By Jenny Whyte, Startup founder from Drouin
‘Thundies’ are the alternative anti-chafe underwear
Photo: Jakub Fabijanski Photo: Jakub Fabijanski Photo: Jakub Fabijanski
Skin chafing is not pleasant, so don’t ignore it. I founded Thundies after discovering that there was nothing on the market. Thundies fills the gap between pantyhose, bike shorts and shapewear. They are the fashionable, sexy and comfortable solution to the discomfort of chafe.
Startup Gippsland: Let’s get to it! How did you learn about Startup Gippsland and what was your first thought about it?
Jenny: I noticed the Startup Gippsland program through a social media post. After investigating the program and discovering how beneficial the outcomes would be for my business, it felt like a light switched on inside me. I’d been slowly gestating and researching and prototyping the Thundies product, so this was just what I needed to shift gear and get serious.
Startup Gippsland: Why did you want to join the program? What was the problem you were trying to solve?
Jenny: I joined the program to gain the knowledge and resources to move forward with my idea. As a novice and having no experience in the underwear industry, I needed structure, information and advice. I wanted to find the pathways to move from concept idea to manufacturing and sales.
Startup Gippsland: What was your experience like in the 12 weeks of the program?
Jenny: I really enjoyed the program. There was something new and interesting every week. Credible speakers and experts in their fields delivered valid and useful presentations. From the first weeks the focus was on ‘fine tuning’ the actual product or service… identifying the validity, market, structure and image. Until the final weeks, when all the pieces of came together for the pitch night (which was great fun!).
Startup Gippsland: What are the biggest benefits of you undertaking the program? Can you provide an example of how it worked for you?
Jenny: For me the benefit has been validating Thundies as a viable product to bring to market. The program has provided a business structure to move towards and educated me on everything from legalities and branding to target markets and social media. It has enabled me to competently and confidently ‘pitch’ Thundies to the appropriate people and businesses needed to move forward.
Startup Gippsland: Have you discovered new or different users for your product/service, compared with original expectations? Are you still pursuing your original startup idea?
Jenny: I’ve discovered there’s a much bigger market out there than I realised. Initially I was focused on a specific female demographic but I now know that I can expand to men, sports people, dancers, children and more. There’s also potential in developing suitable styles for people in health care facilities. However, for now I’m concentrating on creating suitable styles for women, with the intention to expand the range as the business grows.
Startup Gippsland: What was your biggest success after undertaking the program? Personal or professional (or both)!
Jenny: Personally I’ve moved into a space where I now know that Thundies will come to life. It was an idea that had been incubating for too long and the SUG Program breathed life into it and gave me the incentive, encouragement and motivation to move forward. Professionally it’s given me better understanding of ‘business’ and the difference between working ‘in’ a business and ‘on’ a business. Owning a business, and developing its service or product is a huge but rewarding commitment. I also discovered that I can get on stage, in front of a crowd, and deliver a crowd pleasing pitch! Lol 😉
Startup Gippsland: what was the most important skill you’ve learnt, and a realisation you’ve had during/after the program?
Jenny: Pitching! I’ve realised that those first few sentences when describing your product are crucial. Regardless of who the pitch is directed to, your credibility and professionalism will be assessed on how you present yourself and what you have to say.
Thundies is still under development. Follow our Facebook page to be notified of product launch!
“For me the benefit has been validating Thundies as a viable product to bring to market. The program has provided a business structure to move towards and educated me on everything from legalities and branding to target markets and social media.”
“I’ve discovered there’s a much bigger market out there than I realised.”
Jenny’s Mentor was…
Watch Jenny’s Pitch here:
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