A toast to auld lang syne

Written by Sara Carter. Posted in VENDORS PROFILE



The best thing that happened for us in 2017 was ...

Dawn Phillips2“Ball & Chain partnered with a company that does a ton of business on and I have already seen the spike in sales in the US. Additionally, they will be taking my products internationally on Amazon in 2018.”
— Dawn Phillips, Ball & Chain

Marcus Horea“The best thing that happened to Coquette was hiring a strategic director of sales and marketing along with a brand specialist to strengthen our company’s market positioning and brand awareness. We were able to create a new brand statement that aligns closely with our values and desired image.”
— Marcus Horea, Coquette

Denise YoungBennyNeff“Since January/July ANME, we have launched so many new collections at Blush. We have been listening to our customers and delivering new and exciting products that they are asking for. Another monumental shift for Blush was the addition of Ducky Doolittle in 2017 as our Marketing Director because of her amazing energy and wealth of knowledge, she is going to be a huge part of shaping Blush’s future and growth.  We are really grateful to have her in our Blush family.”
—Denise Young&Benny Neff, Blush Novelties

susan colvin“2017 has been a great year for us. One big accomplishment for the company was receiving the Creativity 47th Print and Packaging Award for our Mini Marvels collection. The award was for outstanding creative design, and we took home the gold. Mini Marvels takes a sexy spin on the comic-book world. The bold colors, whimsical styles, and artistic flair make this collection pop. The amazing packaging makes it a huge hit at retail. We couldn’t be more proud to receive this award.
The launch of the Jack Rabbit Signature collection was also big for CalExotics. The Jack Rabbit is one of our most popular products and is something consumers ask for by name.”
— Susan Colvin, CalExotics

Lynda Mort“East Coast News got back to basics this year in terms of how we are approaching the industry, and how we are continuing to build relationships with both our customers and vendors. We made a conscious effort to make sure our customers and vendors are partners to us, not just people we do business with.”
— Lynda Mort, East Coast News

Chad Braverman Headshot 2017“We’ve won multiple awards from prestigious industry organizations for several years in a row, including the StorErotica Award for Pleasure Products Manufacturer of the Year, and we are proud to see the payoff not only through these awards, but through the increased recognition from consumers.
Probably the most exciting thing we’ve achieved this year has been the continuing increase in exposure we’ve received in the mainstream media, in outlets like Forbes, AskMen, Complex Magazine, Glamour, GOOP, and the Huffington Post—we also have a few big pieces coming out in the next few months that we’re very excited about as well.”
— Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson

Claire Blakeborough copy“It’s been a busy year at ElectraStim. We have expanded significantly into the US and have now got a second fulfillment center in Florida so American customers can place their orders in dollars and benefit from faster shipping times with no import delays. As a result of this we attended our first ever ANME show in July where we had a fantastic, warm reception from other brands, buyers and distributors. 2017 also saw us welcome Brad Taylor to the ElectraStim team as Sales Manager; it helps that Brad is a familiar face in the industry but he’s really hit the ground running!”
— Claire Blakeborough, ElectraStim

Ken Sahn Holiday“In 2017, by sticking to our core competencies and superior customer service, we have managed to continue our double-digit growth in an ever-changing distribution world.”
— Ken Sahn, Holiday Products


PROFILE PIC FOR INTERVIEWS“A very strong sales increase from 2016! Word has spread on how well the Intimate Earth brand is selling and loyal consumers are coming into stores asking for it by name.”
— Rebecca Powley,
Intimate Earth


Marla Lee“The best thing that happened in 2017 for Kama Sutra was the release of our new Oil of Love size and packaging. People seem to love the new smaller size and price point making it more appealing to buy multiple flavors.”
— Marla Lee, Kama Sutra


Chris Kalev“Being nominated for a StorErotica award—and I’m not just saying that because SE is asking me. I mean that. To be even nominated was a true honor.”
— Chris Kalev, LA Pump


Jeff Baker“Magic Silk sales have continued to grow and we are experiencing our best year in company history for the fourth consecutive year. We have completely revamped our photography and packaging program offering a very clean and sleek look for all categories.”
—Jeff Baker, Magic Silk


Glenn Nalpac Press“The best thing that happened for Nalpac was that it was acquired by a new company with a vision and goals for the future. The new owners have breathed new life into Nalpac and approached the future with a new perspective, but the same tried-and-true principles of providing our customers with the best service possible.”
— Glenn Leboeuf, Nalpac

kathryn hartman“Our hands-on event and sales staff has enabled us to service our distributors and their customers much more effectively and the addition of the charming and bilingual Christina Crespo to our in house sales team has opened new doors for Nasstoys in the Latin market. In response to the growth we have experienced in this demographic, we have expanded our dong collections with more than pigments to accommodate market demand.”
— Kathryn Hartman, Nasstoys

Conde Aumann“We often talk about the The Screaming O Treatment in which we identify needs in the marketplace and bring thoughtful solutions to fill those needs. We saw the need for quality, body-safe, rechargeable toys that were affordable and accessible so we set off to develop our Charged line. With its launch in January 2017, it has been a resounding success that has opened the door to many opportunities in that segment.”
—Conde Aumann, Screaming O

Shots Ruben Deitz  03“Our triple-digit sales growth in 2017 attributed to the release of our extensive and exciting new lines that customers have absolutely loved.”
— Ruben Deitz, Shots America


Autumn OBryan“I can say that one of the best things that happened this year was experiencing noticeable, measurable results from all of the relationship building and business development we’ve done. The Topco Sales team dedicated ourselves to honest conversations and transparency with customers, all while introducing new and updated products, and the team could really feel the results during the last round of international trade shows. I am so proud of where we’ve come.”
—Autumn O’Bryan, Topco

JPHamelin“The best thing was to redesign the whole family of Aphrodisiac Warming Oils. It’s a big step for us because it’s all done here at the head office: design, testing, purchasing, controlling, production, etc. With all the marketing tools we have also in five languages, it makes a lot to change visually speaking.”
— Jean-Pierre Hamelin, Shunga

Ryan McCrobie“We created a female-focused medical panel to support our development process, and expand our horizons in respect to innovation within our category. It is wonderful to have a fresh perspective and has yielded valuable insights. Secondly, to learn more about the end consumer, we created a consumer panel that currently enlists about 1,400 panelists, with awareness ranging from well-educated to beginner users. One of the things we are working to develop is a way to direct consumers to retailers with coupon programs and incentives. Finally, our team is responding to industry demand for video content to help train staff, improving product awareness; we are currently on pace to release around 60 videos by the end of the first quarter, focusing on short segments that are easy to digest.”
— Ryan McCrobie, System Jo

Rebecca Nov2016 002B“The best thing this year for XR Brands has been our steady growth year over year. Numbers are in and in a climate where competition is steep it says so much about your teams dedication and hard work to end the year on such a high note.”
— Rebecca Weinberg, XR Brands

Tom StewartMy sister, Julie becoming president and assuming full responsibilities for the company. She is taking the company to places I wouldn’t think to go and it’s simply amazing. Her drive, dedication to our success and devotion to our team are second to none.
— Tom Stewart, Sportsheets

Kristian Broms“In 2017 we had a lot of great successes’ we appeared on the big screen featured in the film ‘Rough Nights’ and also appeared regularly on Bravo and a few other shows. I would say that one of our major wins was the new introductions to our King Cock line which includes six new models and an entirely new color, Tan. This line just continues to grow in popularity and that longevity and success in the market is something we continue to celebrate.”
— Kristian Broms, Pipedream 


The biggest challenge for us in 2017 was ...pour champagne white bg


“Managing our exciting growth in 2017! Customers were very excited about our new products debuted at the July ANME show. The challenge was to deliver these new items to our customers on a timely basis and we were able to achieve this.”
—Denise Young&Benny Neff, Blush Novelties

In 2017, one of our most significant challenges has been counterfeit goods. Counterfeit products are an enormous problem for CalExotics, JOPEN, and the overall industry. We see counterfeit goods across many platforms, and from across the globe.
As a manufacturer, counterfeit products devalue our brands and cheapen our products. Consumers are being misled and sold inferior products. This creates a misconception of the brand and breaks brand loyalty. For resellers, the entire process hurts their bottom line. Consumers are not willing to spend the money on quality products because they can buy it cheaper online. They don’t fully understand the issue at hand until it is too late and they are completely dissatisfied with the product.
Over the past two years, we’ve been working diligently to combat this issue. We have a dedicated team member along with an outside firm assisting us in our continued battle against counterfeit goods. We’ve come a long way, but it is a constant fight.”
— Susan Colvin, CalExotics

“The pleasure products industry is starting to be more and more in line with the traditional mainstream consumer goods markets, in that product lifecycles are now shorter, turnover is greater; and product development cycles must move faster as a result. The key to overcoming these challenges is to anticipate change, not simply react to it. This is obviously easier said than done, but companies that know their customers intimately, follow where the trends are going closely, and make informed decisions to act quickly will ultimately have the edge.”
— Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson

“For us, the most challenging part of 2017 has been the effect of Brexit. As a UK-based company we’ve obviously suffered from the Pound fluctuating against other currencies. However, we’ve taken steps to make sure that customers in the UK, US and across Europe are all receiving fair deals on their pricing. It’s been a challenge to try and manage all of this while there’s still a huge amount of uncertainty about what exactly is going to happen when we leave the EU.”
— Claire Blakeborough, ElectraStim

“By far the most challenging aspect of 2017 has been all of the rules and regulations (aka MAP Policies) regarding Amazon and third party resellers implemented by many of our vendors. The manufacturers are all searching for ways to somehow keep the volume of Amazon but maintain price and product integrity. Or, they are trying to keep their product off these platforms completely. They all have different models and methods and many of them have gone through a handful of permutations. It is dizzying for us as a distributor and for many of our customers.”
— Ken Sahn, Holiday Products

“The most challenging thing that happened for Kama Sutra in 2017 was keeping Rhythm toys in stock. This was and still is a very new venture for Kama Sutra. We did not expect the demand to be this high, making it a true challenge that I have had to face firsthand. Manufacturers can make the process quite a challenge.”
— Marla Lee, Kama Sutra

“This year, managing growth has been challenging. I’ve seen companies in this industry time and time again falter, because they took on more than they can handle.”
— Chris Kalev, LA Pump

“Because of Nalpac’s acquisition, the company had to physically move in an extremely short amount of time. On top of that, we had to re-establish relationships with customers and suppliers. We are happy to be progressing nicely with these challenges and look forward to the future and the great things it holds.”
— Glenn Leboeuf, Nalpac

“Staying ahead of the curve technologically and creatively insures continued success and guarantees a lack of tedium and helps us maintain our creative momentum. Keeping every gear in the machine well-oiled, fine-tuned and motivated is a daily challenge on a tight ship with a skilled crew who all wear many hats.”
— Kathryn Hartman, Nasstoys

“I like to think that The Screaming O has always had a reputation for developing quality disposable and reusable toys.  Part of the challenge of entering the ‘rechargeable’ segment is shifting the overall perception of what we’ve typically been known for.”
—Conde Aumann, Screaming O

“We had to open a night shift in production and, since unemployment is at a record low in Quebec (6%) and Canada, it’s tough to find workers. As a solution, we switch for a weekend production.”
— Jean-Pierre Hamelin, Shunga

“We believe supporting our retail partners with training, samples and testers is extremely important. We want the sales associates to know that we are here to support them. This is easier said than done. Most of the retail stores buy from their preferred distributor, so we needed tools to bring transparency of how we were performing across the 3,000 retailers that carry our product. We implemented a mobile friendly platform that allows our brand ambassadors to have visibility into the products on shelf and the number of touches per individual per store.”
— Ryan McCrobie, System Jo

“From staff turnover to new technologies to infrastructure expansion, rolling with the constant changes of business and life is always the biggest challenge for any business. Having a solid foundation with multiple key pillars enables XR to anticipate, adjust and persevere.”
— Rebecca Weinberg, XR Brands

“We are facing a time when the market is shifting and we are seeing more knockoffs and imitation products than ever before. We address this by offering our customers service and support beyond the products, to ensure their success. We introduced our Shelf N’ Shop this year, which makes merchandising a one-stop-shop for retailers. Through marketing support and service we are directly addressing our customers needs, unlike imitation companies who try to emulate our products.”
— Kristian Broms, Pipedream Products




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copyright: StorErotica Magazine Inc. 2016
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