Q: Introduce yourself, and tell us a little bit about your organization, Hate the Dot
A: My name is Miyoshi Days and I am the founder of Hate the Dot. Our mission is to turn your menstrual cycle into a self-care ritual.
Q: Tell us more about how Hate the Dot came to be!
A: I started Hate the Dot, going on 6 years now. Originally, it was actually something completely different, it started because I used to get really bad menstrual periods. So I was home one month and I had gotten my period and I had no pads, no tampons, nothing to deal with it and I called my dad and said, “Hey dad, can you run to the drugstore for me, get these items, I’m on my period, I’m in a lot of pain.” He said “Ya sure” and he went and he brought back all of the wrong products! So I thought to myself “Why can’t I have everything I need and want for my period delivered to me every single month?” That’s where the idea originally came from 6 years ago, and now it's expanded into an online community where people can talk to each other and answer questions about their experiences.
Q: What kinds of things do you get in the subscription box, and how does it work?
A: Part of the method I’ve created about aligning your menstrual cycle with your self-care ritual means that there’s certain things you should prioritize in each phase. The first phase is menstruation so you should prioritize rest, so there’s something in the subscription box that helps you prioritize rest. The next one is the follicular phase so it’s right after menstruation and that is when you are more outgoing and active, so there’s something in the subscription box that helps you prioritize self-care in that phase. And then the next one is ovulation and you feel like a super hero, you feel sexy, you just feel great, and there’s something in there to prioritize self-care in that phase. Finally, moving into pre-menstruation, right before your period comes, your energy levels start to drop and you get more emotional, PMS kicks in and there’s something in the box that helps you prioritize self-care in that phase. It’s kind of this methodology, it’s called the Rosa method and the box is aligned to the Rosa method. So there’s four items per box that I’ve reached out to other companies for and you get it every month and it helps you self-care.
Q: As a CEO and full time employee, what does self care look like for you right now?
A: I have to prioritize myself. For me, self-care is stopping work at 3 o’clock on Fridays, like STOP, no more emails, no more anything, every Friday. I stop work early, and I just do whatever I want. If that’s take a nap, if that’s go out, if that’s read a book, if that’s make dinner or whatever the case may be, I do that. That’s the one thing that I do every week for myself because you can easily be up until the wee hours of the morning, there is always something to do as an entrepreneur, as a start up, there’s ALWAYS something to do, so making that time for me is really really important. And also planning for my other job, I’m an executive assistant at a tech company and I support three executives in two different time zones, so I have to be very organized. For me, with this work that I do for Hate the Dot, I make sure I plan way in advance, as far in advance as I can.
Q: You were able to donate 5,000 tampons during 2020 which is so awesome! Tell us about why you did that, and how it went!
A: It was back at my parents house last year when my sister and I did 5,000 tampons. The back story behind 5,000 tampons is a little long, but in late 2018 I was developing a product line for Hate the Dot that kind of fell through so I just had a bunch of inventory at my parents house that I wasn’t doing anything with. Then in 2020 I kind of pressed paused on Hate the Dot just because of 2020! So, when Covid was at it’s peak in New York City around like April-May I had 18 people in my family diagnosed with Covid. Ya 18! So I couldn’t do anything and my anxiety was through the roof, but I was thinking about "What can I do?", so I thought to myself "I have all these tampons here, there are people who are losing their jobs, there are people who can’t afford these products, people who are going through it right now! I’m gonna give away these tampons I have, I’m gonna give away 5,000 tampons!"
So, I got on to see if 5000tampons.com was available as a domain and it was available. I set everything up, I made the announcement and told my network "Hey I’m giving away 5,000 tampons for free, whoever needs them in the US, go on the website and claim your package and it’ll be sent out this month!" and we sold out in less than a month. That’s really what it was.
My sister and I stayed up one morning until 4 AM packing things and we went to the post office at 9 AM to drop off sacks full of tampons and that’s how we did it.
Q: What inspired you to create the online community aspect of Hate the Dot? Why do you think that is so important?
A: By doing 5,000 tampons, I was able to ask people what they need. "What do you need from me?" Because I’ve been on this journey for awhile and it’s taken different turns, but asking people what is it that you need from me and in having conversations with people, they told me that they want a safe space where they can ask questions about there bodies. And that’s kind of where the online community idea came from, it was really me reaching out to people and having honest conversations. Like "Hey what does self-care look like to you? What do you do for self-care? Do you know how to align self-care with your menstrual cycle? Do you do that? What is it that your lacking as far as education about your body?" and so that’s kind of where it came from. I reached out to a bunch of experts and I told them "Hey this is what people want, can we have a conversation about this?" and the rest is history.
Q: You are took steps towards change by participating in the tampon tax protest back in 2019. Tell us about your involvement.
A: So that was a nationwide protest that was happening in all 50 states, National Period Day in 2019, I forget the date exactly, I think it was in September, and I had partnered with Period, the organization. Period and Hate the Dot was a co-host for the New York rally, so that means that I hosted, I was one of the speakers, and I was one of the hosts that hosted the protest at City Hall in New York City. I got there and I said my peace about how I felt about tampons, the tampon tax, and period poverty in general, and I think it’s completely unfair and ridiculous and it all boils down to money, to making more money. Thankfully New York doesn’t have the tampon tax anymore. When schools were open we provided it in schools and federal buildings. It’s not really regulated, but it is law here, it’s not the case in all 50 states though. I think right now, there are over 30 states that still have the tampon tax
Q: Tell us more about the tampon tax and how it affects women around the country.
A: It’s ridiculous, it is absolutely ridiculous. Especially you know, I forget the exact number, but I think it’s like 1 in 4, 1 in 5 girls, before the pandemic, missed school or work because they couldn’t afford period products and I’m sure that the pandemic has made it even worse financially for these same women and girls. I’m someone who's passionate about periods, but I also used to work in education with underprivileged youth, and I saw it first hand, that they had to choose between buying food and buying period products. I saw it first hand, I know what it’s like, and it’s completely unfair.
Q: What are you hoping that menstruators learn from your Hate the Dot platform and apply to their own lives?
A: I used to be really focused on periods and I still am focused on periods, but a lot of people don’t realize that when you’re menstruating or after menstruating you’re actually going through an entire cycle. So it’s menstruation, but after menstruation you’re in your follicular phase, then you go to ovulation, then you go to pre-menstruation and your body tells you what phase you’re in, but a lot of times you aren’t tapped in to know, I’m in this phase and that’s why I’m feeling this way. Like, my energy levels are picked up, why is my skin glowing today, why do I have more energy, that’s because you're in this phase. And really just identifying and getting more attuned with your cycle and how to really take care of yourself in each phase because when you’re in menstruation you feel completely different than when you’re in ovulation.
Just understanding what that looks like practically is important, so I created a self-care method, which will be on the platform, that people can get access to. It really shows you how to take care of yourself in each phase of your cycle. A lot of times growing up, or at least when I was younger I just thought ok, you got your period, you didn’t get your period, you’re on your period, you’re off your period, you’re on your period, you’re off your period, but there is a full cycle.
Now that I’m understanding the cycle and like my energy levels, what’s going on with my hormones and all that stuff, I’m able to plan my social plans around it, I’m able to make commitments around it, I’m able to do certain things, now I know where to schedule things because I can align it to my cycles. So if I know I’m going through menstruation on this week, I’m not really going to schedule a lot of meetings, but if I know I’m going to be ovulating, I’m going to be super confident, and I have all this energy, I’m going to do more interviews, I’m going to commit to more things. Just aligning all of those things, to your entire cycle has been beneficial for me, and I want to share that with people.
Q: How do you want to be remembered for your footprints on history?
A: My passion, is to serve people, like that’s the base line of what I love to do. I’m really passionate about helping women and menstruators understand themselves and their better period. That looks like different things, prioritizing self care, learning about your menstrual cycle, but I think when we understand ourselves better and how our bodies physically work, we can be better advocates for ourselves. We can be better advocate for ourselves in interpersonal relationships, when we go to the doctor, you know when is the last time we’ve ever said to a doctor, I've noticed XYZ in my cycle, I’ve never said that to the doctor! So if I can equip women and menstruators and girls who are learning about there bodies with that information, so they can advocate for themselves, I’ve done my job. And it’s not just women and menstruators it’s everyone who knows a menstruator, you should understand what’s going on in their body as well.
Learn more about Hate the Dot: https://www.hatethedot.com/