Meet the femtech startup empowering women through all-natural wellness products
Launched in 2020, That Sassy Thing is an all-natural feminine hygiene and sexual wellness startup, which aims to empower women — not just in the boardroom, but also in the bedroom.
Sunday December 05, 2021,
4 min Read
One of the things Sachee Malhotra, Founder of femtech startup, says she’s particularly proud of is how every woman can find representation in the many posts on the company’s Instagram page. For her, That Sassy Thing is not just in the business of female hygiene but also changing perceptions reinforced by patriarchal diktats.
“Women have been reduced to a sum of their parts. We’ve been told to not only be insecure about our hair, face, weight, and height, but also the way our breasts, vulvas, and bottoms should look,” Sachee tells YourStory, adding that her personal mission is to quash internalised misogyny and empowering people to own their bodies.
With this goal, she launched That Sassy Thing in 2020. The startup aims to fill a gaping hole in the femtech space by focusing on women and their bodies — and having a woman leading the charge helps. Most commercial wellness brands today, at least the ones found in grocery stores and the likes, are run by men, and focus on men’s pleasure, sometimes at the expense of women’s wellness.
“Take flavoured lube, for example, which can sometimes contain sugars and cause yeast infections in women. In most heterosexual relationships, men not only own women’s pleasures but also the implements of hygiene,” Sachee explains.
The direction That Sassy Thing is taking is informed by these prejudices, she adds. For example, DTF, the startup’s sexual lubricant is not only plant-based and all-natural, but is mindful about the natural pH of the body, unlike most lubricants that are either oil-based, sticky, or made up of harmful substances.
Recently, it launched two sex toys too to enable more vulva owners to take charge of their own pleasures. Unlike most imported toys that cost upwards of Rs 5,000, That Sassy Thing’s products — OG and Lit — are pocket-friendly and of the same quality as many of their imported counterparts. Sachee says, even the look and feel of the toys were designed keeping Indian sensibilities in mind.
“We realised that Indians tend to shy away from overtly realistic-looking products although there is demand for that too. We wanted to create something that a majority of people wouldn’t mind owning or having,” she adds.
Pushing into hygiene products
Beyond empowering women and vulva owners to take charge of their sexual needs, That Sassy Thing has been making a big play for feminine hygiene products, which Sachee says is an exciting space these days.
“Hygiene is not just about sexual health; it’s also about personal health, and that’s a core focus for me,” she adds.
The startup has, to date, launched four products under this umbrella — a hemp-based menstrual cramp care roller, pubic hair oil, underwear detergent, and an intimate wash that doubles up as a body wash.
The menstrual cramp care roller is one of the startup’s most selling products and has received much commendation because of the natural ingredients it uses.
The underwear detergent has been widely talked about because it replaces harsh and harmful commercial detergents that often not only cause wear and tear of the fabric, but leave chemical residues behind that can disturb the body’s natural pH.
“Because of the way the female anatomy is, our bodies are constantly in close contact with our underwear, and because of that, our intimate garments need specific care. Commercial detergents don’t cater to that and more often than not end up damaging the fabric,” Sachee explains.
The intimate body wash too was formulated on the same principle — not corroding the body’s natural pH level.
Sachee says all of That Sassy Thing’s products are formulated in consultation with dermatologists and professional chemists, and tested not just in the lab, but on friends and family. And while the products and their chemical composition may differ, the underlying philosophy doesn’t.
“Each product is designed keeping in mind the central theme of empowerment. The idea is to help vulva owners take the initiative for their hygiene and pleasure,” the founder says.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta