I have always found it bizarre that women can be so harsh to other women. Our choices, our lifestyles, how we dress, the new haircut – we are lovers or haters. It is either amazing that someone gives up work to have a baby and stay with them as a mum, or awful – there’s no in-between ground. Everyone talks about “choice” and no judgement but then I always sense that I am being judged all the time. I have a great example of that.
I launched a brand that creates conversations. We have had magazines refuse to take our advertising. We have had journalists who love the idea and products but their editors ‘don’t want to go there’. We have seen people on Twitter suggest that we are the root of all evil and are demonising women. Then we have heard what real women think. The friends who have struggled with thrush. The new-found fans who have tried everything a doctor suggested. Women sensitive about how their vagina feels and want to do something about it. Yes, I did just say vagina.
Sass is a range of products to give women choice. There are some washes to ensure women (who ARE using shower gel) have a healthy and ph-balanced option. There are sport products so that chammy creams and serums can protect and help you to recover after a spin class.The beauty products help prevent ingrown hairs and give you an easier way to shave. Most of these products have been created based on personal experience.
Having to shave due to laser treatment, cycling 400km in Kenya and feeling on the brink of thrush every night. My mum had always told me not to use shower gel and to air myself… But I don’t want to be worried about what I wear, what underwear I choose, or if I have had a session in the gym, I don’t want to feel sore or irritated. To me this is all about choice.
Of course we want to understand and engage people but we also know what we stand for. When people question the brand, it’s ethos, or the products I am always open. Some are polite and engage in conversation, others take to an intern who helps us with Twitter, or raise the issue with Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. All great ways to share an opinion but I often feel it is judgement in another way. Trying to make women fit into a ‘feminist box’ – I am not sure why we feel the need to do that when we all set our own path.
It is exactly that which is true for SASS. For me true Sass comes from being who you want to be. It is not about judging anyone. A confidence that shines through. I was recently on a panel with The Guardian and the fellow panelists showed how alluring that can be. The vulnerability of being open and having a confidence that of course no-one has all the answers – that is real confidence.
For me when it comes to looking after our vagina I know some people are happier with just water but I wasn’t. We are all for choice and choice shouldn’t mean compromise, but I will let you make up your own mind!
Carrie Osman is the founder of CRUXY&CO and co-founder of MAD Brands. She started both businesses having gained over ten of years of marketing experience, working for entrepreneurs and for Mars Inc. Her passion for business and branding saw her named as one of Marketing Magazine’s 30 under 30. In November 2013, Carrie decided it was time to make her own mark and created CRUXY&CO: a challenging and provocative consultancy that repositions businesses. Carrie’s latest venture is MAD brands which she co-founded with Mark Curry. The MAD portfolio currently includes intimate skincare brand SASS, with more innovative, inspiring products to launch soon.