meet alexa suter, the woman behind huha
We're always on the search for great underwear and innovations in feminine care. Enter female-founded and female-focused huha. Huha recognized that most undies are made with synthetics that trap moisture and lead to bacteria build-up down south. So they created a solution...undies made from breathable fibers that are infused with zinc oxide to help resist odor and infection-causing bacteria. WOW!
In this interview, we chat about the huha journey, female entrepreneurship, the future of feminine health and more! Get to know lady boss, Alexa Suter with us.
let's start with a lady brag!
1. Tell us the 3 things you love to brag about the most:
1. During quarantine, I’ve finally learned to cook!
2. I’ve never had a proper 9-5 job and I’m now almost 30. I’m proud of the fact that, though I faced many challenges, I managed to make entrepreneurship work for me from a very young age.
3. I’ve had the same best friend, soul sister really, for 16 years!
2. First of all, we’ve never had a love affair with our underwear choices here at Lady Suite so we’re really excited about Huha! Tell us about you and what “sparked” this incredible idea?
A bout of UTIs I went through, unfortunately! I started to notice how uncomfortable I was feeling in synthetic undies. That’s where the research for the concept began. I couldn’t understand why most underwear was made with fibers that trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bad bacteria, ultimately putting women at risk of developing infection. I knew this needed to change.
3. We’re big fans of your tagline “undies designed with vaginas in mind”. Why do vaginas need a different kind of underwear?
First off, we like to use the word ‘vagina’ in our marketing because we want to help break down the barriers around talking about vaginal health and also breaking down body shame.
Vaginas are self-cleaning machines, as we’ve learned from a gynecology expert Dr. Laura Nicholas, and they really need to breathe to be able to function at their best.
4. Tell us the benefits of zinc infused fibers, and the other materials you use compared to other companies?
Zinc oxide is really healing and regenerative for the skin, and it ensures that bad bacteria (that can lead to infections and odor) aren’t growing in the fibers of the undies.
In comparison to synthetics like nylon and polyester, which unfortunately make up the bulk of women’s underwear, our undies result in up to 2,000 times less bacteria growth over a 24 hour period of wear.
This is a result of the fibers being more breathable, thereby not trapping moisture, and also the additive of the zinc oxide.
5. How long did it take you to go from concept to market?
In total, it was a year of research and development before we did our soft launch on Kickstarter. It’s now been 1.5 years and we’re just approaching our official launch.
6. Describe what your undies feel like in a 1 to a few words.
Breathable, comfortable, flattering, and soothing!
7. When it came to feminine health education growing up, would you say that you were “in the know”? Please explain.
As far as feminine health goes, I don’t remember learning much in terms of formal education. But I have two older sisters, and my mom did a good job teaching us the basics: wipe from front to back, don’t wear undies at night, don’t wash with soap down there etc.
One of the issues I stumbled upon as a young girl was this concept of body acceptance. I vividly remember at age 10 arguing with my best friend about whose vagina was more “normal,” and looking at a tampon box instruction manual to decide.
Needless to say, we both needed more information around that age as I’m sure many young women do too!
8. Do you think feminine health education is becoming more mainstream?
I think it’s starting to get there!
My hope is that in the near future, we get more research dollars put towards studies on women’s health. In particular, it would be great to help solve some really tough issues for women like vaginal dryness related to menopause or unexplained recurrent yeast infections.
We have enough to worry about as women as it is, so it would be great to have more answers and solutions.
In addition to feminine health, I would say that there are a few leaders like The Vulva Gallery on social media who are really helping to break-down stigma and “vagina shame,” which I think is really important for mental health and overall self-esteem.
9. What is your long-term vision for huha?
I really want to uplift women to have higher self-esteem, to feel proud of their bodies, and to be able to show up in the world as their most powerful selves; the vessel in doing so is with skin-layer basics that are healthier, more versatile, and more thoughtfully designed for all the beautiful bodies out there.
10. I see that you’re doing men’s underwear now (very cool). Are underwear for penis’s that much different? Asking for a friend (i.e. my husband)
HA, got you! That was an April Fool’s joke. But it’s not totally off the table.
11. Congrats on your indiegogo campaign! Many of our readers are also small business owners. Has Covid-19 affected your business trajectory? Please explain!
Yes, unfortunately, our delivery timelines have been significantly delayed because of Covid factory shutdowns, and we’ve had to pivot and get creative in many ways to make things work with supply chain shortages.
But I think this is a time for all business owners to get really honest with themselves, to look at their business, and to be able to identify their weaknesses so that they can improve for the future.
12. If you could give small business owners any advice or fortune cookie wisdom, or both, what would it be?
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”
That’s technically Sir Winston Churchill’s wisdom, but it’s a quote I recite to myself often. Entrepreneurship is hard, especially right now, but the most important, differentiating factor is perseverance. Just keep going. If you’re experiencing failure, accept it. If you’re experiencing success, have the wisdom to know the battle isn’t won forever. Keep creating, keep the momentum going, and stay connected with your “why.”