Interview with nudco Founders
Meet the founders of nudco
Pleasure care company nudco, was founded in 2020 by a female founder duo, Minna Hurmerinta and Krista Lindholm, in Berlin, Germany. Built on the foundation of emphasizing being comfortable in your own bare skin and being nude, nudco offers a high-quality, all-natural and functional pleasure care products that have specifically been designed with the female body in mind. The word 'nudco' stems from the 'the nude community' highlighting the approach of building a company together and in close collaboration with its customers and online community.
Can you introduce yourselves and why did you decide to start nudco?
Minna (later M): Of course. So, I am originally from Helsinki, Finland. I am a mom of an almost 2-year old daughter and have lived in Berlin for over 6 years now. I initially moved to Berlin to pursue a career in a health tech startup. It was a lot of fun; the whole team relocated to Berlin, and I grew professionally a lot at that time. That also gave me the spark to start something of my own.
After the startup was shut down, I ended up working for the largest e-commerce company in Europe, Zalando, which was very different from the startup life I had been used to. While working at Zalando I had a daughter and realised it's now or never, if I really want to start a company of my own. I will never have the same kind of chance to have "time off". That's when we started bouncing ideas about a company with Krista.
Krista (later K): Yes, it was a crazy time. The covid pandemic had just started, so the business landscape and the way to conduct business changed rapidly overnight. For us, this meant yet another trigger and opportunity to go all in with an e-commerce business. As I'm based in Helsinki and Minna in Berlin, working remotely and operating an online enterprise was nothing to us at this point.
Even before nudco, I have actually been familiar with startup life. I have previously been involved with kicking off and running my own creative studio, an independent media house, and startup/venture hub. I guess you could call me a seasoned entrepreneur.
M: Much more than me, I am the total newbie here.
K: Well, it doesn't come across that way at least. In addition to the companies I have founded, my last position was at a management consultancy in the IT sector from where I made took the leap of faith back into entrepreneurship. When we were thinking of what kind of business to start, we really wanted to do something in the health and wellness space, as we both felt really passionate about it.
M: Yeah, it was clear from the start it had to be related to wellness or health. For me, starting a company of my own had been a dream of mine for long. With Krista it felt all the missing puzzle pieces were coming together.
K: I also had the feeling it's now or never. I remember thinking to myself that I it's very seldom that one comes across with such a great business idea and a great match cofounder with similar passion and complementary skills.
How did you come about the idea of starting nudco then? What was it about pleasure care that excited you?
K: We wanted to solve a problem that really mattered to us and create a solution we ourselves had been looking for. After realising that both of us struggled to find suitable products for intimate and pleasure care, we decided to focus on solving this. Why is it that the products in the store have to be non-aesthetic, eye-popping in colour, and screaming for attention? Why do they include nasty ingredients and chemicals? Why is it so weird, uncomfortable, and shameful still in your thirties to buy intimate care products at the store? Why are women portrayed in such an unflattering way in ads or in the stores?
We figured that if we are feeling like this, there must be thousands of other women feeling exactly the same way. That's how the ball started rolling.
M: We wanted to bring about a real change in the industry and do something better than everyone else in the market. We wanted to create intimate care and wellness products that are all-natural and safe for our female bodies, nightstand-friendly, yet also good for the planet. We also wanted to help women to feel good with their bodies, and thought this is where we can make the biggest impact.
What do you want to change in the world through nudco?
K: We want the world to become increasingly female-friendly and inclusive. For us, this means moving away from the male-dominated business environment and designing products with a female-first ideology and mentality. For example, all of our products are optimised for the female microbiome/pH and carry only the most suitable ingredients for the the female intimate area. We offer an all-natural, innovative, custom-formulated, superfoods-powered product line that is scientifically proven, safe, and non-toxic. This is game-changing.
M: We also want to bring more sustainable alternatives to the market that do not add extra burden on our precious planet. For this reason and in order to cut down on plastic pollution, we have chosen premium glass bottles for our bottles. Our outer packaging and mailer boxes are made from recycled paper, and there are no excessive leaflets or other waste inside the delivery box.
K: On a different note, for us nudco is all about holistic wellness. We think that the different aspects of the human nature, including body, mind, and social, are inseparable. Thereby, pleasure truly occurs, when these aspects align. In other words, the mind needs to be connected with the body, and one needs to be socially approved by the partner and/or – thinking more broadly – the surrounding society. This is not often the case, especially when it comes to females. There are a variety of reasons for this, obviously.
M: Through nudco, we want to discuss and open conversations about matters that have been largely neglected or bypassed. The way women, in particular, experience pleasure has traditionally not been discussed in media. More than often, women's erotic wishes and behaviour have been downplayed, and women have been seen as sexualised objects for male pleasure.
This is something we want to change. We think that female pleasure is beautiful and that there is absolutely nothing dirty about it. The stigmatisation of a woman's intimacy is long lived. We want to be in the forefront and act as an active participator and driver in bringing about this change.
Where do you see nudco and yourselves in 5 years time?
M: We want to be more than just a product company. While we strive to expand our product portfolio and market presence increasingly in the future, we believe that wellness of any kind – whether that'd be sexual wellness or any other – can be only achieved, when approached through a holistic viewpoint. Hence, we hope that nudco could serve as a place and platform for individuals to learn, explore, get excited, and find comfort, when dealing with their sexualities.
K: To add to this, we believe in the beauty and power of community and have, thereby, since the very early days of the business wanted to build the company around it. For us, this means that nudco is created together with our community who support and give feedback to us, especially via social media.
It's really important for us to not only build a company that we believe in ourselves but to build a company that truly resonates with our friends, fans, and other enthusiasts. We are here for the people, not for the products.