We had the good fortune of connecting with Carrie McKinnon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carrie, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
28ish has a core mission of helping women from menarche to menopause create self- awareness and draw power from their menstrual cycle. We are taught that our cycles are our periods, however, 28ish promotes the idea that women are cyclical in nature, have a changing hormonal landscape all month, and that once a woman learns about her cycle she can begin to work with it and draw power from her cycle, every day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My title at 28ish is Chief Executive Menstruator. I came to inhabit this role by way of a decade of entrepreneurship in the education sector. I founded my first company in Casablanca, Morocco in 2013. This company specializes in corporate up-skilling of communication, soft skills, and languages. I co-founded my second company, The International Language Coaching Association, as a fully online company in 2019. We work with language professionals across the world making the move from language teaching to language coaching. In my role at ILCA, I am the director of digital strategy and everything else that a founder is and does! Through my journey as an educator and entrepreneur and with years of corporate experience before that, I discovered my unique super powers that present in different parts of my monthly hormonal cycle. For example, I am a huge people person and hiring has been an important part of my job function in every job I’ve had. For most of the month, I pretty much love most people I meet, unless I get a weird vibe from them. However, when I am in my third week of my cycle, it’s way harder to convince me to love you. It’s a window of time when I can see the person in front of me very clearly and am willing to critically evaluate them. I learned to work with this and started scheduling all of my employee interviews at a certain time of my month. This reduced a lot of erroneous hires for me along the way. Eventually this extended to my public speaking and press events as well as other areas of my professional life. Now, when someone asks me for an interview or an appointment, I always check which cycle day I will be on and I schedule accordingly. This is the act of using data about myself to optimize how I show up. When I moved back to the United States in 2019, I saw that menstrual cycle awareness is an area that is growing, but there is still a lot of work to do. This is why I founded 28ish. The practice of menstrual cycle awareness is the ultimate form of mindfulness and female self-care. Your period is not your menstrual cycle.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I always say that I have lived in literally every neighborhood in Atlanta so this list is long for me BUT I have recently gone through the special experience of being able to introduce my husband and two children to my city and together explore the places that I have always loved, as well as discover new ones together. Here’s my laundry list: Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market – Or YDFM as we locals call it. I have memories of this wonderful institution that extend all the way back to my teenage years of eating fresh bread, feta cheese, jams, and fresh tomatoes from YDFM in the midtown apartment that my sister shared with her roommate right next to Midtown high. When I moved back to Atlanta, I took my kids and husband there once a week to buy fresh mussels, get my feta cheese fix and enjoy the delicious hot buffet. Be sure to bring a jacket though because it’s freezing in there! The Hig h Museum, and Midtown ‘sidewalking’- I spent a large portion of my 20s living in midtown, within a block of the park. One of my favorite days, pre-covid, is checking out the current exhibit at the High and then walking around midtown, stopping off for food or coffees and enjoying the sidewalks of Midtown. The Piedmont Park weekly Farmer’s Market: I love nothing more than cruising through the weekly farmer’s market, saying hi to friends, purchasing delicious organic produce and locally made treats. West Side Beltline: Walking along the beltline, popping into the various restaurants for nachos and heating up the fire pits outside so the kids can make smores. Korean Spas on Buford Highway: In Morocco I was so lucky to have local hammams to go to get a good scrub down and pamper myself. The Korean spa scene on Buford highway is a lovely replacement for that. I love nothing more than ‘checking myself in’ for a stretch 5 or so hours to lounge in the various sauna rooms, sleep, and eat delicious Asian food. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to Ana Adler, she is a creative director, copywriter, and producer that has been a tireless support and wealth of ideas in my creation process for 28ish. Always there to listen and quick to supply helpful connections with artists, literature, and ideas that have enriched the 28ish brand identity and product offerings. Her course, Test-Drive Your Life, applies Design Thinking Principles to help both adolescents and adults map out a career path using their creativity. Ana can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org , www.anaadlercreative.com, and ig @anaadlercreative.