Whether it was pads, multivitamins, razors, or body lotion, there used to be only two feminine-care shopping options: score something cheap that just barely got the job done or pay a premium for a better product with better branding — but thanks to Maria Markina, founder of the newly launched wellness brand Athena Club, that's no longer the case. "What we often saw was that if the product is good, it was pretty expensive," Markina tells Refinery29. "So people settle for what they can find at the drugstore: whether that’s a razor that scrapes their skin and they just deal with it or vitamins with questionable ingredients." As a former competitive tennis player, Markina knew first-hand the trials and tribulations of being constantly on-the-go — and namely, the sinking feeling of dread when you realize you don't have a tampon on you.
"We quickly saw that [the gap in the market] was not just applicable to periods; why would people need to have 15 different subscriptions to manage at once? Why not dive into every single [personal care] product we use and have them under one umbrella?" Markina explained. "We wanted to create an alternative where people could have super high-quality products delivered for the same price for what they would traditionally pay [at the drugstore]." And thus, Athena Club was born: a one-stop women's shop for everything from sustainable-organic period-care products to supplements, body-care essentials, and one seriously amazing shaving kit.(Want to fast-forward to my review? Scroll down to the bottom for all the deets.)
As for the name, it happens to be cool and aspirational for a reason: "We saw a lot of brand names that were cute but didn’t necessarily have a meaning," Markina explains. "We wanted a name that was powerful and represented modern women. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and arts, so it represented the modern woman in a way that’s not just focused on beauty and being attractive."With prices ranging from $8 for a pack of pads, tampons, or liners to $28 for a month's supply of a daily multivitamin, Athena Club isn't just another millennial-friendly DTC brand with merch you'd want to wear, it's a female-first destination for all things self-care.
Markina also shared that she's always looking to the brand's community to sound off on Instagram for everything from fresh handle colorways to brand-new products long overdue for the Athena treatment. And, psst: a collagen powder is dropping soon, along with an educational blog to answer your most important wellness questions. Somewhere, a breastplate-clad Athena is beaming.
My personal Athena Club review...
After a month of testing the brand's bestsellers, here's what came out on top: The Razor Kit (in my current color obsession, sky blue) is the champ, and here's why. The packaging and included accessories make it feel way more luxe than the $9 price tag, and I kid you not, I even emergency dry-shaved my legs without nary a nick. I have coarse, dark hair so I wasn't sure how Athena would fare, but I honestly couldn't be impressed with the results; the handle itself is sleek and grippy, and the five-blade cartridge gets me a super-smooth shave with or without shaving cream, thanks to the serum-soaked hydrating strip.
Other personal faves were the biodegradable TLC Wipes, which are perfect for post-sex cleanup or freshening up during the day as needed. I don't personally use tampons or pads anymore since I don't get regular periods (a side-effect of my hormonal IUD), but the organic liners were perfect for days where I had some light spotting. I did also like the Daily Multi, which were beautifully packaged and easy to swallow — but are more of an investment than other products. All in all, the convenience factor of having all your needs covered by modern, sustainable, AND actually affordable product is more than enough to make me an Athena stan for life.
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