About the Lunagals
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.
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.
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!
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.
Awards and Recognition for the Lunagals
- 2016 Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Community Impact Award
- 2016 B Corp Best for the World Honouree
- 2016 BMO Celebrating Women Award for Innovation & Global Growth
- 2015 Vancouver Board of Trade Wendy McDonald Award for Entrepreneurial Innovation
- 2013 Small Business BC Best Community Impact Award
- 2011 BC Business magazine Top 20 Innovators Award
- 2011 Lower Mainland of BC Better Business Bureau Green Business of the Year
- 2009 Green America Shining Light Award
- 2008 Institute of Chartered Accountants Community Service Award
At the Vancouver Lower Mainland Better Business Bureau Torch Awards receiving best Green Business of the Year award, 2011.
At the Green Festival accepting the Shining Light Award from Green America’s 2009 Peoples Choice Awards. San Francisco, 2009.