MAKING A STATEMENT: Julie Sygiel, CEO of Sexy Period, co-founded the company, which produces panties geared around menstrual cycles.
PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL PERSSON
By Kelly L. Anderson PBN Staff Writer
When Julie Sygiel and Eunice Png were undergraduates in 2008, they did what many Brown University students do in their entrepreneurship class. They developed a product to sell. It took four years, but the Sexy Period line of underwear is generating interest – and customers – not only in Rhode Island but internationally.
Sexy Period is a line of underwear designed to be worn as a backup in combination with your regular sanitary routine and it’s guaranteed not to leak. These are not “period panties” that women usually refer to when they speak about underwear worn during menstruation. They are sexy and designed with three layers of thin, breathable, soft, stretchy, knit material.
It was not an easy venture starting out, Sygiel says. When the “Entrepreneurship & Ventures” class ended, Sygiel and Png decided to keep going with their product. They consulted with a Brown University textile expert and began research to design the best period-panty possible. The body is made out of 76 percent nylon and 24 percent lycra and the lining is 100 percent micro polyester, she said. They conducted their own survey, which found that 60 percent of the women they interviewed experience menstrual spills every month.
In December 2008, Sygiel and Png won the $300 first-place prize in the Rhode Island Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition. In May of the next year they were finalists in the business-plan competition.
Then there was a little bit of a lull, not much press and a lot of work. Sygiel, 24, sewed the prototypes herself. They gave 200 prototypes to family members, friends and female volunteers who confirmed the need for the undergarment, she said.
Eventually, Png left to practice her love of music. She even composed the song for the video on the Sexyperiod.com website. She is still listed as co-founder, but Sygiel is the CEO.