STEM: Miki Agrawal, THINX

This article is part of our Create & Cultivate 100 List created in collaboration with KEDS, you can view the full STEM List Here.

Taking on taboo with invention. 

 Miki Agrawal did what many inventors do: find the white space. Or in her case the red. No, we're not talking wine. We're talking periods. The CEO and co-founder behind the period-proof underwear, THINX, saw a need in a 15 billion dollar industry and went after it.

But converting people isn’t simple. At one point the company was $60K in the hole. “I had a struggling partnership,” she shares, “and investors who didn't ‘get’ the product…” So Miki once requested a male investor to wear a maxi pad over the course of a meeting. The point: to give him first-hand experience. 

It’s her out-of-the-box approach to all topics taboo that make Miki a force, and not just in the period space. She’s taking on incontinence with ICON, pee-proof underwear, as well as the booty with TUSHY, a bidet attachment for the toilet that she says, “elevates the American pooping experience to the 21st century.”

Get to know Miki, why a life coach changed her life, and what she’s looking forward to below. 

What is the most important step you took to get here?

Put one foot in front of the other (and also put reminders in my phone to breathe).

What are the challenges you encountered along the way?

Wrong partnerships, manufacturing struggles and generally growing a business! 

What keeps you going?

Changing culture and helping people at the same time. Truly. 

Who are the people you consider your mentors or influences and why?

My friends! They are all entrepreneurs or creatives and inspire me on the daily. 

What is the best piece of “real talk” advice you’ve received?

Hire slow; fire fast. 

What’s your favorite life advice?

Everything’s gonna be alright. 

How has your relationship to your career changed in the last five years?

I've worked hard on myself to become a better leader and human, cop to my mistakes quicker and be softer on everyone including myself. 

How has your relationship with yourself changed in the last five years?

Seeing a life coach has changed my life. It has forced me to face myself like I never have before and really find full integrity with what I am thinking, feeling and saying. 

What's on your career bucket list?

Impact a billion people and build a billion dollar company :-) 

What does female empowerment mean to you?

Women deserve a seat at the table. ALL studies point to the fact that women-led companies outperform male-led companies, boards that include more women have outperforming companies than only all-male boards, all signs are pointing to the fact that women absolutely deserve to have equal rights to men. It's time.