Overlooked Ventures Invests in Femly, a high-tech personal care company.

Janine Sickmeyer
4 min readMar 3, 2022

Most of the feminine care products on the shelf today contain harmful chemicals and bleach. These products, such as pads and tampons, are made of cotton and/or rayon, and to get their white color, they’re bleached with chlorine dioxide. Dioxins also find their way into pads and tampons through the soil, water, and air that cotton crops absorb. If this is news to you, you’re not alone. Feminine care products do not include these toxins on their labels, leaving millions of women in the dark.

Just a few years ago, Arion Long was experiencing long and heavy periods, unable to find a solution even after several appointments with OBGYNs. Arion finally found a doctor who took her concerns seriously and diagnosed her with a reproductive illness related to the chemicals in feminine care products. After this life-changing diagnosis, Arion knew she needed to switch to organic products but was unable to find quality pads and tampons that were comfortable.

After her own experience and learning that 80% of women lack feminine care access at some point in their lives, Arion set out on a mission to provide overachieving products, education, and increase access to help end-period poverty and menstrual inequality. Femly gives feminine hygiene products that are environmentally friendly, comfortable, reusable, and save consumers on personal care costs.

Arion is disrupting the FemTech industry while educating women despite facing adversity along the way. While scaling her business, Arion experienced the loss of her daughter in a stillbirth delivery and was diagnosed with e.coli septicemia, organ failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). She was placed on life support and fought for her life. Arion made it through and just weeks later resumed pitch competitions and life as a founder. She continues to tell her story of loss and grief to help fellow founders and women going through the same.

In just a few years, Arion Long has changed the lives of over 35,000 people with safe and healthy feminine care hygiene products. Made with U.S. sourced certified organic cotton, Femly’s pads are 3x more absorbent, 13% longer, and 2x more adhesive than popular brands. In addition, Femly cuts down on the 20-year average breakdown of feminine hygiene products with plant-based materials. Superior products aren’t the only way that Femly is bringing innovation into the industry. Femly is partnering with organizations and businesses across the country to provide its products for free in public restrooms with a first-of-its-kind patented hygiene machine.

The Femly hygiene machine dispenses pads, panty liners, menstrual cups, and tampons without a cost. Arion created the machine to bring about more inclusivity and end period poverty for everyone, especially the homeless population and women facing domestic violence who might not be able to easily access or afford feminine hygiene products. In addition to partnering with businesses to offer Femly products for free, each product includes a QR code with free educational resources. Arion and the team at Femly are motivated to expand their reach and help as many women as possible get access to feminine care and education, no matter if it’s their first period or not. As a part of Femly’s growth, Arion has an ambitious goal that we know she can reach — stocking over 50,000 restrooms in the U.S. with Femly hygiene machines.

Arion’s viral TikTok about Femly’s Hygiene Machine

We are proud to announce that Femly is joining the Overlooked Ventures portfolio as our 8th investment!

Arion embodies everything we look for in a founder! She is a fierce leader who makes a lasting impact on all those she interacts with and advocates for women’s health. The $19 billion global feminine hygiene market, expected to grow to $27 billion by 2027, is being disrupted by Arion. Before starting Femly, Arion worked as a marketing & communications professional in the health industry.

Named as one of the Top 100 women in business by Entrepreneur, a Tech 10 in the Baltimore Business Journal, and IFW Entrepreneur of the Year, Arion is a public speaker in subject matter expert. She’s hit the stage at TedX Baltimore, several universities, and other tech events to share her story and innovations. Arion is located in the Baltimore-DC area with her husband and son.

Join us in welcoming Arion Long and Femly to the OV family! We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of her journey. Visit Femly’s website to learn more about the company or purchase period products! You can also nominate your college, workplace, gym, or any other organization for a partnership with Femly here. If you’re interested in investing in Femly, contact Arion Long at interest@femly.com.