Fresh From the Field — Viva La Vulva by Stevie Elliot
Stevie Elliot is a Wellington-based designer at Teacher Talk, and founder of Viva la Vulva. After witnessing a birth she wanted to create a product to say “Congrats, mama, you bloody did it!” This Fresh From The Field showcases brand, product and packaging design which seeks to empathise, empower, ease postpartum discomfort and give confidence to mamas everywhere!
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The Design Brief:
Stevie writes; “Viva La Vulva Postpartum Healing Spray came about after being at my besties first birth. Holy sh*t! What an incredibly eye-opening experience it is to see a baby come into the world! Straight after, I went to find something natural to help her with postpartum healing and couldn’t find anything for down there! I was shocked by this, it was at this moment I decided to make it my life’s mission to help save vaginas everywhere… Because OUCH!
I spent about 3 years researching and testing different natural products and with the help of a certified and very experienced, homeopath, finally developed Viva La Vulva Postpartum Healing Spray. Once the product was developed I needed to come up with a brand and creative packaging solution that spoke directly to mamas on their postpartum recovery journey.
I knew straight away I didn’t just want to be another “product for mum” on the shelf. I wanted the Viva La Vulva brand and it’s products to share an empowering message, celebrating vaginas and motherhood, everywhere.”
The Design Response:
“As I was learning more and more about postpartum care it seemed a somewhat taboo topic to discuss openly. Just the fact that there isn’t much out there in the way of vaginal healing care after birth, tells us a hell-of-a lot. I started thinking about how to visually represent motherhood and vaginal celebration whilst breaking down the taboo of talking about postpartum care and vaginas! It became clear Viva La Vulva needed to be a brand that spoke to all of these things.
The Viva La Vulva brand is bold, tells it like it is, is open, honest real-talk for mamas. Using design we are creating a space for mamas to feel empowered and comfortable talking about their postpartum recovery journey. We want to be a part of the conversation that continues knowledge-sharing and the female empowerment revolution!
I took all of this into consideration to spark design inspiration for the design of Viva La Vulva Postpartum Soothing Spray packaging. I knew it needed to be revolutionary and feminine. And in order to normalise the discussion around childbirth, the female body, and to give the product the platform it deserved, the packaging also needed to be simplistic, but emotive, relatable and really speak and empower our customer; the new mama.
Playing on the idea of what the product is for, perineal tearing, I used this as an opportunity to include a ‘physical tear’ in the design of the box that holds the spray bottles. To open the box you pull the perforated strip that says ‘tear here’ and tear straight through an abstract vagina design on the front. Once torn open, the customer is greeted with empowering words of affirmation like ‘Congrats mama, you did it!’ and ‘Hey mama, you’re doing great!’ which adorn the spray bottle and tincture.”
“I carefully considered and wrote the key messaging on the interior of the packaging with the new mama in mind. I wanted mamas reading words of encouragement as soon as they opened the product. And I also wanted them to be reminded of what an awesome job they’re doing every time they use Viva La Vulva.
I decided to go all out with a loud font on the bottles and packaging, inspired by poster designs from important feminist protests and revolutions from the 60’s, 70’s and today. These protests and posters were advocating for women’s freedom, liberation, safety and equality. With Viva La Vulva, new mamas everywhere can reclaim their body, their confidence and their comfort with as much energy and strength as our feminist leaders and protestors who have paved the way before them.”
“The whole brand and design experience is intended to be a metaphor for the process mamas go through to give birth whether its vaginal or through the sunroof – is f*cking hard, and every mama deserves to be well looked after. Giving birth can be one of the most exciting, but also emotionally exhausting times in a woman’s life and this product is designed to empathise, empower, ease postpartum discomfort and give confidence to mamas everywhere!”
The Creative Team