Demond Crump, the founder and CEO of Jewel Sanitary Napkins LLC, decided to invest in the health and wellness market after his wife, Quiana, shared devastating news about her health. Her OB-GYN recommended she remove segments of her reproductive organs as a remedy for her health concerns; as a result, the mother of his four children experienced bleeding unlike ever before.
Quiana shared in an interview with Essence, “I need a partial hysterectomy that was advised by my doctor and it caused heavy bleeding afterward.”
“It was not too long after that,” she continued, “my husband sought out a prototype of a sanitary pad that was absorbed like nothing else on the market.”
So Louisiana-based Crump created an innovative feminine care company that now offers over 10 products, sold online. According to BuzzFile, Jewel Sanitary Napkins, which is registered as a veteran and minority-owned business, is estimated to generate $1.3 million in annual revenue for 2022. It employs approximately 14 people.
Crump’s mission was to create safe products. There are some feminine care products on the market that can be toxic. Tampons, for example, can at times cause toxic shock syndrome.
Crump entered into a space where few African-Americans have been successful. First he had to secure a prototype that cost him $6 to produce in 2018, and then he had to separate himself from others in the industry by coming up with a unique product. He did this by incorporating the use of Graphene, an allotrope of carbon that is also considered one of the strongest materials in the world, in each pad. This makes Jewel Sanitary Napkins’ Reign Pads extra absorbent.
“We are an African American-owned company that has a mission and awareness campaign educating females on the damaging effect of tampons, sanitary napkins, and panty liners,” Crump said about his company. “We don’t just highlight the problem, we also create the solution,” Crump added. “With our Nobel Prize material, graphene infused products.”
The graphene is used in what the brand calls “hero material.” It was selected, according to the company’s website, because it is “an ingredient that can help with microcirculation, promote cell activity and support a healthier metabolism.”
Physicists Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.” Graphene is one of the forms of carbon, what makes it different in its strength and thinness.
Crump says the decision to create hero material came after he consulted OB/GYNs and conducted research to unpack that “many of the chemicals found in feminine products on the market cause great harm over time.”
In 2014, the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information published a report that stated that “women spend well over $2 billion per year on feminine hygiene products, including tampons, pads, feminine washes, sprays, powders, and personal wipes,” with few knowing that the products contain “ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), carcinogens, or allergens.”
It further notes that Black and Latina women use “douches, wipes, powders, and deodorizers more often than women of other races,” causing them to be in greater danger of chemical exposure.
This information fueled Crump’s decision to create a product that is an alternative to what women of all races have had as options.
He said, “As a husband and father, my wife and daughters initially inspired me to start the company.”
“Now, I’m working to fulfill a need that’s much larger than my family.”
The mission is to be a first-class company to service the world.
“We have been growing at an amazing rate,” Crump shared. “We currently have 14 employees and three vendors on our payroll. We didn’t have to lay anyone off; in fact, we have been giving out bonuses.”
He attributes this bounty to one key operational choice for his company: He only did what he needed to do, eliminating fat for the company’s budget.
“We made a decision to do business in the necessity realm and as African Americans, we don’t focus on that aspect of business,” he said. “We tend to gravitate to what’s hot, trendy, cute, and acceptable rather than what’s necessary.”
“Food, water, electricity, and sanitary napkins are necessary. When you have created a product that keeps females comfortable and dry during that time of the month.”
With this strategy, he has big plans. Crump says his main corporate goal for his company is “to be a $1 billion per year company within the next five years.”