27 November 2019 From Courier issue 32 (Dec/Jan 2020)

Maude is reinventing sex products – and office culture

Inside the workplace of this Brooklyn-based DTC.

 

In Brooklyn, direct-to-consumer sexual wellness brand Maude is trying to reinvent the way we think about sex products. Founded by Éva Goicochea, one of the earliest employees of Everlane, Maude makes what it calls ‘modern intimacy products’ – from condoms to a gender-neutral vibrator. Here Goicochea takes Courier inside Maude’s Williamsburg headquarters.

We have 6 full-time employees, but there are a few more part-time people who often come in. We’re based in quite a big and open office in Williamsburg – it can fit around 18 at any given time. It’s really friendly and relaxed, and we’ve always got music playing. We have good camaraderie – everyone pretty much eats lunch together, we have something called cheese plate Fridays, and we often hang out on the weekends, going to drinks or to a museum. We genuinely like each other!

I studied organisational communications, so it’s definitely helped a bit with meetings and communication. We often have mini-meetings but then a weekly meeting with the whole team. We’ve got a shared document in which we put all our stuff before a meeting. We’re all transparent with what we’re working on.

We have tech tools that we use together, like Dropbox Paper and Slack. We’ve learned how to use Slack in interesting ways, such as linking it to Airtable [a cloud collaboration service]. We have a Slack channel that’s solely for me to approve things, so if anyone needs my approval they’ll put it there – hopefully it’s not a bottleneck. We all have a good sense of humour – we’ve got a fun shared text chain called The Mod Squad and a Slack channel to share funny GIFs.

Slab is our unchangeable bible in which we put all the product ingredients that shouldn’t ever be touched. Slab [an internal team wiki] is our guide to all things in the company that won’t change. Before we even launched the company, I actually already had a brand book; I’ve tried to build foundational culture and processes so that we can grow.

I like to get my hands on everything and be the person people bounce ideas off of. We’ll be OK with 30 to 40 people on the team, but I have no idea how we’ll operate with 100 staff members!