Founder’s Playbook: Breaking Taboos One Period At A Time


Founder’s Playbook: Breaking Taboos One Period At A Time

The startup journey is often a David-versus-Goliath story, where a small upstart entrepreneur takes on bigger and more established players. This journey is inherently challenging, but when you address a pain point shrouded in taboo, you compound those challenges exponentially. 

Today, in our Founder’s PlayBook, we had the privilege to speak with Tan Peck Ying, the co-founder of Blood (formerly known as PSLove). Blood raised a SGD2m Series A round in May 2023 from AngelCentral and DSG Consumer Partners. 

Not one to shy away from sensitive issues, Peck Ying has been trailblazing a path, addressing menstrual health for the past nine years. Her journey began with her own experience of severe menstrual cramps that had plagued her since high school. During her tenure at NUS Enterprise, the prospect of transforming a small startup into a game-changing entity excited her, prompting her to leave her corporate job in 2014 to pursue this mission.


Peck Ying’s journey in her own words

Blood co-Founders: Caleb Leow and Peck Ying Tan. Source: Blood


My co-founder, Caleb Leow,  is also my spouse and we share a common vision, passion, and ambition for our business. I admit that starting a business with your partner is not easy, but it can work if you have a solid relationship, respect each other’s opinions, and divide your roles clearly. For instance, I have the final say in Product and Growth and I defer to him on all things technical R&D and branding. We have learned how to collaborate and support each other’s decisions in our respective domains. 

Reflecting on my journey as a female founder addressing women’s health that is generally considered taboo, I’ve identified some key learnings along this journey:

Define Your Niche in a Crowded Market: We are not intimidated by the fierce competition in the sanitary pads market as we have a proven solution. What drives us is creating a challenger brand that stands out from the crowd and shows consumers that we care about their needs and well-being.

Be planet-friendly where possible: In the case of our new sanitary pads line, our commitment to environmental responsibility was aligned with our customers’ values. After extensive experimentation with materials like bamboo and cotton, we concluded that corn was the ideal choice for the top sheet. Not only does corn offer superior absorption performance, but it is also 100% biodegradable.

Obsess about Performance: At Blood, we scrutinize every aspect of our value offering, from the materials used to the size, contouring, and even the adhesive type. Beyond product, our passion for innovation extends into our customer journey and our business ethos. We pay close attention to user feedback and respond to every DM (direct message) on social media.

Embrace Diversity: Fun fact: as much as we are in the female healthcare space, our company gender ratio is about equally male and female. We believe in gender neutrality – the guys in our team bring a different perspective. They tell us what our business partners, VCs, etc., are thinking and provide a neutral and objective viewpoint. When guys come for job interviews, they ask, “Is it okay if I do not know anything about periods?” and for me, that is okay because they provide an objective viewpoint that balances ours. After all, business is gender-neutral.

Dare to be Bold: In 2018, we rebranded PSLove to Blood. Yes, it is a polarising name but there was a method to our madness. The reason behind this transformation was to convey a stronger message and challenge the menstrual health taboo head-on. And PSLove just didn’t get the job done as it sounds like something close to your heart, something warm and fuzzy. So, we faced the risk of being forgotten. 

Source: Blood


We wanted a name that could really cut through the noise and bring our mission forward. Blood powerfully embodies what we’re trying to do — normalize periods. There’s nothing shameful about bleeding; most women bleed once a month, and it’s a normal part of our lives. So we are now proudly Blood.

Like many businesses, Blood faced daunting challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic as retail was a large segment of their business. While their product was considered essential, they still had to find creative ways for cross-border shipping. Fortunately, they held a healthy inventory locally and were not reliant on their China factory. 

Recognizing TikTok’s potential to reach their target audience, teenagers, they harnessed the platform to showcase their products, engage with a younger demographic, and promote menstrual health and wellbeing education.

“Our Go-to-Market approach has shifted from e-commerce to social commerce and TikTok,” Peck Ying notes. “We wanted to go where our consumers are going. And TikTok is the perfect platform for our messaging.”

Looking ahead, Blood has ambitious plans to expand its presence in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, with a mission to become a mass-market challenger brand that resonates with consumers. Blood is not just a business; it’s a movement that empowers women and normalizes conversations around a once-taboo subject.