Eva Goicochea and Dina Epstein’s new sex essentials company is evolving the industry with a focus on inclusivity
We’re back with another Member Spotlight, because our members are FRIGGIN’ AWESOME and always worth bragging about!
Just because Valentine’s Day is over doesn’t mean we’re ushering in an era of sexual hibernation. In fact, now that the day celebrating coupledom has passed, it’s time to prove to those lovebirds that we single people are fine — JUST FINE! — with our solitary state. We are going to bust their V-Day monopoly on comfortable couple sex with our own brand of passion, minus that awkward “first time you’re having sex with someone” trope, because that’s so cliche. Enter Maude.
In anticipation of this celebration of singledom, we’ve partnered up with the brand new sex essentials company to help some lucky members get lucky by giving away a limited set of Quickie Kits in our New York land stores. Founded by Eva Goicochea and Dina Epstein, Maude is using minimalist product design and excellent materials to make sex for everyone as comfortable as possible. I had the pleasure of speaking with the two of them yesterday to get the lowdown on their revolutionary company.
Check out our chat below:
Can you give me a quick overview of your backgrounds?
Eva Goicochea: My background is in marketing and brand strategy over the past 10 years, but I was a legislative aide in healthcare in my twenties. I was one of the first employees at Everlane, working as head of social media and culture. I then co-founded my own watch company, Tinker Watches. Maude was created from my love for product and public health after realizing how much this space needed to be evolved.
Dina Epstein: I’m an industrial designer with over ten years in product design and development. After RISD, I went to work for Kiki De Montparnasse as head of product development and intimacy products. After that I worked in development and design at Doc Johnson, one of the world’s largest sex toy companies. I then started my own product company, Clark & Madison, and eventually Eva approached me and said, “Let’s do this, let’s build Maude!” And it’s been incredible.
Can you tell me about the inception of Maude?
Eva: The original Tinker Watches co-founders were talking about why there were no better sex essentials companies. And I was like, “This is a great idea, let’s run with it” because it so much bridged my experience in health and product. But they weren’t interested. I started Maude R&D and wasn’t making any headway, when someone told me, “You know your friend Dina who’s a bag designer? She’s actually designed sex products. You should work with her.” That was in 2016.
In this landscape, you have the big brands like Trojan, who speak to men, and smaller brands who are newer, that are for women. There’s no brand that’s truly a unisex essentials brand.
Dina: That’s basically what convinced me. I’ve seen every side of this industry and left it for a reason. When Eva came to me, it made sense and felt necessary, and I was excited to get involved.
Inclusivity is a major theme of yours — pleasurable sex for all — can you elaborate on that?
Eva: Sex is a human experience. When we speak to our consumer, it’s in a human way. The products are created very much with ease of use in mind. The condoms are better packaged, easy to open, and you know which way is up. The lube has a pump, making it easier to use. The vibrator has three speeds and a minimalist design. The idea has been to simplify everything, but make products that speak across audiences. Speak to people who like to use condoms with their toys, or use their vibrators in other ways. Human-focused design. And that also includes our color palette, our tone, and our way of talking to the customer.
Dina: Our tagline is “sex made simple.” So to expand on what Eva said, we are trying to make it an easy, simple experience that doesn’t take away from your own preferences.
Eva: We’re products made for sex, but what you do is your business. We’ll never be a fetish company, never raunchy, never explicit. We chose to launch with two lubricants — one is silicone-based, the other is aloe-based lubricant — for people with different preferences. Our number one mission is to make people as comfortable with sex as possible.
Where are you seeing current sex essentials companies missing the mark?
Eva: We always make the comment that they speak to audiences that are very divided. Some speak to women, some men, and they don’t try to be inclusive of other genders. They also have a younger tone.
Dina: I think that across the board, the tone is very one-dimensional in the way they’re trying to speak to either men or women. Any Trojan ad that you see will be at a sports arena, or a reference to the “masculine” male, as if there is only one type of man. And the opposite is the same for the female side.
Eva: I think the female companies that exist speak to young women who are highly vocal about their sex lives, but not everybody wants to speak like that. For us it’s this idea that no matter how you’re talking about it, it’s your business. Companies project what sex should be onto you, what it should look and sound like. We’re trying to tell people that it’s your body to own, we’ll just give you great products.
When are you launching?
Eva: April 2nd. And one hundred thousand condoms are being delivered as we speak.
Is it online delivery only or brick and mortar as well?
Eva: We may launch with a couple of retailers and hotels, but our focus is direct to consumer.
Dina: When you go into stores, you’re just overwhelmed with choice. Having that direct to consumer experience simplifies that choice.
What are you hoping to change about peoples’ sex lives?
Eva: If you don’t fall into those categories we just mentioned, you don’t feel there’s a place for you. We’re trying to create a place for everybody, essentials for everyone, and we want them to feel comfortable with their sex lives. We’re working toward a huge paradigm shift for how sex has been treated and talked about for a very long time. And I guess our take is that the opposite of not talking about it shouldn’t be screaming it from the rooftops — it should be giving everyone a voice at the table.
That’s it for this week’s Member Spotlight. Make sure you stop by any of our New York land stores — Brookfield Place, Union Square, and Turnstyle — for your chance to get a free Quickie Kit. If you miss out, no worries! Just do like us and keep eagerly anticipating Maude’s launch on April 2nd.
Finally, if you think what you’re doing is pretty darn cool and want to feature in your own Member Spotlight, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.