1. Dear Julia, I am very happy to introduce you and KORA MIKINO as part of our Female Founder Community. Please tell us a little about yourself and your company.

I founded Kora Mikino almost 4 years ago. We want to take the topic of periods out of the shameful “dirty corner” and produce period underwear. Before that, I worked in the tech industry and really wanted to develop further in the direction of sustainability. That's why we use the most sustainable materials possible and produce with fair wages in the European Union.

2. How did the journey of founding your brand begin and what exactly is behind the name Kora Mikino? 

The name 'KORA MIKINO' means something like 'girlfriend' and comes from the planned language Esperanto - a language that was developed to improve international understanding, prevent racism and contribute to world peace. Our corporate values ​​are also based on this. 

3. You campaign against period poverty. What exactly is period poverty and what are you doing about it at KORA MIKINO? 

Period poverty exists in every country, including Germany. Here too, there are menstruators who cannot afford period products. In a current and representative study, Plan International shows, for example, that in Germany, too, 23% of menstruating men find products a financial burden and 12% delay changing from tampons and pads as long as possible in order to save money. That must not be! Since 2021 we have been working closely with Wash United, the organizers of the annual Menstrual Hygiene Day. Last year we and our community were able to donate 12,000 euros to Wash. This year we are collecting donations again and 10 euros from every charity panty sold will go to Wash United. Wash United educates and creates awareness around the topic of periods.

4. In 2022, Spain decided to establish a “menstrual holiday” (vacation - haha ​​:-) of up to three days. This is also being discussed in many other countries. What do you think about that and should it also exist here in Germany?

I'll say something unpopular: something like that is a bit of clientele politics. Anyone who is unable to work during their period should be able to and should take sick leave. As far as I know, this is already possible in Germany without any problems. I don't see any reason why there should be a difference in the reason for sick leave, not everyone with a period has period pain and there could also be further discrimination against women and menstruating people in the labor market. In Germany we are far from equal opportunities, which is why I would not introduce a special category of menstrual sick days, but rather place them within the “regular” sick days. In the end, it's none of my employer's business why I can't work. 

5. As a founder you deal with a lot of ups and downs. What was your biggest fuck-up so far and what did you learn from it?

I think there is a saying that goes something like “hard on things, soft on people.” For example, if you often let a contractual partner get away with breaching the contract and don't warn you about it, it could be that  This is seen as a common business practice and at some point you will hardly be able to get out of it or only with a lot of effort and legal assistance. Thinks that because you were too nice for a long time, YOU now have a problem. This is inconvenient and, in case of doubt, expensive. It happened to me, it won't happen to me again in the future.

6. From your own experience: what is the biggest challenge that solo founders have to face and what three tips would you like to give other solo founders?

That's easy: don't start a solo business. After 4 years of solopreneurship and very little vacation, this is my conclusion. No employee - no matter how committed they are - replaces someone who faces the same risks and decision-making options as you. 



If you would like to find out more about Julia and Kora Mikino, please take a look here:

To the website: koramikino.de
To Instagram: @kora.mikino.menstruation.panty