Jodi, Lori and Kari Caden Proof
Jodi, Kari and Lori Caden, pictured left to right, sisters and co-founders of Proof. (Credit: Courtesy of Proof)

Jodi, Lori and Kari Caden are sister-preneurs who teamed up to launch Proof. The company makes and sells leak-proof underwear for those experiencing periods and more. Their journey to starting this current venture began back in 2005, when Lori turned a discouraging comment about her postpartum body into the sisters’ first business, The Belly Bandit. That venture sells body-supporting wraps – and it thrived. Its success motivated the trio to create another product intended to make women’s lives easier: Proof, which opened in 2020. Today the Los Angeles-based sisters are branching out to sell a second, more affordable line that will be available in Walmart, as well as a third line specifically for teens

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A with the Caden sisters, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry? 

Ours is the only triple-patented underwear for protecting against leaks and periods on the market. The brand’s technology holds up to 5 tampons’s worth of liquid, fights odors, and wicks away moisture all day. We also have a line of breathable bras that pair perfectly with the undies for any occasion. 

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

In October 2021, we announced our official partnership with the Miss America Organization to celebrate Miss America’s centennial and cultural evolution through female empowerment and education. To celebrate the launch of their partnership, Proof donated 100% of our proceeds that day to the organization, helping to fund college and post-graduate scholarships for Miss America candidates across the country.

Then, in May 2022, we launched our more affordable diffusion collection, Unders by Proof. And in September 2022, we launched our teen line of underwear, extending sizing and designs to fit teen and tween girls who are new to menstruation.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Women do tend to bear a lot more burden when it comes to balancing work and family. As time goes on, settling into a routine becomes the norm. It’s never perfect, and there is always guilt in some form. But you have to learn to manage it and live with the motto that you can’t do everything for everyone all the time. Sometimes you have to give a little to keep your sense of self, keep calm and help live a life of balance.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

In the process of building our careers, we’ve  received pushback when asserting ourselves. Oftentimes this kind of response seemed to imply we were asking too much or being too aggressive – in reality, we just knew our worth and what we deserved. We simply expected to receive the respect and results we knew we needed to grow our businesses. With more success, we learned that our leadership instincts were not only right, they were necessary. And that’s been really empowering.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Know your strengths. You don’t need to be good at everything – hire team members who excel in areas where you fall short. And, test, test, and test again. We test all of our products — including once peeing our pants to test Proof’s leak-proof capabilities! This is the only way you’ll know that you’re getting it right.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

Get your steps in. We hike together every night, but getting steps throughout the day is a fantastic way to stay healthy. Also, treat yourself. Giving yourself a breather can improve your productivity overall and help you avoid burnout. Finally, find your tribe — like-minded folks who support your dreams and goals and love you as you are. Knowing you have people to lean on can improve your mental health and overall wellbeing.

What is your go to song to get motivated on tough days? 

“Good As Hell” by Lizzo.

Who is your most important role model?

Tech executive Sheryl Sandberg, media mogul Oprah, entrepreneur Richard Branson, Bumble founder Whitney Herd – all inspiring people who are powerful and poised. We’d love to pick any of their brains for an afternoon. ◼

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