Some of life’s best creations are made because someone is tired of not having what they need in the marketplace. In this case, that is exactly how MOONS was created. Co-founders, Melanie and Rachel, were tired of using period products that didn’t always work that well, and tired of having embarrassing moments, so they decided to take action. MOONS was launched this year in order to make life easier during menstrual cycles. Keep reading to learn more about MOONS and how Melanie and Rachel started it all.
Hoboken Girl: Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Melanie Pitson: I’m a Jersey girl currently splitting my time between Hoboken and Asbury Park, bouncing between Sinatra and Bruce. I’m a digital product and eCommerce executive with 20+ years of experience building and launching new products and businesses for small and scrappy startups as well as very large, established organizations. Some of the brands I’ve worked with include Reuters Media, ABC News, DailyCandy, Artspace Marketplace, and Milk Bar. I enjoy solving problems, which is something we do daily at MOONS, as a startup. I also love good food, good wine, buying anything from local makers, and dream of traveling again soon!
Rachel Donovan: I grew up in the Hudson Valley, moved to NYC for art school, and lived there for 20 wonderful years before returning to my upstate roots with my husband and our young son. My career before MOONS was spent in advertising as a Chief Creative Officer, leading global campaigns for brands ranging from Dove and Olay to Cadillac and Chevrolet to Airbnb, HBO, and LVMH. Other than bringing beautiful ideas to life, I’ve always felt validated by mentoring young creatives, nurturing talent, and prioritizing thoughtful equitable work cultures. Outside of all that, I teach and practice yoga, love a good dinner party with friends and live to go for walks and read with my son (even if it’s the same book again and again).
^ Rachel Donovan
HG: How did you two meet?
RD: We met through the C-Suite Women’s Network, Chief. Chief is the only private membership network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders. The women are insanely accomplished leaders, we’re so proud and grateful to be a part of the community. We literally wouldn’t be here together today without them.
HG: Tell us about MOONS.
RD: MOONS is a female-founded company that is changing the conversation around menstrual cycles with innovative products designed to make the experience better in every way. Our debut product, duets™, is the first leak-proof, discreet tampon + liner duo; a perfect solution for anyone seeking confidence and comfort during their cycle – from those reentering office life and wanting quality and convenience to athletes looking for high performance. The duets™ system not only fully protects against leaks and stains, but it also provides educational material on its packaging to help inform all people about their monthly moons and introduce a new way to talk about their cycles, bodies, and experiences.
HG: What was the inspiration for starting MOONS?
MP: Rachel, a creative director, and advertising executive for 20+ years, developed the initial prototype after experiencing a traumatizing leak while wearing white pants. We’ve all been there at some point or another—at the gym, on a date, just before we have to stand up to give a company-wide presentation… The stress and anxiety that comes from worrying about the inevitable leak and stain take up way too much energy in our lives.
The product design went through several rounds of consumer use testing and iteration, landing on the current version of duets™ – which is now available in the US! The consumer use tests yielded an unheard of 100% intent to purchase. We just knew we had to bring it to life to help free up space for all menstruators to apply their ingenuity in way better ways.
HG: What would you say sets your products apart from others?
RD: All of the products in our pipeline are new to market innovations, designed to help make your moon just a little bit better. Keep a lookout for our upcoming MOONS Menstrual Cycle Candles, with scent profiles that align to the hormonal changes and energy shifts experienced throughout the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle.
^ Melanie Pitson
HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
MP: My mom! She’s been my biggest champion, cheerleader, and a ray of optimism since day 1.
RD: If we change even one person’s experience—prevent an embarrassing moment, spare some dignity, or teach them more about themselves and their own body’s power, I will be proud.
HG: What’s a typical day look like for you?
MP + RD: There is not a typical day in the life of an entrepreneur! Every day is filled with ups and downs, different types of meetings, emails, successes, and failures—and we’re grateful for every moment and every experience.
HG: What has been the highlight in your career/life so far?
MP: SO many things, including launching the first-ever ABC News iPhone application on Christmas Eve in 2008, meeting and working with the most fantastic and inspiring people over the last 20+ years, so many of whom I’m still so lucky and honored to call my friends, and most importantly, taking a role at Reuters Media, which led me to meet my now-husband, the love of my life and anchor in my sea of chaos.
RD: Working on Airbnb in the very early days is something my heart will always swell over. The rush of excitement and gratitude every time a director ever called “that’s a wrap” on a shoot. And working with John Legend for Cadillac wasn’t terrible! But what I’m most proud of is that I’ve maintained such inspiring relationships—from the friends I met as a junior art director to the interns I had as a CCO. Maybe I know their whole families, or maybe they just know they can always count on me for advice, but the family I’ve built along the way is a strong one.
^ a MOONS bathroom vending machine in Atlanta, GA
HG: Anything else you want to share about Hoboken, your business, or yourself.
MP + RD: Shout out to Dune + Salt uptown on 12th between Washington and Bloomfield. Dune + Salt is the very first boutique to offer MOONS duets™ locally. Michael Martinez is a gem and all of the products and merch are amazing!