This interview series features inspiring female entrepreneurs who have launched and run successful businesses. Through our peers’ experiences, we can learn practical lessons and insights to empower us on our entrepreneurial paths. Crucially, storytelling de-risks entrepreneurship so we believe it is an essential pillar in closing the opportunity gap for female founders.
Firstly, tell us a bit about you.
Hi, My name is Mariah Freya, I am co-founder and sex coach at Beducated. My husband Phil Steinweber and I are running our start-up from Munich, Germany. We have the goal to bring more WOW into the bedrooms all around the world.
Tell us about Beducated, how did you come up with the idea?
Phil and I have been together since over 12 years. After a few years in, when the initial pink glasses faded, our sex life turned boring. We’d be under the sheets with the lights off. We didn’t understand why people were so obsessed with sex. At the same time, the idea of further exploring our sexuality felt scary. Still, we knew something had to change…
We made the decision to dive headfirst down the rabbit-hole of Tantra, visiting sex parties, exploring swinging and experimenting with open relationships.
We explored sex upside down and inside out. Together, we shed light on hidden potentials and pleasures we never knew existed.
As a social worker I realized that this knowledge shouldn’t be kept away from people. Such a potential for empowerment and growth. That’s when I started blogging about my experiences which turned eventually into the idea to kick-start Beducated.
What was the moment that everything changed for you? Describe that moment when you decided to fully commit to your idea and the first few steps you took to make it possible.
After I experienced an G-spot orgasm when Philipp and I tried out a vagina massage for the first time. I was so blown away that we couldn’t ignore the fact that there was something to these tool and practices out there.
After launching my blog, more and more people approached me that they wanted to learn more about my experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained. The world literally showed me that sexual knowledge can be such a game-changer for individuals. That’s when I fully committed to think bigger then just my blog.
What has been your best investment?
Myself. I had to really work hard on believing in my skills to write, to speak, to sit in front of the camera. My husband was always there for me when I doubted myself he supported me to turn it around with lot’s of self-love and masturbation 🙂
What was the first win that made you feel you were onto something?
When we launched our Conscious Sexuality Summit a few years back. We got thousands of subscribers and realised that people really wanted to learn more about their sex life.
Did you take the investment route for your business or are you self-funded? Can you share some insights on your decision and the process?
We raised a seed round in fall 2019. Before that we bootstrapped everything. But we really want to make this accessible for everyone so we are looking at a series A this year to grow our team and make this work.
What has been your best investment?
Our tantra massage online courses.
Have you made any mistakes or faux pas? If so, can you share with us?
I find hiring quite tricky but I also like to learn from my mistakes. At times we hired the wrong people at the wrong time. That wastes your time and money where we could’ve invested better. Now we do have a better hiring process that supports us bringing in top people.
What’s your experience of being a woman in the start-up ecosystem and what in your mind needs to change?
I am also a mother of a 1-year-old son. Since he was born we also decided to take our business to the next level (we started to fundraise 3 months after giving birth). Juggling family and work is not easy. We have our office and home in one house, so that worked so far really well to create a family-friendly work ecosystem. I love the challenge and I find myself happier working for something meaningful and at the same time raising my son.
What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned since starting your own business?
Choose your challenges. Starting and running a business is not easy, it means constantly working on yourself, your beliefs. But I choose this, I started this business together with Phil, and these day-to-day challenges make me happy.
Have you had any role models or mentors along the way?
Lea-Sophie Cramer and Beate Use (they are both pioneers to make sex toys available and reduce the taboo in Germany)
With the future in mind, where would you like to be/where do you see yourself in the next five years?
We’d like to transform 12,5 Mio bedrooms in the next 5 years. Hopefully even more 🙂
Can you tell us one of your goals for 2020?
We are raising a series A, looking at full speed to reach our goals. So a successful fundraising round is one of our goals in 2020.
What can our readers do to support your business?
Join our community, check out our courses. Share them with your lover and the people you feel comfortable with to talk about sex.
What books, podcasts or resources would you recommend? (Please include hyperlinks)
What advice would you give anyone about to start a business?
Start with Self-love. You will be the one standing in your way most of the time anyways, learn to love yourself from the good to the bad to the ugly.
Find Mariah at:
About your author
Leah Williams is the Blog Editor for Found & Flourish, working with Founder Lara Sheldrake to ensure every piece of published content is empowering, inspiring and well presented, just like the women we work with.
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