Maria Purcell and Amone Gbedemah; Co-Founders of The Hood talk to us about the inspiration behind their first product, a part-journal, part-guide for tween girls:
When we founded The Hood last year, we could not have predicted how timely the launch of our first product, Girlhood: The Story in March 2020, would be for so many. Designed especially for girls aged 8 - 14, it is part-journal and part-guide. We created it to help demystify and support girls through what can often be an awkward stage of growing up.
According to a recent survey by the mental health charity YoungMinds, 83% of young people have said the coronavirus pandemic has made their mental health worse. Loss of routine and social isolation came top of the list of contributing factors.
Not just a period journal that provides insights about the changes their bodies will go through, Girlhood: The Story offers an invitation to girls to capture their own unique story of growing up, while encouraging the practice of routine self-care, wellness habits and mindfulness.
While most of us have experienced loss of routine and social isolation to varying degrees in recent months, the effects of stress and anxiety can often feel more acute to tweens. The impact of not being with friends, of missing out on support from educational professionals, mixed in with feelings of frustration and uncertainty about the future can feel overwhelming.
Especially at times like these, it is important to acknowledge that these feelings are entirely normal and to encourage kids not only to be kind to themselves, but to take steps to look after their wellbeing and to make time for self-reflection.
The first section of Girlhood: The Story is focussed on puberty and female health education; covering the basics of anatomy, periods, nutrition, FAQs and period products. At a time when girls may not have access to their extended support network in the usual way, this information, combined with the myth-busters and tips distributed throughout the journal, provides a great educational resource for dispelling rumours and building up body confidence.
The journal has 12 dateless chapters (instead of the 12 months of the calendar year), making it easy to start at any time. It comes with a period tracker and a monthly mood tracker, which provide easy, visual ways to spot patterns, better understand (and prepare for) hormonal mood changes. This period journal is a place to learn about, prepare for and ultimately celebrate the transition from girlhood to womanhood.
“My niece started her period last year when she was just nine and I remember talking with my sister about how we could best support her in that time. I started looking into possible resources and enlisted help from my co-founder, Amone. It became very clear to us, very quickly that there is little out there designed to support young girls through their entry into womanhood.” - Maria Purcell, Co-Founder of The Hood.
Along with lots of creative space for capturing thoughts, doodling and colouring in, each Chapter of the journal begins with a first period story generously contributed by an inspirational woman. Each educational period story sheds light on the range of different experiences, with a view to normalising them and making them easier to speak about.
The Self-Care Bingo section provides an interactive reminder of ways to look after wellbeing like eating regular meals, drinking lots of water, looking after personal hygiene and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
With over 30 years experience between us in technology and commercial businesses, as co-founders, we are both passionate about creating products and solutions that seek to empower girls and women.
Girlhood: The Story is our first product and we are excited about how well it has been received. Starting at £5 for a digital copy and £20 for a physical journal, Girlhood: The Story comes in 3 different colours (Blush Pink, Sunshine Yellow, Forest Green) and is available to purchase on Amazon and via our website: www.wearethehood.com
We can’t wait to get started on more products for the other audiences. Watch this space for more to come!
Maria Purcell and Amone Gbedemah; Co-Founders of The Hood
The Hood, is a new, all female-led British brand, on a mission to redesign the world with women in mind. The Hood team is focussed on 4 main audiences: Girlhood, Womanhood, Motherhood and Sisterhood. In 2020, The Hood team is starting at the beginning, by working on solutions that seek to empower women and girls through knowledge and community.