It’s hard to imagine periods, postnatal depression and miscarriage becoming mainstream conversation points, but that’s exactly what two Melbourne mums are hoping to achieve with the launch of their new online care package business, Not A Pony.
While supporting each other and many friends through different motherhood battles, it was clear to Sarah Abramson and Dana Rochwerger that more needed to be done to destigmatise these problems. It was painfully obvious to Rochwerger after suffering her own miscarriage in early 2020.
“I felt the need to keep my miscarriage a secret. Not because I was ashamed, but because people don’t know how to talk about it,” says Rochwerger. “People don’t know what to do or say. The last thing I needed was to share my grief and be met with an awkward reaction.”
Enter Not A Pony – their online store of carefully curated care packages for women, designed to show support in difficult situations.
The business launched this month with packages tailored for break-ups, grieving mothers, and the unique suffering that comes with newborn sleep deprivation.
The pair hopes that creating products to support loved ones through these tough times will help to eliminate the awkwardness. “Our packs are something to send when you don’t know what to say,” says Abramson.
“Nobody thinks twice about sending flowers following a death, because everyone accepts it as a normal part of life. Why is miscarriage any different? We need to get better at talking about these things, and the first step is acknowledgement. Our care packs are designed to make this first step a bit easier,” says Rochwerger.
Amid her own struggles with post natal depression, Abramson was keenly aware of her need to be recognised as a person, not just as a new mother. “My approach has always been just to feed people when they need help,” Abramson said.
“But when I became a mum myself, I realised how much it meant to me when I received a gift that said ‘I see you, and you’re doing great’.”
Keen also to celebrate the wins that come exclusively with being a woman, the duo created the Period Party pack.
“My own first period was a clumsy flurry of pad wrappers and a lot of whispering between school bathroom stalls. It was absolutely something to hide,” recalls Rochwerger. “A girl’s first period is something to be celebrated. It’s like being taught the secret handshake that unites women everywhere.”
The Period Party pack is a fun, age-appropriate celebration of this milestone. It contains a mini heat pack (small enough for stealthy use under a school jumper), a no-nasty nail polish, a pack of organic pads and tampons and a purse in which to store them. The pack also contains a delicious block of chocolate, because everyone knows the best part of getting your period is the accompanying chocolate binge.
Every Not A Pony pack contains products that are locally sourced and sustainably produced.
“It was really important to us to support other small businesses, particularly those who share our ethos about sustainability,” says Abramson.
“As a female-led partnership, we love to work with other female-driven businesses.”
Next on the agenda are care packs to support women through IVF, chemotherapy and job loss.
Find Not A Pony on Instagram at @notaponyau.
Care packages and prints can be ordered at www.notapony.com.au.