It’s not a topic many people are comfortable talking about, but for former Albury woman Kristy Chong, bladder leakage and periods are all in a day’s work.
The founder and chief executive officer of Modibodi who create “underwear with a difference” was named NSW’s Businesswoman of the year for her company which aims to reduce the amount of hygiene products sent to landfill while empowering women.
A self-described “mum on a mission” Ms Chong decided to start her own business of comfortable but high-tech leak-proof underwear in 2011 when she experienced “unmentionable” bladder leaks after giving birth to her second child.
After two years of development, prototypes and testing the company officially launch in 2013.
Ms Chong said the company and products were all inspired by simple questions like ‘With all the advances in technology, why hasn’t underwear evolved? And: ‘Why have women’s personal hygiene products stayed the same for centuries?’
But along the way the Modibodi also became about empowering women, embracing body shapes, reducing landfill waste and confronting outdated taboos.
Ms Chong said it was she was honoured and humbled to be named Businesswoman of the year.
“I never ever dreamed that I would one day receive an accolade of this kind,” Ms Chong said.
“The award reminds me that what my team and I have achieved and what I stand for in business is something to be really proud of.
“So we will continue to empower women, reduce impact to our landfill and waterways, break down taboos around menstruation and incontinence, and promote body positivity through the use of real, non-photoshopped women in our advertising campaigns."
Minister for Women Tanya Davis and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced Ms Chong’s award at a ceremony on International Women’s Day.
She said the awards were are an important opportunity to acknowledge women who are driving societal change through their passions and purpose.
“Kristy is truly an inspiration to ambitious women wanting to make a real difference in the vital field of women’s health,” Ms Davis said.
Ms Chong said she hoped her win would inspire other women to pursue their dreams and speak openly about their health.
“I would hope through these awards other women in business will share their stories, that women out there will be inspired to get involved in business or to start their own business,” she said in a nomination video.