MoneyTalk With Farah, Founder of HANX
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am the co-founder of HANX, the first premium male condom designed with women in mind. Together with my friend Sarah (a medical doctor with experience in gynaecology), we founded the first vegan, fair trade condom in Europe targeting women.
What inspired you to launch HANX?
When you walk down the condom aisle, you tend to see packaging that is garish, often promoting a man’s conquest or with unnecessary additions. Sarah and I were baffled that in this day in age, there are no condom products on the shelf that are gimmick free or marketed towards women and that was when HANX was born. When researching the market we found that over 40% of purchasers of condoms are in fact women so there is certainly a market need for HANX.
What’s your relationship like with money and personal finance?
Pretty terrible. To say I use to work in finance, you would think that I would be great with money! The truth is I have all the knowledge but often too lazy to implement that with my own finances. I tend to be generous with money when it comes to friends and family because life is too short but at times I have been known to be savvy, e.g. looking for the odd bargain. I am lucky to own a flat in London which seems to be my biggest asset at the moment – everything else is invested in HANX which I am confident will pay off!
What does financial independence mean to you?
As a woman, financial independence has always been important to me and something that was instilled from a young age. You should never have to rely on a man and by being financially independent it means you never have to and can land on your own two feet. It’s also very satisfying.
What’s the one thing you indulge in?
Spa treatments – super indulgent but often a massage seems to be one of the only things that allow me to fully relax. Working for yourself can be tiring with endless hours and often I cannot put the laptop down but when I am having a massage, I have no option but to relax! It’s so important to find balance.
What is the best financial decision you have ever made?
Investing in HANX! The market is worth $7.7bn and nobody is disrupting the condom industry in Europe like we are. It’s a lot of hard work and tears, but I am confident it will pay dividends.
With respect to more traditional financial decisions, purchasing my flat was a very good one. Not only am I able to pour my monthly rent into an actual mortgage and therefore an asset I own, but I have been lucky with the position of my flat and therefore the favourable market conditions with house prices.
Have you ever experienced a financial epiphany? A sort of wake-up call, where you suddenly think - “I must start doing things differently”?
Not an epiphany as such but I tend to have a spring clean of my outgoings on an annual basis. E.g. utilities. I tend to dedicate a Sunday afternoon to that – comparing the best prices.
What is Vestpod for you?
It’s a community of likeminded ladies who want to get more savvy on their personal finance and I like that. No question is too silly and the range of classes available are great.
Own up. Have you made any major financial faux-pas?
Yes, purchasing a bag of nuts in a resort and it costing £54! No joke! Cashews are clearly a hot commodity in Norway!
Favourite book & podcast?
Too many podcasts to pick a favourite but here are my top 3:
- Desert Island Discs.
- How I built This (NPR)
- Bad Ass Women’s Hour
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is the book I am currently reading.
Your story: My name is Farah and I am the co-founder of HANX – vegan condoms designed with women in mind and delivered discreetly to your door. In my previous life, I was a finance professional at Goldman Sachs for over 7 years and prior to that I was a chartered accountant.
Where can we find you?
Usually at Huckeltree Shoreditch and not too far from peanut butter or a mint tea.
Thanks a lot and best of luck building Hanx, you guys are amazing!
In this Interview series, we want to feature women who are willing to talk about money. Our goal is to break the taboo around money, share experiences and learn from the community. Please read other interviews here. Want to be featured? Email us!