The purpose of Client Tell is to spotlight the incredible work of our clients, and to help businesses learn from and connect with each other. We sat down with Khushbu Madhiwala, Founder of Sudsy Soaps, to learn how her Raleigh startup is solving a messy hassle that often puts a damper on travel.
Khushbu Madhiwala studied Biochemistry at North Carolina State University. As an adventurous college student, she jumped at every opportunity to travel, but she kept running into a common, frustrating problem. When she’d take a trip, she kept arriving to her destination only to realize that something in her bag had leaked. She recalled:
“My sophomore year I took a mission trip to Nicaragua, and when I got there I realized that my conditioner had spilled out all over my clothes. What made it even more inconvenient was that I didn’t have the luxury of doing laundry on that trip. No matter how well I tried to pack before my flights, I kept running into this same pain point.”
Khushbu soon learned she wasn’t the only one dealing with this problem. After surveying more than 300 travelers, Khushbu discovered that about 86 percent had a liquid toiletry bottle leak in their bags while flying, and one out of every four passengers had their liquid products confiscated during TSA security checks.
An Organic Solution To a Messy Problem
In 2017, Khushbu started brainstorming a solution to this common travel issue. She wanted to find some way to package toiletries so they could withstand cabin pressure at high-flying altitudes. After considering liquid pods or soap sheets, she came up with the idea of dissolvable tablets, and started working on her formula.
Upon her graduation in 2018, Khushbu accepted the Miller Fellowship, which funded her experimentation work. The program included use of N.C. State’s lab space, giving her access to the facilities and chemicals she needed to pursue her idea full time. “My organic chemistry studies gave me a solid knowledge of how soaps are made, so I started researching what goes into creating fast-dissolving pills,” she said.
It wasn’t long before the young scientist figured out the formula for a single-use dehydrated soap tablet. It dissolves in three seconds under water when light pressure is applied, providing the right amount of lather, and only taking up a third of the space.
She filed for the patent in December of 2018, and immediately launched Sudsy Soaps in January of 2019. The entrepreneur remarked:
“I had no business background when I first started this venture. As a biochemistry major, it was the last thing on my mind. Honestly, I just looked at this project as a side hobby, and at first, I only invested my time in it to address my personal travel frustrations. My boyfriend was the one to point out the business opportunity, and he connected me with local entrepreneurs. Things took off from there.”
Building A Fresh & Clean Foundation
Sudsy Soaps is kicking off with a body wash line which includes blister packs to keep packing convenient and stress-free, as well as 1-ounce containers good for 20 uses. The last several months, Khushbu has received inquiries from manufacturers as well as large companies interested in licensing her products. She’s currently developing a shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toothpaste and other toiletry staples. Her innovative solutions mean no more pesky 3.2 oz travel bottles, less delays in the security line, and best of all, no more worrying about whether or not liquids will burst and spill on personal belongings during flights.
When asked to offer wisdom to up-and-coming startup founders, Khushbu advised: “If you have an idea and you think it has a real-world application, go for it! I never saw myself as an entrepreneur, but I seized an opportunity to solve a problem, and I’m so glad I did.”
Khushbu relied on Fourscore Business Law to help get Sudsy Soaps securely established, and looks to the Fourscore team for legal help with her company’s continued growth. She commented: “The team at Fourscore has been invaluable in helping me understand and handle non-disclosure agreements and contracts from manufacturers looking to test my products. They make sure there are always clauses that safeguard me. It gives me so much peace of mind knowing I’m protected at every step.”
To learn more, visit SudsySoaps.com.