About the Lunagals

Suzanne Siemens & Madeleine Shaw
Suzanne Siemens (L) & Madeleine Shaw (R)

Hello and welcome! We are longtime friends and social entrepreneurs known for our commitment to progressive business practices and gender equality. While we’ve been in business together since 2000, each of us were involved in lots of interesting things before our worlds collided (in a happy way of course!) Learn more about Madeleine and Suzanne here.

We’re curious, passionate innovators who love to explore the intersection between business and social change. Heralding from diverse backgrounds (sh*t-disturbing Fashion Designer meets no-nonsense Chartered Accountant, hello!) we have successfully joined forces for over a decade to found a 7-figure for-profit manufacturing & e-retail business, a non-profit society dedicated to girls’ empowerment globally, and most recently, an event series.

We are also fun and deeply real. As you peruse our “adventures” – essentially a compendium of all our doings – please bear in mind that what we offer is not a set of rules or some kind of magical how-to formula. Rather, we’ve been fearlessly navigating a constantly changing landscape (think pre and post internet, marriage, babies and economic meltdowns!), led by our hearts and values, but tempered by the necessity to make things work sustainably. Madeleine & Suzanne at Not Business As Usual Premiere

We love noodling business models, being playfully disruptive (as opposed to for its own sake) and enjoying the creative liberty of being entrepreneurs – “Pirates on the High Seas of Capitalism!” – per Madeleine’s almost-famous quote from the provocative documentary film Not Business as Usual (in which Lunapads was featured as a progressive business helping to shape the future of capitalism).

Lunagals is a window into our conversations, experiments, wild guesses, “just-trust-me-on-this” moments, celebrating our successes, learning from our missteps and challenges, dealing with life and just generally doing our best to make the world a better place while growing integrity-based ventures. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then stick around and let’s do this! We may not have “The Answers”, however we are giving it our best shot and offering our stories up as inspiration for like minded/like hearted folk out there.


Want to go deeper?

In exchange for a $300 donation to the United Girls of the World Society, we offer 90-minute consultation sessions: they are popular, fun and can be insightful in unexpected and rewarding ways.

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The basic backstory

We are best known as the co-founders of Lunapads, a Founding Canadian B Corp, vertical e-commerce retailer and multiple award-winning pioneer in the taboo-breaking field of natural menstrual health. Lunapads are featured in the 2009 Taschen publication Product Design in the Sustainable Era and can be purchased online and in hundreds of drug and health food stores (including Whole Foods) across North America.

Lunapads is one of the best selling brands of cloth pads worldwide and are used by customers in over 40 countries. Thanks to their choice of Lunapads (and other reusable options like the DivaCup and Lunapanties) over disposable products, 2 million pads, tampons and applicators are being diverted from landfills monthly.

Lunapads were also the inspiration for AFRIpads, a Uganda-based business to whom we have provided cost-free IP and mentorship since its inception in 2008. Today AFRIpads employs 150 people and is widely heralded as a model of market-based approach to development needs. Following a visit to Uganda in January 2012, Lunapads and AFRIpads formalized their partnership with a buy-one-give-one program based on TOMS Shoes called One4Her that has since been replicated by numerous other likeminded businesses. Lunapads became a shareholder in AFRIpads in 2013. As of Fall 2015, AFRIpads has supplied over 750,000 girls and women with their sanitary pad kits! IMG_2022

We are also Directors of United Girls of the World, a registered non-profit society that supports girls’ empowerment globally. Since its inception in 2000, United Girls (via Pads4Girls) has supported the provision of sustainable feminine hygiene supplies to over 14,000 girls in 18 countries.

In 2013, we created G Day, a national community-based rite of passage celebration series that welcomes girls ages 10 to 12 into adolescence. In 2014 and 2015 we welcomed over 1,000 people in Vancouver BC, Victoria BC and Toronto ON. Hope to see you at G Day Calgary on June 12, 2016, and stay tuned for more Canadian – and possibly US – cities being announced throughout 2016.

We have been featured speakers at TEDxKids@BC and Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver, and are columnists for the Huffington Post British Columbia.

Awards and Recognition for the Lunagals

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Dual award winners! Chair of the Lunapads Advisory Board, Bob Elton, and Madeleine celebrate receiving the inaugural Wendy A McDonald Award in the category of Diversity Champion and Entrepreneurial Innovation, respectively. Vancouver Board of Trade, June 2015.

Suzanne Siemens accepting the award from Catherine Ludgate of Vancity Credit Union for Small Business BC Best Community Impact Award of 2013.

With our friend Catherine Ludgate of Vancity Credit Union, sponsor of the Small Business BC Award for Best Community Impact, September 2013.

Madeleine and Suzanne with the editor of BC Business Magazine Matt O’Grady.

With BC Business Magazine Editor Matt O’Grady receiving a Top 20 Innovators in BC award: our profile as #17 is here. (Photo credit: Dave Roels Photography) April 2011. 

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At the Vancouver Lower Mainland Better Business Bureau Torch Awards receiving best Green Business of the Year award, 2011.

Madeleine and Suzanne receiving the Shining Light Award at Green America Conference 2009.

At the Green Festival accepting the Shining Light Award from Green America’s 2009 Peoples Choice Awards. San Francisco, 2009.

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At the Institute of Chartered Accountants annual awards dinner with Madeleine, Craig and our good friends Joel Solomon (Renewal Partners) Christianne Wilhelmson (Georgia Strait Alliance) Eva Mar and Ilva Bevacqua for Suzanne’s Community Service Award, Vancouver, June 2008.