1) What motivated you to start Yu. Underwear? And why choose this industry?
Rim Haydamous: I never planned on establishing a period underwear brand. It started unintentionally. At the end of 2022, I was tired of the traditional period products and their many problems, so I searched for a better alternative. At the same time, I was discussing with my fiancé the possibilities of establishing a business. That’s when the two aspects of my life merged to make a positive change in Lebanese women’s lives and make the period experience more enjoyable. Thus, my motivation came from my own need for period underwear complemented by my ambition of establishing a business with a positive impact.
2) Even though you didn’t end up becoming an Architect, how have the skills or knowledge from that field impacted your future career in Media and Communications?
I won’t ever regret studying architecture and even failing a major course. In fact, my attempt at architecture wasn’t a wrong decision. It made me realize that my creative side is not directed towards this kind of art, but more towards visual arts. During my 4th and last year in the major, I had a lot of free time since I was only studying for the course that I had failed, which gave me the time to discover a new talent in photography. I learned photography and retouching by myself, which led me to learn videography, which opened the door to starting my career in Media and Communication.
3) How does Yu. Underwear set itself apart from other brands providing the same products to others?
Yu. Underwear’s mission is to make women feel free, confident, and comfortable during their periods. That’s why our customers are the center of our research. Yu panties are tested on real period flow before putting them on the market. We choose the best textiles: cotton and bamboo fiber are both gentle on the skin and prevent irritation. Our four-layer technology is PFA-free, eliminating all risks on the skin. And finally, we listen to our community for creating our next item, their needs are our priority.
“Yu. Underwear’s mission is to make women feel free, confident, and comfortable during their periods. “
4) As a young Entrepreneur what are some of the unknown struggles entrepreneurs have to face starting out, especially in the context of Lebanon?
The first thing that comes to my mind is the banking system. After its collapse in Lebanon, it is becoming harder to open bank accounts, and the fees are getting higher. Having a corporate bank account is essential to the business. That’s in relation to Lebanon, but if I want to mention a struggle in general, it would be the amount of time, effort, and money the business needs to grow. One tends to underestimate the attention starting a business needs when he/she is new to entrepreneurship. However, this path of discovery is an essential and exciting part of the entrepreneurial journey.
5) How do you balance the demands of entrepreneurship with maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
As I mentioned in the previous question, a business demands a lot of time and effort. Most entrepreneurs start their businesses while still working a full-time job, as it is in my case. So, I would be lying if I told you that I have any kind of work-life balance at the moment. Juggling a full-time job, a business, and a social life is kind of impossible. Thus during weekdays, my evenings are dedicated to working on Yu. Underwear, and even some Saturdays. I write that as I am answering these interview questions at 11 PM. However, I make sure that I keep my Sundays for my personal time, my friends, and family.
6) What is the long-term product plan for Yu. Underwear?
I can’t reveal what we have in the basket, but I can tell you that I am dreaming big. We will provide many new items in the future which are not restricted to panties, but these will depend on what our community wants. We also plan on expanding our market from Lebanon to Arab countries.
7) What book influenced your journey through entrepreneurship?
The one book that completely changed my way of thinking is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I read several business books after but none of them had the same impact on me. The book illustrates two dads’ attitudes towards money, one rich and the other poor, and how they each teach their son to deal with money. After reading it, I realized that my attitude towards money was poor dad’s attitude and that I needed to change how I dealt with it. These reflections pushed me to start my journey as an entrepreneur.