
The Sunny Cup + Applicator is available for preorder at sunnyperiod.com.