Kindra empowers people who experience the hormonal changes of menopause to care for their bodies naturally, safely, and holistically.

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About Kindra

Considering half the population will go through (or has already been through) menopause, we don’t talk about it nearly enough — but Kindra’s ready to start the conversation. Whether you or someone you love is tired, hot-and-flashy, or suffering through any other effects of menopause, Kindra has estrogen-free products to help. These clean, plant-powered staples have been clinically and gynecologically tested, so you can cut straight to relief without worrying about the fine print. And just because menopause is an individualized experience doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone: Kindra created an online community as a place to discuss the good, the bad, and the sweaty. 

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Why we love them

Whether you just started menopause, are in the midst of it, or have been postmenopausal for years, we can’t recommend Kindra’s estrogen-free peri/menopause essentials enough. The brand’s site is divided by concern, so you can easily find a science-backed solution to your discomfort. Their bestselling Daily Vaginal Lotion is intended for everyday use to treat dryness and prevent painful sex. And if you need more energy during the day or more sleep at night, Kindra’s power-boosting and sleep-enhancing supplements can do the trick.

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Meet Catherine Balsam-Schwaber

Catherine Balsam-Schwaber became the CEO of Kindra in March of 2020, when the company was still in its infancy. After a career of working at various media companies that happened to fit her life stage, it was as if this job found her: Catherine had recently started navigating menopause herself and was aiming to move into something meaningful to her. In the 18 months since, Catherine has led the charge in bringing the conversation about menopause into the open, and encouraging women to see menopause as a new and exciting phase of life.

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In Conversation with Catherine

How did you end up at Kindra?

I’ve been fortunate to work in places where my job and my passions aligned at the exact right time: I worked at MTV in my twenties, and in my late thirties I ran marketing at NBCUniversal’s iVillage, the original women’s community platform. I got pregnant and had my twins when I was there, and then became the Chief Content Officer at Mattel when my kids were the perfect age for Barbie and Hot Wheels. I came back to NBCUniversal and helped get an art and education streaming business up and running there. After that, I was about to turn 50 and I wanted to work on something that was really important to me personally. 

Access to healthcare has always been a passion of mine. And then I met the team that leads the LA-based fund M13, who were talking to Procter and Gamble about developing a small line of menopause products. The three of us joined forces to start what is now Kindra. As a first-time founder, having a brand that was safe and effective, and scientifically developed over five years, really helped me and the business get this incredible running start.

Why do you think we need to bring more attention to menopause, as a culture?

I began to get unexplainable aches and pains while at NBC, but I was only 48 and it never occurred to me that it was menopause. My doctor said I had fibromyalgia and told me to take really powerful steroids and come back in six months. Luckily I didn’t think that was right, and when I talked to my OB, she told me it was menopause. I was stunned because in my mind, menopause was something that happened to a much older woman. 

I wanted to be able to deliver great educational resources, community, and solutions for women who very often don’t understand what’s happening to their bodies. When they find us, there’s this big sense of relief: Here are people who understand what I’m going through. They can give me science-driven, physician-backed information and connect me to other women who are having the same kind of experience. And they can also give me solutions that’ll make me feel like myself again.

A lot of doctors aren’t fully educated about menopause. Does changing that start with women or with doctors?

There are larger issues in the medical system than menopause, but the idea that it wouldn’t even occur to my doctor to bring it up, based on my age alone, is shocking to me. I think in terms of making change, it’s a combination of factors. We’re kicking off a program called Couch Conversations, where we encourage the women in our community to gather together and talk about what’s happening in their menopausal journeys. So many of the conversations that do happen, happen behind closed doors, and it creates this shroud of silence around menopause that doesn’t help you or any other women. The confusion and worry over lack of resources is part of what makes menopause so anxiety-provoking. A lot of women think, “Well, I guess my messed-up sleep, brain fog, and vaginal dryness is just the new normal,” but it doesn’t have to be. Once women are comfortable having these conversations among themselves, they’ll be empowered to communicate their symptoms and needs to their doctors.

How did you learn to think about menopause differently?

I’ve been managing my hormones all of my life with my period — menopause was just another thing I had to figure out how to adapt to. But I needed to adjust the way I thought about my body. And honestly, part of it was that I found the beauty in aging: I don’t want women to feel like this is the end, because it’s not. The average age of a female CEO is 51, and the average age of a woman entering menopause is 51. We created the Kindra Hormone Assessment [link to quiz] to help women better understand where they’re at in their journey, and to gain a new perspective on how they can best support their bodies.

You just launched your Menopause in the Workplace Guide. How do you open up that conversation at Kindra?

My leadership philosophy is to lead by example. I think a big part of that is trying to have candid conversations about what we do, and creating an environment where there’s no fear, especially in a business where we’re trying to break a stigma. During menopause, you have to do the work on yourself to understand what you need to feel amazing, but once you do that work, there’s this sense of freedom. I’m comfortable in my own skin like I’ve never been before.

What’s the most rewarding part of this role for you?

We get so much feedback from our customers and community members, and it makes my day every day. I try to talk to customers as much as I can because I want to hear what’s working for them and what more we can be doing to support them. We have to talk out loud about menopause. Otherwise we’re not going to get to where we want to be, culturally. 

What’s your long-term vision for Kindra?

I genuinely think we have an opportunity to change the conversation around aging for women, and provide real solutions. Conversation and information is step one — then we need ways to help women truly thrive mentally, physically, and emotionally during one of the best chapters of their lives. We’re already seeing our innovations lead to further research, collaboration with the medical community, and even grants. Menopause is a rite of passage and a demonstration of our wisdom, and it gives us more time and ability to focus on other aspects of our lives. 

And menopause isn’t just a time period when you’re evolving from having your period to not having your period: It’s also everything that comes after that. You essentially spend 40% of your life in your menopausal state, so there’s a lot of work to be done there, and a lot of opportunity.

How does it feel to look back on the past 18 months?

It feels amazing. I didn’t know what would happen, but I knew that women needed to hear this support and see menopause delivered in a beautiful brand. I knew that if we could really connect with the women who are seeking support, we would succeed. Our curiosity’s insatiable, and our commitment to building is endless — and it’s incredible to look back and see how our team has grown. We still have a long way to go, but I’m so grateful for how far we’ve come.

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