Tara Harris, founder and CEO of feminine hygiene product FemeFlex, began her entrepreneurial journey with a different dream. Immediately after graduating from Morris Brown College, the Georgia native left her hometown in search of Hollywood fame, with the money she had earned working two jobs for a whole year and a degree in mass communication and a minor in theater.
“I was 22, fresh out of college, and I left with no timeframe in mind. I just knew that, even as a really young girl, I’d always said, ‘One day, when I get bigger, I’m getting out of here,’” she told the Albany Herald.
Although her glitzy dream didn’t last so long, Harris recounted that she had some “great moments.” She also played small roles in productions like the TV shows “Clueless” and “Friday After Next.” She shared that, though she never got a huge role, she didn’t have to add additional tasks like waiting tables or bartending to make ends meet.
She decided to give up her acting dreams and turn to Human Resources. “I really just got tired of starving myself, of being judged on my looks, my body. I was just tired of being judged. To make it in Hollywood, you have to have really thick skin,” Harris remarked.
“In Hollywood, I got a job through a temp agency in the human resources industry. I turned that into a full-time job with a private agency and steadily worked my way up to senior director of HR. I was in line for the next step, vice president.”
In 2020, she had surgery that made it difficult for her to wear certain sorts of undergarments, such as thongs or tight-fitting undergarments, which prompted her new product. “I mean, they had pasties for women who wanted to wear backless dresses; why not the same thing for women’s MVLP?” she thought.
Fueled by her new idea, Harris left her thriving HR position to become a one-woman industry: creator, designer, saleswoman, and CEO. She purchased a glue gun, some Band-Aids, and some silicone from Target to create a pantiless liner with a top-side peel-and-stick application.
She finally made a discreet liner that absorbed moisture, was skin-friendly, and guarded against vaginal fissures after a couple of tries, although she couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. “The patenting process was so nerve-racking,” she revealed.
She shared that even though she began the patenting process in 2020, she only recently received the nod to release FemeFlex under “patent pending” status. As she became more invested in her idea, she decided to go back to her hometown. “I thought, ‘How cool would it be to release my product in my hometown, in the place where I used to shop growing up?’”
Today, Harris has talked her product into a couple of Walmart stores and, into the gift swag bags of Emmy nominees. “A friend of mine from LA was friends with the person in charge of putting together the gift bags for the Emmy nominees. She told her friend about FemeFlex, and, amazingly, she’s putting them in the nominees’ gift bags. Just think, the women wearing those beautiful gowns on the red carpet will be using my product,” she said.
Harris shared her dreams of expanding production in her hometown to create jobs for others. “What I’d like to do is move the manufacturing plant to Georgia, give people here an opportunity to work for a company that will take care of them, reward them for their work.”