Women & Business Profile: Tamara Abney

“Everyone will not be on board with the vision that you have for your business, and that’s OK.”

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Tamara Abney
Founding Executive Director
SisterFriend, Inc.

Behind Tamara Abney’s drive for business is a strong desire to serve the community. In 2015 she founded SisterFriend, Pittsburgh’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing homeless and under-represented communities with menstrual hygiene products. As the Founding Executive Director, Abney wears several “leadership hats” that help SisterFriend partner with organizations and individuals to directly distribute menstrual hygiene products, raise awareness of menstrual hygiene issues through advocacy initiatives and provide menstrual health education. Since its founding, SisterFriend has provided close to half a million menstrual products to women living in Western PA and beyond, 21,000 of which were sent to Pittsburgh Public Schools.

“I love that I have been able to create businesses based upon the topics that I am personally passionate about,” Abney says.

At the start of the pandemic, SisterFriend conducted events virtually and paused their educational workshops. In 2022, the organization plans to regain lost momentum with its “Carefree School Days. Period” campaign, an initiative that will heighten the awareness of menstrual poverty impacting students. The campaign will also advocate for legislation that provides access to no-cost menstrual products in schools and create an online system that allows school nurses and teachers to request menstrual products that can be sent to them directly through SisterFriend.

After establishing her nonprofit, Abney began mentoring women through Tamara Abney Professional Empowerment, a professional development business she started in 2019. Her contribution to the community has received several accolades including a Distinguished Alumni Award from Pittsburgh Public Schools and, most recently, she was named Mrs. Pittsburgh for the upcoming Mrs. Pennsylvania Pageant taking place in May. Abney will be recognized alongside other married women with outstanding personal, professional, and community achievements. Should she win the pageant, Abney will provide menstrual products and education to students all across the state through SisterFriend’s “Carefree School Days. Period” campaign.

What advice does Abney have for other women in business?

“Everyone will not be on board with the vision that you have for your business, and that’s OK,” she says.

What’s the best advice she’s ever received?

“For the positive to flow into your life you must let go of the negative,” she says.

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