As a health and science content contributor to The Narrative Matters, I had the opportunity to attend a Friday, June 24, 2022, webinar session by the Kushae Team. As explained in their webinar, the founders, Dr. Barbara McLaren (Dr. Barb) and ex-Pharmaceutical Sales Consultant Kimba Williams met for the first time they swapped ideas and insights on chemical-free solutions to feminine care issues.
Arion(May 12, 2022) reports R&B singer and actress LeToya Luckett as its official brand ambassador for Kushae. Although the founding members of the company, Dr. Barbara McLaren, M.D. board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and Kimba Williams, conceived the word Kushae (pronounced koo-SHAY), the product was intended strictly for vaginal hygiene.
MadeSafe (July 20, 2021) states that “many commercially available products contain chemical ingredients including dioxins, pesticide residues, and fragrances, which have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and allergic reactions.”
LeToya Luckett makes it clear on her endorsement of the product that it is a winner. Kushae, is the first and only physician-founded suite of all-natural feminine care products. Arion(May 12, 2022) states that Kushae is a “Black-owned and women-led hygiene company that aims to empower consumers to be bold, unapologetic and fearless about prioritizing their feminine health.”
Dr. Cohut (May 31, 2019) reports that studies looking at “the connection between feminine hygiene products and the development of vaginal infections have drawn some strong conclusions as to which products and procedures a person should avoid when caring for their vagina and vulva.”
Kushae was founded in 2018 to address how to safely and effectively treat feminine health concerns. I asked, “How safe is this product for young girls in their teens as well as senior women over 70 years of age?”
Dr. Barb and Kim responded with a professional assurance that the products are safe enough to use for the vast age span of feminine hygiene. They went on to say that they aim to give women back their voices in advocating for feminine health and hygiene and natural products made especially for women by women.
The two founders continued to express that they are thrilled to be among the first 100 Black female founders to raise over one million dollars in seed funding successfully. They are thrilled and never dreamed that so many visionary venture capitalists and angel investors would support their mission.
Four months ago, Portero (February 14, 2022) reported that “Kushae closed a $1.25 million seed round led Atlanta-based Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in businesses led by women of color.” At that time, Williams and McLaren were among the first 100 Black female founders to raise more than $1 million in seed funding.
Statistically, Black women receive the single-digit financing percentages from venture capitalists (Kunthara, July 16, 2021). While countless feminine wellness products exist, most aim at menstruation or menopause, leaving a gap for daily safe hygiene. The Narrative Matters!
Arion, A (May 12, 2022). Feminine Hygiene Company Kushae Announces LeToya Luckett As Its First Official Brand Ambassador. Essence. LeToya Luckett Is Brand Ambassador For Feminine Wellness Brand Kushae (essence.com)
CISIONPRWEB (January 11, 2022). Feminine Wellness Brand Kushae Becomes One of First 100 Black Female-Owned Companies to Raise Over $1MM in Capital. https://www.prweb.com/releases/2022/1/prweb18425979.htm
Cohut, M. (May 31, 2019). Are feminine hygiene products really necessary? Feminine hygiene products: Are they safe? (medicalnewstoday.com)
MadeSafe (July 20, 2021). Period Products: What’s in them? https://www.madesafe.org/period-products-whats-in-them/
Portero, A. (February 14, 2022). Meet Kushae, an OB-GYN-founded startup focused on nontoxic female hygiene. Miami Inno – Meet Kushae, an OB-GYN-founded startup focused on nontoxic female hygiene (bizjournals.com)
Statista (February 16, 2022). Feminine hygiene market – Statistics & Facts. https://www.statista.com/topics/4889/feminine-hygiene-market/
Wikipedia (June 2022). LeToya Luckett. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeToya_Luckett
Kunthara, S. (July 16, 2021). Black Women Still Receive Just A Tiny Fraction Of VC Funding Despite 5-Year High. Black Women Still Receive Just A Tiny Fraction Of VC Funding Despite 5-Year High (c