Nona Diaries is a series featuring some inspirational women and their period stories. Today’s feature is about Gita Sjahrir aka @gitasees.
Gita Sjahrir is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded R fitness, Taboo Tuesday, Beervana Indonesia and a few others in the works. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Chicago and an MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Beyond entrepreneurship, she is passionate about gender rights activism and uses her platform to push for equal rights and provide mentorship for female founders in Indonesia.
Hi! Let's start with your name
Gita Sjahrir from @gitasees
We know that you’re a serial entrepreneur! Could you tell us a bit about what you do and how you got into your current career?
I explored entrepreneurship after graduating from business school during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2010. The GFC taught me nothing in life is truly safe, as evidenced in the fall of many financial institutions at the time. So, if nothing in life is truly safe, then why not do what I love instead of following a made-up societal standard of a successful career?
Do you have any advice for other aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a lot about privilege, and that’s not a bad thing. Privilege is more than having a wealthy family. It’s about having a stable family life, no physical or mental disabilities, not being homeless, and many others. With the privilege you have, work on solving issues for the community around you. Start small and lean, then use that best learning to scale.
What are your favorite ways to work out?
I work out purely to maintain my strength and improve my cardio, so weight lifting, cycling, dancing, and boxing are big favorites of mine. Honestly, I find working out to be extremely tough mentally. But I do it for the benefit that it gives to my mind and body.
Do you have any kitchen staples?
What feelings do you have towards your period?
It’s hilarious how many people think females are the weaker sex, when we have to go through life doing everything else men do, but while bleeding every month for about 40 years.
Are there any habits that you incorporate into your lifestyle to honor your period?
Hell yeah. I do NOTHING on the first day of my period, because hello...I’m bleeding!
Do you remember the first time you got your first period?
Yes! My brother cried because he thought I was dying, but I already learned about it through my parents so we had to explain to Pandu that I wasn’t dying.
What’s a period myth that you believed as a kid that you now think is ridiculous?
Zero. I grew up with science loving parents, who taught me to learn from experts and medical doctors, and to not trust random people who didn’t do their research.
Your most memorable period story - GO!
My brother wanted to “have the talk” with my parents and learn what pads and tampons are, because he was so worried and sad that I got periods. He also cried and winced in pain when I had my first several period cycles back when I was 12.
If you could give your younger self advice when you first got your period, what would you say?
You are a badass woman of epic proportions - you’re out here going to school, learning, being bullied because of your looks and autism, ALL WHILE BLEEDING. Now go love the awesomeness out of yourself!