For many women, the idea of buying a sex toy for themselves is embarrassing. You feel exposed when walking into a shop filled with phallic accessories, and wonder what the heck you are doing there. While many of these toys are supposed to be geared towards women, it becomes clear pretty quickly that despite the pink glitter that’s been slapped on it, these products were not created by or for females.
That's where Crave founder Ti Chang comes in. For the past nine years she’s been working to break the stigma of sex toys by redesigning them with the female in mind. Chang's vision is to make adult toy products geared towards women that feels luxurious, while also removing the stigma that surrounds the often taboo products.
Ti didn't always have the vision of owning a sex toy business though. This week's podcast talks about how she took the big leap from industrial designer, to adult toy mastermind.
In This Episode:
- Ti Chang's journey from industrial designer to entrepreneur
- Why she chose the adult toy industry, and her vision for her brand
- The complicated world of actually getting a product manufactured
- Chang's biggest challenge in starting her company
- The meeting of her partner, and the creation of Crave
- How crowdfunding can be an invaluable tool when starting a company
Top 3 Pieces of Advice from Ti:
- Do your research. It may sound like simple advice, but it's important. Before doing anything else, start researching the market you want to go into. You may think you have a fantastic idea for a product, but it may very well be something already available. You can't work in a vacuum. Check out the major companies and products being sold.
- Create checkpoints. Make a list of things you need to accomplish. The goals you set for yourself can keep you on track, and guide you in the right direction for your new product. For Ti her checkpoints were: 1. Find out if she could make an appealing product; 2. Show her product at a trade show to see if buyers were interested in it; 3. Get a purchase order.
- Don't be afraid to get help from others. Partnerships are important. Ti originally wanted to do the work by herself, but quickly realized that she could do better working with someone else. Working with others gives you the opportunity to work with people whose strengths are things you may be lacking in.
Links and Resources Mentioned:
- Crave's Official Website
- Alibaba - Online marketplace company based out of China. Offers many services including portals to manufacturers.
- Quickbooks - Accounting software by Intuit geared mainly for small businesses.
- Women in Industrial Design Meetup - A group for female industrial designers in the San Francisco Bay Area.