Where you won’t find trendy business tactics, but you will find truthful insights and timeless stories from leaders to look up to.
Ep. 015 | Curate Conversations With Pia Beck
PODCAST SHOW NOTES
Éva Goicochea is the Founder / CEO of Maude, a sexual wellness company built on quality, simplicity, and inclusivity.
In this episode, Episode 015, Pia talks with Éva about the history of the sexual wellness aisle; how taxing it can be to hold a candle for the future; the importance of building a foundationally solvent business; long tail marketing and being a brand that changes the way you think about the world; how good design is non-invasive, and the universally shared experience of intimacy.
This was one of the richest conversations Pia has had this year. Everything Maude does isn’t just marketing genius; it’s so simply human.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Join the Curate Community Membership (code PODCAST for 20% off)
- Follow Maude on Instagram @Maude
- Getmaude.com/curatewellco (code: CURATEWELLCO)
- The Long Tail: What is long tail and how can it benefit your business
- Visit Maude’s website www.getmaude.nor.by
Music created by Queentide.
Eva Goicochea, she told me before we hit record on our interview that it’s Eva like forever, is the founder and CEO of Maude. A sexual wellness company built on quality, simplicity, and [00:01:00] inclusivity. MOD’s fairly priced, easy to use. Intimate care products are made for all bodies. Born in New Mexico and raised in California and Michigan.
Eva spent her early career as a legislative aid in healthcare and then a decade working with forward thinking c. No matter where she went, the sexual wellness aisle looked the same, outdated, confusing, and not inclusive. So she converged her experiences to create the next chapter in the sexual wellness industry.
Maude launched in 2018. Together with the Maude Team and Medical Advisory Board, Eva looks forward to changing the industry and creating a company that stands for Modern Intimacy. All people welcome. In this episode, Eva and I talk about the history of sexual wellness, how taxing it can be to hold a candle for the future, the importance of building a foundationally solvent business, long tail marketing, and being a brand that changes the way you think about the world.
How good design is noninvasive, [00:02:00] and the universally shared experience of intimacy. This was one of the richest conversations I’ve had this year. Eva made me feel like we were best friends and everything Maude does isn’t just marketing genius. It’s so simply human. Enjoy.
Before we get into the episode, let’s hear from our partners.
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All right. Today we have Eva from the company Maude. I am so excited for this conversation. Thank you so much for being here, Eva.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited.
Okay, So, um, the first question I always like to ask is, in your [00:05:00] own measure of success, tell us what you’re proud of. So maybe it’s a milestone that you hit with one of your advocacy access or education partners, or maybe it’s a certain number of vibes sold, a goal that you had from the beginning.
Or maybe it’s that every Monday you, every cyber Monday, excuse me, you donate a hundred percent of your sales that day. Whatever feels like really meaningful to you. Tell us what you celebrate.
I think I celebrate the fact that Maude exists. I mean, this is . I think the fact that we exist is a really big deal in that like many conversations people have, I don’t know, on podcasts, like how I built this or something.
This literally started in my basement. I, I really did. It was just me and my computer and this was an idea. And so that’s amazing to me. I look back and think I cannot, when people say, I know your brand. . There have been a few occasions where they’re like, I know who you are. It’s just mind boggling to me that this is, this is alive and well.
So there are so many exciting milestones on the journey, but I would [00:06:00] just say the fact that we exist is still it. It still, you know, surprises me in a lot of ways.
Yeah. Not only is Mod Alive and well, but it’s thriving and it’s changing an entire industry and an entire cultural norm, which is huge, huge work.
So, um, I appreciate you and analogy for that, .
Okay. So pre Maude, you spent your career, as a legislative aid, and then you were working with a lot of forward thinking companies. Um, and so my first question, like when I was thinking about what I was gonna ask you, I was like, honestly, like the first question is like, why sex?
Why sex toys? How did intimacy become like your vehicle of choice for social impact?
So, I’m gonna take it back. I’m taking it back for a second, which is that I, I started working when I was 14 and I’m 40. So I’ve been working a really long time. I think I was always just a really curious person and I wanted to work, but through the experience, [00:07:00] Working in high school, in college, and actually pre-high school.
I started to form at a pretty early age like what I, what mattered to me and what I could wake up to do every day. Um, I have always taken a lot of pride in my work no matter what I’m doing, even if it’s not entirely interesting to me. But I was like, if I’m going to really take a leap, I have to do something that matters and this matters in so many ways.
I was raised with a mom who was a feminist and who advocated for equal rights and had a rainbow of friends and, and so I think foundationally speaking this like this category matters because it is so culturally impactful. It’s so socially impactful. And then obviously it impacts our health and access now in this post RO versus Wade world, which is another discussion.
So I wanted to,
That could be part of the discussion. Let’s do it.
I think it was like I wanted to wake up and do something that mattered. All of my path, all, all my experiences like led me to where I am today. Um, I’m [00:08:00] sorryI’m a tired founder. So you’re gonna hear a lot of glitches, . Cause I, uh, it’s been a long couple weeks, but Yes.
Anyway, so it’s all led. It has, mm-hmm.
Um, thanks so much for coloring in a little bit of, of your background and how you. You know, predating even your career, how that impacted, where, where you are today, what you’ve created. So, okay. So let’s dig into that just a little bit. So it’s a social issue, it’s a cultural issue.
It’s a physical health issue. And I know that you say that the sexual wellness aisle has looked the same for a very, very long time, Right? It’s outdated, it’s confusing, it’s definitely not inclusive. Tell us more about this. Like, I think everyone can relate to this in some sense, but tell us a little bit more about, the ripple effect that you see from this problem that your company solving?
Well, so a hundred years ago this, this category was shaped by condoms and it was shaped by STIs. Um, and it was [00:09:00] soldiers were giving STIs to all the women they were meeting on their travels. And so, um, and then there was this time when there was a prohibition for the category. And then out of that came the movement around birth control.
But then there was a long period of time in which it was really hyper stigmatized because. There was the, the family planning conversation wasn’t as relevant anymore in that you had a lot of choice. And so what you were left with was in the eighties, I’m sorry, I’m digging back into history to kind of explain this, but like in the eighties it was really related.
It was sort of connected to the AIDS epidemic. So then there was a stigma to use condoms at all because it was like, this doesn’t matter to me. Um, and then out of that came what was like the nineties and two thousands when it was all, we were all seeing this fashion come back. So we all know this is true.
It was all about like driving hyper, like hypersexual messaging and performance messaging and all of this stuff. And so the long and the short of it is that it’s been so connected. What’s happening [00:10:00] to what’s happening socially, that there’s been no room for sexual wellness to be talked about in a more evergreen way.
Because from day one, the products were connected to like, the stigma. And so to destigmatize a not the category, you have to destigmatize the topic separately and then the product shall follow. And that’s kind of what’s happening anyway.
I love that you, uh, gave us a very brief history on how now this whole, I mean, there’s so much to it, right?
It’s so nuanced and I mean, you highlighted really, really well, like yes, it’s always been attached to some sort of stigma or multiple stigmas, or it’s had this like, meaning. That has changed and some have stayed the same over like years and years and years, and it’s like about time, right? That right.
Something you know of meaning came from this. So, Okay. And I know that Maude is, it’s about more than sex, right? Like obviously that’s a huge part of it. And the products are, you know, About sex for sex [00:11:00] and are also very high quality. We’ll get into that later. Um, but it’s also about intimacy, right?
Which is about so much more than sex. And so what does intimacy mean to you? And then more specifically, what does modern intimacy mean to you?
I think for me, intimacy is actually about this idea of feeling comfortable with whatever makes you feel loved, lovable, and have the ability to love. So whether that’s self or partner, When do you feel close?
I mean, we talked about the fact that intimacy can be, you know, someone hands you your tea the way that you want it and you, and they just know you well enough, like it doesn’t have to be sexual. Yeah, so I think intimacy is just about comfort and care and all of those, those feelings around connection.
And I would say modern intimacy is about creating, just championing the ability to say everybody is worth being loved. And everybody is worth owning their own sexuality in whatever way that takes shape. Mm-hmm. So it’s just about saying [00:12:00] sex is not, it’s not just for one type of person. It’s everybody’s, It’s, it should not be co-opted by anyone.
And I think, um, it’s a very human experience and that’s what modern means is saying like, We’re gonna treat this like it’s for everybody. Because it is.
Yeah, because it is. I love that. Um, okay, so on that note and kind of like circling back on some of the history and, and how we’re kind of modernizing this thing that’s really been calling for.
A different approach since it’s an inception, in my opinion, you’re tackling, uh, a problem and you’re creating products in a category that in the past has been surrounded by a lot of taboo, a lot of stigma. Um, a lot of us grew up not talking about sex. I grew up not talking about sex. Like it, you know, I had sex ed in school, but it wasn’t like we had these, like, open conversations in my household about that.
And I love seeing that change. Like I saw a TikTok video. recentlY. some I, it came up on Instagram, not TikTok, because I’m too old for TikTok . Um, but it was this really young girl who was like going [00:13:00] through, she had like a, you know, a sign she was going through the entire, like female anatomy. And she was like, she was so young.
And I was like, God, this is so cool. And like, that just wasn’t a thing when I was growing up. And so it’s, this has been, um, Not something that has been approached the way that you’re approaching it for such a long time, and in my opinion, you’re doing it with a really like killer, beautiful brand and voice.
A ton of educational resources and a touch of humor too. That’s not like crass humor, but like genuine, like human humor, and I really admire the way that you’ve done that with so much grace. What are some of the biggest obstacles that you faced, in like socializing what you’re doing.
So weirdly enough, it’s not even, it’s more about the fact that there’s a conflation with us and the, the industry.
So, you know, I walk into a room when I’m raising and they think, Oh, this is for women because you’re a woman. Um, there’s this idea that they’re like, I [00:14:00] think there’s not an initial, I’m already at a deficit when I walk into rooms because If it’s with investors, they think that we’re just for women. And then there’s obviously, if it’s a room of male investors, older male investors, and there’s, there’s that disconnect of, this matters to me.
It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been able to navigate that fine. I’m pretty confident, but I think it’s like, That’s interesting, Is that it that there’s an immediate wall. I think when it comes to press and storytelling around newer brands, they lump us all together. And I’m very adamant about being a champion for inclusivity of gender and age.
So I really do not want to be perceived as just another 20, you know, brand for a 25 year old woman. Especially that I’m not a 25 year woman . Yeah. So, um, so it’s a lot of that. I don’t think, you know, often it’s not ill-intentioned the way that we are con, you know, confused by people, but I think.
it’s indicative of the fact that everybody sort of assumes that [00:15:00] this is a part of women’s health. It’s, it’s obviously connected to women’s health. I just think that it’s, yeah, it’s its own category. And then I think the fact that it’s often thought about is something that younger people are talking about versus, I mean, our audience is 43% over 40.
Yeah. Like this is, so I just feel like I’m often the one like waving the flag to say, No, really, this is for everybody in their adult lives.
Yeah. Yeah. No, really, like, really it’s for everybody. That’s so interesting. I mean, I can’t even imagine. I mean, I can’t imagine. And I can sympathize with the experience of walking into a room of, you know, old white dudes is what I call them, right?
Old rich white dudes, investors a lot of the time. and, um, trying to like close that knowledge gap, right? And I would imagine there’s plenty of situations where they just like look at you like what is happening? And so good for you for just like continuing to wave that flag and just like over and over and over again, reiterate like, this is for everybody.
This is for everybody. On [00:16:00] like a kind of a business and marketing note. Obviously when you try to talk to everyone. You end up kind of talking to no one. Right? So how have you balanced that with building what is like through and through a hundred percent down to your company values an inclusive brand?
I totally, actually, I was having this, we had a pre-call for a panel that I’m on in a few weeks and it’s, it was being two other brand founders who I think would all say the same thing, which is, . We’re in a time when there’s so much access to any kind of product that you want that what differentiates you is not to define.
Sure, you might know who your target audience is, but actually you’ll find that if you try to bring people together based on values or ingredients or whatever it is, that you end up with a cross section of people. So, Ultimately in our category, I think sex is for everybody. So I’m gonna argue that you can make a pro, you know, product that way.
But I would also say that what you find is that one, none of us are [00:17:00] brand. Um, like we’re not brand loyal as consumers. We have lots and lots of brands in our bathroom, and I don’t know that anybody sits there and. Oh, well this brand is really much more X and this brand is this and I feel more close. No, you just like buy what you want and what you need and, you know, to solve a problem or because ultimately you really love their brand.
But, um, so that’s, that’s another interesting point I think is that you bring people together based on like a variety of different things. And so you cannot. You don’t need to choose. You just need to be who you are and to create a product that’s very clear and then recognize that you might attract an audience for many different reasons, and it could be totally problem, solution, values, sets, whatever.
I love that. Yeah.
What I was saying was that, I’m so glad that you, that you said that because I think that obviously there’s so much talk around like, identifying your target customer and speaking directly to them.
But I think you make a really good point that there’s so many options in every single category [00:18:00] and we don’t have to choose, right? Like it can be both. And we’re going to gravitate towards the brands that we align with. And just because we don’t exclusively align with that brand doesn’t mean. You know, we can’t build a community around what we’re doing and what’s important to us and what we stand for.
So thank you for reiterating that.
Yeah, and I think like one of the brands that I was speaking to, and I won’t speak on their behalf, so I won’t say their name, but one of the brands basically started out very Gen Z focused. And like in their language, they literally said were for teenagers. And then over time they realized that their product really offered a solution to any type of person.
Um, and their take was we’re not gonna go into like, we’re gonna continue to be acne care. We’re not gonna go into, um, like wrinkle repair, but we’re gonna recognize that acne happens throughout your entire life. And if, and if people who are in their forties, fifties, or sixties, like the playfulness of the brand, who are we to say that it’s not for them?
So it, it starts, it starts to take shape. But [00:19:00] I still don’t think like, I still don’t think aspirationally, you need to know what your brand sounds like and talks like, but that doesn’t mean it can’t attract a lot of people.
Yeah. I love that. Who are we to say we’re not for them? That’s so good.
That’s gonna be one of my big takeaways from this conversation, . Um, okay, so you have three kind of like pillars to the Maude brand, quality, simplicity, inclusivity. We’ve talked a lot about the inclusivity piece. I wanna talk a little bit more about the quality and simplicity pieces. Tell us like why are these things important, and.
What are you really proud of and what have you, you and your team been working on to continue to bring those pillars forward as you release new products?
So the simplicity piece is basically creating products that work well together, and that can be used by a good, you know, a broad section of people.
Like trying, trying to find the common dominators and what people need physically to say, We’re gonna make a product that makes sense. Um, we can’t always achieve that. For instance, making a [00:20:00] male condom, you’re not gonna like, really is only used one way. But I think it’s um, you know, and for instance, we have been asked like, when will you make a female condom?
We’ll just sign note behind the curtain. FDA approved devices take a long time to get to market and there’s so many other challenges, right? So we try to have an assortment that really can, can be for as many people as possible. I’ll just say it that way. I think the simplicity piece is also about, um, color usage, access in terms of price.
And then not cannibalizing our own product line. Mm-hmm. . So I will say we have a merchandising challenge because we have a lot of, technically we have a lot of skews, but we don’t actually have a lot of, um, we don’t have a lot of skews. Sorry. We have a lot of. Like variations on skews. So we and ourselves are going through the exercises.
How can we simplify it so that people know we don’t have like 50 skews? . Yeah. Um, but yeah, so that’s always been our guiding light is like creating products that can really speak to wider needs. And then [00:21:00] on the quality piece, it’s ultimately creating really body safe products. , Um, we can, we can stamp whether they’re FDA approved.
Yeah, their gynecologist approved. They’re safe to use. We don’t ever cross the line or even walk the line typically with saying that something is used for X when it can’t be proven safely to be used for that. And there are a lot of companies in our category who, who blur the lines and we really feel strongly about that.
Yeah. Um, and, and rightfully so, right? When you’re putting something like in and around your body. You wanna know that it’s safe for that. Yeah. And I mean, the products are beautiful. Like, so for anyone who like, it’s, I’ve always been kind of put off, um, in the sexual wellness and like sex category that everything’s like pink and purple and like bright and, you know, there’s, it, it’s, it’s not, It’s not pretty, It’s not something you want, like sitting on [00:22:00] your nightstand or in your bathroom or like anywhere.
And one of the things I appreciate most about your brand visit relates to quality is, you know, not only that it’s body safe, that it’s functional, that it, works well, that it, uh, is accessible in price point, but like, it’s, it’s literally beautiful.
Like, I think that even that in and of itself is, you know, removing the stigma, um, because it, it.
It doesn’t look, I don’t wanna use the word offensive, right? But like, it doesn’t stand out. It looks, it looks stunning. It matches your furniture, it matches your bedside table. And, it’s, I think that’s, I think that’s one of those things that goes a really long way in, furthering the work that your brand is really up to.
Thank you. I appreciate it. And I think it’s supposed, you know, I know it’s so, so, so cliche, but, , and I’m sure every design student would roll their eyes at me, but I think theater rams like 10 principles of good design. It it, I have a little postcard of them sitting on my desk and I look at them sometimes and I’m like, this is right.
This is like this idea that they shouldn’t be, good [00:23:00] design is not invasive. It doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. It’s not, you know, it, it really fits in. Yeah.
Um, so I love that. Mm-hmm. , we’ll link that in the, in the show notes. , Okay. So on that, on that note of kind of, you know, the things that a lot of other people in your space are doing.
You’ve been, you know, featured in some really big publications like Vogue, You’re placed in Sephora, Nordstrom Sachs, all these, really big platforms, obviously. This, the visibility to your mission is like exactly what you need to lead the sexual wellness revolution that you’re leading.
Um, and I’m curious if you’ve ever like, experienced or grappled with an oversimplification of your products in some of these arenas. In other words, like do you ever struggle with, um, it being all about sex and not necessarily as much about like what really matters in, in what you’re tackling?
I think. No matter what, if anybody sort of over inflates what, [00:24:00] like, if, if they sort of think that their story’s gonna get told everywhere and they’re too precious about it, they’re going to miss opportunity.
So are we in a million roundups where they call it sex toy and then do we call it sex toys? Not, no. Like, And is it a little. Silly. Sure. But do those affiliate links produce sales and awareness? Yes. So, right. It’s like I don’t need my story to be told in every single thing that we’re in. I don’t need people to even understand, because I would actually, I’ve said this in a million interviews, but I would turn around and ask anyone, like, name five brands that you care about.
And it’s very hard for people to do that because, Hmm. The reality is like, sure, we all have brands we really like, but the ones that. The ones that change the way you think about the world, there’s usually very few. And so I think there’s a much longer tail effect of not existing in the world that over time we will just realize there has been change.
It doesn’t have to happen like [00:25:00] on immediate site. .
Yeah. I love that. Okay, so on that note, like what is like the longest of the long tail? Like fast forward, I don’t know, however many years, like how does Maude exist in the world or how do you hope that it exists in the world?
I hope that Maude is, you know, when someone in the future is telling the story of the category, like I just did, that we will be in there in the like, and then in 2018,
I love that. That’s amazing. Yeah. Um, I think you, I think you will be in this story. That’s great. okay. So. Switching gears just a little bit. Um, you know, one of the things you said when you hopped on was like, I’m as hired founder and yeah, like, same , . Same for me and same for everyone who’s listening to this and yeah, we can, we can all relate.
And I wanna hear a little bit more about what your like personal experience has been like growing. this company. How has your role changed over the years, since 2018? Right? Like when you [00:26:00] started this, you were in your basement, it was just you, and now you’ve got a team and you’ve got a platform and um, you have too many SKUs and like all of these like big things.
What has your role and experience looked like over, over the years?
I think it’s been actually pretty similar because, so right now we’re. Are we 12 or 13? We’re 12 or 13 people, I’m not sure. Cool. Um, I’ll have to figure that out. and I think , we, we are definitely, so up until a month ago, We had people who had been here four and five years.
I mean, we’ve only been around four years. Like someone was here when we were just in a coffee shop pre-launch. And so they’ve moved on to bigger and better things, which is really exciting, I think. But it’s a new team and I still feel very connected to each piece of the business. I’m still, uh, me and a couple other people are basically, The historians of the business, so we kind of know everything, and I think that hasn’t changed much.
There will come a point in which that might be the barometer of [00:27:00] growth, where it’s like, I’m not the one who knows. I won’t say that I know anything on the product and offset of the business because my counterpart Tyler does. I know a lot, but not everything. Yeah. But I would say that there will come a time in which I’m not in every single with my hand and every single cookie jar. Oh,
yeah. You name something that I’m feeling a lot right now and that I think a lot of people can relate to, which is like that role of being the historian of the business, right? Mm-hmm. , like it’s, it’s tough when you’re the one person or one of two people, or three people or whatever, who has like the whole, you know, timeline of everything that’s happened and all of that context that informs what’s happening now.
Um, and I think that that is a really interesting barometer of success of, you know, when, when you have someone else, To kind of take that role. I think that that does start to like shift your involvement, right? And that does kind of set the tone for where the company goes next. So, I’ve never thought of it like that, but that’s a really accurate term.
I appreciate that.
Yeah. I think it’s like a, [00:28:00] and you know, always wanna be, but those are the things that keep me up at night, especially with a new team. Yeah, because like for instance, while Shopify was down last night and I was up at 2:30 just thinking about it. I also was like, Oh, I’ve gotta tell so and so this and oh yeah, this.
And so there was this, um, I can’t even remember what it’s called, but there’s this like website that essentially is supposed to, it’s called Mind something. It’s supposed to act as the way to like write all of this stuff down. I still have not solved for that. Even if there are tools out there.
That was gonna be my next question is like, what do you do for that?
Because I have the same problem. I don’t do anything. I’m just like, I hope that thought is still there in five minutes when I can write it down.
Well, there is, um, on Gmail there is keep, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, It’s like in a right hand bar and it’s a little light bulb and any, it’s basically notes and there’s a, there’s an app you can download and do that and I think that’s probably the cool, easiest way I found.
Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean, I think that’s, I’ve been there, not necessarily related to Shopify, but those, like middle of the night, you’re just like, I’m super awake [00:29:00] and thinking about all of the things. I think that’s, um, yeah. We’ve, we’ve all been there. Yeah. What do you think has been one of the bigger factors or, or what are the things that stand out to you in your journey that have really shaped how, how the company has grown?
Hmm. I don’t know. I, there’s so many ways that we’ve been shaped. I think one is like, like most brands that are our age, Covid has shaped everything, I think. Yeah. Um, there were always gonna be supply chain challenges that were always gonna be those kinds of things. Uh, it’s just made worse in Covid. I think we’ve been shaped by the iOS changes like everyone else.
I was reading somewhere yesterday. Everyone’s like Apple kneecap us all, not just Snapchat. Um, and you know, , a Snapchat is laying off everyone. It’s like, yeah, they did kind of kneecap all of us. and so there’s just those moments that are not unique to Maude at all, but I think that they’ve truly shaped and then obviously there’s like, [00:30:00] yeah, there is Roe versus Wade and there is, the Women’s March and these really historical moments, where you socially can reflect on, Wait a second. We have a lot of work to do. Yeah. So,
I’m trying to think if I have anything to add to that, but I don’t think I do. Like Yeah, we have a lot of work to do and I’m so glad that, that you’re doing it, both for, you know, women and women’s reproductive rights, but for everyone, like you said, Right. I mean, that’s not the only, the only thing that we have a lot of work to do on.
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Tell me about a time when it really just felt like, I don’t know if I can do.
I mean, I’ve raised four rounds of funding, uh, and I’m raising another round of funding. And I think that those are the moments because you’re essentially locked between having to hold this candle for the future and saying like, We can do this.
We are here for a reason. And then ultimately being like, I know what operationally, you know, we’re doing and where we are, and, and it can be really taxing. And so, yeah. Um, those are the moments when I’m like, I can’t do this. It’s also, you’re in this really touch and go situation because a phone call [00:33:00] can be like, we’re gonna invest X, Y, and Z and that can be like game changing.
So totally raising money is really hard. But that’s kind of it because ultimately I think even if we there is always a point in a business, and especially now again, How ventures working, how startups are working, where people are just saying we’ve gotta build good businesses, which are timeless.
They’re foundationally solvent. so I’ve tried to keep my head on straight in that way, like, we’re gonna be okay. It’s not gonna totally die. If it feels like it’s gonna die, it probably won’t die. Um, so you just have to kind of be, be ready to like adjust.
I think that what you just said is, is really important and that I think one of the hardest things, and, and same for me too, like the moments where I’m like, What did I do?
Like why did I do this? Are when um, people are asking me for answers that I’m figuring out for the first time. I’m like, I don’t know. What do you think? Right. [00:34:00] And I think that, you know, naming that as, that kind of taxing feeling of like holding the candle for the future and also solving for the right now, like that balance is, a lot of work. And, um, is, it’s so, it’s so challenging sometimes.
And I think that’s, what does make for those like foundationally solvent businesses, right? Like that’s, that’s what it is. You’re doing it right now. Um, you’re working your way through this like changing context and changing environment and like it’s happening. You’re doing it. Yeah. And you’re doing and you’re doing a really good job,
Thank you. Thank you. I hope so.
On that note, what does your support system look like?
I mean, I’ve gotta give, you know, the biggest props in the world to my husband. And, um, he, we’ve been married so long, like we’ve been married, it’ll be 13 years in a couple weeks. And I think, one, I never thought I would get married and I never thought I would get married in my late twenties.
And so here we are, you know, again, like 40 and I don’t know. . I don’t know. [00:35:00] I don’t know that I could have done this without him, or I feel like if I was doing this without him, I would have no love life. Hmm. There’s just no possible way. So it’s been very nice to have a, the, the personal piece, which is that I have a really strong partner and then professionally to have somebody to bounce ideas off of. He also is a mechanical engineer, and so he’s the one that when I said, I wanna design this vibrator, he will design it and help me. And so
A handy guy to have around. Yes. . Um, how, how do y’all show each other intimacy? How do you, how do you help each other feel cared for?
I mean, we’re, we’re best friends.
- You know, there’s nothing that I don’t share with him. And I think that’s really, that’s not always the case for relationships. I think a lot of people have, um, well everyone has a different kind of relationship. We are very much like two peas in a pod, in, in every way. And that we’re not the same professionally.
We [00:36:00] have very different interests and talents, but I think in terms of our life goals we’re very similar. And so I find that there’s a closeness that we share because of our shared interest outside of work that really is my version of intimacy. Like quality time and words of affirmation when I’m losing sleep.
I think , that’s intimacy to me. Um,
yeah. Yeah. And what about on the team at Maude? That’s kinda a weird question, maybe, right? Like, I don’t think we often associate like intimacy and work, but, um, you know, that’s, that’s what you, that’s what y’all do in part. So what does that look like?
I think it’s about trusting.
It’s about trusting each other to carry on the vision of the business. Like of course it’s hard sometimes it’s weird cuz even when you’re this small, there’s, there’s like, you do have those moments where you’re like, Oh man, I forgot to tell this person this thing. And um, so it, it’s not always seamless. I think 12 is an interesting, um, number of people and, and [00:37:00] here on out it will be more and more complicated.
But I would say onboarding people and feeling like they’re really sure of what they’re doing and they’re sure of how they’re rowing this boat with us is like, that’s the sign of intimacy. We’re all kind of on the same page.
We’re our little rowing team.
Yeah. . Um, I love, that’s individual. yeah,
I think that, um, having people know that they are making a contribution is something that people, that causes people to feel cared for. Yeah. At work. For sure.
and those are the people you want, right? The people who are like, Yeah, I stand behind this mission and I wanna bring value to this and I wanna further what this company is doing.
I have a couple kind of rapid fire questions for you. The first one is, do you have a favorite Maude product? And if so, what is it?
Uh, I use it every day and I think it’s this, it’s a reminder for me that Maude can exist. Like [00:38:00] it feels like a product that is, first of all, a lot of our products are very playful and their dual purpose, so that one can be used as a bubble bath or a body wash, and I’m always like, reminded.
That it is, that it has that purpose. So it’s like, it’s something really fun to think about when you’re like, I use this every day in the shower, but in theory I could like pause and go and take a bath and be interacting with this product. And it feels like so much more than just like, um, a routine, which is really fun.
I like all of our products. I would say some I use more than others. I don’t use our bath products necessarily cuz I don’t take baths often, but, Yeah, I think I, I, it is, this is asking me to pick a favorite child. I can do this .
I know. That’s why I asked. Mm-hmm. , they’re all great. Um, okay. What is the most popular topic on your blog and or your social platform?
Like what is the thing that people are always asking you to put out content about?
People really like history and they really like, I think history is what binds [00:39:00] us all together. It’s like under, you know, so they really love when we post black and white movies, when we have articles about history, um, which we often do, or like design and art.
I think it, it gives people this sense of connection that’s like, it’s beyond just them. It’s like these, it really cements the universal truth around. Love and intimacy and sex for people.
Yeah. That makes so much sense. Mm-hmm. , How often do you get asked about your sex life?
Very rarely, and I’m a really private person, so I just decline to answer.
Good as it should be.
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s funny because I think sometimes people, any other category, like if I had a skincare company or if I had a food company, like I would be sharing this all the time. and there are some founders again in the space who do that. I, I actually, not only am I private, but I also very much fundamentally believe Maude is not mine.
Maude is our customers. And so if I’m inserting my own sex life into [00:40:00] these conversations, I’m essentially co-opting the conversation. And that is not the intent here. And like people relating to me is, it’s neither here nor there.
Yeah. I’m so glad you said that, and that makes so much sense. I mean, obviously it’s, you know, from a, from a personal perspective, I’m glad that you have that, have that boundary and, you know, do what feels good for you and, and all of that.
But I think that, I think I’ve always kind of felt that way. And it’s, um, not always easy to articulate of like, yeah, it’s not, it’s not about me. Right? It’s not about you. It’s about this thing that’s so much bigger and that’s the whole point. And if you’re asking me about X, Y, and Z, you’re missing the point.
Yeah. Um, yeah, totally. I love that. Okay, last one. What is the most common misconception that people have about Maude?
I think it said it’s for women, and I think that has to do with, like I said, it’s. Maybe they do know that it’s female founded or the name, even though I like fight for the fact that it’s really about being modern and it’s a tough name and [00:41:00] it has really fun history.
And so I think that’s the main one. Uh, we constantly get lumped into like fem tech and women’s health and oh, and I’m like, We’re not any of those things. In fact, I would argue we’re not sex tech either. We’re like, put your phone away and have sex.
I love that. Oh, that’s great. Okay, so what do you, what do you think is possible?
What, what is this, this lovely vision that you’re holding for the future and, and for the history that hasn’t happened yet? What do you think is possible for our country, for the world if we can create equitable access to sexual health for all?
Whoa, this is a big question cuz this is like in moments when you’re seeing countries go to war, you.
Actually, if there was more gender parody and equality equity, then the, you know, and so you start to think about that. I think it’s possible that this could change all of our lives as it relates to how we need to [00:42:00] operate as people. I think it is really divisive that we have conversations around access to our own bodies and access to our own personhood and like, Yeah.
So I, I think it can, it can change a lot. I mean, do I, do I sort of feel like women need to run the world? Yeah. But I think that’s also . Let’s just like, you know, we’ll, we’ll do it for, a few thousand years and then we’ll call it even.
Yeah, totally. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s fundamentally human, right? Like, like food, like language, like belonging, right?
This is, this is part of who we are and it’s something that we all have in common no matter what. No matter who we are. Yeah, and I think that because it’s so fundamentally connective for us in an experience that we can share in if we choose to, I think your right.
Well, and I think what’s so interesting is that when people first hear the word sex or they’re talking about it, they forget that it’s not, it’s not always about sex.
[00:43:00] If you think about just the fact that we live in a time when people are posting themselves, um, whether they’re posting themselves, I mean, it can be all the way from like a thirst trap all the way to somebody who is really confident in their body and trying to promote like body acceptance, which is great, but it’s like all of that is related.
How much you can, you feel loved and how much you see yourself as like an attractive, worthy person in the world, whether good or bad. And I think that that’s, it’s, it’s that all the way to, I always make this comment, but like the lighting in a bar, which is really borrowing from sexiness and intimacy anyway.
So it is the subtext of all things all the time. And I think we, we forget it. . And that’s what’s so funny. I’m like, No, sex is all around us all the time.
Yeah. Mm. I love that. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So,
last question. It’s not really a question. Um, I kind of wanna just give you the floor and invite you to say the thing that you think needs to be said.
What didn’t I [00:44:00] ask you about that you wanna make sure everybody hears?
I think you asked great questions. I mean, I think I’ve probably been on my soapbox at many moments in this conversation. No, I mean, ultimately I would say, If there’s any takeaway for anyone, it’s like waking up to do the thing that you really believe in is really critical to, you know, I would say making a difference in the world.
and I, I think it’s just important to just really, really recognize like that if you’re in a position to do that, even if it’s not easy. Even if you weren’t handed this, like go for it because that’s really all we can do.
Mm. What a great way to end . Eva, thank you so much for your time. This is an awesome conversation.
Um, it’s so cool to kind of get to pull behind the curtain of a brand that I really love and that I know our community really loves for so many different reasons. So thank you so much for being willing to share with us.
Yeah, thank you so much. It was so fun.
Maude is committed to equitable access to sexual health for all. [00:45:00] Their blog covers, everything from a field guide to good couch sex, to communicating sexual boundaries in a relationship, and everything else you can possibly think of. Maude isn’t just making products that honor, form and function. They’re cementing us in the universal truth of intimacy. Regardless of differences in gender identity, sexual orientation, anatomy, political views, and sexy time preferences.
And they’re doing it in a way that takes something often interpreted as kinky, dirty, taboo, and making it genuinely sexy. In other words, approachable, appealing, and relatable. And safe. You can use our code CURATEWELLCO, all one word, all caps for $5 off your next Maude order. To echo a few of Eva’s mic drop moments.
Who are you to say your product isn’t for someone? Your job as a founder is to wake up to do the thing you believe in. And please [00:46:00] put your phone away and have sex. Thanks for listening.