Eva Goicochea, co-founder of maude
Eva Goicochea, the co-founder of maude, is changing how we think about sex. By moving sex into the wellness space, Eva and her team have made shopping for sex products simple. maude is redefining sexual wellness through discreet, neutral packaging and non-gendered products. Eva is definitely one to watch as she and her team pave a new path in their industry. Read Eva’s Spotlight below to learn more about maude and how her company is shaking up the sexual wellness space.
Eva when you first launched maude, mainstream sexual wellness companies were still promoting their products to a young, heterosexual audience. What was it like to develop products that challenged heteronormativity?
For us, it's about solving a human problem with a human solution. We think less about gender, even though when you think about sex, of course it seems to intertwine so much with gender identity. We've actually taken that out of the equation for a second to say, "What are the friction points for people when they purchase these products?" and then, "What are the friction points when they talk about it?" Those are human experiences. They're not just about one gender. It's all people, everybody in between and everybody that feels like they haven't been spoken to.
In what ways did your own personal journey help you with running a company like maude?
Having been interested in public health (I was a legislative aide in healthcare early in my career) and coming from a product background as a brand and social media strategist later on for mission-driven companies like Everlane, I always aspired to create a consumer goods company that solved for everyday wellness specifically in sexual health. Realizing that the industry was outdated and with no sign of it changing, I decided to create maude. I approached Dina, my friend and an industrial designer who worked in the industry for big names like Doc Johnson, and we started the R&D process of building our products and brand. After 3 years, we finally launched in April.
maude is closing the gap between personal wellness and sexual wellness. Why do you think it took so long for a company like maude to come along and redefine sexual wellness? In what other ways do you think maude is changing the conversation surrounding sex?
If the latest Gillette debacle isn’t a clear example, legacy incumbents have a very difficult time pivoting or launching more forward-thinking approaches. They have to stay safe and rely on their history to chart course.
That said, we found that people wanted something better in this space and it was clear from surveys, research, articles, etc. that the market was ready for change. Modern consumers view sex as an important part of your everyday health, but the current sex industry treats sex as clinical, a novelty or worse, a taboo. We are creating products and take a wellness approach to makes people feel comfortable about sex so they can integrate it into their daily lives. We call it sex made simple: Pared-down products and content delivered in a friendly, human, inclusive way.
What has it been like for you and Dina to be one of the very few women-owned sexual wellness companies? In what ways has it been an advantage?
On the one hand, we’ve had a lot of support and have built a strong network of investors and mentors who want to see women succeed in a male-dominated, outdated industry. But on the other, by being female-owned, our company often gets mistaken as being for women only. We’re not. Maude is for all adults no matter gender, preference or age.
In the future, will maude go beyond products and push the conversation of de-stigmatizing sexual wellness in other ways?
We hope that maude has completely carved out a world of sexual wellness and health that feels so normal, so everyday and so much a part of people's lives that it then affects the broader approach to sex education and conversation.
We want to be the new standard and the company that leads the way to make sexual wellness accessible and better—for all people.
Interviewed by Renée