EP. 8 - Eva Goicochea - Reinventing Sexual Wellness for A New Generation

Take Care Podcast Interview with Eva Goicochea

Who is Eva Goicochea?

After studying marketing in New York, Éva returned to California and spent her early career as a legislative aide in healthcare at the California Medical Association. She then went on to work in eCommerce and brand strategy with companies including The Natural Resources Defense Council, ADIDAS Y-3 and SLVR, Squarespace, Steven Alan, and Josie Maran Cosmetics, an organic beauty brand.

In 2012, she joined the early team at Everlane where she solely built out their social media, culture, and talent strategies. In 2015, she co-founded her first company, Tinker Watches, with her husband, Ian, and designer Luke Ragno.

That same year, she converged her passion for healthcare and brand to begin the development for Maude, a modern sexual wellness company built to challenge a legacy industry and serve the customer through quality, simplicity, and inclusivity.

Since its launch in April 2018, Maude has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, Fast Company, and some other 400+ publications. In July of 2019, Maude was one of CircleUp’s 25, an "annual award recognizing some of the most innovative consumer brands on the market” and has been heralded as “redefining the sex essentials industry for modern consumers” by Forbes.

One of only 60 LatinX women to have raised $1M+ in venture funding.

As of December 2019, Éva has raised $3 million in VC funding and is one of only 60 LatinX women to have raised over $1M. In 2020, she joined the board of Peer Health Exchange (NYC), a national organization that provides skills-based mental health, sexual health, and substance abuse education programs in communities that experience health disparities.

In 2019, she was chosen as one of Entrepreneur magazine’s first-ever 100 Powerful Women and WWD called her one of the 2020s 60 Power Players in Health and Wellness.

With degrees in Organizational Communications and Advertising & Marketing from CSUS and FIT, Eva continued her education as part of the pioneer class of Entrepreneurial Essentials at Harvard Business School in 2017.

A 6th generation New Mexican, she currently lives in New York City with her husband and rescued pets.

Connect with Eva Goicoechea & Maude

Instagram: @EvaGoicoechea

Instagram: @GetMaude

Eva’s Website: https://www.evagoicochea.com/

Maude’s Website: GetMaude.com

If You Enjoyed This Episode, We Recommend we Check out, Our episode with Nik Sharma on How to 10X Your

[00:00:00] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:00:00] Welcome to take care. This is the podcast that helps you understand the background and habits of change makers. Post wrist Sharma and his guests give you the wisdom to help you learn a little more and get a bit better every episode.

[00:00:22] Rishi Sharma: [00:00:22] Hey, everyone. Welcome to take care. Today's guest is Evan Goya chair, the CEO of mod, which is disrupting the sexual wellness industry by focusing on quality, simplicity, and inclusivity. Welcome. Ever. Really excited to have here.

[00:00:35] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:00:35] Thank you so much. It's nice to be here in a very interesting time.

[00:00:38] Rishi Sharma: [00:00:38] Yes, definitely an interesting time, but if you could just introduce yourself to the audience, give your backstory.

[00:00:43] What led you to start mod and that journey?

[00:00:47] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:00:47] Yeah, so I started mod, or I started thinking about and working on modern in 2015 so it's been about five years. The company has been around two years. We launched in 2018 and. The road that led me there was, [00:01:00] the quick story is that I have kind of two chapters of my career.

[00:01:03] The first was that I was a legislative aid in healthcare, which I fell into, and that's the story for a different time. And then I ended up going into marketing, which is what I studied, and. I ended up working for a few product companies, including Everlane, which is where I worked last and I ran social media culture and hiring.

[00:01:22] And so my whole career basically can be summed up that I've been really people focused person. And so it's really interesting to have a company now that is very much trying to bring humanity and de-stigmatization back to an industry that just has for so long, not really reflected how real people are.

[00:01:40] So yeah, mod is a modern intimacy company, and I think I'm well equipped to run it because I feel like those two parts of my life kind of work well together for this.

[00:01:48] Rishi Sharma: [00:01:48] Yeah, no, that's gives a great backstory on your background and what led you to start that. But was there any particular triggering point that made you open to starting a brand new business in [00:02:00] this industry, which has kind of been stale for decades?

[00:02:03] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:02:03] Yeah, I mean, so. When I left Everland and I started working with clients, I thought that I would go to another company and I couldn't find a company I was really as excited about as I was Everlane and I left the company because they were closing their LA office and moving to the San Francisco and I didn't want to uproot my life.

[00:02:19] So cut to, I started a small watch company with my husband, Ian, and two other founders, and we all had a conversation one day about sexual wellness. And why has this been the one industry that hasn't had. Basically the D to C perspective sort of brought to it, and it's the one area in our lives that probably needs the most help and needs the most updating because the industry is really dominated by these very old legacy companies.

[00:02:47] So as soon as that conversation happened, I was like, this is a really interesting idea. I wonder what. It would really take to do it, and I started working on it and nobody else wanted to say that they started at a condom company. I was the only [00:03:00] one that was really excited by it. And again, because of like where I had come from and I was just really interested in public health anyway, so I think it was just like this serendipitous moment.

[00:03:10] And then here we are.

[00:03:11] Rishi Sharma: [00:03:11] Oh, that's great. So thanks for giving that clarity. If somebody else was in that same position, you know, they were triggered by this great idea, and they want to take that leap of faith, or we're debating whether to take that leap of faith into entrepreneurship, what advice would you give them?

[00:03:25] I'm evaluating it and what to expect from entrepreneurship.

[00:03:29] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:03:29] Well, we are now in a very, even, I would say from a couple of weeks ago, we're in a very different time. The DTC world especially has seen a lot of companies crumble. So when I think of entrepreneurship, I'm always thinking about product companies.

[00:03:43] I think in general, if you sort of applied the broader rules of entrepreneurship, they're kind of similar in that you have to think about is your idea for your company, whether it's service or a product necessary in the world. Because if you, especially going through the covert crisis, the companies that are [00:04:00] surviving are the ones that are still needed.

[00:04:02] So that's one thing I think too. Is there a way for you to get it off the ground and successfully create a business model and unit economics that will last, a lot of companies were built. Not to last. They spent a lot of money, didn't have a solvent business. So that's the second piece of advice. And then I think the third piece of advice, and you know, I have lots of discussion with friends and family about this, is like, are you ready to give your entire life up?

[00:04:26] Because all I think about is my company, and it pisses off everyone else, but it can't. You can't think of anything else. You signed up for this and you feel so, so responsible. And so that's how I would think of it. It's like, is it needed? Is it a good business idea? And are you ready. Yeah.

[00:04:43] Rishi Sharma: [00:04:43] The thing that's pretty coaching and simple for most people as they reflect on it.

[00:04:47] So thank you for giving that valuable advice. So just like you mentioned that you are generally in most areas of your life, you try to be a people person or a people person. And one of the interviews that you said about mod was [00:05:00] that people is first and sexist human. So if you just describe what that meant in the context of who you are as a person.

[00:05:08] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:05:08] I think growing up, like I always had friends that were, I kind of was friends with everybody as a very like clear example. In high school, I went to a Catholic high school and my class was 150 people and for my 15th birthday, my mom said, you can have a party with a few of your friends, and I invited the entire class.

[00:05:24] And luckily we had a big backyard. My mom was really, she was upset with me, but I thought, you have to be inclusive. So I think really this idea of being inclusive and trying to connect with people in ways that we all have sort of the common things that we all share is really how I've been my whole life.

[00:05:41] It's just kind of my nature, I think, as it applies to sex. When you look at the industry, it's always been very positioned for like a younger demographic, mostly a college age demographic. It's very misogynistic and it just doesn't really reflect real people's relationships typically, even if they're single.

[00:05:59] So [00:06:00] I try to apply like. How can I bring common feelings around sex to the table when we're building this company? Like what are common experiences? How do people feel? What kind of stigmas most of us faced with, et cetera. So just finding ways to speak to people in like a really humankind, compassionate way.

[00:06:16] And that's really what we try to do with mod. Thank

[00:06:18] Rishi Sharma: [00:06:18] you for breaking down. So how did you approach talking to people about such an intimate topic and opened them up to give their preferences as you surveyed the space?

[00:06:29] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:06:29] So what's interesting is I don't know that there are a lot of companies, I mean, I do know, but there aren't a lot of companies out there like mod.

[00:06:36] And so our audience is quite broad, which means that we make sure that the questions are like very. Again, let's use the word universal. They're, they're just universal and very matter of fact. And that helps get people to talk about things because it doesn't feel like you're leading them to one answer or you're trying to get them to, it feels like the feedback that they've given us has been really honest.

[00:06:56] And we also survey them in a way that's like, what do you want to see? [00:07:00] Well, give them a chance to say what they need. So that's really helped, I think if you're going to build a company, it was interesting. I was talking to another founder yesterday and he's thinking about his product roadmap, and I was like, why don't you just ask your community.

[00:07:11] What else are they doing right now? Like they could probably use something to distract them for five minutes, like just sent out a survey. So that's how I think about it is like putting it back to everybody and democratizing the process.

[00:07:23] Rishi Sharma: [00:07:23] Yeah. I think it's using the process of just serving your audience, right?

[00:07:27] Being that people, person being people centric business. So what is that experience that you're looking for and that feeling you're looking to give each of your customers.

[00:07:37] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:07:37] I think I want them to feel really empowered and I want them to feel like they were spoken to or they receive products that made them feel comfortable and that they feel like.

[00:07:47] Just self care. You know, everybody uses the word self care now, and I think it's probably overused, but in this case it really is obviously a very intimate thing. And so feeling like you can take care of your [00:08:00] sexual wellness in a way that's really comfortable for you is really important. And I also make a joke often, which is like.

[00:08:07] We've all been there. We've all stood on the aisle, the sexual wellness aisle or family planning as they like to call it, and you're like, I'm too old for this. This is embarrassing. Then you're simultaneously feeling completely degraded and completely confused while also feeling strangely too old for it.

[00:08:23] And I think there's just this need for us to great products that. Make people feel disarmed and excited to think about their sex life. So that's how we approach it.

[00:08:31] Rishi Sharma: [00:08:31] Yeah, I think definitely right. There's always this, like all those movies that you hear when you're like a teenager to watch, they kind of like come back to you as you're going a moment sometimes, you know?

[00:08:42] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:08:42] Yes.

[00:08:43] Rishi Sharma: [00:08:43] So definitely needs to be more approachable, for sure. So you've been able to garner a lot of press early on in the history of mod. Is there any strategy or tips that you would give. Young entrepreneurs out there looking to get some PR.

[00:08:57] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:08:57] Yeah. I think that the one thing you have to [00:09:00] remember, well, we're kind of in a different world with PR now, so obviously all industries are strained at the moment, especially the publishing industry, and what they're looking for is affiliate content so that there's an ROI on them writing.

[00:09:13] So. What we've experienced as a company is that a lot of press teams, they might not necessarily have somebody on their team who deals with affiliate is basically they'll write about you and they will get a percentage of sales through like a trackable link. That's where we've won because we foster these relationships directly with writers.

[00:09:31] A lot of them need to prove viability of their content, and so they're excited to write about us and know that they're going to get an affiliate cut. So I think the best advice I can give people. Long story short is to try to foster those relationships yourself because you're going to be the one that can negotiate affiliate and you also simultaneously are building just general press relationships.

[00:09:52] Find the editor who's written about the topic that your company falls under, email them. And nice email and start to build a [00:10:00] relationship. I don't think that the secret sauce lies with press teams. I think it's just a lot of work. And so you have to decide if you're willing to pay for someone else to do the work or if you want to do it.

[00:10:09] But I think there's a lot of upside to keeping it in house.

[00:10:12] Rishi Sharma: [00:10:12] I think that's great advice, especially if

[00:10:14] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:10:14] they know I talk a lot.

[00:10:14] Rishi Sharma: [00:10:14] Sorry. No, it's perfect. It's great. And the other thing we noticed with the way you talked about mod and kind of delivering that experience was designed, was very important, that customer experience.

[00:10:24] So what is design. Today and kind of where will it go now that we're in this whole new paradigm?

[00:10:31] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:10:31] I mean, I think that design is important in that you need to be top of mind. Like if you're a company that doesn't have a clear aesthetic or a clear mission, it's really hard for consumers to remember you. So design functions in a number of ways, and one of them is just to make sure that they understand what you're selling or understand what you're doing.

[00:10:48] So definitely take that part seriously. I'm happy to share some resources with you. To link out to your community on like where to find,


[00:10:56] yeah, where to find design inspiration, et cetera. So that's one thing. And I [00:11:00] think the second thing about design is that it ends up, if you create great design that is rooted in sort of form it meets function, I think that you end up being a company to outlast.

[00:11:10] Other companies because a lot of people will launch companies that are very of the now and it's great and it's exciting for a time. And then after a while it becomes quickly dated. So with mod, we've tried to do something that, sure, it feels like of the now, but there's also something about it that's a bit timeless and that's really important to find that balance.

[00:11:29] Rishi Sharma: [00:11:29] And is there a particular example and how you've executed that you could share with the audience?

[00:11:34] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:11:34] I think it's through primarily like through the ease of use of all the products. Like obviously we're using off the shelf packaging because it's very expensive to do custom packaging when you're a new company, but what we tried to do was find the packaging that.

[00:11:48] Really spoke to what we stand for, which is simplicity. So making sure that it was easy to use. We'll evolve the packaging eventually, but a lubricants will always have a pump top. The condoms will always be in the [00:12:00] buttercup packaging, which simply means you open it and you know which way is up. So those are really small details that we sort of stick to because we believe that it makes the consumer experience easier.

[00:12:10] Yeah. But for us, it's just those like little details that matter.

[00:12:14] Rishi Sharma: [00:12:14] I think those little details is what makes the difference between retention of the customer versus not. So definitely very important. So I'd just like to move on to some of the file questions. And so we like to review people's routines, rituals, habits that they go through in their life.

[00:12:31] And so if you could share some of your morning routine or certain rituals in your life that gets you prepared to make the change that you're making with

[00:12:37] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:12:37] mod. Yes. I tried to keep the mornings really simple. Sometimes I'll make decisions the night before, like what I'm going to eat for lunch and what I'm going to wear.

[00:12:46] I'll pack my lunch and then in the morning I usually, we have four pets, which is always fun, but I'll get up in the morning, try to do a bit of exercise. Sometimes I'll go out with my husband and take the dog for a walk. He's really good about taking them and then just I [00:13:00] eat a little something after I, I've gotten ready and then I head out the door.

[00:13:03] I think for me, the morning. I wake up really early, but I don't tend to be somebody that wants to do too much in the morning. I want to make sure it's really easy to get out the door. And then I like, for instance, I'd rather clean a house at night, or I'd rather do something, say I need to get done at night around here.

[00:13:18] So the morning for me is like the simpler, the better. And yeah, that's it. Then I just had, on my way, my office is about a mile away and it's a pretty easy commute,

[00:13:28] Rishi Sharma: [00:13:28] so that's

[00:13:28] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:13:28] great.

[00:13:30] Rishi Sharma: [00:13:30] That's great. And is there any way that you came about realizing that keeping the morning simple and keeping some of the house stuff for the evening was better off?

[00:13:39] Or was it just something you've always done.

[00:13:41] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:13:41] It's kind of something I've always done. I mean, I used to work from home, obviously now I'm working from home for the time being. But yeah, I used to work from home and I think that having a routine is really important for your sense of wellbeing. And also just in terms of like time management.

[00:13:56] Not mixing it up too much, knowing that if you really [00:14:00] are going to go outside for a run or you're going to do something, you're going to have to like wake up at a certain hour and try to like consistently do that. I'm not a total morning person, even though I wake up early. It's not like I like always loved the morning, but I do try to recognize that if I'm going to like have a good morning, it's got to start early.

[00:14:16] Rishi Sharma: [00:14:16] Yeah. Thank you for breaking that down. So the next question is, what does personal care mean to you?

[00:14:22] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:14:22] I think personal care means having the option to like take some time for yourself, whether that's actually using personal care, so if it's having an ice bath or taking care of yourself in general, or just spending time doing the things you love, whether that's like painting or reading or going on a bike ride, something else.

[00:14:38] I think personal care is all about how do you make time for yourself to be recharged, whatever that means to you.

[00:14:44] Rishi Sharma: [00:14:44] In this current time, you know, I think a lot of people are taking this advantage to do that. So is there any things that while people are at home right now that you would recommend them to try for themselves?

[00:14:54] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:14:54] I would just say, I haven't taken this advice, but I actually think it's a good idea is to like get back into [00:15:00] readings. I brought home my giant computer and it's sitting on the kitchen table and I can tell you that I'm way worse about turning work off now, but I really think that given that we're all at home now, it's like, pick up a book, try to get your mind off of the news, and I'm taking the time.

[00:15:14] Rishi Sharma: [00:15:14] Is there any particular book you'd recommend somebody to pick up.

[00:15:17] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:15:17] If I actually tell you the books that I'm reading, you're going like I picked up, I have the book flu, which is impossible. No, I don't know what anyone should read. I read a lot of nonfiction. I don't really read a section, and if anybody has like great fiction recommendations, I'm all ears.

[00:15:35] Rishi Sharma: [00:15:35] Okay, great to know. If anybody in the audience has some recommendations, please send them over and we have two more questions. Is there a particular. Myth or something you'd like to debunk in your current industry

[00:15:46] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:15:46] that's out there? Yes, actually we, especially as a female founder, I constantly get asked like, how does it feel to run a female focus business?

[00:15:54] Sex is human. It is not gendered. Stop calling it gender. [00:16:00] You know, I think these companies that are like, will you make condoms from men? Or they're like, we make condoms for women. It's like, this is bullshit. I'm sorry, excuse my language. But sex is human. So that's the one thing I want to see change in this industry is that I don't know what it is, but when I try to explain that we're gender agnostic that were just sacks, people don't get it.

[00:16:20] Rishi Sharma: [00:16:20] Yeah. It's something definitely for a change. And I think the trends are definitely moving in that direction in terms of the audience. So over time, I'm sure it will play out in your favor. And final question, if you were to have a dinner party with three other people, dead or alive, who would you invite

[00:16:36] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:16:36] and why?

[00:16:37] Oh, what would I like? Who would I have at a dinner party? I think Jane Goodall, if I could've done something else in my life, it would probably have been going to study primates. So Jane Goodall, for sure. I think maybe an old relative. It'd be interesting to know more about your family if you had access to it, somebody in your family.

[00:16:56] And then I had always also wanted to be an architect. I was really [00:17:00] a fan and am really a fan. He's still alive of REM Koolhaas. Being able to talk building's history and monkeys would be a great dinner party in life.

[00:17:10] Rishi Sharma: [00:17:10] Yeah, that sounds like a great dinner party for sure. Any, anything in particular you would serve?

[00:17:15] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:17:15] I don't know. Well, probably be vegetarian.

[00:17:18] Rishi Sharma: [00:17:18] Yeah. Well thanks for making the time to do this. If anybody in the audience wanting to connect with you or mod, where can they connect online?

[00:17:26] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:17:26] If you go to get mod.com or instagram.com forward slash get mod.

[00:17:31] Rishi Sharma: [00:17:31] That's okay. And then for yourself,

[00:17:32] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:17:32] it's my whole name.

[00:17:33] That's where I am on Instagram. It's emigre could share. Okay.

[00:17:37] Rishi Sharma: [00:17:37] And they'll be in the show notes as well. So thank you so far for making the time to do this. We really appreciate it and thank you.

[00:17:44] EVA GOICOCHEA: [00:17:44] Thank you so much. [00:18:00]

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