A personal journey became a public mission for Rebekah Brown, the inspirational founder of the MPowder – the world’s first plant-based supplement powder range designed to target the three biochemical stages of menopause. We hope you enjoy this read as much as we enjoyed our conversation with her.
First, tell us a little bit about you and the founding of M Powder. What motivated you to start the business?
I have to confess that MPowder accidentally emerged from an entirely selfish mission to simply 'get better'. I hit perimenopause hard, struggled to get even a diagnosis from my doctor and found myself confused by the advice and options available. I also found the whole representation of menopause which, let's remember, starts with perimenopause from around the age of 43, as entirely at odds with how I saw myself and the women I loved around me! It felt like an end of life category rather than a midlife category. It presented women as frail. It used words like 'survive' and 'endure'. I wasn't ready to give up on a full and vibrant life! As I learned more about the whole body and mind transition that is menopause, I learned more about what we can do to take agency for our health. MPowder, which is a community as well as a product range, is the direct result of that.
It is great that we are seeing an evolution in the menopause conversation, what are the biggest changes you have seen in recent months?
I think what we're seeing is a long-overdue reframing of the lifestage along with a greater appreciation for the individual nature of each menopause journey. In the last 12 months we've seen a documentary on prime time TV addressing the woeful misrepresentation of HRT. We've seen legislative change in the UK to secondary school curriculums to ensure menopause is taught as part of our biology classes. We're seeing corporations recognise the impact menopause has on workforces and the need to provide sensitive support. It's an exciting and positive time to be a midlife woman!
What can we all do as women to continue to break this taboo around menopause and support each other?
Change starts with conversation. And mutual respect for each individual's choice for how they wish to manage their menopause journey.
Our brand missions are so aligned – for M Powder “the right nutrients and the right moment” and for Living M it’s “the right actives in the right amounts” – proving that our hormones are ever changing during this life stage. What advice would you give to women to better navigate the changes we experience during this time?
You're right! And this is such a key point. Menopause is a journey. And we need different things as we transition through it. I think the best thing you can cultivate at this lifestage is a curious mind. Try new things. And monitor the impact each intervention has. Become an expert in your own unique needs.
What skincare changes were most noticeable when you realised you were in perimenopause?
For me it was the return of hormonal acne - which felt particularly unfair, as I'd suffered with acne as a teenager too! But this is not uncommon. Some people describe menopause as a reverse puberty - and many of us who may have had skin breakouts then will find ourselves having them again.
You’re very inspiring to many women having made a significant career change in midlife, what advice would you give to women who are looking to do the same or even start their own business?
Be inspired by the stats! Research into successful start-ups shows that, in midlife, we're much more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs than the cliched image of a young guy in flip flops in a garage in San Francisco! Midlife brings increased purpose and vision as well as wisdom and experience. Use it. The world needs it.