The Book List Edition

We're back! This week, we're preparing for Book Club. The Chica chicks really dig reading, and if you have suggestions, please send them our way!

Image: Reductress

Elise: To My-Bestest-Innovator,

Today you left Boulder around 7:30 am to drive to Colorado Springs. This distance between CU Boulder and Colorado College is a familiar separation, but, as many blog posts on the world wide web begin, I say that today is different. You drove down to the Springs for an interview as a Colorado College "Face of Innovation." Congrats, I love you, I feel very proud! Truthfully, I can be a jealous person, often thinking to myself "why do they have that ____, and I don't?? I don't understand what makes them better??" I expected to feel jealous when you told me. I kind of sat around, waiting for the green feeling to hit me. It didn't and now I'm left feeling high, giddy, and really really excited. I'm confident that whatever you said, it represented Chica well because Chica is you. 

OK, now that we've got that out of the way, we can move onto business. I am so aware of my many points of ignorance, not just in terms of the running of our business but also in terms of the history of women's/sexual/fertility health. I crave education and I'm seeking to become more of "expert" in this field for the benefit and confidence of us, our customers, and our larger community. My two favorite words are coming up............... Book Group! 

Here are the titles I've come across and plan on reading in the near future: 

WomanCode: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source by Alisa Vitti. Vitti is one of the early leaders in the industry of menstrual health. She mainly focuses on the nutrition we need to supply the micronutrients that support easy periods to explain why PMS does not have to be normal for anyone.

Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grig-Spall

Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equality by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf 

Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by Jon Kolko. This is a product development book but I think it'll be useful for analyzing our own product evolution.

Communication Arts Advertising Annual 58: Best Ads of 2017. They have this at the CU Library!  

Do you have anything that you're looking to read / think is essential to add to my list?



Cassidy: To My Significant “Other Face” of Innovation,

Does that address make sense? It’s kind of a mouthful. I thought it would be funny because you’re a Gemini and we were talking just last week about how people reduce you to being “two-faced.” While we’re on the subject, we need to do some serious investigating to find out how astrology works for a business entity. What sign would Chica be?

These letter greetings are a pun-ny point of distraction, at best. But I love them, because they are the perfect example of us assuming that our sense of humor makes sense to literally anyone else. We are like a married couple. I’m curious to know if our co-founder and co-executive relationship fits within the norm in the startup space. My greeting here points to this unusual dynamic: we are almost like two faces on the same Chica coin.

So when I received the nomination as a “Face of Innovation,” I felt guilty. Like I was stealing the spotlight. Because I am the Colorado College student, I have VIP access to the glory that it bestows, and your role becomes respectively diminished. My inner cynic reminds me that the contents of this interview will be published in the alumni newsletter, which means that this form of Chica advertising is simply a clever profiting ploy: I’m very “on-brand,” and thus worthy of this institution’s investment. My inner cynic is rather dramatic, ungrateful, and anti-establishment. But no matter how you spin it, it is clear that I—as an individual—am being recognized for work that I did not do on my own.

When we were in the Chica kitchen this week, you pointed out the definition of “pride.” That by saying you felt proud, you are acknowledging that your accomplishments made this interview possible. You are proud because Chica is you as well.

So here we are, with all our married couple mess, trying to become experts in our field. And can I just say that I am SO EXCITED for our book club (caps lock excited). How cool would it be if we started a Chica book club? We can take suggestions from our Chicas, and foster a community of kickass menstruators who have got some kickass period education up their sleeves. Our Chicas wouldn’t have to read the business-savvy books, obviously. That’s for us. I’ll include some additions to your list, but I’m excited to add more!

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This tops the list because we’ve both read it, but I think it merits discussing in a proper “book club” fashion.   

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Because literally every postmodern menstruator talks about this concept, if not this specific book, when reflecting on the period experience.

The Curse: Confronting the Last Reasonable Taboo: Menstruation by Karen Houppert.

Marketing to the Millennial Woman by Ann Arnof Fishman.

Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine.

Power to The Period by Nadya Okamoto (once it is published). Did you know that the founder of PERIOD. just signed a book deal? We should talk to her about multitasking.

While we have access to our respective institutions’ wonderful libraries, I also want to learn more about periods and menstrual equity around the world. We (and I use “we” as in Americans) toss around this concept of period taboo that is polarized by extremes, like chhaupadi in Nepal, without actually investigating these traditions on their own terms. “Taboo” is used loosely, and it is used broadly. We can do better.

Can’t wait to start reading,


Chica ChocolateComment