Renee Garacochea & Dr. Karyn EilberGlissant

Dr. Karyn Eilber (above right) is a urologist at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles who specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery; Renee Garacochea (above left) is a beauty industry veteran with extensive experience in clean formulation. Together, they founded Glissant to create clean, high-quality intimate lubricants, as well as other products tailored to women.

What drove you to start your own brand? Although I’ve always been a “problem solver,” I’ve definitely not always been an entrepreneur. What drove me to start our brand (I can never take full credit) was the luck of having a close friend in the beauty industry, Renee Garacochea, who was also familiar with the importance of clean, natural ingredients. The prelude to my “aha” moment was the result of many years of treating women for pain and discomfort with sex because of vaginal dryness and repeatedly having them ask me, “What’s a good lube?” Many women told me they actually felt more pain and irritation after using some lubricants, which is probably because of certain chemicals found in many of those products. Knowing these chemicals can cause more harm to a woman than good, I decided to create a natural, chemical-free, truly pH-balanced lubricant that was based on the needs of a woman’s vagina—and that also wasn’t embarrassing to carry around. My real “aha” moment was when I realized that Renee’s experience in the beauty industry working with natural ingredients was the perfect complement to my medical and scientific background. And so Glissant was born. For me personally, I’m going through menopause and experienced a multitude of all the fun side effects that come with this lovely change…hair loss, brain fog, fatigue and now, pain during sex—nothing like getting an “aha” moment when you’re having painful sex. Fun times!
I’ve always been an entrepreneur, starting with the formation of my first company, Fauna, at the age of 23. Hearing the stories my co-founder told me about women not wanting to have sex because of pain and dryness and her frustration with available lubricants at the time, I knew my experience formulating natural beauty products, combined with her scientific knowledge, would result in an amazing lubricant.
I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed with making products that improve the lives of not just people, but animals, too. (Fauna is Aromatherapy Hair Care for Pets & People, after all.) This will be the third brand I’ve created with the intention of recreating commonly used products, but with clean and natural ingredients.
"Do something that involves what you’re passionate about. If you do something you love, you’ll want to put in the time and effort needed to be successful."
—Dr. Karyn Eilber

What’s your favorite product in the line? Our FDA-cleared Sea Salt & Caramel Intimate Lubricant! I love and am very proud of our lubricant because it’s beautiful inside and out. The packaging makes it a glamorous accessory for your bathroom vanity or nightstand, and you won’t be embarrassed if someone (like your kid) finds it in your room or travel bag. Renee and I carefully chose every ingredient for a purpose: hyaluronic acid because it’s a natural humectant, aloe for its soothing properties, L-arginine to increase vaginal blood flow for increased arousal, lactic acid to maintain normal vaginal pH and just a hint of food-grade flavor for a subtle, but yummy, smell and taste without fragrance. No one would know what is in our lubricant’s chic, discreet, refillable packaging. As an “average Joe,” I wanted a lubricant that I knew was safe to put in my body and that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry around.

What’s your morning routine? I don’t even want to admit this…read emails on my phone, then stumble downstairs for coffee. Before you think I’m pathetic, for years, my Tuesday and Saturday morning routines have been to run; Wednesday morning is Peloton and Sunday morning is yoga. Morning: Drink coffee and check my phone. Evening: Drink alcohol and check my phone. What would people be surprised to learn about you? I have a tattoo. Ok, I have two tattoos. Where do I begin??? I make my own dog food, I move furniture in my office and house around on a weekly basis (which drives my husband nuts) and my favorite drink is Coors Light…but of course I drink it out of a fancy glass! What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? My advice applies to anything in life—do something that involves what you’re passionate about. If you do something you love, you’ll want to put in the time and effort needed to be successful. And if you are lucky like me, work with someone as passionate as you. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” —John Lennon Always be willing to listen and learn—when you think you know everything, that’s when things go wrong…been there, done that. Dr. Karyn Eilber and Renee Garacochea of Glissant
The Founders Series
Learn how some of the beauty industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs find inspiration and develop must-have products as they share their advice for aspiring business moguls and much more