Erica Chidi Choen - where do I even begin. She holds incredible beauty and grace of someone who is shifting dynamics and ideas on female identity and reproductive health with her company called LOOM. A major player behind activism and advocacy in body empowerment. An artist of words and a lover of beauty, and someone I am so grateful to call a friend. Erica hold powerful articulation and discussion on topics that our human society and patriarchy has created barriers upon for woman and non-binary people. She comes at it with not only innovated intention but hugely inspiring ideas, practices, and topics. There are things that Erica has brought to my attention that I was totally unaware of needing my attention - such as my tracking my menstrual cycles and using it as a map to understand myself on a much deeper level. It's like Astrology for the body but backed up with science and serious personalization ( don't get me wrong, I love a good chart reading too ).
I often ask myself how I can cultivate community through my work and Erica is a good source of inspiration in that , yet again! Through her workshops, events, talks, and book: Nurture, she touches areas outside of the box. Not only creating conversation in the world of couples, but also the individual woman, as well as within the queer community. She has bridged the gap that I have personally felt between all these worlds, becoming incredibly inclusive and productive from the very beginning. Erica is bridge. In addition to all of this - she has become a model for what I often look towards as insight on optimal living - asking myself :
What Would Erica Do?
Erica's personal bio and information about Loom were too good to not copy and paste after the interview.
Who are you?
My name is Erica Chidi Cohen. I’m a doula, author and the co-founder & CEO of LOOM.
Why do you make your work?
I make my work because I feel that helping people understand their bodies and feel confident in their choices around their reproductive health and wellbeing is important.
What do you believe in?
I believe in the power of kindness and empathy. I try my hardest to always come from both of those places. And that includes not only being kind to others, but being kind to myself as well. So, that might mean creating more boundaries or taking more risks. I think that empathy is so crucial - especially in the climate that we are in. It can be very important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to better understand how they operate and before jumping to a conclusion about who and what they are.
Name one thing you say yes to?
And one thing you say no to?
What change would you like to see?
I’d like all people that experience a menstrual cycle, (women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals), to fully understand how it works and how they can improve it and take control of it. Because I think understanding that piece of your physiology can lead to increased body and sexual positivity.
Name one thing that makes you happy?
How would you describe your personal routine?
At this time, it’s fairly chaotic because I just started a new business and my first book, Nurture, came out last year, so I’m on the road to creating what my new routine will look like. For instance, cooking and meal prep has been tough - even though I went to culinary school - there’s just not a lot of time to make food these days. However, I have restarted weekly acupuncture appointments and that has been great. And I’ve practiced classical pilates for over ten years and that is definitely a calming space for me.
What did you want to be as a child?
As a child, I definitely wanted to be a baker (hence, the culinary school).
Can you remember one solid piece of advice you’ve gotten for the growth of your business / work?
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
RuPaul. I have no idea what it would be about, but it would be RuPaul.
Who is one person in culture that you feel is making positive and inspiring change?
I’d say, Janet Mock. Her experience as a visibly trans women is a constant inspiration and she is actively using her platform to create space for the trans community in a way we really need right now.
Info on LOOM:
LOOM is weaving together uncommon threads and exists to provide education and community that empowers people around their reproductive health. Celebrating inclusivity and choice, LOOM is an entirely new approach to the health education experience. We are curious and dynamic, challenging the conventional and making space for individual instincts and the latest research.
Erica Chidi Cohen -Co-founder and CEO
Erica is a doula, health educator and author. She is an inherent activist, empowering people around reproductive health and guiding thousands of people in their transition from pregnancy to parenthood in her practice and through her book, Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Early Motherhood.
Erica began her work in San Francisco, volunteering within the prison system working with pregnant inmates. She went on to build a successful doula and reproductive health coaching practice in Los Angeles, CA, and has been lauded by Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire and Man Repeller. She currently lives in Los Angeles with partner and her Manx cat, Nima.