Davis' Newest Student Start-Up: Femikit

Feminism and sustainability collide in UC Davis student Nicole Garcia's monthly subscription box service, Femikit. Pronounced feh-mee-kit, the start-up company focuses on helping women live zero-waste lives.

"It's my two passions combined," she said. "A lot of women just don't understand how to live zero-waste, and Femikit will connect women with resources to live zero-waste and ultimately help reduce pollution and help solve climate change."

The monthly boxes are all created with zero-waste materials. The first box will be focused on food and groceries, including a glass reusable straw, reusable food wrap, reusable tote bag, and reusable produce bags. It's available for $25 at femikit.com, and you can pay as you go.

Image source: Femikit

All of the boxes will have a different theme each month, so subscribers can try out new products each time.

"Some other themes will be skincare and beauty, health and wellness, more party or celebration items around the holidays, and love and relationships," Garcia said.

Garcia, a fourth-year communications major at UC Davis, has plenty of experience with running a zero-waste business. She's the director of the Aggie Reuse Store, an on-campus business that diverts material waste from landfills and redistributes it back to the community, as well as hosts workshops about sustainability.

"I've run a zero-waste business through Aggie Reuse, so I know it's complex. From there, I've gotten a lot of experience running a team and hiring people, being able to oversee in leadership positions," she said.

Building a company from scratch as a student is no small task, but Garcia works in meetings with potential investors around her academic and professional commitments.

"A lot of it is networking and trying to just put yourself out there," she said. "I have some experience with that, through running Aggie Reuse and other internships. But as a founder of something, it's a whole different playing field. I actually enjoy it more though, because I have more time to showcase what I'm passionate about."

Garcia modeled her business strategy on brands she’s followed for a long time. While she looked at other subscription boxes on the market, she focused mainly on female-led companies.

"We were really inspired by up-and-coming brands, especially female-founded companies," she said. "A lot of what I hear from people about Femikit is, 'Oh, I thought it was menstrual products!' because those are the only 'feminine products' that we think of on the market. Just the concept of a feminine product can be very vast, and it's important that we start broadening that definition because then we’ll start thinking about women in the myriad of ways that we can."

Garcia hopes to broaden that definition by encouraging people to support products created for women, by women. 

"Our goal overall is to help more women live zero-waste, and I think that it can be something that’s really fulfilling because you're challenging yourself," she said. "It's something that’s gotten lost in this day and age, just challenging yourself and disciplining yourself to live a certain way to benefit others and the environment."

With Femikit, women can learn practical ways to reduce their waste and ultimately aspire to live zero-waste lives.

"It's an exciting journey!" she said.

To find out more about Femikit and subscribe to the first box, visit www.femikit.com. Stay updated by following the company's Instagram, @femikit. To connect with founder Nicole Garcia, find her here on LinkedIn.

All images published with permissions from Nicole Garcia, founder of Femikit.