I’m the Founder of Pause, and This is My Story

 

I’m the founder of Pause, and here’s something you should know: I knew nothing about menopause before it happened to me. I vaguely knew that menopause had to do with estrogen fluctuations and periods ceasing forever. I didn’t have any idea that there were three stages of it and that once you started menopause, you were in it for the rest of your life.

I had heard about hot flashes but had no clue what one would actually feel like… until that happened, too. During the summer of 2017, I was driving to the beach and suddenly found myself sweating. I mean really sweating. So, I cranked up the A/C and was ready to crack a joke about the heat when I noticed everyone else in the car was shivering. And then it hit me: I was 48 and this was my first hot flash.

So, I did what any woman would do. I panicked.

I felt like my life was over. Beachside lunches and long walks along the surf would be the sentimental last act before the credits rolled – not the climactic sequence of the life I'd been working towards. For the first time, I really felt my age and the limitations that lay ahead, as well as the turning point in my looks. Because you see, I was a cosmetics executive. I had been expected to represent the brands I worked for and I always stayed close to a mirror to make sure every hair was in place, every line was concealed, everything appeared as it should. That day, I knew things were about to change.

I’ll be honest, my vanity took over. I started thinking about what products could get me out of this so-called mess. But I realized, to my horror, that I was grasping at straws. Sure, there were tons of products for antiaging, but I was aging. And there was nothing on the market to help me and every other woman my age to embrace that reality. During a career spent promoting beauty as youthful radiance, I'd not only neglected the millions of women older than me – I'd neglected my own future.  

With no great resources to turn to, something had to be done. I couldn’t be the only one struggling through menopause, right? My panic turned into productivity (possibly the one upshot of menopause-induced insomnia) and six months later, Pause was born. I wanted to focus on Well-Aging™, not antiaging, to inform and equip women to make the most of all three stages of menopause. 

Did you even know about the three stages of menopause? Most women don’t, and like I said, I certainly didn’t. There’s perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. When I was young, my mother told me what to expect when I got my period, but she never told me what would happen when it stopped forever. When I told her I was starting Pause, she couldn’t understand why I thought people needed information and an outlet for shared experiences on this subject. I think for her it was the attitude of her generation to keep quiet and simply endure.

Three decades after the Golden Girls, in the era of third-wave feminism and #metoo, menopause is still a taboo subject whispered in powder rooms. Nobody in the marketplace knows how to talk about it and nobody wants to think about it simply because – and I must be blunt here – nobody thinks there's anything in it for them.   

Well, as a woman verging on my 50s, there is something in it for me. I’m looking to start the conversation in a bold, sophisticated and positive way. I want women to feel empowered, beautiful and capable of thriving during this time that, for a lot of us, might feel scary, confusing and even a little crazy. I want to offer Pause Well-Aging™ to the women before and after us as something beyond a beauty brand. Through education, practical advice, and stories from everyday women dealing with menopause, I want to demystify and take the fear out of this experience that every woman eventually goes through.

For me, that drive to the beach was a pause in more ways than one. It made me think about what I had been doing. But more importantly, it made me think about where I needed to go and what I needed to do to help women like me age the way we want to.


7 comments


  • Casey Castille

    Bless you. I have been on my own journey figuring out how to gracefully negotiate perimenopause. Resources have been few, but the ones that do exist have been life-changing (to wit, The Cusp and Christiane Northrup’s book ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’). I am adding Pause Well-Aging to that list.

    I’m a firm believer that the way to a better experience for all women is to be candid about discussing our experiences with each other and in the public eye. The truth is, between mothers, sisters, aunts, wives, friends, teachers, co-workers, bosses, and women in positions of power, we (all of society) are now impacted by menopause in some way simply because women are operating in society in more ways than ever before. We all understand what to expect from adolescents when they go through puberty, but only a fraction of us understand what to expect when women go through the second major hormonal change in life. Can we please start talking about this so we can go a bit easier on ourselves? Can we please provide women the agency over their experience that only comes from sound knowledge? Can we create a more supportive work environment so female employees and leaders don’t feel they have to lock themselves in bathrooms to cry during the workday, hide/dismiss hot flashes or use up their hard-earned vacation time on the days when the fatigue is debilitating? Finally, can we get trustworthy information from doctors who take the time to test our hormone levels instead of rote-prescribing anti-depressants or synthetic contraceptives?

    Thank you for doing your part to create a better experience for us all! MORE LIKE THIS!


  • Mary

    I am SO inspired by the thought of Well-Aging … thank you Rochelle for sharing your story and the creativity to think beyond the paradigm of anti-aging!


  • Margie

    I’m 57 I wanna thank y’all for sharing all the stories I read all the stories help me


  • Aurora Couzo

    Loved your idea and positive outlook about aging and menopause. I am 54, don’t know what stage of menopause I am in, but I think I’d love to promote your vision and your products.


  • Tammy

    I think this is a terrific forum and I am thrilled at the thought of women getting information and support


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