We had the pleasure of introducing our client Patricia Kayanga to our Voyage ATL community.
Patricia, can you walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today?
I’m the Founder of Ohhs and a first-generation immigrant from Uganda. I came here under unfortunate circumstances but was blessed to know a better life. I wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for the sacrifices of my mother following the murder of my father. Beyond giving me the training and education to be the woman I am today, my mother is the brain behind the business idea of Ohhs. After complaining about the many expensive underwears, I ruined because of my unpredictable cycle; my mother encouraged me to create something I could dispose of. I started to dream and created biodegradable disposable underwear made from bamboo and non-woven fabric. My mother used to say, “Banna bange, muli banaku,” which roughly translates to “my children, you come from sorrow.” In Uganda, it’s a colloquial phrase that reminds people to slow down, remember where they come from, appreciate what they have, and be better.
While researching the market, I found that millions of girls drop out of school due to menstrual stigmas within their communities or simply a lack of resources. I realized that if I didn’t have the opportunity to come to the states, I might have been one of those girls. Knowing these stats meant creating a product that felt good with a business structure that served a greater purpose. My purpose is to make a difference in young girls’ lives one day at a time while creating something simple for every woman.