Quantcast
Crystal Etienne Revolutionized Period Panties And Now She's Paying It Forward
Courtesy of CaJE

Crystal Etienne Revolutionized Period Panties And Now She's Paying It Forward

Ruby Love founder is partnering with her husband to make women's business dreams reality.

Workin' Girl

If you've never heard of Ruby Love, I'd have no choice but to kindly offer a side eye, implore you to drop everything for a quick Google search to get your mind right, and remind you of the golden rule of Black women and innovation where we always solve problems in a way that empowers, enlightens, and inspires. Period panties are no exception, delivering scores of us from the bondage of bulky pads, embarrassing spotting, workout-ruining snafus, and potentially problematic tampons. Ruby Love could be considered the Kamala Harris of period panties.


Its founder, Crystal Etienne, launched the brand with a $25,000 back in 2016, well before the dozens of similar lines that exist today were even a thought. She then expanded it into a more than $50 million fem-tech brand that has grown to offer apparel and swimwear. Now that she's taken the game to another level, she's paying it forward, literally, with the launch of CaJE, a venture capital fund she started alongside her husband, Jean. CaJE will provide "soil funding" to early-stage startups founded by women, and entrepreneurs can also access to resources including mentorship.

"The reason it came about is because my husband saw my frustration in the beginning of trying to raise funds and really figuring out everything on my own," Crystal said in an exclusive xoNecole interview. "I get so many inbound inquiries of people asking for help, and he saw how overwhelming it was for them. That is why we decided we're going to use our own funds to help Black women who just don't know what to do and just need like $1,000 to $25,000 to really start in expanding their businesses."

Check out more on why she decided to launch CaJE and how she balances marriage and running her Ruby Love, all while helping others to finance their ventures:

First, let's get into this concept of 'soil funding.' What exactly is it, and why is it important for minority women entrepreneurs?

Soil funding is that family-and-friend round that, as Black women, we always hear about but we don't necessarily have family members to loan us $1,000 or even $500. What was most important to us was that we would use our own funds and we don't have to answer to anyone. We can help who we want when we want to. We have the means to do it—both financially and education-wise—so it was time.

Courtesy of CaJE

Talk about partnering with your husband, Jean, on this new venture. How do you two balance your duties as 'couplepreneurs'?

Crystal Etienne: The key is to stay in your lane. We know what one person is very strong and very good at and we tend to stay in our lanes when it comes to that. My husband and I have worked together with Ruby Love—he's the director of fulfillment and operations—and he controls the back end. I control the front. When there is an issue or problem, the bottom line stops at who is in charge of [that department]. With CaJE, it's the same thing.

What does a day in the life look like for you now that you're running both Ruby Love and CaJE?

I'm still the CEO of Ruby Love, which takes up a great deal of my time, but I also have a great team there. Ruby Love is pretty much established, but CaJE is something new for us. What I have seen, [in terms of] the difference with CaJE, is that people are looking for capital and mentorship. People get so emotional because we're getting deep into showing entrepreneurs and telling them what they need to improve on. And I'm very direct. People have cried while pitching, which I've never experienced before.

I've had people literally break down because they're so overwhelmed and just do not know what to do. They also might feel embarrassed, and I have to explain to them that there's nothing absolutely wrong. You just need to get to the next step.

Find out more about how you can pitch your business and check out Crystal Etienne's Instagram and the CaJE website.

Featured image by courtesy of CaJE

Kelis On The Importance Of Having Black Women On Her Team

As a Black woman, Kelis knows how important it is to work with other Black women, help each other and give each other opportunities. The “Milkshake” singer has always been a voice for female empowerment with her popular female anthems like “Caught Out There” and “Bossy” and in a chat during Refinery 29’s Unbothered Presents The Glow Up festival, Kelis opened up about the Black women behind her legendary career and how Black women should create safe spaces for ourselves.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
A Black man, R. Kelly, stands in a court room, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, accompanied by a police officer in a green uniform, bulletproof vest and gun.

*Editors note: this article contains information about sexual assault, child pornography and rape. Please read with care. If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

Keep reading...Show less
Halle Bailey Makes Her Red Carpet Debut With Boyfriend DDG: Here’s What We Know About Him

Halle Bailey and her boyfriend DDG are one of the cutest celebrity couples in the game right now. After confirming their relationship in March 2022, Halle, 22, and DDG, 24, made their red carpet debut as a couple over the weekend during the 2022 BET Awards. In an interview with Extra, The Little Mermaid star shared that she was “nervous” about their debut. “We’re like tryna figure out what we were going to wear. All this stuff,” she said. The couple matched each other’s fly with both wearing all-black outfits.

Keep reading...Show less
Here's Why You Should Ditch Fourth Of July And Have A Family Reunion Instead

“Who made the potato salad?” As summertime kicks off, this is the universal question that, without fail, will be asked at every barbeque and backyard kickback over the coming months. With the Fourth of July also nearing, summertime celebrations and cookouts will be in full force. However, as the tide begins to turn in this new day and age, more Black Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, instead of the Fourth of July, because, after all, there were still over 250,000 Black Americans enslaved in Galveston, Texas during this so-called Independence Day.

Keep reading...Show less
Fitness Influencer Sara Hunt Shares Her Favorite Ways To Enjoy Summer In Chicago

This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Whether it's the lazy afternoons spent laying out on the beach, or nights spent sipping cocktails at your local rooftop hangout, there are so many reasons to love and look forward to summer. It's a time for respite, fun in the sun, and adventure. But as any Chicagoan can tell you, there's something particularly special about "Summertime Chi." The vibes in the Windy City are on 100 when the temperatures rise, and the city literally comes alive in the most magical way.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
A Black woman looks into the camera and gives a closed-mouth smile. She's wearing a black turtleneck

Miss Diddy Kicks Off BET Awards Weekend With 'A Toast To Black Hollywood'

Her annual event to celebrate the culture has a new name and more intention than ever before

Latest Posts