Sara Jónsdóttir Santos started at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2012 after moving to Canada from Iceland. She is now the founder and chief executive officer for Revol Undies, a brand of period proof underwear that benefits people who menstruate.
KPU Alumni awarded Jónsdóttir Santos with the 2021 Outstanding Young Alumni award in recognition of her business, and the help she provides to students in KPU’s Fashion and Technology program. The award is given to KPU alumni under the age of 30.
Before beginning her career, Jónsdóttir Santos searched for fashion design schools that had a technological focus, and focused on products like tech apparel and athletic wear. She stumbled upon KPU’s Wilson School of Design program where she developed her company idea as a class project in her fourth year of the program. Later in 2016, Jónsdóttir Santos graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Technology.
She and her husband partnered together to “grow the brand from home-made to world-wide,” reads their website.
The period underwear she created was designed to be worn by itself. The company hand make their products in Vancouver and pride themselves in “making the highest quality period proof undies.”
Jónsdóttir Santos says her company is focused on breaking the taboos that surround menstruation, and her product idea came from her advocacy for marginalized women, trans people, and non-binary folks. She makes sure the products she provides are gender inclusive, flow inclusive, and have various sizes.
“Our goal is to be the period underwear that everyone who menstruates can use. That’s just really like, I would say what sets us apart from everyone else. We really care for the customer above anything else,” she says.
Jónsdóttir Santos also makes sure that in the process of creating her products, her company isn’t producing any excess waste. Revol Undies recycles the extra fabric from cutting scraps and they make sure to pay the people hand making the underwear “local living-wages with full benefits,” according to the company website.
“I’m in the growth phase of my business. We’re just taking on our first outside investor,” she says.
The products that don’t come out perfectly are still sold through the company’s “Bruised Peach” sale, so they still end up in the hands of customers instead of being discarded.
Jónsdóttir Santos spends time speaking to students and mentoring them, and sometimes also offers them practicums at her company. For new students Jónsdóttir Santos suggests making as many friends and acquaintances as possible in case you see them in the future, and not to be afraid of taking on a challenge.
“I think that’s partly why I’m able to succeed in business. Every kind of bump in the road is another problem to solve, and it’s not that scary.”