Miyoshi Days (@miyoshidays) is a menstrual advocate, activist, thought leader, and founder of Hate the Dot (@hatethedot). Hate the Dot’s mission is to help turn menstrual cycles into self-care rituals through education and advocacy. Hate the Dot is launching a community-based online platform this February where you can access experts, educational materials, videos, and ask those questions about your body that you’re just too afraid to ask anyone else.
On the platform, Miyoshi talks about periods, mental health, nutrition, hormones, vaginas…all of it. Miyoshi has a strong passion for educating, empowering, and helping women and menstruators alike prioritize their health and self-care.
Hate the Dot has been featured in dozens of publications such as Teen Vogue and NBC.
Watch her interview here:
Listen to her interview here:
Read her interview here:
Alice: Welcome, Miyoshi. Thank you so much for being on today.
Miyoshi Days: Thank you so much for having me.
Alice: Yeah. So, we kind of start off with some more like fun questions on the podcast. What is your favorite word in the dictionary?
Miyoshi: I do not know what my favorite word in the dictionary is, but I have been saying the word “bandwidth” a lot in my conversations. Just recently I have noticed I am like, “Actually, I do not have the bandwidth for that at the moment.” So I would say that is my favorite word right now, just setting boundaries using that word bandwidth. Yeah, I like that word.
Alice: Well, I do not think I have ever used that in a sentence but now I am going to have to try it. Like today I will be like, “I do not have the bandwidth for this.”
Miyoshi: I had never used to use that word and then the last two weeks I have used it every day.
Alice: Incredible. I am going to try it. I will drop it in a conversation. What is your favorite TV show that you have watched during quarantine?
Miyoshi: It is a throwback between Tiger King and recently Bridgerton.
Alice: My God.
Miyoshi: I think everyone is obsessed with Bridgerton. I am one of them. So, those two. I love those two. They are very different.
Alice: You have the opposite sides of the spectrum.
Miyoshi: Exactly. I have enjoyed both of those for different reasons.
Alice: Oh, that is awesome. Okay, who is your celebrity doppelganger?
Miyoshi: I do not think I have one. I was thinking about this. I do not know, no one has ever told me that I really look like a celebrity.
Alice: Yeah, I could not really think of anyone either for myself. So I do not know why I asked that.
Miyoshi: No, I do not think I have one.
Alice: Yeah, that is cool. So, where do you live in right now, Miyoshi?
Miyoshi: I am living in Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised here.
Alice: Awesome. What is your favorite part about Brooklyn?
Miyoshi: I just love how authentic it is. People who have been born and raised in Brooklyn are very prideful of that fact. I think whenever you travel in the world, people are like, “Where are you from?” In Brooklyn Heights, before we say New York, we say Brooklyn, so it is like “We are from Brooklyn.” I think Brooklyn is just its own world at times. I just love how authentic it is, how diverse it is, and it is so unique and I really love being from here.
Alice: That is awesome. Where are you from in Brooklyn exactly?
Miyoshi: I was born and spent my childhood in Bed-Stuy and then we moved to Mill Basin/Canarsie in Brooklyn.
Alice: Oh, that is awesome. Such cool areas.
Alice: Awesome. Do you have a favorite restaurant in Brooklyn that we should all try?
Miyoshi: I do not. I really do not. No, I do not. I love trying out new restaurants but I do not really have a favorite right now. One restaurant that I went to, which is not in Brooklyn, I went recently for brunch. It is Omar’s Kitchen in the Lower Eastside. So good. It is like a fuse between American and Caribbean. My family is Caribbean.
Alice: Oh, cool.
Miyoshi: They have amazing, amazing Caribbean food, and the ambience is just amazing.
Alice: That is awesome.
Alice: Okay, I have to try that out. Can you talk a little bit about what you have been up to in quarantine?
Miyoshi: Oh, in quarantine. Actually, I have been doing the line quarantine. I have been working from home for about a year now and I have really been trying to work out more. I have been doing a lot of exercising. Self-care has really become a priority for me in quarantine. So I have been, like I said, exercising, eating better, taking care of my body, but also sleeping more.
Alice: That sounds great.
Miyoshi: Yeah. I mean, on the professional front I have been working from home and I feel like that work from home things are swindle because I am working so much more hours than if I was in the office. Yesterday I worked 13-hours a day, which is insane.
Alice: Oh my god. That is way too long.
Miyoshi: Way too long. So I have been working more. But on the Hate The Dot, I have been able to do a lot of cool things with Hate The Dot. Last year we gave away 5,000 tampons.
Alice: Wow. Tell us what Hate The Dot is.
Miyoshi: Yeah. Sure. Sorry, I did not even talk about Hate The Dot. So yeah, Hate The Dot is a company that I founded six years ago, which sounds insane.
Miyoshi: But just the journey of entrepreneurship and the journey of Hate The Dot has taken me through a lot of different things. I founded Hate The Dot six years ago and our mission is to turn your menstrual cycle into a self-care ritual through education, community, and a bunch of different things. And so, last year I was in quarantine, and 18 people in my family were diagnosed with COVID around the same time.
Alice: Oh my god.
Miyoshi: And so, there was one point where 18 of the people in my family had COVID and I was so stressed. It was the height of COVID, and New York City was going through a lot. A lot of people were dying in New York City at the moment and I just felt so helpless and I am the type of person that if I see a need, I want to get up and go do something. And so, I felt so helpless during the time because I could not be with my family, I could not see them and they were going through some really hard times. And I just thought about the country at large, and so many people were going through so much. People were losing their jobs. People are dying. There was just so much happening and I did not know what to do. So I asked myself what can I do with the limited capacity that I had. And so, I had a bunch of tampons that I was not using for Hate The Dot tampons, and I said I am going to give them away to people around the country who need them, people who lost their jobs, people who were not able to go to school or go to places that would regularly provide these things for them. And so I decided to just do that. I was like, “I am giving away 5,000 tampons.” And I just created a website at 5000tampons.com. I spread the word with my network, my family, and my friends, and I said, “Hey, I am giving these away.” We gave out 5,000 tampons in less than a month.
Alice: That is amazing.
Miyoshi: Yeah, that is pretty much what I have been doing during quarantine. Yeah.
Alice: Wow. And how is your family? Is everyone okay?
Miyoshi: Everyone is okay. Everyone has recovered. Everyone is doing well, thankfully.
Alice: Oh, good.
Miyoshi: That was a really hard time.
Alice: That is awful.
Alice: I had COVID in March to April when it was all happening in New York and it was just terrible. I hope everyone stays safe right now, too.
Miyoshi: I am glad you recovered.
Alice: Yeah. That is just really hard when you cannot be with your family and going through that.
Alice: Oh, man. Can you talk more about this community that you are inspiring? So, Hate The Dot as you have said is about community, about turning this thing that we experience every month into a self-care ritual. Who is a part of that community and can you talk a little bit about inspiring them?
Miyoshi: Yeah. So, last year at the end of 2019, just to give you a little bit of background. At the end of 2019, October to be exact, Hate The Dot was supposed to launch initially. And when we were supposed to launch, we were working on an actual product like the tampons that I mentioned. We had organic cotton pads. We had organic cotton tampons. We had other things that we were going to be selling. I was gearing up for a launch, kind of like I am gearing up for lunch now and I was really, really excited at the end of 2019. I planned this huge launch party and had been working with manufacturers to get my products developed, designs been done, doing all of these things. And in one weekend, the entire thing crumbled.
Alice: Oh my gosh.
Miyoshi: Yeah. So it was a Saturday morning. I will always remember this Saturday morning. I got a phone call from the event space owner where I was having my launch party and he said, “Hey Miyoshi, I am so sorry. I have to cancel all of these events. There is something going on with the building and I cannot have your launch party.”
Alice: Oh, no.
Miyoshi: And I am like, okay. So that happened early that morning and I was scrambling to find another place and I could not find one. So I ended up canceling the launch party, which was no big deal whatever. The same day I went to go get my mail in the mailbox and I got a letter in the mail from the FDA and I said, “This is odd. I will not read the mail. But it is from the FDA.” So, I opened it. It said, “Hey Miyoshi, we see that you have all these products coming in from your manufacturer overseas and we have seized them. We are holding them. Your manufacturer is in violation of this code.”
Alice: Oh no.
Miyoshi: I am like, “Are you kidding me?” So this is the weekend so I could not really reach out to anyone.
Alice: Oh god.
Miyoshi: So I waited till that Monday to call the FDA and try to figure out what was going on. I spoke to a bunch of officers and they basically said, “Your manufacturer has to pay all this money to list with us. And if they do not then we are just going to hold your products or destroy them.” So I said, okay. I just went back and forth with my manager. I was stuck between this dispute between FDA and my manufacturer. And fast-forward weeks, I did not get my money back. The products were destroyed. I lost all my money, they destroyed the products, and things like that. That happened on a Saturday, and then the Monday. And then that Tuesday, while I was going through all of that, I get a phone call from Homeland Security.
Alice: Oh my god. Just a series of unfortunate events.
Miyoshi: It was wild. They were asking me all these questions about my business, about what Hate The Dot is, what am I doing, what are all these products that the FDA has. And so, it was just a wild series of events.
Miyoshi: Basically, all years of work that I had put into Hate The Dot crumbled in one weekend.
Alice: Oh my god.
Miyoshi: And so, I was obviously upset and saddened and depressed, and I was going through a bunch of other things personally. And so, that was at the end of 2019. At the end of 2019, I was really sad moving into 2020 and I did not know what the next step was for Hate The Dot. So I just decided to say, “Hey, guys.” I sent it out to my network like, “Hey, guys. I am so sorry but I am going to have to put the launch of Hate The Dot on hold.” I did not know what 2020 had in store. So I think that was kind of like a blessing in disguise because if I would have launched Hate The Dot at the end of 2019 I probably would not have been able to sustain it in 2020 because of just the things that were going on. I feel like that was a blessing in disguise. And so, moving into 2020, I decided to just take a break from Hate The Dot. I put it on pause. I said, “I am going to rest. I am going to recharge. I am going to figure out what the next step is.” And that is why I made self-care priority. So I wanted to take care of myself and heal and do all of the things that I needed to do personally so I can show myself for this business.
I took a break and then I said, “I am going to reach out to my community. I am going to reach out to people who have been supporting Hate The Dot for all of these years. I am going to reach out to people who follow us on Instagram who I do not know.” And I reached out to people. We had Zoom calls. We had FaceTime. We had phone calls. And I said, “Hey, I do not really know what is next but what do you need from Hate The Dot? What do you need from us?” And even though I was developing products and things like that, people were saying, “Yeah, I do want to use great products for my period but I really just want a place where I can figure out what is really going on in my body.” And so that was the underlying theme on all of the calls that I had and I said, “This is something.” And so, I started to develop a community that wanted to address their needs. So, Hate The Dot is launching in two weeks. It is launching on February 24th. It is a community where members can ask and get answers to all of the questions that they want to know about their bodies. I spent weeks and weeks in 2020 reaching out to health and wellness experts from all around the world.
Miyoshi: I asked them questions like, “Hey, I have these people in this community or this young girl wants to know about her body. She wants to know about her reproductive system. She wants to know about her period, her menstrual cycle, all of these things. What information can you give us?” I have interviewed a bunch of experts from all around the world and they have given us this wealth of information. And so, every week on the community on the platform, a new session will be uploaded and a new expert will be featured and we talked about everything from mental health to nutrition and your menstrual cycle. We have guided meditation sessions. We have all of it. That is really what it is. That is why community is so important to me because when I was at my lowest point and I just did not know what was next, community was the thing that helped me get out of that and I want community to be a source for everyone.
Alice: Wow, that is amazing. And I think that is what everyone is turning to right now, especially during the pandemic. It is that need for community, whether it is just like online or a Zoom call. So I think you are tapping into something really great, Miyoshi. That is awesome.
Miyoshi: Thanks. Yeah, I miss the connection. I miss the people. Just having a community space where a safe space where you can connect with people and they can provide support to you, especially during this time is really key, like you said.
Alice: That is awesome. And do you have plans to grow and to create product as well again in the future?
Miyoshi: Exactly. Yeah. Eventually.
Alice: Cool. Destiny cannot bring it down.
Miyoshi: It cannot.
Alice: Wow, what a wild story. But like you said, I think a blessing in disguise with 2020 around the corner.
Miyoshi: Yeah, absolutely.
Alice: And something that we always ask on this podcast is what is your definition of womanhood?
Miyoshi: My definition of womanhood. Wow. I think womanhood is such a beautiful, sacred privilege. The image that is coming to mind is just like a blossoming flower. It is so intricate and so beautiful and there are many layers to it and it is a little bit mysterious. There is no right answer. There is no wrong answer to womanhood. It is just is, if that makes sense. If I am explaining it correctly. It is just a powerful thing. I think us as women, we have such power to create and to blossom. I think we are just naturally born as creators and multipliers. I think womanhood is just a beautiful, beautiful thing. I do not have a specific definition. I just have all these describing adjectives of what womanhood is.
Alice: I think it was nice.
Miyoshi: But I just think it is just so beautiful and it is so different, but also there is an underlying sameness throughout it all. That is my definition of womanhood.
Alice: That is awesome. I love the blossoming flower that comes to mind for you. I think that is so lovely and beautiful, like you said. That is so awesome.
Alice: Is there anything else you would like to add to our listeners today? How can they find out more about Hate The Dot and your launch?
Miyoshi: Yes. So, I would say follow us on Instagram @hatethedot to get more updates. You can go to hatethedot.com to sign up for email updates. Like I said, our community launches on February 24th, which is really exciting. And so you can sign up for that. You get new expert sessions each week. We talk about a new topic every week. You get access to really cool products that our partners are releasing. There are so many things. There are so many things. Our mission is to turn your menstrual cycle into a self-care ritual. And so, one of the sessions that I teach on the platform is about a method that I created, it is called the Rosen Method and it helps you understand your menstrual cycle more in-depth. I think when we were in school and we were growing up, we just got one lesson about our menstrual cycle and it was just kind of like figure it out after that. And so, I take you through your entire menstrual cycle and really understanding that. Yeah, you get a menstrual period but there are four unique phases in your menstrual cycle that you go through every month. So, understanding that and understanding the four unique phases, understanding the four unique different characteristics that are in each phase and how to prioritize self-care in each one. I am really excited about that. That is just one session on the platform we talked about, how to align your nutrition with your lifestyle and your cycle to optimize your health. We talk about mental health and anxiety especially during the times of COVID and all of the things that are going on during this pandemic. We have guided meditation sessions. We talk about everything.
Alice: That is awesome!
Miyoshi: I am really excited about the platform and I think so many people will benefit from joining our community. So if you want to find out more, like I said, join or follow us on Instagram and sign up for email updates on hatethedot.com.
Alice: Amazing, Miyoshi. Thank you so much for being on today.
Miyoshi: Of course, I appreciate this. Thank you so much for having this space to have this conversation.