Stacie Smith grew up with a mother who knew young women could do anything so long as they worked at it and believed in themselves.
The Farmington Hills resident has taken that advice to heart, with the launch of her own business. Smith’s special tea blend eases menstrual discomfort, and she uses part of her profits to purchase feminine hygiene products for schools and shelters.
The Monthly Tea grew out of Smith’s own struggles with her period. Her chiropractor suggested several herbal supplements that helped.
“I thought, I’m going to try to blend these together, but it didn’t taste so great,” Smith said. “I reached out to a tea master, we collaborated and got it right.”
Smith was preparing for a March of 2020 launch, when COVID-19 hit. She had to cancel tea parties with Girls, Inc. that would have included conversations about “that time of the month.”
Despite the pandemic, Smith made hygiene product deliveries to Girls, Inc., Detroit Rescue Mission, and South Oakland Shelter, which provides temporary shelter for Oakland County families. She knows the need for pads, tampons, and other items won’t go away any time soon.
A 2019 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found two out of three low-income women could not afford menstrual hygiene products.
“Imagine families full of girls in low income areas,” she said. “Their mothers still have cycles… A lot of these girls have to get (products) from schools. Sometimes, they’re stolen.”
“This is a necessity, it’s something we need to have on a monthly basis,” Smith added.
In addition to expanding her product line, Smith still plans to host events for young women. She hopes to end the taboo around talking about menstruation.
“I understand discretion,” she said. “This is natural. I want it to be a normal conversation.”