Wrapped in waves on her about page, editor of Peppermint Magazine and all round many hats wonder-woman Kelley Sheenan quotes Barack Obama:
"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope"
Back in 2019 we decided to do just that by asking Kelley to design our latest tampon packaging, because yes, she is indeed also a designer! The result is glorious and available now - ain't she pretty!
To celebrate we caught up with Kelley in lockdown - who kindly highlights the importance of community, shuts down period stigma and talks rainbows of hope, because we love those rainbows.
We are very fond of our fellow ‘many-hats’ humans, can you tell us a little bit about your hats and the work you’re currently involved in?
Ahhh, the hats… Yes, I tend to be the Imelda Marcos of hats! I’m always doing a lot of different things, and not always to my benefit either (I’m not a fan of the ‘hustle’ mentality). At the moment, obviously, Peppermint is my life (and then some) but I also have various other projects on the side that help feed my creative juices, such as photography and graphic design, and a few other on-the-side business ideas that are currently brewing from my serial social-entrepreneur brain!
Which brings us to your Tsuno Regular Tampons box design! Tell us a little about the inspiration behind your box?
I wanted to create a design based on rainbows and clouds to represent hope – the duality of 'good' coming from 'bad', positivity rising from negativity and, of course, equality, connection and togetherness. It was created just before 2020 went down a dark path… So if there is any time we need hope and equality and connection, it’s certainly now!
As the Editor-in-chief of the wonderful Peppermint Magazine we know you’re good with words! Could you share some courage fuelled words on battling periods?
I’m sure you (at Tsuno) know this well, but periods are such an enigma wrapped in a stigma, aren’t they? We women spend our lives trying to keep the whole thing under wraps, relegated to hushed conversations and weird nicknames, all used to awkwardly describe a natural part of everyday life. And then, ironically, the stage of losing periods later in life is even more of a stigma, seeing as we’re so terrified of being labeled old, irrelevant and unworthy. I’ve been seeing the decline of my own periods recently and I have to admit to being quite surprised and disappointed at the lack of my own knowledge surrounding this and what it entails. Not to mention the absence of the menopause conversation in the social landscape and from my own friends and family. It really seems to be one of the final taboos. We all need to be more comfortable in sharing our experiences, so that the shared knowledge can help reduce shame and stigma, and bring some normality and understanding to such a normal and necessary part of our lives.
Has time in lockdown led to reflection or creation for you?
Banana Bread? Both?
It’s actually been a time of much more work for me, along with a huge amount of anxiety and stress. And I’m ok with that! It is what it is, and what it needed to be. There’s been immense pressure for people to take up new hobbies and start a new project etc, and that’s great if that’s what your experience has been – everyone’s has been different. But many of us are just trying to get by, stay safe, pay rent, keep businesses afloat and make sense of this extremely difficult time. It’s really highlighted to me though how important community is, and how we really need to move away from our ‘me me me’ culture into caring more about the collective whole. So if I come out of all of this with my physical and mental health, then that’s a huge win, as it’s a very privileged place to be in.
What excites you about the future?
The future seems like such an unknown and far-off concept at the moment - it’s been an intense year (to put it mildly) and it’s hard to try and put a positive spin on a veritable explosion of bushfires, the climate crisis and now COVID-19. But hope is all we have, and I’m looking forward to the simple things – rediscovering our local area, lazy breakfasts at a cafe, hugs without fear… and of finding new ways to navigate this new reality, both professionally and personally.
Thanks a bunch Kelley! More to come on Peppermint Magazine in the coming months but you can shop our tampons with Kelley's design right here.