Sephora and Bloomingdale’s are starting to embrace sexual wellness

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Although Dame focuses more on appliances, it also offers a $30 “arousal serum,” an $18 aloe-based lubricant, and a $95 pillow for adults called “Pillo.”

Companies tend to emphasize clean, natural ingredients in their products. Descriptions such as “infused with aloe” and “contains jojoba oil” are common.

The styling of the products surprised some retailers. For example, Mr Aldridge said Madewell, a clothing retailer, initially balked at the idea of ​​offering Maude products on its website. But then a shopper saw the items on a co-worker’s desk, marveled that they “look like a beauty brand” and decided they were worth adding to the store’s online marketplace. ‘business.

Cristina Nuñez, co-founder of True Beauty Ventures, a venture capital firm that invested in Maude, said the products were designed with “shelfie” in mind, which means people can feel proud and comfortable displaying articles in a photo on social media. media.

“We joked that vibe was something you could leave out on your nightstand and not be embarrassed to have a vibrator on your nightstand,” she said. “There wouldn’t be that stigma around it because it wasn’t rude.”

It’s hard to estimate the size of the sexual wellness industry, especially because it may increasingly branch into beauty products. Many of the major players are private companies, and Maude and Dame were unwilling to share their sales figures. But Ms. Nuñez, who researched seven or eight similar brands before investing in Maude, said many of the companies her company looked at were making “single-digit millions” of dollars in revenue. She said she was optimistic about a path to tens of millions of dollars in revenue and beyond.

“Opening up retail to these brands will help them get there,” Ms. Nuñez said, “because historically they could only really get to this point through direct-to-consumer sales, and now they have multiple outlets, from mass, prestige to luxury department store chains.”

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