We were so excited to get this feature in our inbox. Such a worthy cause, started by such a community minded woman.
She was so compelled with her mission, she decided to take it into her own hands and that is how Her Padded Truth was started. A company devoted to getting menstrual products to homeless women and educating youth on the importance of feminine hygiene and menstrual health.
Charlene is a wife, mom of four and devoted member of her community and she’s truly inspired us with her compassion and strength. She is a believer and fully relies on God to help her in her business.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, United States Navy Veteran and founder of Her Padded Truth, LLC a company committed to providing women with safe, cost effective, and eco-friendly feminine hygiene products. As a healthcare provider, I have extensive knowledge in Adult, Geriatric, Pediatric and Women’s health. I am a native of the Bronx, New York and obtained most of my education while serving overseas in the United States Navy. I obtained my Masters of Nursing from Walden University, Associates in Nursing from Medical Careers Institute, Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Management from American InterContinental University, and Bachelors in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix.
I’m an advocate for Women’s health and Women’s rights and it’s the vision behind Her Padded Truth, a nonprofit organization serving homeless women in the Hampton Roads area with menstrual hygiene products. I’m the mastermind behind the Her Padded Truth movement which includes Her Padded Youth, a school age program geared toward educating young girls and boys on feminine hygiene and menstrual health. I am also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, an African American Greek letter organization geared toward providing service to all mankind. I am commitment to service, holistic health, and community. I’m also devoted Christian, wife and mother of four.
How did you get into your business?
I saw a documentary on homeless women in New York and what they went through during their time of the month. After watching that documentary I felt compelled to help out and Her Padded Truth was born.
What has been your biggest challenge?
We are launching a subscription box service for our brands for our menstrual health products and one of the biggest challenges I have faced has been outsourcing. With being a small business it can be cumbersome locating reputable businesses who embody your brand. It’s important to ensure if you outsource for goods that the company’s standards are similar in comparison to yours.
What do you wish you’d known when you started?
In starting my business I wish I had known vendors and the “How To’s” of my niche business. Because Her Padded Truth was unlike many commercial companies I don’t have a model to follow. I’m learning along that way, and in that there have been failures and triumphs. I’m glad there isn’t truly a blueprint on how to do my business because it sets me apart from the rest.
If you could narrow your success down to one thing, what would it be?
I have to say all my success is contributed to my faith in God. I asked God to be the CEO of my business and to guide me in how He wants my business to go. I have noticed that doing things on my own accord can cause a lot of tension and strife, but with God at the helm I can never lose.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
In the next year I see Her Padded Truth as a multi-million dollar business. Helping to eradicate period shaming and the stigmas surrounded around menstruation.
What are your top three tips for women starting a business?
1) Make God the CEO of your business and life.
2) Celebrate other small female owned businesses even if you don’t purchase their product share their posts on social media.
3) Treat all ideas with honor because you never know which one will grow up to be king.
What is a typical day for you like?
I currently still work a regular 9-5 and see patients as a Nurse practitioner, but when I get homes it’s family time, followed by a meeting with my CEO. During this time we talk about strategies, research products, brand development, and answering emails.
What’s your business motto or quote you live by?
Removing the shame of the stain is our motto and I live by that.
If you were starting your business over again, what would you do differently?
If I was starting my business over know I wouldn’t change anything.