We talked to Meika Hollender, co-founder and president of Sustain, to find out how she came to launch the leading brand of all-natural, female-centric sexual wellness and period-care products. In 2016, Sustain ignited the wildly successful Get On Top safe-sex campaign joined by 100,000 women. And this past Fall, Hollender rallied to help pass the Products Right to Know Act in New York, a transitive milestone that mandates companies to disclose a full list of ingredients on all menstrual-product packaging starting this year. Here, she shares her badass journey, what being bold means to her, and of course, how Birdies help her feel bold, bright, and confident.
What is your definition of bold and how do you incorporate this into your day-to-day?
For me, being bold is about speaking my mind and trusting my gut...and just having faith in myself to make unpopular decisions. I’ve been in so many situations in my work life where I’ve made ‘popular’ decisions instead of doing what felt right, and pretty much every time, it’s been the wrong decision long term.
What’s a bold move you’ve made in your life?
Taking out a full-page, pro-choice ad in The New York Times after the state of Alabama threatened to roll back their reproductive rights laws. The people, like our president, who are threatening women’s rights and access to reproductive healthcare, inspire me to be bold.
What’s one way you plan to make a bold move this year?
Teaching myself how to function at a healthier pace—physically and mentally—and not running on adrenaline, which I have been doing since starting Sustain in 2013. This feels really bold for me because I’ve found so much fulfillment functioning at this hyperactive pace, but after the better part of a decade living that way, I’ve recognized that this pace isn’t conducive to long-term health and happiness.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about being bold and true to yourself?
Reflect, don’t react. Even though being ‘bold’ can often be associated with acting fast and speaking up (and sometimes that’s definitely proven true), I think really bold, powerful, and truthful moves can come from reflection rather than in-the-moment instincts.
How do Birdies make you feel bright, bold, and confident?
These fringe sandals add a little flair to my every day.
Meika is part of our new “Bright. Bold. Birdies.” campaign, featuring and celebrating women who embody what it means to be bold inside and out. In this series, they share their stories of success and how Birdies help them soar.