cycle-tracking goals, working from bed, and being CBD-obsessed with ohne co-founder Leah
Leah, ohne co-founder, is always the one in the office with the biggest ideas (and she’s almost impossibly optimistic about how feasible they are). She’s always buying vegan snacks and the latest CBD-infused treats for everyone to share, and in one conversation with her you’ll go from being hyper cynical about something (acupuncture, life coaching, Kombucha…) to suddenly thinking it’s the best thing since sliced bread and you need to try it ASAP (guilty 🙋♀️).
She’s next-level obsessed with CBD and has the eerie ability to pick an ohne tampon out of a lineup by the string alone (seriously, if you ever meet her, put her to the test). I pulled Leah away from her hectic life as a start-up founder to chat all things cycle-tracking, wellness, and learning to be your own boss. So here’s just a tiny peek its what it’s like BTS of ohne…
I always wanted to start my own business… literally, always
When I was five I begged my Dad to let me turn his garage into a cafe where I’d only serve marmite crumpets and Ribena and all the walls would be painted purple. What was I thinking?! And when I was fifteen, I went to Venice and tried to convince my parents to let me drop out of school, move to Venice, and set up an affordable ‘self-row gondola service’… That didn’t go down too well with my parents either! I did eventually open my own business before starting ohne (this time as an actual adult and not breaking any child labour laws), a tiny seaside cafe in Devon.
Being your own boss means setting rules for yourself – and then figuring out how the hell you’re going to stick to them!
For the first few weeks of being able to work from home, I found it unbelievably exciting. I started off enjoying the long days working from bed, in my pyjamas, and felt like it was such a treat. But this soon flipped and working from home became really tough.
I realised that, for the sake of my mental health, I need to get up, get out, breathe fresh air and work from a location that feels like ‘work’. Having the discipline to see home as home (and not an office) is tough when you can work from anywhere your laptop is. Of course, my laptop does still pop out at the kitchen table all too frequently but it’s banned from the bedroom! I’m now trying to stick to a regular work week and taking weekends off as frequently as I can. Which should be totally normal, but unfortunately in the startup world it can be all too easy to feel like you have to be working non-stop.
Life is all about balance – at ohne, play is just as important as work
ohne runs on a pretty unconventional working model, with flexible hours and staff who work remotely. The entire team can take time off when they need or want it to hop across the ocean to get some vitamin c and work from the sunshine. We also have the flexibility for everyone to work the hours that suit them best. It was really important to us that our team bloody love working at ohne and are always given the space to feel passionate about it. Our team members all have exciting lives to live and we want work to fit around that, not to be something that holds them back or that they could one day resent. We see ohne as a lifestyle and we bloody love living it!
My period used to totally derail my life
Every now and then I still get some nasty periods, but it’s nothing like it used to be. A few years ago, I had a copper coil fitted, which graced me with heavy bleeding for seven to ten days each month for about a year. And when I say heavy, I mean heavy – on the worst days, I’d soak through a super plus tampon within half an hour. This would typically be accompanied by cramps that’d keep me in bed for the first day (if only someone had invented a CBD cramp oil then!)
I’m really fortunate now that I’ll typically have half a day or so of moderate cramps and the occasional shooting pain (does anyone else get this? I still don’t actually know what it is and my doctor just informed me that I was ‘lucky’ that I only started getting shooting, electric shock-style pain in the last few years. Thanks doc. Really helpful).
I run a cycles brand, but I’m really bad at tracking my cycle!
I don’t really track my cycle at all, despite having wanted to for a long time! I’ve looked into countless apps and even downloaded a few, but I’m yet to find one that I really resonate with. I find most of them ask for too much info, are too focused on things that aren’t important to me right now (like fertility), or are simply not accurate enough.
I know cycle-tracking would be hugely beneficial in helping me understand my body – it’s actually one of my New Year’s resolutions to get into it properly. I get super drained in the run up to my period, unable to bother with exercise, and I never realise why until my period starts and its clocks. My worst period symptom though has to be the bloating. I get really, really bloated. I’ll put on my usual jeans and they’ll feel too tight, I’ll look in a mirror and think I must be 3 months pregnant… This is all obviously exacerbated by my lack of energy to exercise and those PMS midnight carb cravings! Then my period comes and everything makes sense again.
Periods and relationships are a tricky business…
Although I don’t track my cycle, my boyfriend James does. It’s an old habit based on the fact that I used to do an absolute Jekyll-and-Hyde switch two days before my period, every period, without fail. (Check out how bad it got one night on a romantic trip to Vietnam.) He started tracking to give him a heads up as to when he could expect me to be an emotional wreck and to know when he should avoid certain conversations. Sometimes, he’ll even totally overcompensate around this time, which is really bloody sweet – hello, bubble bath waiting for me on return from work!
I have worked hard to conquer the mood swings, though. And I’m even more chilled out, mood-wise since I started using yours, hormonally. James has literally thanked me, ohne, and yours, hormonally for the levelling out of my mood in more recent months.
My period also tends to stop my socialising. Day one to two of bleeding sees me curled up at home, eating chocolate in front of a rom-com, because there is no way I can be bothered to chat with people unless I absolutely have to when I’m bleeding and bloated.
The one thing I can’t live without is… Wine. No, I’m joking (at least a little bit). But I’m going to have to give you two things: exercise and acupuncture. There’s nothing like a boxing class or a home yoga session to ease anxiety or prep you for sleep. There’s also nothing like a tonne of needles in your face to take away the stress!
My favourite all-cycle product is… literally organic everything. And I don’t just mean tampons, but in all areas of my diet and beauty routine too. Obviously, the difficulty with many organic products is that they can be significantly more expensive than mainstream alternatives, but I’m an organic convert through and through. I’ve seen first hand the benefits from removing toxins from your body and diet. It’s also so much better for the environment which, for me, makes spending the extra money on it so worthwhile.
The best period secret I’ve got up my sleeve is… this time last year I would have said CBD, but now we’ve released our pro-period CBD oils it’s not much of a secret anymore! So now it’s got to be a tincture made from a family recipe my mum concocted years ago with a combination of herbs. I just add a few drops to any drink and it really helps with pains and cramps. And, hey, I probably shouldn’t say this, but keep an eye out – we might share this one with the ohne family someday too!
wtf is hormonal contraception? why are there so many to choose from? and how tf do I know which one is right for me? avoiding pregnancy can be a f*cking minefield. we’ve got your back.