Founded by Laurel Lua, The Scarlet Company was founded to help improve the lives of women and their menstrual health through the power of nature as well as educate people and eliminate the taboos surrounding menstrual health.
Laurel created her company’s flagship menstrual health tonic “Scarlet” – a 100% natural tonic with a blend of the super herbs Chasteberry and Wild Yam, after she struggled with her own menstrual health and decided that she had to rely on more natural ingredients. After four years of rigorous research and surveys, they came up with this blend of natural ingredients that have a thousand-year-old history of treating menstrual pain and boosting women’s health.
We find out more about the woman behind the company and how her struggles with menstrual pain led her to start Scarlet as well as her views on womanhood.
Q: How did menstrual health affect your physical and mental well-being?
Laurel: I was one of the unfortunates who had to deal with multiple problems – severe cramps, cold sweats, nausea, bloating, 7 to 8 days of period and PMS. I was a pretty active person in my teens. I was a school sprinter and often played basketball leisurely with the girls or riding my bicycle during my free time, and I was also in the school’s concert band. I enjoyed all these activities very much as they gave me a lot of life. However, I do remember that long hours of training can be very uncomfortable and sweaty, and my mind and mood would often be all over the place when the “time of the month” arrived. I did try to keep it cool but still found myself having low morale.
One would think you’ll receive great menstrual support and care in an all-girls school but for some reason, having bad cramps, feeling awful during this time or being unable to perform to the fullest was something ignored or sarcastically joked at for ‘being weak’. We were just never equipped with enough knowledge to recognise and emphasise the importance of menstruation.
When I entered the workforce, my discomforts continued and my days were often uncomfortable. With the bloating going on I just wanted to put on comfy pyjamas the entire day. I was not in the mood for social events and neither was I happy facing and speaking to clients, but I had to put up with all of that and still try to push myself to the fullest by disregarding the pains and discomforts while trying to achieve the same or more of my capabilities in hope that “Hey, I could be considered for the next promotion. “.
There was never a healthy, sustainable solution as I was constantly spending money on over-the-counter painkillers and visiting doctors to get stronger painkillers but never getting better.
Q: Did your severe menstrual cramps and/or any other pre-menstrual symptoms affect the way you felt about yourself?
Laurel: Yes, I often felt sad and lonely. It’s funny because there’s a part of me growing up believing that women will always support each other since we all answer the same call of Mother Nature but this is not often the case.
On top of that, there is a lack of education and knowledge about menstrual health, which is often overlooked by those who don’t experience such discomforts. Hence, these women do not recognise and are unable to support other women who suffer from menstrual discomforts or disorders. Nonetheless, menstrual health is hugely important in all aspects of a woman’s life, even if they are fortunate enough not to experience pain.
The Journey Towards Scarlet
Q: Tell us more about the name of your company.
Laurel: Scarlet was founded on the values of all-natural, quality, consistency and trust. We want our customers to greatly improve their lives. For our branding, we wanted to create a sophisticated, classy yet playful and humorous voice. We felt that the name Scarlet ticked all of these. It is a very pretty, classy and feminine name which also has a connection with the colour of our period, and is playful as well as a bit sassy.
Q: Could you explain how your journey to start Scarlet began?
Laurel: As mentioned earlier, I experienced severe menstrual discomforts monthly, and my boyfriend (now husband) heard my complaints of pain and nausea and having to deal with my unpredictable PMS. He asked, “If it is that bad, why haven’t you done more?” I told him that I’ve drunk traditional Chinese herbs (that my mum boils monthly for me) for years, and I’ve used different types of painkillers but to no avail.
We then thought that if I have this problem, there are probably many more women out there with the same issue too. So I decided to look more into it to see how others manage their pain. After lots of discussions, it turned out that there isn’t any consistent product or remedy in the market that women could turn to. A lot of existing remedies were reactive – such as pain killers, and nothing focused on targeting the root cause and the long-term impact.
After months of research to find out what remedies women are using to improve their overall menstrual health and manage their pains – Chasteberry and wild yam were the standout herbs. We then partnered and consulted with professional herbalists, naturopaths and homeopaths to help us develop a formula based on our research. We blended the two most amazing “herbs of the women” that have been used for centuries and complemented them with calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex to enhance one’s overall menstrual health. It took us 4 years of R&D and consumer trials, with our manufacturing based outside of Singapore.
The moment we said we were ready to officially launch, we brought all of our manufacturing back home to Singapore in 2019 for quality, consistency and trust – aligning with our company values. It took us a year to find and work with our local manufacturing partner to get the formula and product to the standards we hold. Having the product manufactured in Singapore also helps to ensure trust and quality.
We have finally officially launched in Singapore in 2020! As a born and raised Singaporean, I know Singapore truly has one of the best visions, education and reputation in many aspects. We are always driven to want to be the best and we are proud of that. On a side note, we are also one of the growing countries that strongly encourages and supports women’s equality and diversity.
Our mission now is to improve the lives of women through their menstrual health by educating them on the importance and benefits menstrual health has on their physical and mental wellbeing. How else can we do it if not for breaking the silence and recognising the importance of menstruation!
Q: Why did you make the decision to rely more on natural ingredients and how did you discover the ingredients in Scarlet?
Laurel: Great question! We are extremely passionate about, and actively promote natural living and consuming natural products. Mother nature gives us everything we need. Thus, understanding the power of nature as well as the benefits it can bring to our body and mind is where we spend a lot of our focus to bring premium, trusted and quality health products to better women’s lives.
It was during the early stages of R&D that I gravitated towards natural ingredients. Despite the various options to ease menstrual cramps (e.g. Dang Gui Soup, Ba Zhen Soup, Bai Feng Yuan, Panadol, Evening Primrose…I mean the list can go on), they didn’t work for me even though it could be a remedy for someone else. As with the saying, “There’s no one size that fits all approach” and but women have a consistent problem with menstrual pain. Hence, I had the desire to find a consistent solution that would help in the long term.
The amount of health and wellness information on the world wide web, while weighing the pros and cons of an all-natural product in comparison to enhanced medical drugs in the long run, also gave me a definite affirmative to craft Scarlet using all-natural ingredients.
We discovered Scarlet’s ingredients after months of research finding out what worked for women to improve their overall menstrual health and managed their struggles. We found that chaste berry and wild yam were verified individually, on multiple occasions to help. What did we then do? We blended these most effective two ingredients with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex to enhance overall menstrual health.
Q: Should women stop taking Scarlet once their menstrual cramps or other menstrual problems have alleviated?
Laurel: They can if they would like to try it out and see what happens. Then if they have a relapse (in discomfort), they can always reactivate their account if needed. Scarlet was carefully crafted with the specific intention of alleviating my own menstrual discomforts and supporting long-term menstrual health. Since experiencing the benefits of it, the option is now made conveniently available to our ladies. I strongly believe women can do better if we put ourselves on top of our “to-do” list (something Michelle Obama said)! Menstrual Health is the first step to happiness within and being able to put that unnecessary struggle aside, we can be at the top of our game, start achieving and start living.
You gotta have it!
“I think happiness is what makes you pretty. PERIOD. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness.”
Q: What are your plans for the company for the next few years?
Laurel: Our plans are to be able to help as many women around the world as possible, to guide and educate them on the powers of nature to optimise our health and wellbeing. Breaking the silence is our first step. Scarlet is currently only available in Singapore, but we have the intention to open up to other parts of Asia, China and the US. Perhaps the Middle East as well, since Scarlet is Halal Certified.
We also have plans to collaborate with other likeminded menstrual companies who aim to help women holistically and to join forces to help all women reach their fullest capacity in performance. I mean, if I may say this…I strongly believe women are the CEOs of the future, and we can definitely reach this if we stick together.
Q: What are some tips you’d like to share with our readers regarding menstrual health?
Laurel: To those who have been tolerating menstrual pains, irregularity and PMS :
I know and I feel you. I am one of you. I will not understand the severity of your menstrual struggles but to those who actually have it worse: the first step is to recognise that you have a problem. We didn’t ask for this disorder, but because we recognise it, we can find a solution. Scarlet is crafted all-natural for a simple reason: it’s all-natural to combat what mother nature gave us. There’s no shame, ugliness or bad luck in talking about it. In fact, there’s so much to learn and embrace. Women are so powerful – we create life! It’s the silence and what people are unaware of that makes it strange, scary or taboo.
We have to start living!
Images : The Scarlet Company and Shutterstock