The Bizarre Story Behind The PMS Package

Since its launch a few months ago, The PMS Package — a subscription service that sends care packages to women during their periods — has gone viral, garnering over a hundred thousand followers and coverage from sites like Seventeen and Hello Giggles. Many might be surprised to learn that the founder of The PMS Package is a 19-year-old boy. Luke Buchy, a freshman at Miami University in Ohio, started the company with the help of his CMO, Ashton Onesko, also 19, and his 17-year-old sister, Anna. The company’s speedy rise from a simple idea to viral sensation is a testament to the power of social media — and, particularly, of Buchy’s savvy use of Twitter.

The concept behind The PMS Package is straightforward: Customers sign up to receive boxes once a month, on a selected date (so that they’ll arrive just in time for one’s period). The boxes include an assortment of candy, snacks, stuffed animals, and beauty products that change every month. The December box, for example, includes Christmas socks, candy, Chex Mix, a bath bomb, and a “featured stuffed animal,” among other items. There are three tiers of packages, from “Mini” to “Executive” (for when your period is feeling particularly… supervisory?) that range in price from $12.99 to $34.99.

To be honest, I don’t really get the fervor over these boxes. I mean, if I want candy — during my period or at any other time — why wouldn’t I just go to the store myself and buy exactly what I want? And the assumption that women need stuffed animals and nail polish to get through their periods feels patronizing to me. Nevertheless, the concept behind The PMS Package has clearly struck a chord with many women, who’ve chimed in on Twitter to express their enthusiasm.

The PMS Package has expanded to include four members, all 19-year-old men. Buchy tells Cosmopolitan that they have “a team of girls dedicated to helping us put box ideas on a month to month basis,” but a photo that Buchy tweeted in October of the “PMS squad” depicts the company as primarily a boy’s club. Of course, one doesn’t have to be female to market products to women, but I think many would agree that a group of 19-year-old boys doesn’t seem like the likeliest crew to appeal to the imaginations (and the wallets) of menstruating teen girls and women in their 20s.

However, much of The PMS Package’s success can be attributed to the fact that Buchy knows how to use Twitter to his advantage. Buchy told Cosmopolitan that he "got in early" with a variety of "parody accounts” on Twitter, humor accounts targeted at young women that would also include ads for products. He said, "I got into the Twitter business about a year and a half ago … over that time, I have owned @cutekidvines, @sixsecondcover, @thirtysecondtuts, @worldstarvidz and more." He launched the account for The PMS Package a few months ago and used his Twitter contacts (He told Cosmo that he knows "everyone in that Twitter world") to spread the word about the PMS boxes. He added, "Currently, the only [account] I still have is @thirtysecfights (about 730,000 followers) and I sold the rest in order to free up time to be able to focus solely on my business.”

At this point, The PMS Package has shipped about 4,000 PMS boxes, which is impressive, considering that the company is currently operating out of Buchy’s dorm room and his parent’s basement. Buchy has big plans, however, telling Cosmo, "I believe with my determination and passion for what I do, I can take this company anywhere I want to go, with hopes of becoming wealthy in the end."

Image: PMS Package, $12.99