How THINX Founder Miki Agrawal Turned Her Life Into an Empire

MA: TUSHY solves one of the things that I do very often and every day: poop. I am one of those people who poops a lot and I never understood why we wipe our butts with dry paper and call that clean. We certainly don’t jump in the shower and only use dry paper and call our bodies clean. That area of our body is critical to our health and happiness (ie. sex, babies, excretion) and yet we don’t properly take care of it because it’s a “taboo” area. Also, since the late 1800s, we have been led to believe that toilet paper does the job but all it does is cost us money every month (to the tune of billions of dollars per year if you add us all together), kills millions of trees per year and causes chronic infections and issues down there like UTIs, hemorrhoids, and fissures.

So I created a simple, modern, affordable bidet attachment called TUSHY which easily clips onto any standard toilet and turns it into a bidet. It’s only $69, takes 10 minutes to install, requires no plumbing or electrical, comes with everything you need in the box, and it’s literally the most important thing in my bathroom. Also, for every TUSHY sold, we fund an organization in India that builds clean latrines for the urban poor who have access to nothing and are defecating out in the open. To date, we have helped 12,000 families gain access to clean sanitation facilities.

As for THINX, I just couldn’t believe that there hadn’t been any innovation in a very long time in those categories because again, those topics were deemed “taboo” by the social system that we lived in. I thought that by creating best-in-class underwear, it could shine a light on this subject and make us ask ourselves why are these things [periods] not okay to talk about when it’s the very thing that creates human life? Also, I was a very irresponsible bleeder and kept ruining all of my underwear—and I needed a solution for that! Under my leadership, we helped over 100,000 girls gain access to menstrual products throughout Africa.

WILD came about when I realized how sensitive I am to processed foods: the bleach, refined sugar, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, preservatives etc and it turns out that millions of people are too, for obvious reasons. I had to give up my favorite comfort food, pizza, so I decided to start New York City’s first gluten-free, farm-to-table pizza eatery in 2005. During that time, everyone thought “ gluten-free”, “farm-to-table,” and “organic” meant “must taste like cardboard,” so it took a lot of education to get people to “get” it.

MA: My teams know that unless it’s artful and show-stopping, it won’t pass the test. We are in the process of rebranding TUSHY to make it artfully aspirational yet playful and fun. Art needs to be fun and not too serious. Also, since I’m talking about “taboo” subjects like poop and periods, the campaigns better be artful, or people will be too grossed out to talk about it. The art and playful tone bring people’s guards down.

MA: I think having a twin sister who has been with me since birth has taught me to remain authentic. Anytime I’m not being “myself” or she’s not being “herself,” we keep each other in check. Like, “Why are you acting like that?” or “You’re being weird right now.” Haha. It came naturally, but I learned that being authentic is critical in business, especially if we are doing things that are out of the ordinary.

MA: I’m really focused on TUSHY—getting every butt in America clean, saving 15 million trees from getting flushed down the toilet unnecessarily each year, and saving our natural resources that are required to make toilet paper (ie. it requires 37 gallons of water to make 1 single roll of toilet paper!). Changing the culture around our bathroom habits is something that I’m going to work on for a while.