By the Editors of Bold 4-Minute Read
The editors of Bold—a science-backed exercise platform helping older adults live their strongest, happiest, and healthiest lives—recently interviewed our CEO Sally Mueller about the inspiration behind Womaness. Read on to get her take on sexual wellness as we age, “menopositivity,” and what it means to build a brand that empowers and inspires women. Our thanks to Team Bold for the interview…and here’s to all of us aiming to #AgeBold.
Bold: So nice to meet you, Sally! Tell us a little bit about starting Womaness.
Sally: I’ve spent almost 35 years building brands, and particularly building brands for women. And my co-founder Michelle worked at Time Inc. for many years where she was involved with Real Simple, an amazing magazine. But Womaness really sprang from my own personal experience with menopause. I knew I was headed out of perimenopause and into menopause, and I also knew that I had kind of ignored my health for five years or so. I didn’t have any life-threatening issues, but I had been doing lots of traveling, I had a ton of aches and pains, and I just knew it was time to do something about my health.
So, I went to the Mayo Clinic and spent time with a fantastic female doctor who sort of connected the dots for me and assured me that what I was going through was not unique. These things that I was experiencing like vaginal dryness, painful sex, and low libido—so many women go through this and it’s all connected to menopause. I left the appointment with a list of over-the-counter products to help address these problems, but when I got home I looked them up on Amazon—and said to my husband, "I am NEVER going to buy any of these." The packaging, the names, the chemical ingredients, it really didn’t resonate with me. So Womaness was born out of that experience and wanting to change the products available to us before, during, and after menopause.
Has founding this company changed your attitude to menopause?
At Womaness, our goal is to spark menopositivity. We want to change the popular conception of menopause, and help women understand that it can be a radiant moment in life, a time for personal transformations.
What a great concept! What does it mean to really embrace menopositivity?
Menopositivity is choosing to go through menopause with a more positive outlook. Certain days can be tough, and not all symptoms can be taken lightly, but if you have the right attitude and information you can have a positive outlook—and even feel empowered by menopause.
"If you have the right attitude and information you can have a positive outlook—and even feel empowered by menopause"
What are some of the ways we can make menopause and post-menopause life easier?
We address menopause through three product lines that help the main issues our customers encounter, all of which stem from the drop in estrogen that is a real hallmark of how our bodies change during menopause.
1. Skin. I find that everyone experiences changing skin. And not only the skin on your face—your skin changes all over your body. On your knees, your thighs, your arms, you may start seeing more crepe-like skin.
3. Mood and energy. Finally, many women find their mood and energy change. Supplements and education can help with this!
Talk to us about sexual wellness and menopause.
A sex life doesn’t pause for menopause. You have to keep going! What we have found is that in menopause, everything is intertwined. Your estrogen levels drop, which can cause vaginal dryness. And that can make having sex painful, which means you’re not enjoying it as much as you used to, which affects your mood. All of this is intertwined and complex and it all plays into how you feel, sexually. Women are really desperate for solutions and it’s helping open up the conversation.
"We want to break the taboo around not talking about menopause."
What’s something people can do to bring menopositivity to their life and live boldly?
Two things! First, it’s never too late to find a great doctor you trust. So many women aren’t getting good medical advice, and what they’re not realizing is that menopause can be linked to issues like heart health and osteoporosis. This isn’t meant to be scary, but having the right medical team is important.
Finally, reach out to your daughters, your nieces, your friends’ daughters—cross that generational line, and open up the conversation. This is not your mother’s menopause! We want to break the taboo around not talking about menopause. You should be bold about this!