“If you were to stumble upon anything from Maude, a new female-owned sex essentials company, chances are you wouldn’t know what it was. Their products (which include a $45 vibrator, a $25 bottle of lube, and a $12 bag of condoms) don’t have any of the usual giveaways: no stereotypical feminine colors, no suggestive packaging, and no phallic details that may make you want to hide the items under your bed. The lube could pass as a bottle of soap. The vibrator looks like a piece of decoration you might pick up at Ikea, save for the obvious silicone material. Everything is minimal, beautiful, and gender neutral.
But this was the goal for co-founders Eva Goicochea and Dina Epstein, who set out to try to make their customers feel good about their sex lives. “It’s funny because even ‘sex positive’ has been appropriated by this idea that you have to scream it from the rooftops,” Goicochea said. “We’re trying to say sex positivity just means you make it more comfortable for people to think about it. The last thing we want to do is make people feel judged.”
The two first met at a panel in Los Angeles, and prior to Maude, Goicochea was one of the first to work at the ever-popular Everlane, where she headed social media, culture, and hiring. Before that, she once worked as a legislative aide in healthcare, a “detour” that made a significant impact on her. When she decided to enter the sexual wellness space, she approached Epstein for advice, since she had previously designed for the sex toy industry. But she found that Epstein wanted to join the team, and thus became Maude’s co-founder and chief product officer. Now, Goicochea, the CEO, runs creative and marketing, while Epstein manages all product ideations and manufacturing. The company itself is backed by a women-owned VC firm.”