By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
In college, Leda Toussaint’s favorite subjects were anatomy and physiology, which makes it no surprise that she’s now running her own feminine care company.
GNTLE, launched in 2018, is an all-natural feminine care brand that heals, balances and protects women’s vaginas and vulvas. Toussaint was inspired to start the company after dealing with her own feminine hygiene issues.
She suffered from recurring yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
“I just couldn’t find relief, and I was frustrated with the products that were out there,” said Toussaint. “I was frustrated with my doctor at that time who tried to prescribe me antibiotics to temporarily fix the problem and not do a hardcore route analysis.”
She decided to quit the products she was using and go on a womb detox. Then, she looked into creating her own feminine care wash.
Previously, Toussaint worked in transfusion medicine. Combining her medical background and ingenuity became the secret weapon to starting her business.
After months of research and testing, Toussaint concocted the finished product, but before trying it, she posted an Instagram story informing her followers about her experiment. Several women reached out to let her know that they experienced the same struggles, ensuring Toussaint that there was a need for her product.
“A lot of companies in the feminine care or the personal care space are very focused on the product and what it can do,” said Toussaint. “My thing is
] is more than just a product. I need women to have a good understanding of their natural and their normal, so they can be an advocate for themselves in any state.”
Active aloe vera, which has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, is the main ingredient in GNTLE’s “Lady Wash.” Toussaint worked to ensure that every ingredient used in the wash serves a significant purpose in the vagina and vulva’s healing process.
Unfortunately, many women are not afforded a safe space to talk about their sexual and reproducive health because society has long considered the topic to be taboo, according to Toussaint.
To break the taboo and reduce stigmas, she established Girl Talk Tuesdays, a live streaming segment on GNTLE’s Instagram. She started by talking about women’s reproductive systems, and now the weekly conversation has expanded to women’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health.
In the years ahead, Toussaint wants GNTLE to transform from a feminine care company into a lifestyle where women are unapologetic about their needs and intentional about the care they give themselves.
“Just do what’s right for you because when you’re OK, you can take care of other people,” said Toussaint. “As women, we carry a lot of people with us, but if we are not OK, we can’t achieve our purpose in this space.”
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