Powering Through Pain: Women with Endometriosis who Rock the Small Business Scene

a women holding her stomach with a hot water bottle on it

Endometriosis, a condition that affects 1 in 10 women, is a painful and often misunderstood illness that can have a significant impact on one's daily life. For many, the diagnosis journey is long and frustrating, as symptoms like painful periods, cramping, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility are often dismissed as normal and a common part of the menstrual cycle.

"She lashed clients, managed her studio, and ran academy courses, all while battling the pain that had become an everyday part of her life."

Ave's Story 🎗💛

For Ave, her journey to diagnosis began when she was just 14 years old. She would experience excruciating pain during her periods, and on some occasions, the pain was so intense that she would faint. 

Despite seeking help from doctors, everyone kept saying that these symptoms were normal and that she should simply learn to cope with them. As time went on, the pain became more severe, and new symptoms like chronic pelvic pain, low motivation, nausea, and infertility started cropping up. 

Despite these issues, Ave is able to push through. She lashed clients, managed her studio, and ran academy courses, all while battling the pain that had become an everyday part of her life. Three years ago, she began experiencing challenges on her journey to starting a family, and went through several tests and was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis. 

Even after undergoing laparoscopic surgery, her symptoms did not ease and the pain continues to affect every aspect of Ave's life. During flare-ups, she would feel unmotivated, anxious, and unable to participate in everyday activities, like exercising, running, or socialising with friends. At times, the pain is so intense she can’t walk, which affects her ability to be a great role model for her team. 

Over time, Ave has become more aware of endometriosis and what she can do to manage her symptoms. She is conscious about her diet, lifestyle, and work routine, allowing her to take better care of herself. Being her own boss has helped, too, as she can allow herself to stay home when she needs to, and her clients and team are understanding and supportive.

Ave's story is a reminder that period pain is not normal and should never be dismissed. She hopes that by sharing her experiences, other women will know that they don't have to suffer alone and that there is always hope for a better tomorrow

Ave who is a woman holding her tummy with endo warrior and break the silence on endo written around her

what is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a chronic and often debilitating condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus often attaching itself to other pelvic and abdominal organs, causing scarring, lesions, adhesions and cysts. This is experienced through a range of different symptoms from intense pain, heaving bleeding, constant fatigue and digestive problems, to infertility.

With a huge lack of funding, research, awareness and diagnostic methods - this condition is quickly becoming the largest women’s health crisis of our time, with more than 1 in 10 girls and young women silently struggling through it globally.

In addition to the long list of physical symptoms, women with endometriosis often face other challenges, especially when it comes to managing health and work. It can be near impossible to maintain full-time employment when you’re dealing with extreme exhaustion, limited availability during flare-ups and the emotional tolls of the condition.

Even without the debilitating challenges of endometriosis, females naturally go through upswings and downswings of energy in tune with the menstrual cycle. The most common way of working don’t often cater for this; with pressures from employers, a large number of tasks with strict deadlines, limited sick leave and a need for consistency and continuity all year round.

And hence, the huge global movement towards becoming your own boss.

Linkedin recently reported a 13% increase in new business owners, with the largest increases among these being women and Gen Z (Linkedin Newsroom, 2021). This is so clearly illustrated in the beauty industry, especially when it comes to our field: eyelash extensions. Running your own business comes with its own pressures and challenges, but offers an abundance of benefits when it comes to living with a health condition like endometriosis. Here are just a few:

Flexibility: One of the main benefits that most people seek out is the ability to set your own schedule. For women with endometriosis, this can be crucial, as the condition can cause unpredictable symptoms that require time off or breaks throughout the day. Being able to take time off when you need to can help you manage your symptoms and avoid burnout, while also creating the space to throw yourself into extra work when you have the energy and capacity.

Increased Autonomy: Working for someone else can be stressful, especially if you feel like you're constantly scrambling to meet their demands and expectations, without being able to take the time you need for self-care. When you work for yourself, you're in control of your own workload and can set realistic goals for yourself, and move the goalposts if you need to; dealing directly with your clients.

Purpose and Satisfaction: Being your own boss means you get to make all the decisions about your business. You can choose the clients you work with, the projects you take on, the direction of your business and the way it grows. This can be empowering and help you feel more in control of your life and health.

Improved Income: While there are certain risks and challenges to starting your own business, working for yourself can lead to increased income and financial stability. You can set your own rates and choose the types of projects and clients that are most profitable for you, setting your own sense of value.

Self-Care and Preservation: Perhaps most importantly, working for yourself can give you more time for self-care. You can take breaks when you need to, rest when you're feeling fatigued, and prioritise your health and wellness in a way that might not be possible in a traditional job.

Lashing could be your solution

Starting your own lash business (or any sort of business, for that matter) is a great option if you’re navigating health challenges. While there are certainly risks and hurdles to starting your own business, the benefits are significant and almost essential to your healing journey. 

If you're considering becoming a lash stylist, our courses cover everything from shaping and mapping to business set-up and marketing. You don’t have to put your career and finances on hold in order to stay on top of your health.

Click here to find out more.

Ave and some students watching as Ave applies under eye pads to her model

Endometriosis Advice & Support

Throughout my own journey with endometriosis, I found it hard to find the right advice and support. Here are a few of my favourite resources:

Endo owned Businesses

  • The Spoonie Society - functional and fashionable heatpacks, made in Australia.

  • Hny Sleepwear - flattering loungwear that accommodates for days of bloating, periods and chronic illness flare ups.

Informational Podcasts and Instagram Accounts

  • The Endometriosis Nutritionist - A podcast empowering listeners to take control over their symptoms by changing what you eat and drink.

  • Living with Endo - An education and awareness podcast, featuring exclusive interviews with medical professionals, ambassadors, champions, and the community.

  • The Endo Space - An instagram community sharing endometriosis tips, stories, resources.

  • High on Hemp -

Pain Relief

  • Leefy Organics - An anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting superfood elixir

  • MiraPro - A discreet wireless T.E.N.S device

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