Going from high school students to social enterprise co-founders in such a short space of time was such a brave and inspiring move that we’re sure must have had its daunting but very rewarding moments. Can you speak to what, in those earliest days, were the source of your inspiration, mentorship, and motivation to keep pushing forward?
Eloise: We were quite lucky in having a good healthy sense of naivety, we were very passionate about the concept we had just learned about which was the social enterprise model. And we were really heartbroken and driven to eradicate period poverty and whatever capacity we could. So we had a lot of energy and a lot of passion for what would be the social enterprise of TABOO. And that's really what dragged us through the first early years.
There was certainly a lot of uncertainty, we didn't know exactly which direction to take, or, you know, the right or wrong decisions that were ahead of us. So we're really lucky to seek out some good mentors and to have a lot of people's advice from a different variety of experience and perspective. We've very quickly learned to discern that information instantly, and really refine what people's advice meant in our capacity and now business. So there was a lot of encouragement there.
I signed up to do business in international relations in 2018, which very much helped my, I guess, theoretical understanding of how business works. But yeah, we've really just hung tight to a continuous learning mentality to make sure that we're always learning from other people and other people's experiences, too.
Isobel you recently wrote a piece for PopSugar on balancing the demands of running a social enterprise with the need to occasionally pause and ‘fill your cup’ as they say. What have you been doing lately to focus on your own wellbeing? Has your studies in medicine highlighted to you the importance of taking this time for yourself and reframing how you think about downtime?
Isobel: Yeah, that's interesting, I haven't thought of it through the lens of what study has taught me. I guess, looking forward to placement years - placement is very much being in the hospital and then needing to do homework when you get home or study when you get home, which is a fairly full schedule. But in the last years juggling Med and TABOO, there's certainly been a learning curve of what ways to, to deal with that and focus on wellbeing when it seems very overwhelming, and like, there's no time to focus on wellbeing.
We've been very lucky to have such a supportive team and to have each other to kind of lighten the load, and focus on each other's strengths, and go from there. So we've definitely learnt that skill over time. But there's still so far to go with that. And I personally love sitting down for a coffee or a drink with a friend and not even talking much about TABOO, just talking about general life. That's always a bit of a, I guess, a holiday for your brain. And yeah, I love spending time with my dogs - that brings me a lot of joy. And I recently found a lot of solace in painting. And I'm not very good at it all, but I find it very therapeutic and the hours passed really quickly. But I like having that thing to focus on with a kind of a goal in mind to kind of have this thing to prove that your time is spent on relaxing, which is nice.
Ophelia: It's funny how like, a lot of the things that you enjoy doing now a lot of the time of things that you enjoyed doing when you were young. Not that painting is childish, but it's something that you would do more often when you're young.
Eloise: Yeah, I love any opportunity to be creative, even just sitting in the garden and dreaming. I'm a bit of a bit of a daydreamer. But yeah, I love painting, writing poetry, anything that can stretch the brain in an exciting way, something that's not very confined by rules or expectations.