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Transforming Women Inside Out
Co-CEOs of The YES YES Company ltd
Transforming Women Inside Out: Sarah Brooks & Susi Lennox, Co-CEOs of The YES YES Company Ltd have had an unwavering commitment to each other and to the business. Having been warned that a business partnership could prove more intense and demanding than a marriage, the duo knew their investment in building trust and truth was paramount. Both the CEOs ideology of foreseeing the future and knowing what obstacles they might have to deal with proved essential. “Challenges came – regulatory, financial, legal, organizational, the near-theft of our formulations, infringement of our patents, the mimicry of our brand and even the betrayal by distributors and associates, and we found we had the resilience to surmount them,” says Sarah. “But our sense of purpose was marvelously confirmed by the customer and medical feedback we received. Our products were changing people’s lives, and we stuck to the values that we had espoused as non- negotiable, resisting compromise from commercial pressures.”
In 2003, Sarah Brooks & Susi Lennox were discussing one of the social side-effects of Viagra-many peri-menopausal women’s bodies could not respond to their husbands new Viagra fueled demands, and found themselves being replaced by
younger women. “We didn’t understand the issues and wondered why they didn’t use a lubricant. Perhaps there was nothing suitable on the market?” She adds, “So we bought all the lubricants we could find and analyzed their language, composition, branding, smell, taste and feel (on our hands). We were shocked at the chemical ingredients and the unnatural feel of so many of them.” They had also become fed up with working in cultures that didn’t feel congruent with their values and decided to start a business together, spending 6 weeks on the north coast of Bali co-creating YES, defining their values, mission and how to achieve it.
“Our Mission is to Change the World … from the inside! To achieve this, we chose to create all natural, plant-based side effect free intimacy products – called YES,” says Sarah Brooks & Susi Lennox “The proof to our customers would be Organic Certification by the Soil Association, Vegetarian and Vegan certified by the Vegetarian Society and Medical Device certification too.” Their products are all formulated & packaged with their customers at the heart: respectful packaging (not embarrassing in a shopping trolley or by the bed), no distracting smells or tastes and they deliver on their promise of performance.
To give an idea of their novelty, the products formulations are so groundbreaking they have three international patents. “In our determination to use only natural ingredients, already proven for their efficacy on intimate tissues, we spent three and a half years in R&D before we launched in August 2006,” adds Sarah. “For example, we use flax/linseed hydrocolloid gum in many of our water-based products. This plant gum has been used for over 6,000 years to heal mucous membranes. One of our design principles is to make products with no side effects.” Almost all legacy synthetic lubricants are made with glycerine or other synthetic glycols, and these ingredients at greater than 20% can cause irritation and above 40% can cause intimate tissue damage, which can potentially increase the likelihood of STD transmission. YES products are designed to match the body’s physiology, typical vaginal pH is acidic, which affords natural protection. Their vaginal lubricants and YES VM, Vaginal moisturizer, match typical vaginal pH. Many old-style lubricants do not, and when vaginal pH rises above pH5, Thrush outbreaks can happen and other unwanted infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis, are much more likely.
“We also formulate without using concerning or harsh chemicals, declining to use paraben preservatives, BHT, Triclosan, glycerine, glycols, polysorbates, to name a few. Apart from many of these unsuitable ingredients being potential irritants, an important factor for us is not adding to the chemical body burden,” says Sarah. “Many of the products we tested on our hands felt dreadful, synthetic, sticky and left a residue – another downside of glycerine lubricants. We determined to make all our water-based products feel “like the real thing”, and we receive many Yestimonials thanking us for this, as our customers’ partners can’t detect the presence of a lubricant. We also made the first plant-oil based lubricant, to offer a natural alternative to the skin cloying and long-lasting silicone lubricants, which are hard to wash off after use.”
The company and their products have won many awards. The customers’ Yestimonials have made a huge impact on their lives, confirming how YES transformed their worlds from the inside. But perhaps the biggest achievement so far has been the invitation to be part of a clinical study to determine whether YES VM long-lasting vaginal moisturizer is more effective at alleviating Vaginal Dryness than low dose estrogen. The gynecologist who invited YES VM to join the study believes YES VM can be more effective. Given the concerns some women have about estrogen therapies, YES VM will offer them a proven non-hormonal alternative to HRT.
For the days to come, we will continue transforming lives with our unique products. “We support small charities that benefit directly from our money, whether it’s the Eve Appeal, planting hedgerows, the Soi Dog (street dog rescue in Thailand), or sponsoring orphaned orangutans in Borneo,” says Sarah. “When you chose YES products to make love, over an old style conventional lubricant, whilst we hope the earth moved for you, you are taking a small step in saving the planet too.”
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