Eden, Diana, Simona, and Winxi first met as colleagues at a Fortune 500 Company, and now, five years later, have launched The Oh Collective with much pleasure, passion and purpose.
When they first decided to start The Oh Collective, their vision was to create products but also foster a community of like-minded women who are willing to explore the realm of female intimate health and wellness.
A brand founded by women who are #JustLikeYou.
Can you tell us a bit about your upbringing and how did that morph you into who you are today?
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Growing up I went to seven different schools on two different continents, this contributed to my ease of adaptation and eagerness to explore different cultures and ideas.
I believe that bits and pieces of my upbringing have contributed to who I am today - constantly challenging the societal norm and exploration and adaptation of new ideas.
Diana, what are the takeaways you got from working both at agency, brand and now at The Oh Collective?
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[Diana] I was working in an ad agency for the majority of my career, that has trained me to multitask in intense environments which entailed pretty gruelling hours. When I moved to the brand side it gave me a better work-life balance, which allowed me to better manage my time with The Oh Collective.
It isn't to say it's all rainbows and butterflies, but my passion for it is the fuel that keeps me going and even taught me to be more mindful of potential burnout, remembering to give myself the down time I need when I get it and ensuring I'm relieving stress with the facets that work for me.
A major takeaway is being able to utilize knowledge from both the start-up and the corporate side, and also appreciating its struggles and differences, along with adding to my skill set of operating businesses at very different scales.
Some of you just left left your full-time job at Nike for The Oh Collective. What has the transition been like?
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Eden: To be honest, I haven’t had much time to adapt to the transition yet as it’s only been one month and The Oh Collective has been on the go-go-go! I’m setting myself a goal to try out different formats to create space and time out of the week to create a structure for myself. I do believe in the flexibility of future workspace. I will spend more time to figure that out! As I am full-time working on our start-up, I will also need to ensure I’m creating space and time for rest, recovery, and fun for myself and the girls!
What would you say is the biggest struggle you’ve faced as a team at The Oh Collective, and what’s one valuable thing that you will cherish forever?
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[Diana] We're pretty hard on ourselves and have high expectations that can create anxieties. But in turn, that has also been what has been valuable: learning to be patient, more mindful and focused on our purpose. Our market still lacks access to open platforms and resources to normalize such topics. So every success/milestone for us, big or small, have all been worth celebrating.
One thing to cherish is definitely the people we have met from all over the world and the feedback after engaging with them. Knowing we have created such a strong support system for ourselves and that we can potentially help others to be more confident or safe to openly share their most intimate selves, has been incredibly rewarding.
What was your experience with intimate wellness growing up?
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Simona: As a teenager I explored sex shops with friends just to “browse, see and giggle” and at times some of us would also buy (and there would be no judgment if done so). It was normal to give your friends a vibe for their 18th birthday.
I think European girls are more open and honest about their (solo) sex life and more adventurous at a younger age (which is facilitated by parenting, education, and media). It teaches them that pleasure is something you explore alone and together, and that it’s normal to discuss and investigate intimacy.
Diana: Growing up in the North America, there were more open conversations about sex but most of the information was shared through my close girlfriends, so not all we had learnt was really factual but assumptions of what "others" say. So while I was exposed to similar topics, they never surrounded the empowering part of owning intimate pleasure or the importance of intimate wellness.
It was more of "Have you done this before?" and “You're a prude if you haven't done it" and “You are promiscuous if you have too often". It creates misperceptions and insecurities when you are a young and impressionable teenager.
It has been so refreshing and positive to see that the narrative is slowly, but surely, changing and we are very excited to be part of it.
What is the most significant difference to the female intimate health/wellness industry that The Oh Collective has made so far?
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Eden: Putting the four of us front and center of the brand with our community and offline events! We are able to start creating real genuine relationships by being relatable to women out there. Not only that, we want to set ourselves as an example that the topic of intimate wellness can be talked about in a positive light and not in a taboo, behind the closed doorway.
What’s something you’re passionate about and how has that been applicable to The Oh Collective?
Winxi: I love products and product details, therefore I always worked in buying and merchandising in the apparel industry (I used to be addicted to having all of my clothes made at a tailor in Shanghai but that luckily has been tamed down).
At The Oh Collective, we spend a lot of time listening to consumers’ feedback. What do they like, what are their challenges, and what are they missing? When you work with products you get to understand that consumers and products will always go hand in hand. We cannot create amazing sex toys online without understanding our girls' needs.
What do you think girls in the west could learn from their counterparts in the east and vice versa?
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Simona: I think we in the West can learn a lot from our sisters in the east about holistic wellness: while there is no shortage of “fit girls'' who hit the gym daily and who can lift for days, I have yet to see girls in Europe who are as diligent about taking care of their bodies from the inside as the Asian girls do.
For instance, different types of moxibustion and acupuncture methods to strengthen the body and its organs. Or consuming herbs, foods, and Chinese medicine to strengthen and preserve the immune system and (inner) beauty. While I used to dismiss all of the above as myths and old-fashioned beliefs, I’ve actually found truths in most of them.
How do you find the time to juggle work and relationships?
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Winxi: It’s all about finding the right balance and listening to your own mind and body spirit. I choose to surround myself with kind and genuine people. Friends that I can be honest with. Friends that I feel loved by.
Also, my boyfriend is the person closest to me. He’s very supportive of what I do and always motivates me when I’m going through my ups and downs.
I’m incredibly lucky to have an amazing group of inspiring people around me.
How do you find time for self-love while living with a partner?
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Hehe. I prefer doing it together with my partner! Having a partner that understands, respects, and communicates what self-love means to you (space, time, or intimacy) is very important! I will try to carve out time throughout the week to work out, enjoy my downtime, and even just being a potato on the couch binging Netflix.
What has your experience dating men been like, and what’s one dating takeaway that you want to share with our community?
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My tip is not to worry about what society expects from you but to Just Do You and explore what drives your curiosity that can make you happy - you don’t need to force it because things will come eventually. It seems so obvious, but it’s easier said than done. And lastly, find the people that love you for you and support you, you don’t need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but know you are not alone and there are women out there #JustLikeYou.
If you could rewind time and give 21-year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?
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Winxi: When I turned 21, I just finished university and started my first job. I felt really really mature and thought that I knew it all. Looking back, the truth is that you haven’t experienced much in life and haven’t seen much of the world.
If I could turn the clock back to 21 years-old me, I would tell myself to not be influenced that much by other people’s opinions, not to overthink, and to dare to follow my gut. Try more new things and dare. Dare to make mistakes, dare to live.
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More on Winxi, Diana, Simona and Eden
- Simona: Amsterdam, Wenzhou
- Diana: Seattle & Greater Vancouver, Taipei
- Eden: Vancouver / Pingtung
- Winxi: Rotterdam & Shenzhen/Shanghai
- Simona: Muay Thai & kickboxing, travel, drinking and eating with friends, writing, crypto, podcasts
- Diana: Working out, having meals with friends and family, films, and travel
- Eden: Jogging, walking owen (my dog) alongside Suzhou Creek, graphic design, listening to podcasts, and figuring out how to live the best life possible
- Winxi: DIY clothes, cooking and growing my own food
Role at The Oh Collective:
We are a jack of all trades as The Oh Collective is a start-up by the four of us. But if you would give us areas of focus, then those would be
- Simona: E-commerce & Online marketing
- Diana: Logistics & Operations
- Eden: Brand & Creative
- Winxi: Product Development
- Simona: “Not taking the risk might be riskier.”
- Diana: "Yolo."
- Eden: “Not to live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you’re alive and able — be good.” by Marcus Aurelius
- Winxi: “Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love.” by Brené Brown
- Simona: Your greatest critic is you. Nobody cares/notices as much as you do yourself. So just do you.
- Diana: Don't ever feel pressure to do things you're not ready for and never be afraid to ask, do what is right for you.
- Eden: Remind yourself that you’re not alone. The pains, struggles, and unknowns you may be going through right now. Know that there are people out there just like you.
- Winxi: Surround yourself with warm, happy, and genuine people.