One minor health scare was all the motivation this founder needed to launch this athleisure wear line dedicated to women.

On Jan. 19, Forbes reported that Oya Femtech Apparel founder Mitchella Gilbert — a former athlete and product designer — raised a $1.3 million oversubscribed pre-seed funding round. 

According to the outlet, Sixers Innovation Lab led the round with participation from REI Path Ahead Ventures, R/GA Ventures — a Special Purpose Vehicle managed by Union Heritage Venture Partners — and Techstars Sports.

Turning Her Problem Into A Profit

However, it all started after she was told to “scale back on wearing leggings” by her OB/GYN due to a yeast infection.

Gilbert then took the instructions and familiarized herself with the connection to leggings and the occurrence of yeast infections in women.

The Solution

From there, Oya Femtech Apparel was founded and Gilbert has yet to look back.

“Oya is a mother goddess from Nigeria’s Yoruba mythology that symbolizes rebirth, fertility, and storms. I thought Oya was a great name for a sportswear company fighting feminine health issues with patented designs and textiles,” Gilbert explained, noting the significance of the brand’s name.

The company addresses the issue at hand between women and leggings by providing a breathable, replaceable pad equipped with panes that provide consumers with ventilation around the inner thigh area.

What’s more, she told Forbes that “Oya’s leggings are twice as absorbent as leading brands with unique designs that provide discrete natural ventilation, significantly performing over current market options.”


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In just a short time span, the company has managed to raise funds and seems to have no plans of letting up anytime soon.

According to Forbes, Gilbert’s patent-pending fabric has been tested and approved by over sixty medical professionals and hundreds of product testers, meaning it’s one of the first to be physician-tested and athlete-approved, before going on the market.

Additionally, a BPA, PFA, and PFOA-free supply chain is being developed by Oya.

“We are now getting ready to launch our second version along with new tops. Our legging is now patent-pending and we are on our third collection of tops and bottoms that absorb moisture, decrease bacteria, and increase natural ventilation,” Gilbert told the outlet.