Spiritual center. Believing is achieving! There has to be some center of “other” that you rely on outside of yourself. I found that when I try and take things on alone, do it my way vs. letting it happen when the timing is right, it becomes messy. Let go of all the “I have to do” and work on more of the “this shall happen” with the right work behind it. Let go and let God.
As a part of our series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Davielle Jackson.
Davielle Jackson, is an innovator, founder and president of Femi Secrets —a sustainable and innovative source for period protection. With more than ten years of sales, marketing, management, and business experience, Davielle is making entrepreneurial history by entering into Wal-Mart in a record period of six months. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, a two-time 43 North Startup Competition winner, author and founder of “I am #1”, a not for-profit dedicated to the success of young women. She is on a mission to normalize period discussion and empower women to have real discussions about their cycles and the products they use so they can make healthier, more informed decisions.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
The reason I started Femi Secrets is because one of my closest friends came to me and said she is suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition that creates heavy periods. She was resulting to using 1–2–3 at tampons at a time. I have a degree in biology and I was pre-med at the time, and this was absolutely unacceptable to me. A lot of women think that Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is over, but women continue to die from it every year just losing from a tampon inside of their body. At Femi Secrets, our first priority is to make sure our customers are healthy, but we also want to give them the easiest periods every month. That’s why we developed The Pretty Panty. Not only is it chemical-free and FDA approved, but customers have reported having lighter periods, less cramps…. AND odor is a thing of the past. The panties fit all women any shape, size or age, provides all day coverage to feel comfortable and confident — and are 100% natural, sustainable and biodegradable.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
My most interesting story is when I started my business, Femi Secrets, I was 25-year-old young women, who came from a small town in Louisiana, I was living in my one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta. I had no employees, but I already had product and contracts with Walmart — the largest retailer in the world. I had no clue what I was going to do next, but I did it. I flew into Bentonville because my buyer was taking too long to process my order, so I was going to boycott the office until she did. But on the flight to Bentonville, I was surrounded by older, people all looking at me like “what is this little girl doing here.” They were all going to Bentonville to pitch their ideas too. While I already had the contract, I just needed the Purchase Order. I learned from this that anything is possible with hard work, dedication and perseverance. I have built may entire career following that mantra.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Contrarily, the biggest mistake is in a crazy way the same thing as my most interesting story above. When I entered Walmart as a “one woman show,” somebody should have warned me what I was getting into. Actually, the buyer for Walmart did. She said “Do you understand the type of orders we make? Target orders 600 cases, we will order 6,000 cases!” I just shook my head and said “Ok.” Not knowing that I really was in need of a huge team and support system to carry on such an ordeal. I learned that no matter how bad I wanted something to happen, it has to be the right time with proper preparation.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for my mother and sister and my support system as a whole. So many people helped me along the way, but without my mother never putting any limitations on my thoughts and dreams, I would not be here. Anytime I said I was going to do something crazy, like moving to Atlanta with only a couple of dollars and not knowing anyone, she never told me not to. She always trusted my thought process. She gave me insight and suggestions but never tried to stop me out of fear of the unknown. My sister is basically the same thing to me. My father passed when we were younger, sending my mother into a great depression. My sister led me and gave me advice on what not to do in college. Although we had very little support, my sister got out of our small town and went to college on her own. She showed me how to get up and go, and to follow my dreams.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
With Femi Secrets, I’ve created a space for the stigma, the taboo… to be removed pertaining to women having periods. Femi Secrets is a safe place, providing the safest and healthiest periods. Years from now, statistics will show how Femi Secrets has changed the face of feminine care!
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Surrounding yourself with a cast of people should be positive and reinforce your dreams and visions. For example, I no longer have my two best friends from over 20 years in my life because they were not positive influences in my life. When I got rid of them, everyone was is such shock. They couldn’t believe it. With growth and wisdom, I always knew I had a greater purpose. I could not be around petty and small thinkers. One was in competition with me all our lives, the other was just plain unaware of life and how it operates. I knew that their actions could not hold up the space in my mind where I need it to create, to think, to manifest, so they had to go.
- Choose to be happy daily. One day on the radio, I heard a preacher say “You have to choose happiness every day.” The main thing I remember was he said was “Play a happy song vs. a sad song.” This was life changing for me. When bad things happen, I just choose the greater perspective and the happier one.
- Do what makes you happy, not what makes other people happy or what the world says you should do. I loved building my brand and business, but most people thought I should be getting married and having kids. I always did what I wanted at all times. I wanted to move to Atlanta, I did. Now I have a 40 million dollars brand because of it. When you just have to make sure you’re happy, it’s easier than trying to make the world happy. And in self happiness, the world will be happier, your world and you will make others happier.
- Spiritual center. Believing is achieving! There has to be some center of “other” that you rely on outside of yourself. I found that when I try and take things on alone, do it my way vs. letting it happen when the timing is right, it becomes messy. Let go of all the “I have to do” and work on more of the “this shall happen” with the right work behind it. Let go and let God.
- Sleep! Getting sleep and having rest is so underrated. I just think of our cell phones, they have to be charged daily. We have to sleep to charge. Rest, take breaks and don’t feel guilty. When you are overwhelmed, take a break. Producing anything while you are not in a good head space will only produce negativity. The outcome of working under stress will not be well. Don’t procrastinate, get rest and execute in a healthy positive space.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
In our society, talking about periods is often disapproved of — women don’t discuss it enough and Facebook and Instagram blocks Femi Secrets’ content and ads because they feel it’s ‘provocative’ or ‘crude.’ My movement is to normalize period discussion and empower women to have real discussions about their cycles and the products they use so they can make healthier, more informed decisions.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1. You will need people. For a long time, I thought all I needed was myself, but things were not working. The moment I decided to try something different, I found the right people, which is so important and things changed for the better immediately.
2. Don’t take yourself so seriously. As a young lady, I felt everything was so serious. I needed to make straight A’s, I was going to marry my high school boyfriend, my best friends would be my bridesmaids, etc.. None of those things happen and I’m happy they didn’t. Just enjoy every experience for the time being. Don’t focus too much on the next move. Just enjoy life.
3. Life would get hard not matter how perfect you planned it. I remember when I launched Femi Secrets in Target stores I was like “This is it, this is my moment, this is the shift.” Then I didn’t get paid from Target for over 120 days. I said “What happen? I did everything right.” and realized sometimes life just happens. Take the lessons and run with them. Don’t dwell on the downers.
4. The road to success is long and hard. I am an over achiever, always have been. I was two-time MVP athlete at one point. I like things done fast and in record time, but success doesn’t happen that way. There were many nights where I was so down and depressed as to why my success money-wise was not here yet that I didn’t enjoy the small wins; I always wanted the big wins. Big wins aren’t easy and they take a long time to achieve; I’ve learned that now and I’ve learned to really celebrate the small wins.
5. You don’t always get what you want but you get what you need. In business, I thought that I needed so much money to get my products into a big-box retailer. When I signed the deal with Walmart, I had no experience running a business and very little money, but I did it — and with the biggest retailer in the world none the less. I could not understand why the banks would not give me millions of dollars to do it, but I didn’t need tons of money. What I needed was proof of market fit, which Walmart gave me.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
There’s a huge push toward sustainability in the products we use and that’s great. It has challenged companies — big and small — to rethink the way their products are designed and what ingredients go into them. And that’s just what we did with Femi Secrets. Disposable products like The Pretty Panty Plan on being thrown in the trash, so they’re made to be biodegradable and safe to do exactly that. You get to feel fresh and clean during every period while keeping the Earth clean.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Please follow us on Instagram @femisecrets.
Thank you for these fantastic insights!