On this year’s Mother’s Day, the incredible thing happened to Joanna Griffiths, founder and CEO of five-year-old underwear brand Knix: At 10 weeks of pregnancy, she noticed blood on her underwear. Later that day, after six hours and two ultrasound tests, the nurse told Griffith and her husband that she was aborted. And she should expect more bloodshed.
“She is wrong,” Griffith told me. “I think I bleed. I bleed through five super long overnight mats and three pairs of pajamas.”
As the head of a fast-growing, self-funding startup, Griffith often works 12 hours a day. Knix currently sells one item every 10 seconds and is expected to sell 500,000 orders this year alone. She currently has 37 employees, but she needs to reach 50 by the end of the year to keep up with the growth of the brand.
Griffith wants to know if she has caused a miscarriage in some way through excessive efforts or excessive travel. (Nearly half of the women mistakenly blame themselves for pregnancy.) She decided to do something about her pain: she started advertising campaigns for Knix for fertility issues, and women would share their struggles publicly. “I want women to talk about all of this in public,” Griffith told me.
In today’s video posted on Knix’s website and on the Instagram channel, Griffith shared her own story. But the event also interviewed 50 other Knix customers who talked about a wide range of topics related to fertility. Some people talk about desperately wanting to have children but they are unable to give birth. At the roundtable discussion, the three women talked about things they didn’t intend to have children at all: “I don’t think this is a woman because I don’t want to be a mother,” one of them said.
Knix positions itself as a brand that reinvents underwear through functional details, such as undergarments that absorb periodic blood or incontinence, and bras that provide support without any wires. But Griffiths’ ambition for Knix is not just about trying to reimagine women’s underwear. Through the company’s social channels and advertising, she also created a female community – online and offline – focused on embracing her body.
The brand’s Instagram page is full of rows of real customers, proudly showing stretch marks with increased or decreased weight, and abdominal stretch in the middle of the abdomen, stretching out during pregnancy. A woman, Nikki McKean, is a nude photo that highlights the flattening of the chest after breast mastectomy. “Women are not just their bodies and breasts, they are not just what they bring,” she said in the title. “The power of femininity lies in the inner.”
“I decided not to use professional models earlier,” Griffith said. “And, surprisingly, women seem to be more inclined to us because we are tougher and less refined than other brands. I think I realized that there is something stronger than underwear: this brand may be part of the sport. “