Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Public Health Matters, part of Pharmacy Times’ Pharmacy Focus podcast series. I’m your host, Dr. Christina Madison, also known as the Public Health Pharmacist. I’m extremely excited to have another extraordinary guest with me here today: Joy Hoover. She’s a friend, colleague, and just all-around amazing human being, and I cannot wait to share her story with you today. So, without further ado, I’m going to go ahead and have Joy introduce herself and then we’re going to get into why I was so excited to have her on to talk about her new patented line of cosmetics and why cosmetics can have a cause. Take it away, Joy.
Joy Hoover: Hey, thanks, Christina. Thanks so much for having me on. It’s been so fun, kind of working together little bits as we both kind of shoot for the sky and all of our goals and dreams over the last couple of years. But yeah, I am Joy Hoover. I am the founder and inventor, as well as CEO, of Esōes Cosmetics. And Esōes Cosmetics is a social enterprise, a revolutionary social enterprise, putting safety and style into your hands. We’re so excited about where we are today, and I can’t wait to share more about this journey.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Yes. So, in addition to you having Esōes Cosmetics, you have a fascinating story about how you kind of came to the work that you do in social impact and social justice, and really just gender-based justice, I would say. So, I always like to ask people, you know, how did they decide to either get into entrepreneurship or how did they get to their leadership position. And obviously, you and I are both moms and have amazing supportive spouses, and so I would love for you to just talk a little bit about that and sort of how your family unit actually kind of really helped push you to where you are right now.
Joy Hoover: Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m from Michigan, originally. I met my partner and husband, now we’ve been together almost 20 years. So, what a journey. But, you know, the minute we met, what we truly aligned on is the idea and the truth that everyone has a story and that everyone deserves to be valued and supported equally. And that has carried us through our time in Michigan, doing different things downtown with mostly youth coming out of really tough circumstances—like big mohawks and, you know, belts, and like the skateboarding kids, and kids, maybe, that didn’t feel like they belonged in society or in, you know, school or churches or things like that, but they belong with us. Then we moved to LA and we, again, kind of partnered with different folks. I was in fashion school, so I just really loved and partnered with our LGBTQ community and learned from them and learned through their stories about the nuances of what living as an LGBTQ person could look like. And then we moved to Las Vegas just over 13 years ago now. It’s wild to think about that.
But we specifically moved here, exactly like you said, to work to fight gender-based violence and do that with folks in the adult industry, folks who’ve been sex trafficked. And so many folks, in fact, over 10,000 folks we served in 11-and-a-half years of building a nonprofit. And it just really, like, became part of our ethos, became part of who we were. And I always say I am truly a better mother, human, partner, leader, and friend because of the folks that we served and the experiences that I had with them. And then, of course, I have 10- and 6-year-old daughters who are the loves of our life, and they are really pivotal to every goal that we have, you know, our true “why” of what it looks like to end generational violence in our families and really carry on generations of healing and hope and fighting for a truly better and safer world. And what an honor, it’s been a journey. I call it beautiful, brutal, and beautiful. It’s a Glennon Doyle [phrase], but it seems like the best one to describe such a wild journey.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Wow. Okay, so a couple of things. Because you just gave so many gems. So, number 1, for those who are listening and not seeing us, because we actually produce this podcast in both audio and visual, so for those who are listening, I would like to describe the lovely Joy Hoover. She states that she, you know, you went to fashion school, and you embody all of that. When you guys look up the packaging for Esōes Cosmetics, I want you to know that Joy is currently wearing a hat with that hand-painted inside the brim of this hat, and it is spectacular. So, for those of you who are listening versus those who can see us right now, I just want to put that visual in your mind, as well as the fact that she has these incredible rainbow-colored glasses, fantastic jewelry, as well as her hair is also endowed with beautiful colors. So, right now, I think it’s kind like mermaid, blue green right now. It’s awesome, wonderful. So, I just wanted to start off with that, first and foremost, so that people can kind of really get into the vibe, because it is a vibe, right?
And then the other thing I wanted to kind of touch on, for those who maybe are not familiar with the adult film industry and sort of the difference between, you know, people who choose to engage in sex work of their own volition versus those who engage in sex work, maybe, that has been forced or coerced. And that’s obviously work that I’ve done through my nonprofit work with the B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation, helping women and girls, and those just in general who have been victims of sex trafficking, or just human trafficking, which a lot of times ends up being work-based. So, coming here from another country, a lot of times there is the illusion that these people are going to pay them. And then they come here, and they take their documents, and then they force them to work against their will. And then they basically end up in in a new form of modern slavery. So just wanted to put that out there, number one. So, I don’t know if you want to maybe talk a little bit about that work and then also wanted to talk and touch a little bit about the generational trauma and violence aspect, as well, because that really gets into the heart of why you started this company.
Joy Hoover: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I came from actually a very conservative family and a very conservative town. And so, I really knew nothing about the adult industry before we moved here. And so, I got to learn the nuances from individuals working in the industry, working in all facets, be it strip clubs or legal brothels, street-based adult film. So, there’s a huge gamut of it. And there’s a lot of misconceptions, right? Because it’s already a taboo topic, right? We don’t want to talk about sex because it’s taboo. And I love, Christina, that you are just like, “We are talking about this.”
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Right! This is how we all got here, people, because someone engaged in a sex act.
Joy Hoover: So, yeah, it was amazing to really learn from the folks and hear their stories, and really build a nonprofit based on their needs. We build programs based in outreach to really connect with folks. And we, you know, we connect with folks who just needed a hug for the night or a cupcake to folks that were really looking for resources. We’d find there were so many times where a woman would come back in the back room where we were visiting or doing hair and makeup and, you know, she would be like, “Oh my god, I’m homeless, I need resources immediately. I’m newly sober and my kids were just taken away from me.” You know, all the stories that you hear of people’s lives. And so, we had just the honor and privilege of connecting with our Las Vegas community. What a beautiful community we have in partnering with doctors, dentists, lawyers, therapists, tutors. We help support education and support current work as well as new careers and partner with nonprofits as well as just local businesses that provide an amazing, literally millions of dollars and resources, and we’ve served over 10,000 folks in the 11-and-a-half years that I built the company with an amazing team of volunteers and staff, donors, as well as board members.
And what I learned is there’s a very big difference between people that choose it—there are folks that choose it for tons of circumstances. I’ve heard “My mom needs brain surgery to get rid of brain cancer, so I’m dancing so that I can help pay for that.” I have tons of mothers who are dancing to take care of their kids and, you know, just a multitude of reasons. And then as you mentioned, there is survival sex work, like, there’s no other options for me. And then there is trafficking, and they’re coerced into it. But I think when we hear trafficking, oftentimes we think of that Liam Neeson, right, like, we’re going to, you know, kidnap and all that. And while we did see that, and that does happen, domestic sex trafficking is very nuanced. And it’s very different from what most of us think it is. And so, what that looks like is it truly is most times, you know, a husband, father, grandfather, partner, who sees an opportunity because the adult industry is larger than, they say, all of the sports teams combined, the dollars that are in that, is in the adult industry. It’s a massive industry. And there are folks that prey on the folks working in the industry, and therefore then giving them quotas, making them, you know, work a certain number of hours per day to then give them you know, either 100% or 95% of the funds, and then sort of acting as their partners, right? Their partners, their spouses, their managers, and really seeing this cycle of abuse continue in their life. Honestly, there’s so many times that our clients were the last to know they were even trafficked because of the misinformation, right?
We had 1 client that saw on the back of our bathroom doors in Las Vegas, it says “Call this number.” Yeah. And she’s said “Oh my god, those poor women, those poor women. You know, I hope they can call.” And she was being trafficked for 17 years, living actively with an abuser who would, you know, make her, and there were 3 other women that were also being trafficked by him standing in dark rooms with their hands behind their backs, repeating for hours, things like “I am a stupid effing C-word,” over and over and over. And then he would come in hours later and say, “Good job, no one’s going to be able to break you down. You are so tough, you’re mentally tough.” And this is the reality. Insanity, right? And, you know, traffickers making some girls remove their tubes, so they couldn’t have access to having children where others could have children. I mean, just like, the stories are unending, and honestly, they are.
One of the top few drivers of what drives me today to build a safer world is because these are our neighbors. These are folks in our neighborhoods and our grocery stores, you know, their kids are going to school with ours, and we have no idea. So, I use the quote by William Wilberforce, which is “Once you know, you can walk away, but you can never again say that you did not know.” That was the driving force when we were kind of deciding what was next for our family. Those stories kept me up at night. Truly, I was like, you know, gender-based violence, specifically domestic and sexual violence, not only aren’t getting better after someone like me, and so many of us, are working, you know, all of our blood, sweat and tears for years to build a safer world. It’s actually getting worse by an average of 0.9% year over year. And frankly, I was just pissed off. In July of 2021, I’m like, I am raising 2 daughters in this world. This world is—I don’t know if I can swear, but it is fucked up. And I’m not okay with it. I’m not okay with it. The world is in pain, and we have to do something about it. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, over and over, and expecting different results. And so that really was the driving force behind Esōes Cosmetics.
Not only that, but like you mentioned, you know, generational violence in our own families. You know, I have 3 sisters and we were raised in a very, very religious system. And a lot of that was very oppressive to women and allowed us not to have a voice when we experienced abuse. And that was oftentimes from, you know, folks inside our churches or folks that were our neighbors or our friends. We didn’t really know our bodies were our bodies. We didn’t know the word consent. And so, you know, I’m processing a lot of that over the last years. I’ve been with my therapist 11 years now and processing a lot of that. But unfortunately, my husband also grew up in a very, very abusive home and not only did he spend his entire life experiencing violence and abuse from his father, but we actually lost his mother, his brother, and his father all to gun violence at his father’s hand, on April 10, 2013. So, it ended in violence, and his mom’s final words were on a 911 phone call. And so really, in thinking about Esōes, she was at the heart. You know, my experiences, her experiences, my husband’s experiences, our clients’ experiences, we call it a love letter to ourselves and to our family, and to our loved ones, and to all of us. But how do we build something that is easy to use, easy to access, and can provide safety and support across vast experiences? And that was really the defining, you know, goal of what we were doing. And so, in October of 2021, I applied for this patent, which, really, I came up with the initial idea as a lipstick. I couldn’t believe that I was coloring with my daughter, who at the time was 4, and we were coloring lipsticks. And I said, “What should we do next to help people, baby?” They’ve been just very, very intricate parts of everything we’ve done to the level they can understand it, right?
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: And I love how much you involve your kids in the process and asking them, “What do you want? What do you want to do?” Like, telling them your ‘why’ and it’s just incredible. By the way, I just I love it so much.
Joy Hoover: Thank you. Well, you know, listen, our kids have amazing ideas and they’re not as jaded or, you know, [they’ve] experienced less, so they’re still pure. There’s a different light. So, yeah, she said “Well, you like lipstick, right Mommy?” I said, “I do like lipstick. I raised you well, baby,” and she said, “Well, can we do lipstick next?” And I literally was like, “Maybe we can.” So, I just spent literally weeks researching, what is in the space? What are safety products in the space of cosmetics? There has to be something. And I’m shocked that in 2021 there was nothing in that space. And so, we would have to bring on a patent attorney. We looked, we did global searches, and then we applied for a patent, which our patent is called Cosmetics with Safety Features. It is an unbelievable patent. And like you mentioned, we just got word last week that we are being issued our product patent which is just amazing. We have a software patent pending and a couple others as well. But this really allows us to expand safety features in all types of cosmetics. But, you know, our first one is a lipstick that encompasses drink tests. It has drink testing strips to test for benzodiazepines, like roofies, Klonopin, Xanax. I mean, you’re a doctor, you know what all those are, but they’re unfortunately extremely easy for folks to utilize to, you know, incapacitate someone and it doesn’t take a lot. And if you are listening to this and you are someone that goes out a lot, or even has people over, goes to parties, you know, oftentimes it’s a Visine bottle, they put it in a Visine bottle, they dilute it down with water, so they can squirt it in and 1 to 2 drops, that’s it. And there’s no odor, there’s no color, no taste. And so within 13 to 30 minutes, you are completely incapacitated, oftentimes for 12 to upwards of, you know, 15, 24 hours. One of the stats are 1 in 13 college kids experience that, and that’s obviously the reported numbers that’s underreported. You know, 1 in four women experience—actually, a World Health Organization tells us 1 in 3 women globally experienced violence. We know 1 in 33 men experienced violence.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: And then you start thinking about, you know, the stats around trans women and then trans women of color.
Joy Hoover: Yep, yep.So, lots of work to do. But creating this, we initially wanted the drink testing strips but then I was like, okay, what if someone tests positive, then what ? They’re like minutes away from, you know, passing out or losing consciousness, and so we decided all right, we’re going to create yet a Bluetooth-connected panic button. I actually have it here. Here’s the lipstick. Our slogan is “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” I know some people are listening.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: It’s actually so funny. I am quoted in another podcast, like I had someone else post the podcast, and they literally put that out there. Like “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” I love that, but it was more so like, how do I decide to say yes to opportunities that I’m like, “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no”
Joy Hoover: Yes, but that too, right? It could be a lip color. “If it’s not a hell yes, then switch that lip color. It could be, you know, a sexual act or relationship or opportunity. Whatever it is, like, say ‘no’ more. Let’s be honest. Yes, yes, women, we need to say no more. So yeah, it’s a regular lipstick, you know, all different colors. This one happens to be [called] “It’s not the dress,” because it’s never been the dress, not what we’re wearing, right? And then in the base of it, I don’t know if I have testing strips yet right now in it. But yeah, there’s 2 test strips and you can pull them out, test your drink, dip it for 10 to 15 seconds, and look for 2 lines as safe or 1 line means it detects benzodiazepines, just like, you know, a pregnancy test or COVID-19. So, simple as that. But then, you know, the panic button is at the bottom, it’s just literally a button that connects to a safety app. And in the app, you can customize your safety plan. So, I kind of share it as like, it’s like your green light, yellow light, red light. It’s like green light, you can push it once, and it can send your location coordinates to someone—which, by the way, updates every 10 seconds as long as you have service on your phone. And then maybe the yellow light is “I’m feeling uncomfortable,” and you have a pre-saved text that you can, again, with a push of a button or a phone call that again, push of a button. And then maybe you’re really in danger and you need help immediately, and you push it 3 times. It calls emergency services and within 7 seconds, through our partnership with Noonlight, you get a text and they say “I see you have an SOS, what’s going on? What’s your emergency?”
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: And if you don’t respond to it, they send somebody?
Joy Hoover: Exactly. You set a PIN number. So, if you put in the pin number it’s like, “Oh, just kidding,” but if you put the wrong PIN number because someone’s watching over you, they send emergency services. You know this, but right now dispatchers are so overwhelmed. Yes, you get put on hold when calling 411 or 911 right now.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Oh my gosh, it’s so funny that you say that because about maybe 3 weeks ago, in our neighborhood, it was like 11 o’clock at night and my husband and I were in in bed getting ready. We like kids to bed everything. We’re getting ready to go to bed. It was a weekend. And we heard somebody screaming, “Help, help. I need help.” Again, we have a very quiet neighborhood, and we couldn’t see the person, we could just hear them. So, we like wait outside. We’re like, what do you need help with? Where are you? Tell us your location. We were on the phone with 911 for 10 minutes. That’s absolutely insane. And mentally, man, our next-door neighbor also came out because they heard this person screaming. And was like, “I’ve already been on hold with them for 5 minutes before we called,” and we were on hold again for another 10 minutes. And what the heck, a matter of life and death at the time. And then, you know, we’re in a very safe neighborhood, very quiet. It’s not gated, but occasionally we’ll have someone that is unhoused that will walk into the neighborhood. And in this instance, I think it was somebody that like, I don’t know the specifics, but we’ve figured out where they were located. We told them, you know, what do you need help with? Because obviously, we didn’t want to be lured into a situation where maybe we would become a victim. Right? So, there’s also that component as well, like you want to help but you don’t also want to be put in a situation where you could be harmed. And so, you know, law enforcement came, then EMS came. Because then we were thinking, oh my gosh, now, you know, what happens if now law enforcement, you know, ends up potentially harming this person, so my husband starts recording just in case and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, please, dear Lord.” So, long story short, they ended up taking the person in EMS. He was unharmed. But it was really scary knowing that, like, it took so long for somebody to come and to respond. Yep, yeah. And you know, we’ve got 311, we’ve got 911, and then we have the mental health line. And all of them are understaffed.
And that is a very challenging job. Like we had a family friend that was a 911 dispatch operator and had been doing so for over 10 years, and had a breakdown, had a mental breakdown. I believe it was because of the stress associated with that job. I mean, I couldn’t even imagine, you know, your mother-in-law. Thank you so much for disclosing that, by the way, like, the person on the other end of that line, knowing that those were her last words. Oh, I could have not even.
Joy Hoover: And the worst part is what she said. My husband’s never listened to it, but I did. It’s haunting, right? But she said, “My husband just shot my [sic], and he’s coming after me.” Like, I can’t even imagine the absolute fear that she experienced, and she experienced that most of her marriage. And so yeah, it’s really devastating.
But the panic button, we really envision, you know, in 7 seconds having priority dispatch 911 come to your location, knowing that you need help, and doing that ahead of time where it’s very, like, no one can tell. You just put on your lipstick, right, where you’re just putting on your lipstick. And so, yeah, we’re really excited about all of the features. We also have like a loud alarm that can sound if you choose that.
And so really trying to navigate, what does it look like for our daughters to go out with their friends or even to school nowadays, and having access to resources while also looking at folks that are actively being harmed, or, you know, living with abusers that are checking their phones. Interestingly enough, our app—and I know a lot of people can’t see this—but our app when you first look at it, it just looks like your everyday lipstick app. But hold over the logo and it turns into safety mode and safety. So, if someone is looking at this, you know, obviously our branding is very fun. It’s very colorful. It looks just like super fun.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: And even when you look at the way Esōes is spelled, you wouldn’t think that that was like SOS, right? And so, I do agree that the camouflage, right, that’s really what you’re doing, you’re camouflaging. And actually, because for me, fashion is my love language. Obviously, we know that. We’ve talked about this before, the 2 of us are very much aligned in this space. And so, to be able to have like those 2 loves, right, safety and fashion. It’s so incredible. And I feel like, a few years ago, because I work in the sexual health space, and in particular those who are HIV positive, there was a time where we were seeing people that were using condoms, and then the condoms were being used as a means to help with safety. And there was like a color change that can happen if the person tests positive for a sexually transmitted infection. So, it was like the change in pH, you know, because there’s a change in pH that happens. So that was being done for a little while, but I don’t think anybody patented it. And then there was also another one that I saw that was like a fingernail polish, where you could put the fingernail polish on, and you could like dip it in the drink, and it would change color. But again, I don’t think anybody patented it.
Joy Hoover: Well, funny about the nails. Because when we put our patent in, we found the nail polish one.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Okay, so you did find it. Okay.
Joy Hoover: Well, here’s the story. They patented it, but then the concept of the nail polish never actually existed. But the reason I know that is because Undercover Color is the company that initially created the nail polish concept, then pivoted to a test token option. So, when we saw that, I found the scientist on that patent, found him on LinkedIn, and pursued him for 8 months until he would take a meeting with me because I’m like, “Listen, I’m not a scientist, I’m not an engineer, but you know what you’re doing, and I need to do it. I want you to work with me.” And I ended up bringing on the head engineer from that company. And that’s when I learned that the concept went viral. When they were showing the concept, they were showing heat changing nail polish, not drug changing nail polish. And then it went viral. They’re like, “Oh, I’ve got to create this now.” And so, they brought these folks on but never was able to develop the technology. So, they pivoted to a test token component. And when I got to talk with them in May of 2022, I was able to bring on both a scientist and engineer to develop this product with me. And so, on October 28, 2022, which would have been my mother-in-law’s 72nd birthday, we launched the prototype, we showed everyone what we’ve been working on for a year. Because a year prior, we launched the concept in our backyard to start raising money and see what kind of support we had. And I got to meet them for the first time. It was just such a wild feeling.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Was that when you were in New York, was that when you met them? Because I know you went to New York.
Joy Hoover: Oh, yes, they flew in, they live in North Carolina. And so, they flew in to help, you know, kind of do visuals of the product and kind of explain it and explain what we’ve been working on. So, our whole team was all over the US and we all got to meet together in Vegas and then share that with, you know, all of our supporters and investors and community that were at our event.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: So, so cool. Yeah, amazing, this story, just like it just keeps getting better and better. And, you know, again, I am so grateful that you are bringing things that often are known but not talked about to the forefront, and also bringing it up in a manner that is positive. Right? So, it’s not that we are saying that violence doesn’t happen. It’s not that we’re saying that, you know, violence is generational, and it can continue through generations, and we can break that cycle. It’s the positivity about, you know, creating a safer space for people to be their authentic selves and for them to break those cycles of generational trauma, generational harm. And then also just being able to be comfortable, right? Like, as a woman, obviously, there are so many times in our lives where we tend to not take our own feelings into account and we want other people to feel comfortable, but we do it in we do it at a detriment to our own safety. And so, I love that you’re putting that decision back into the hands of us.
Joy Hoover: Yes, exactly. It’s time that we get our power back, right? And my passion is really that, and it has been for over 13 years. Now, one of the articles that was written called me a women’s safety activist, and I was like, yes, that is exactly what we do. As a women’s safety activist, my number 1 goal has been to put consent and agency back into the hands of every person. We should be choosing what we do. And if you choose it, and that is your full choice and agency, I respect it. I have zero judgment on people’s decisions. But I want them to be able to make those decisions, you need to be able to make the choice, to have the choice.
And I like what you said about like, unfortunately, oftentimes we put other people’s feelings above ours. You know, you were at our block party that we had, an Esōes block party, on April 10, which was absolutely amazing. It was the 10-year anniversary of the loss of my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. And we had, you know, an art exhibit where we had actual clothing from folks who have experienced violence at all ages. And one of those was actually mine. And it’s not a story I’ve talked a lot about until really building Esōes, but I had a high school best friend who visited me when I was 19. I was married, my husband was out of town, I brought a girlfriend over, so it wasn’t just me and him. I was taught that, you know, safety in numbers, right? And unfortunately, you know, the number 1 thing that folks use as drug facilitated sexual assault is alcohol. And so, like tons of shots and just kind of, you know, pushing, forcing alcohol and us just having fun. And my friend at the time passed out. So, it was just me and him and I also blacked out. I woke up in my spare bedroom with him with no clothes on. And it was literally truly one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
But you know what’s interesting? I never called it that. I called my husband in another country who was on a service mission. And it was like, “You’re going to divorce me, I’m the worst wife ever.” And he was like, literally, you know, my husband is literally amazing. There’s so many things he’s done to love me and teach me to love myself so well. But in that moment, I’ll never forget, he was sobbing, actually vomiting and crying because I was just so beside myself at what happened. And he said, “I love you. Nothing is going to change that. I just want you to be safe.” And he came home, poured 2 shots of alcohol and said, “We’re not going to let him ruin this for us.” And we took a shot and like healed through that. But I never called it DFSA, never called the drug facilitated sexual assault. I let him sleep off. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I let him stay in my home and sleep in.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: I mean, think about that. Think about that for a second, how you internalize that as something that you did wrong. And everything about that situation was his fault. Absolutely. And oh my gosh, like, can you imagine like, if the shoe was on the other foot?
Joy Hoover: Right, right. And I like that story because we believe ourselves. We blame ourselves, over and over and over. I shouldn’t have been drinking. I shouldn’t have worn that. I shouldn’t have this. Like, no, he shouldn’t have assaulted you. That’s it, period.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: There was no consent. There was no consent, because you don’t remember the encounter at all. And I just want to, like, one more time say what you said. Drug facilitated assault, sexual assault. I have not heard that term before. Yeah, that is so poignant. And I want to make sure that I don’t gloss over that. Because I think, in a lot of instances, and especially where we live in Vegas, there’s a lot of like, casual alcoholism, let’s just put it out there. And there’s so much social stuff that’s around alcohol in this town, and people, well, it’s everywhere. But again, I mean, I’m just thinking about situations where I’ve had someone say, “Oh, well, you know, we were just, you know, we were having a good time and did it.” And I’m thinking to myself, that person was just assaulted. Absolutely. And they are not calling it that. And so, I really wanted to like pause for a second because I had not heard that term before. And yeah, it’s just, wow, well, thank you, thank you for teaching me something. And, you know, I work in this space and I definitely want to make sure, you know, that that the audience understands that this product, these safety cosmetics are not just for women, it’s for anyone. Absolutely just want to make sure that that is out there. It’s lipstick. Anyone who wears lipstick, anyone who wants to feel beautiful by adorning themselves with cosmetics, because we’ve got lots of people out there that wear cosmetics yet may not identify as female.
Joy Hoover: Absolutely. And for the folks that don’t wear lipstick, we’re working on a lip balm because we understand that. Whether that be trans men or whether they be other folks that are in fear of their safety, we have an obligation to work as hard. We truly believe we have an obligation to provide and put safety back into as many folks’ hands as possible. So, if you’re not a lipstick wearer, you know, we’re looking at lip balm or other options. We are starting with lipstick wearers because we are at highest risk of experiencing violence. That is the truth, you know, but we know that unfortunately, especially with drug facilitated sexual assault or drug facilitation, no gender, no age, no size, no race is immune to that. And, you know, our company is built on investors, I was shocked. We have, like 54 investors, 3 of them are male, everyone else is female. I love that. But one of the male investors was drugged and at this meeting, he was like, this problem is prevalent, and it’s not talked about enough. And I’m just grateful to be able to bring something to light and learn together, what it looks like, what all facets look like, and truly start helping keep people safe.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Wow, well, thank you so much, Joy, this has been such an incredible conversation. I want to end with one thing, and then I’m going to let you tell the audience how they can find out more about you, and how they can follow Esōes Cosmetics’ journey, and just all of the wonderful things that you’re doing as just the incredible human being that you are. But one question I love to ask my guests is, if you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? And why?
Joy Hoover: Oh, there’s so much I would tell her. But I think the biggest thing I would tell her is it’s not your fault. And you deserve safety and consent over your decisions. And I like to end every podcast, every speech, every keynote, with something. Is it okay for me to do that?
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Of course, please.
Joy Hoover: And I like to say this: if you are a survivor, we believe you. It was not what you were wearing. It is not how much you drank; it is not where you were. It is a perpetrator who was using their pain to harm you. And it is not your fault. And your story matters so much. We are working every day as a team to put safety back into your hands and to elevate the truth of what happened to you and to me and to all of us, so that we truly can see an end to this epidemic of violence against all of us. We believe you and your story matters.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Thank you so much. So just for the folks at home listening, if they want to follow Esōes Cosmetics’ journey, and even if they just want to reach out to you, what would be the best place and mechanism for them to do that?
Joy Hoover: Yeah, absolutely. So, as you mentioned it, we’re spelled a little differently than SOS. So, it’s Esōes Cosmetics. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook. Our website is EsōesCosmetics.com. And please reach out to us. You know, we are a community, we call it a lipstick revolution. And we cannot do this without everyone involved. And we really are excited about how many people we can link arms with to keep carrying this mission forward. And thank you, Christina, for being part of our revolution and force in this community for safety and for inclusive support. Whether that’s medical or just seeing people for who they are, you are such a gift to our community, and I truly am grateful for what you do as well.
Christina Madison, PharmD, FCCP, AAHIVP: Thank you so much. For those of you at home again, this is another incredible and powerful, I might add, episode of Public Health Matters, which is part of Pharmacy Times’
Pharmacy Focus podcast series. Again, I am your host, Dr. Christina Madison, also known as the Public Health Pharmacist. And remember, Public Health Matters.