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Team August’s Origin Stories

Team August | 6.30.2022

As a company, August has arguably the coolest line up of employees out of any other period care brand…

Get to know our current roster of 10 staff!! OMG we totally want to know who everyone’s fave is so DM us after reading!

The order of bios are in chronological order of who joined the team first so you can really get a feel for how the founding team developed into what it is now <3 …Nick & Nadya are literally tied for first to join sooo we’ll start with the only non-menstruator on Team August, Nick <3

Nick Jain (he/him) – Co-Founder & COO

How did you get started with August? Nadya and I started it almost 2.5 years ago, when August was barely an idea.

What excites you about building August? So many things about August excite me – building a consumer brand in a way that has never been done before, restoring dignity and connection to a space that has fundamentally been lacking it, and creating meaningful impact and higher quality products.

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? What I am most proud of is how much our customers seem to love the sustainable period products themselves, and how resilient this team has been in the face of challenges. Building a brand from the ground up isn't easy, and I am so proud of everyone for helping to make this possible.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? I see August as truly re-designing the period space to be one that is more sustainable, impactful, and inclusive. And I see August shaping a future where access to higher quality products is an expectation and a reality rather than a dream.

Nadya Okamoto (she/her) – CEO & Co-Founder

How did you get started with August? Nick and I first talked about the idea for August in January 2020. We started working on a deck and fundraising to bring the idea to life, and finally launched into the world with our inaugural class of period products in June 2021.

It's been a fun, exhilarating, and truly special experience over the last year growing our team and brand. It was clear from the beginning how Nick and I would break down our roles as co-founders, because we had actually built a different company in partnership before too, and he is such a genius with operational things, and I'm most comfortable working on the brand and creative side.

When we first started, August wasn't even ...a thing yet...we didn't know what our name was going to be for the first year that we were cultivating the idea.

What excites you about building August? I am most excited by our community – from being able to work with people I truly admire every single day, who push me to think more critically and stick to our company values, to seeing the Inner Cycle community bond with each other across geographical boundaries and even political differences. Everything we do, even the product development we're working on, is because of and for our community.

We take all feedback to heart, and it's something that we will always see as our guiding light for how we build business differently.

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? I am most proud of how the brand has created space online and now in-person for meaningful conversations about periods, where community members feel more comfortable than they ever have before to ask questions about menstruation.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? Most menstruators buy their products directly from their local grocery stores or pharmacies, and as a brand that wants to be as accessible as possible, we need to meet them where they're at.

In the next 5 years, I want to have August be available wherever menstruators are shopping for their products – whether that be online, or on store shelves.

I hope that in 5 years, there is no more tampon tax in the US, and that we do see meaningful change to achieving the sort of things that are laid out in the menstrual equity for all act – which makes period products free and accessible in schools, shelters, and prisons.

Chesley Chan (she/her) – Chief of Staff

How did you get started with August? I heard about August through Nick (our COO), when it was just a figment of his and Nadya's (our CEO) imagination! It is so wild to see how much August has changed and grown over the past two years :') My original title was VP of Research and I was in charge of collecting feedback from our original #InnerCycle cohort through surveys and focus groups, which informed how we were going to build August!

What excites you about building August? The global community of menstruators (and also non-menstruators supporting menstruators) that we have built is what keeps me motivated. There is something so beautiful about periods that connects every human being together – each of us are either a current/future/previous menstruator and/or we came from a menstruator!

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? Our kickass team!!! I am so proud to be a part of such a powerhouse of a team – everyone is so passionate, resilient, hardworking, and just incredible human beings. It's been a rollercoaster, and I am so proud of everyone on Team August for getting August to where it is today.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? August will be GLOBAL and definitely a household name. I also hope that the bar for period products is significantly higher in terms of accessibility, quality, sustainability!

Nadya (Neddy) Eddy (she/her) – Communications Director

How did you get started with August? Listen in to the wholeeee story on episode one of The Period Feels!

Essentially, I was looking to backpack for a while but Covid changed my entire post-grad plan. At the time Nadya was in a mentorship program with a family friend of mine, and my name came up in conversation on a call with Nadya & Nick. As if it wasn't crazy enough that Nadya and I had the same name spelled the same way, Nick also went to summer camp with my ex-boyfriend. There were too many coincidences not to meet.

I got on the phone with Nadya for 20 mins and she offered me a job immediately lol – classic – & the rest is historyyyyy.

When I first joined August it was just Nadya, Nick, Chesley, and I. It's crazy to see how far we have come in all of our content & socials since when I pressed "create account" on TikTok back in the fall of 2020!

What excites you about building August? I love our team. I think very few people our age love their jobs, teammates, and the work as much as we do.

It's been such a treat to see August go from an idea to a living & breathing company. I still remember when I got my first box of products to try... I remember thinking, "these are plastic-free & biodegradable, there's no way they work."

One year later and I feel like a proud mom every time I run an absorbency check – these pads don't quit! Also Gooby, I am excited to see Gooby grow in popularity.

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? Honestly, Gooby being a fan favorite. I love to take my sense of humor to work and the fact that people love the little Goob (he/they) as much as I do makes me happy.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? Woof big question.... Here is my August bucket list:

  • August in every drug store/grocery
  • Ask August education books
  • First period books
  • First period packages
  • A billboard in Times Square (another one JUST for Gooby)
  • A pop-up shop in soho
  • Period prom
  • A mobile app
  • An actual Youtube channel with high qual videos
  • A funny Twitter meme page
  • 1 million followers on TikTok
  • Devices/supplements/gadgets for all sorts of period pain + symptoms

Sam De La Cruz (she/her) – Creative Producer

How did you get started with August? I first heard about August through my good friend Grey. I was originally working directly with the community and Geneva. My background is definitely more in the creative space. So after some time with the community, I moved to the Creative team!

August has grown and changed so much. The beginning days were all about trial and error…We learned and grew together and I think that's why our team is so strong.

What excites you about building August? When I think of building August, I get so excited. We have come such a long way and it only continues to get better. We learn from each other and create space for error and change.

I think our constant product development and thinking around, "how can we make this better, more sustainable, more inclusive" excites me.

Everything we do is breaking down stigma and making menstruators all over the world comfortable in periods. I am excited for the future but also basking in the present because the progress is right in front of us!

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? I think I am proud of how much we have all grown and allowed space to learn from each other.

Our community has become so tight knit and I am so proud with how far the whole team has come. Working and building a start up is hard and everyone has put in so much work and it's clear!

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? I see August partnering up with more brands (savage x fenty = DREAM collab) to break the stigma, have more period conversations and bring topics like period poverty and accessibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Claudia Ovejero Pham (she/her) – Community Director

How did you get started with August? I first heard about August, before it was actually August!

I had been following Nadya for a while since I was really passionate about the advocacy space online. She sent over a DM with an application form to join a “cool community” that was being built for a (then) top secret project!

So, I joined the Inner Cycle and that was the start of my journey here. I went to a roundtable, hosted by Chesley, and we were talking about how much we lacked period education. That was the first time Ruby and I met too!

I then got brought on as part of the initial Ask August team working on the database. Shortly after, because of being so engaged in the community chats, I started working as a Community Lead for quite a few months before settling into the role of Community Director, which I have been at for almost a year now!

What excites you about building August? August is so exciting on so many different levels.

First of all, being able to work with such a passionate and incredible team is so inspiring! I think our products are amazing – bias aside of course. I can’t wait to see what August is going to do on the innovation side of period care.

And of course, our community holds a special place in my heart and growing it has been an absolute labor of love. I am so eager to see where it continues to take us and meet all the new wonderful friends of August.

This company, mission, team and community is unique. It’s such a privilege to be a part of this journey!

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? August’s first year has been an amazing ride so far! There is so much to be proud of and I could write paragraphs on this! However, if I had to pick one, it would be our culture!

August is evolving everyday but also staying true to its roots. Our strong brand culture is visible in our branding, community and in the way our team works together and interacts. It’s bold and unapologetic but also thoughtful. And I’m so proud that we have been able to stay true to that.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? Oh my! I see August doing some incredible collaborations, being the face of menstrual innovation, maybe with a wide selection of products and offerings for all things periods and wellness.

Our community is hopefully going to be at a point where we can have in-person and virtual panels and larger scale conversations on menstrual health, activism and beyond to continue pushing for equal access and dignity in these spaces.

I think (and hope) we have an incredibly exciting future ahead of us – things we wouldn’t even be able to imagine! And of course, hopefully the tampon tax will be abolished in the 25 states that still have it, and that other countries will follow suit.

Ruby Moon (she/her) – Content Manager

How did you get started with August? My start with August was very similar to Claudia’s; I had been following Nadya for probably around 4 years at that point – ever since Instagram had evolved into a place for activism accounts. I was actually trying to get a copy of Nadya’s book to gift to my friend and then she responded with a link to what we now know and love as the #InnerCycle community homebase.

This was peak COVID-19 isolation mode for me in October 2020 (school was online and where I was living was strict about groups of people) so I was looking for distractions.

I went to the first ever Inner Cycle video call where, as Claudia said, we talked about how democratizing period and general reproductive education was essential for the menstrual movement. I became a Community Lead and quickly transitioned into an ‘Education Lead’ to build out the Ask August database of Q&As.

Remember that this was all before August was even branded as August…so at some point in November we were like: “okayyy Tiktok is popping off we need some fun content” and so I literally downloaded tiktok for August and learned how to use the app.

Neddy and I had sooo much fun in those first few months figuring out Tiktok’s sense of humour (<– oh ya I’m Canadian btw so this was all 100% remote too!!) compared to Instagram and Twitter’s. Scroll down to the beginning and you’ll see some of our best Tiktok work lol…

What excites you about building August? What always gets me is when people from other areas of my life talk to me about August. The amount of ridiculous texts I’ve received about period problems since joining the team is…honestly worth it’s own post.

I’m excited that periods have become a primary personality trait of mine so people feel comfortable coming to me with questions and stories. It’s just nice seeing the tangible outcome of period stigma being broken down even within my own in-person networks.

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? Funny story so basically all my friends/people who followed me on socials for the first couple months after joining the team thought it was just another school club I was in…then the products came out and they were like “ohhhh I get it now…”. So I’m thankful that the products legitimized August as a company I was working for.

Beyond products, I'm seriously so proud of all the educational aspects of August. So, August Advocates, our Medical Board, the way that if you scroll on our Tiktok you’ll get one video of us venting about the tampon tax, one of Gooby, then one of Nadya teaching you how to change a tampon and then one about uterine fibroids.

I love that August as a brand sees education as empowering.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? Omg aww I definitely just see people sharing around August pads and August tampons without putting them up their sleeves because it’s cool to love your period and show off which products you use.

I think August is making ripples right now but in the next 5 years they’re going to be WAVES of change.

Elena Gadekar (she/her) – Customer Care Associate

How did you get started with August? So the crazy thing is that when August first launched a year ago, my career path was on a whole other trajectory. I had recently graduated from Columbia with a degree in Neuroscience and I was studying for the MCAT (believe it or not).

After spending the summer at home in California, I moved to Brooklyn in September 2021 when Nadya first popped up on my FYP. I remember being so drawn to her energy as well as everything August stood for. I made a TikTok about August and since Nadya also lives in New York – we ended up meeting up! I remember being in awe of August and everything the team had already built.

After our meeting, I continued working at NYU’s hospital on a clinical trial, but something in the back of my mind kept nagging me - telling me that August was something so so special and that I had to jump in on it! I decided to go for it and since January 2022, I have never looked back. Hands down – one of the best” follow your gut” kind of moments I’ve had.

Fun fact: Last night I had a nightmare that I quit August. The way I was so viscerally upset about this decision basically told me everything I needed to know about how I feel about this special company.

What excites you about building August? Can I just say EVERYTHING!?! Is that a cop out?

If I had to narrow it down to a list, I think I would say this:

  1. The potential. Every time I hop off a team call – I’m inspired and fired up. We’ve come so far, and yet I can still envision how our future work is going to continue to expand in 100+ directions. I love reimagining the period care space and I admire how everyone on Team continues to challenge the norm. To this day, I find myself having to challenge my own thinking and I hope August continues to push me in this way!
  2. The community. I love the people who love August! Our customers are so kind and supportive!! I love that my job is helping them out:)
  3. Our team. The love I have for this team is immeasurable.
  4. My own growth. Coming from a pre-med background, I honestly didn’t have much exposure to business growing up. I’m learning so much every day and hope to keep challenging myself as I grow with the company.
  5. The fact that I’m never going back to generic period products!!!! I’m an August period care stan for life.

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? I’m so proud of the impact August has had – not only on the environment, but also on the menstruators out there!

Part of my job is to field feedback and comments from customers, and the responses that we get warm my heart each and every day! Since I work in customer experience, I’m so privileged to feel the direct impact August is making and I want to give you a little taste…

  • “Hey I just texted u to tell u that you guys have helped me so much. Now I think that you have made me more confident about my period so thank you sm. I feel like my period is not a secret anymore tyssm”
  • “Just seeing everything your company stands for makes me feel safe and SEEN thank you”
  • “Oh my gosh you don’t even know how much you taught me. I’m so glad to be following ur tiktok to learn more about periods! I love how ur teaching the society that u shouldn’t be ashamed of your period because it’s completely natural”

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? Being a household name. Breaking down more walls. Getting rid of the tampon tax in ALL 50 states.

We have so many plans in the books, but we can’t share all our secrets now can we?! Guess you’ll just have to wait and see :)

Erin Burk (she/her) – VP of Business Development

How did you get started with August? My friend was one of the early investors in August. He sent me a list of his favorite companies and when I went to August's website, I got goosebumps. I knew I wanted to help bring August's mission statement to life from that point forward.

What excites you about building August? De-shaming periods has a snowball effect into embracing body and self positivity more holistically. While I hope our customers have a relationship with our brand identity, I also hope it helps them have a better relationship with themselves :)

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? I bet most of the team will say this, but I'm proud of the community we've built. The fact that a single dad will write to us and ask "how can I speak to my daughter about her first period" knowing he will get a thoughtful response from us, exemplifies the relationship we want to have with our menstruators and menstruator supporters.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? I see people in swimsuits on the beach with their tampon string out and not caring. I see a boyfriend handing his girlfriend a period product in public. I see families discussing periods at the dinner table and talking about how their child’s body is changing, and how it's something to celebrate. And I see August pioneering this attitude💥

Daviuska Nova (she/her) – Brand Designer & (professional bad bitch)

How did you get started with August? I first heard about August through the Loopholes collaboration when I was working at OffLimits. I got invited by the team for an IRL work session & I got to meet Nadya, Neddy, Sam, & Elena. It was an instant click!

Everyone was so sweet & I was so hyped to be around young creatives. Couldn't wait to meet the rest of the team.

At the time, I was looking to transition into a new role & August was looking for a Brand Designer. The universe really hooked me up.

What excites you about building August? What I love about building August is being able to express the bold & rebellious nature through visuals. I want people to be like, "oh yea that pic/email/poster is August AF."

What are you most proud of about August's first year since launching products? I love the August tampons!!! Life-changing comfort.

Where do you see August or the state of period activism/menstrual products in the next 5 years? I see August reaching large international audiences in the fight for period equity. The world won't have a choice but to catch up to what August has been working towards for menstruators.

From all of us at Team August – we’re here for you.

Everyday we’re thankful to have a community of fierce, unapologetic and passionate people engaging with August’s mission to reimagine period care for ALL.

If you ever have any questions or feedback, PLEASE don’t hesitate to email us at care@itsaugust.co <33

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