"Why did you leave Nike?" - A question we constantly receive from friends, our (Nike) family, and even strangers. The frequency of this inquiry inspired us to delve into the topic and share our story—a read that takes you on a deep dive into why we left Nike and embarked on our entrepreneurial journey. And why we are dedicated to destigmatising the taboo around pleasure.
Join us as we explore the origins of our femtech start-up, the driving force behind our daily lives, and the energy that keeps us pushing forward.
Why did we leave Nike for our start-up The Oh Collective?
The decision to leave Nike was fuelled by our desire for work with more significance and purpose—two driving forces that resonated strongly with us. What began as a passion project soon revealed its potential to impact the lives of our friends and, subsequently, their friends. We realised that we had stumbled upon something extraordinary.
"When we started The Oh Collective, we saw that there was a drastic pleasure gap due to the lack of education, product, and community for women."
What are the main differences we have encountered working for ourselves?
Leaving the corporate Nike world and starting our own start-up has been a whole new ball game for us:
At Nike, we were just small cogs in a vast machine, focused on specific tasks with big budgets. Here at our own company, we're in charge of everything. We're more flexible regarding decision and rollout, and our budgets are leaner 🥲.
We've become a tight-knit team, working closely together and getting our hands dirty in every aspect of the start-up, from learning the business processes and operations to collaborating with friends. The transition from Nike to our own company has been a learning curve, but it's been gratifying and exciting.
There is no time off because you’re running your own start-up. It gives you more satisfaction. It's a give-and-get.
What unique opportunities has our start-up given us?
We are a brand that creates change for women, offering confidence and pleasure through our products, our community, and the brand. We love seeing the genuine connections and how women are achieving more confidence and satisfaction in and outside of the bedroom.
The ability to inspire people to explore and embark on a journey of self-discovery, with The Oh Collective as their first stepping stone, is one of the most significant factors that keep us going.
To be a brand that can make change for women and bring them the confidence and pleasure that everyone deserves, is super important for us.
What are specific moments that has reaffirmed our decision to leave Nike?
Our brand partnership with Selfridges in 2022 and their continued support early on in our journey, every time we meet new people and customers at events (Common Rare, Maha x Soho Amsterdam, Wonderfruit, to name a few) or that time we were featured on The Economist:
It's been incredibly energising to witness the genuine interest and support we've encountered. From former Nike colleagues to vendors, interns, freelancers, other start-ups in the industry and even old friends reaching out with tips, tricks, and offers to help us build our brand.
However, what truly keeps us going, is waking up to messages about how our products have changed our community's lives and transformed their perspectives on pleasure and sex.
"Hearing their stories of empowerment, self-discovery, and improved well-being has been truly inspiring."
How has our perspective on work, wellness, and empowerment shifted since starting The Oh Collective?
Diana: Transitioning from the corporate Nike and agency world, where I dedicated endless time and energy, affected my well-being. It wasn't until I developed an auto-immune disorder on my face that I realised the need for change. Starting The Oh Collective taught me the importance of setting boundaries and prioritising self-care. I've made it a point to get enough sleep, be fully present while eating, and take time for activities that reduce anxiety. These manageable adjustments have made a world of difference.
It wasn't until I developed an auto-immune disorder on my face that I realised the need for change.
Eden: My perception of sex has evolved dramatically since my earlier years. Through our experiences at Nike and now at The Oh Collective, I've come to understand that sex, like sports, is an integral part of overall well-being. Being part of a sexual wellness start-up has deepened my understanding of my body, mind, and sexuality. This newfound knowledge has boosted my confidence in intimate relationships and all aspects of my life.
Winxi: I vividly recall a workshop focused on body positivity and self-acceptance. It was a powerful reminder that our work at The Oh Collective goes beyond product sales. We create space for personal growth, empowerment, and connection. It reaffirmed my belief that work can be a means to drive meaningful change and contribute to a better world.
Simona: I now see sexual wellness as a way to relax and unwind. I've become more open with my partner about my needs and have learned that communication is vital. Understanding that my feelings and desires are valid has empowered me to express myself more freely in the bedroom.
What is our future vision for The Oh Collective?
The Oh Collective as global brand to empower women in- and outside the bedroom ✌🏻.
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