EdenFantasys Celebrates 10 Years of Sexy Innovation!
Almost three years has passed since the first interview with Fred, founder and owner of Edenfantasys; so many wonderful changes have been made. Not only has the selection of products increased dramatically, but so has the size of our community and the diversity in the programs offered. What better way to celebrate the innovations of Edenfantasys and the successes of our community than to give you all a chance to get to know Fred a little better, while giving him a chance to get to know all of you a little better!
Now the main question I have: How in heck does a PhD in Physics decide one day to sell sex toys online?? Did you ever question whether you had lost your mind? Or was this just such a no-brainer type of decision that it never occurred to you to do anything else?
What made you decide to go into sex toys?
We all know that sex sells. I am sure that you know that more than anyone. What made that lightbulb in your head glow? What was your thought process in attempting such an exciting empire? Did you just wake up one day and think, "Today will be the day that I start my own sex industry shop!"
How did you get into the sex toy trade?
Was the company hard to start? Was it hard to get funding when you approached financiers and said, "I want to start and online adult toy store.?" What made you want to start the store rather than do something with your physics degree? Do you find yourself using things you learned in your degree while starting and running eden?Thank you, guys! I'll start with the tough one.
Physics wasn’t my thing all along, otherwise I would’ve stayed in it. Almost everyone in my family is a scientist, so going into Physics was a natural step. So I did, but then my more adventurous nature took over and I immigrated to the US. NYC had an overwhelming impression on me. I fell in love with the city, its people, and the country right there. Those first years in NYC were probably the best of my life.
You should remember it was 1999-2000, and dot com had busted, but the idea of internet and e-commerce was firmly established. I was fascinated with the internet from the very beginning. It happens that I was part of the very early internet user group, even back in Russia. Moscow University was part of the ARPANET. We were exchanging research papers with scientists from UCLA and MIT. I remember a computer center, mainframe machines, B&W screens and a long protocol sequence you needed to execute in order to establish connection.
So, in 2001, Amazon was already a big player in e-commerce, and it seemed to us that all the markets and product categories are taken. We came up with the idea for sex toys, because at that time we thought no one was selling them (Google wasn’t that good back then). This is how Eden was born in 2002.
Kindred (host): "Man emigrates to America, falls in love, and founds award winning online sex store. Isn't that the classic American dream? All joking aside, Eden may have been born in 2002, but it is a testament to your original vision that it is still going strong after 10 years. There are so many unique features about EF to love, but one that I find personally admirable is the involvement of the community in improving the site."
How does your science background integrate with your EF endeavors? Was there a period where you were both active in research and with EF?
In your experience working with a site such as this, what has your family said about what you do? Do they feel you are wasting your education? Are they or were they judgmental in the past about nature of your business? Were they supportive or you? Did they pretend to be?
Opening any sort of business, let alone a sex toy business, is a big step. Were you encouraged or discouraged by your family and friends? Did you tell them what you were doing beforehand?
I know you said you got bored with working for a TV company, do you think this was because you are just more suited to building your own dreams rather than the dreams of others? Do you ever get the hankering to start another business venture?In a sense, running a sex toy business is like being "in the closet." My family didn’t know about it for some time, but I eventually "came out." The good thing is, being scientists, they’re all very open minded, and they were great about accepting the news.
Of course, they regret me leaving the field, but it has never been about “wasted” education. One cannot waste education – it is a personal development, no matter what you do. I cannot overestimate the importance of education in any field. It makes life experiences rich, it empowers, it makes people happy. Please, use any chance in your life to learn!
There is not much support though – they simply don’t know much about running a business, and they are definitely not “investor material.”
Kindred (host): "You've certainly placed your beliefs on education into practice with EF. The site seems to be constantly learning, adapting, and evolving based on both experience and community input. It is truly dynamic and seems to be a unique approach among e-commerce retailers. Whereas with most companies you seem to get stone-walled, with EF new ideas seem to be genuinely considered and in many cases embraced."
Have you always had an interest in promoting a healthy sex culture? If not, how did you get into it?
Congrats on ten years! You've created such a sex positive community here. Do social justice issues regarding sex and gender affect how you approach things, from the conception of your business to the site today?
I've only known of Eden for the past year---but one of my very favorite features is how easy-to-use the materials searches are, and how reliable and thorough all of Eden's product data is. (Especially when compared with other online sex toy stores!)
Has this focus on all the information being easy-to-find been part of EF from the beginning, or did it evolve over the 10 years? No matter what the answer is, thanks to all who have had a hand in it!
How much has the company changed in the past 10 years?
What made you want to create a sex toy shop with such a large emphasis on social activities? Was that an idea from the start?
Has the vision of EdenFantasys evolved over the years or has it stayed pretty close to what you imagined it would be while you were sitting in your apartment contemplating the idea?
When you added the social aspects to the EF community, did you expect it to evolve into the huge, welcoming, extended family community that has emerged?
What are you the most proud of as far as the developments here on the site?
What do you wish you would have done differently?
What do you think your impact has been on the sex toy industry, people in general, and oh hey let's think big here... the world? Do you feel that you have helped to promote sex positivity in the modern world? And where do you see EF in the next ten years? And how do you feel about it all?
Sure... I should have split these questions all up... but they all tie together!!!We didn’t start with the social changes in mind. It was only out of later experience that we realized societal acceptance of sex and sexuality does not keep up with our overall progressive values. This has become our biggest challenge.
The Eden community was born out of the realization that we need to join the people out there who are open-minded, sex-positive, uninhibited, and progressive. We were looking to learn from the community, and share our knowledge and available resources. To make changes in society, we needed to create one.
The first steps on this path were tough. There were well-established sex positive communities with strong political agendas that either didn’t want us, or we couldn’t 100% align ourselves with their values. There were also some not-very-honorable people out there who were simply exploiting the problem. It took us some time to realize that we would need to create something of our own.
The thought was that we could start small, and connect around the qualities all of us share – we value and like sex, we experiment, we search, we test our boundaries and conquer our inhibitions. Sex toys are just the props for our brave lifestyle.
The first task in building a community was establishing trust between the company and the people. At that time, there was little to no information available about our products, and so the review program was born. We committed our company to gathering and publishing thorough product information and honest opinions about our products. This commitment is how we began building trust with our greatest asset – the community. Since then, advancing and enforcing this trusting relationship with our community has been, and will continue to be, our priority. More on this later.
Have you ever been asked to help design a new product for a manufacturer? If so, what was it?
If not, would you have any interest in helping design a new product?No, I have never designed a toy but would love to! :) It is something that would fascinate me. Most of our creations are online, sort of a virtual world. Creating something “real”, physical and having it manufactured will be very rewarding! I am afraid, this is something that I won’t be good at. Marketing products online and making them are two very different things.
What we could probably do is to create a community contest for the best toy idea. The winner will get their toys manufactured. We will also enter with the winner into a license agreement for portion of the sales. You are welcome to submit your ideas without official contest.
Kindred (host): "Surely this is an area where you could apply your physics degree. Perhaps a kegel exerciser that incorporates the principles of perpetual motion with a gyroscope? Although women may never want to take it out!"
You're always working on something, what's the first thing you do when you get into work in the morning?I’m a coffee man. A good cup of fresh coffee makes my morning. As the work goes, I am pretty organized and have my schedule done for all days of the week and then some. The key to an efficient workday is to stick with the plan and the schedule. Unless it’s a real emergency, I try to stick with planned conferences.
If the earth left its orbit, how long would it take for darkness, or total light, take to reach us? Would it be affected by the number of sex toys I was holding at the moment we tipped off our axis? Is it an inverse relationship? If I had more sex toys, would it take less time?
This is just a whacky question--I don't expect a serious answer--think of this as an opportunity to impress us with your sense of "physical humor"!!!I think, with the toys around us, there will never be darkness! The Earth might tip though if we start rocking it synchronously with our orgasms.
Would Eden ever consider eliminating things like Jelly toys, that have been pretty much proven to have health risks, as some other companies have done? Or do you believe more that customers need to do their own research and decide which materials they want for themselves?For the last several years, in substantial part due to you guys, and our community, the sex toy industry has become much more conscious about harmful substances and materials used in manufacturing. When we started, the majority of the toys were jelly and rubber. Today, jelly toys are quite rare and there are fewer every season. I guess, very soon, the jelly will be completely gone or replaced.
Kindred (host): "I think it's great that EF values customer safety over making money. Not many companies have such standards."
Howdy Fred! Congrats on ten wonderfully sexy years of business.
I am wondering about the differences in sex toy acceptance between America and your home country of Russia. Are there brick and mortar shops there?As a former communist country, where the church was almost non present in the society until only recently, Russian is very atheistic. This eliminates many problems with getting local communities approvals for the stores. This is always a big obstacle here in the US. At the same time, Russia’s laws are very tough on pornography, and this sometimes gets confused with sex toy industry and therefore authorities are suspicious about new sex toy businesses. America with its strong democratic principles of the free speech and freedom of expression is more civil about it.
On the consumer side, Russians love sex with or without toys :)
What is your favorite part about being in Atlanta? And, conversely, what do you miss most about being in New Jersey? Finally, do you notice any difference, business-wise, between the two locations? Anything that is definitely better or worse in one place or the other?Operationally, there is not much difference between NJ and GA. The lifestyle is a bit different. The south is more relaxed, I’d say.
I am an artist before a scientist, so I connect to the art of science.
As a scientist, do you have an appreciation for the arts, and if so, the science of the arts? Anything in particular that speaks to you?Great art and great science are very similar in a way that both open up a new perspective previously unknown to humankind. I love art. I don’t know it well, but every time I experience art, I try to see what kind of emotions and feelings, and thoughts it brings in me. If you are careful, it is always something that you didn’t have or never experienced before.
My recent discovery is Google Art Project [http://www.googleartproject.com/]. I enjoy “travelling” to galleries I will never be able to visit in person. There are so many talented people out there!
How do you decide on what products to carry in the store?
Hi, Fred, How do you and the staff decide what products to carry and in what quantities? How much leverage does the Community have in decisions to buy different products that Eden doesn't carry yet? (I've been wanting y'all to carry Sugar Saks for years....)We are constantly on the lookout for new products. We source from all around the globe and aren’t afraid of working with small manufacturers and startups along, of course, with the big manufacturers. The selection process starts with scouting our forums for your suggestions and clues. Our purchasing team contacts manufacturers and brings sample in house. Once delivered, we send them all to you guys for the reviews. When all the reviews come back, this is the moment of truth – the team has a weekly meeting where all reviews are being discussed and pros and cons are weighed in.
@ P'Gell Sugar Saks storage bags are very nice, I agree. But it is a one person operation and there is not even enough for their own Etsy store, let alone for us.
Kindred (host): "It's wonderful that contributors have so much influence on what products are carried on EF. It also reinforces how important it is to have a quality review to help the staff make final decisions."
Was the Mete-oh-rite even an actual toy made of what it said it was? Or was it a joke? I'm a bit gullible so I don't know for sure.
If it is, being involved in science, what is your opinion of it?
If it isn't, I'd still like to know what you think of such a product.
I also wanted to join everyone else in thanking you for creating this website. I used to be shy about things like this. I wouldn't even consider a toy (I had a bullet and a c-ring). A friend convinced me to check out EF and I hung around in the background awhile and finally got the courage to get active. I'm so thankful for this site, the review program and the forums. I was a little naive when I came here and people were just so nice and ready to help and made me feel welcome. I'm a lot more comfortable and open now and it's due to this place. Plus, you guys beat the pants off Pure Romance (which was where I was buying from before) when it comes to price and QUALITY items. No other site informs customers of safety of materials or has reviews like Eden does. When know what we're getting when we order from here and the customer service reps are fantastic. Thank you!No, the Meteorite was an April Fools spoof. Products like this, made of the meteorite stones, would cost its weight in diamonds. Someday, when we’ll be living on another planet…
Kindred (host): "Wait a minute, you mean the Mete-oh-rite that Jaimes sent me isn't real? I hope she at least used body safe paint..."
I notice you mentioned that you like Eureka! the series....what are your thoughts on how the series turned out?Love this Matrix-type Eureka turn in the last season. Kind of blurs the line not only between “real” and “virtual”, but also between good and bad, which was missing in the original Matrix.
What outsiders have been most important to your success here at EdenFantasys?Guys, these “outsiders” are you – the EdenCommunity. I wouldn’t call you outsiders, rather friends. But, without the community, Eden would be just another shop out there. Thank you all!
Kindred (host): "You are so right. EF is a great site as far as an online retailer, but it is the amazing community that makes it one of a kind. As has been said before, come for the sex toys, stay for the community."
Do you plan to keep your sex toy empire in the family or with close friends when you are "not around" anymore? You have created this magnificent retail sex toy store and made an amazing support staff, what are your plans for when you can no longer run EdenFantasys? I don't know if you have even thought about that since you are still very young, but 20 years from now, 30 years from now, ect ect.. What are your plans for the company and who do you plan to pass the torch to?Not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. I have a lot of plans for Eden in years to come. They are quite ambitious and will require significant investments. So, I will probably have some partners or would go public.
Kindred (host): "I think the entire community is looking forward to what plans you have in store for the site."
I was wondering what inspired you to choose the name "Eden Fantasys"? If it's mytholgically/biblically based it's definitely the opposite of what most other companies try to draw from (i.e., sinful, devillish, etc) and if it's for the "temptation" quality I say well done because it comes off as not too obvious and thus keeps it classy, not trashy (as opposed to something like XXX____)!
Secondly, what made you decide on the color scheme of pink and green? It's a colour combination I haven't often seen elsewhere.
I love what the site has become in the last few years, but I'll admit that I was initially put off by its name. Could you tell us anything about why you chose this name for your website, and particularly, why "fantasys" and not "fantasies?" This question has been bugging me for years, and I'd love to hear more about the site's naming process.Yes, this one will hunt me down forever I guess
We registered all the spellings, starting with the right one of course. The “sys” got on the list as a likely misspell / mistype. It also downplayed the seriousness of Eden Fantasies that has direct biblical associations which we didn’t want to have. So, the “sys” found its way into design elements, main URL and then it was late to change it. I think someday we still will need to do this
Just for you to know - [www.EdenFantasies.com|www.EdenFantasies.com] does respond with the same content.
Pink and Green design is an original one made by a young French web designer Antuan. It was a bit shocking at first, but we all love it eventually and try to maintain.
Regarding the name please see my answer to Oohlookasquirrel above.
Kindred (host): "I think the "sys" will always be a curiosity and question for people. It also adds to the mystery and is part of the folklore of EF."
Do you ever scroll through the Forums to see what your Forums are like from time to time? Do you participate just under a different name???
If you do have a different name... don't tell us!!!
Why don't we see you around on the Forums too often? I always thought that it would be fun to see you respond to posts. You made it, you should get to have fun, too!No, I have never used a different name. I just rarely participate, but it doesn’t mean I am not listening. In fact, we do have weekly meetings about what is going on the forums: we monitor abuses and trolls, we listen to your product suggestions, we work on technical bugs you report, and from time to time we ask you questions that are really important.
I’ll try to be on the forums more often. I answer private messages too, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
@Women China. I read your message to me, thank you. We just couldn’t do it right away, but it is definitely an interesting proposal. Thank you!
Kindred (host): "This is yet another example of what makes EF so special. How many other companies listen so much to the input of the community? And to be able to contact the president of the company is unheard of. Most companies I try to contact I can't even get past the automated menus before I'm ready to hang up out of frustration. With EF, we realize that our opinions are valued."
Knowing what you do about physics, just how big of a deal is the discovery of the Higgs boson and what implications will this have on the future of science and technology?Discovery of the Higgs almost finally established the dominance of the Standard Model. I personally was hoping for the String theory, but the Standard model it is. Having hard time to shake off the thought that nothing exciting can come out of “standard”. “String” sounds much more promising.
Jokes aside, the discovery of the Higgs is on par with the major discoveries of the past like: the electron, atom, black holes – huuuge! Can you imagine – this is a particle responsible for the fact that everything around us has mass! We could’ve been ghosts without it.
Was the political climate between Ukraine and Russia calm or rocky when you moved to Russia for your education? Did your Ukrainian background have an impact on how people in Russia received you?
And in the US, do people seem more interested when you share stories from Ukraine or from Russia?I was born in the USSR, not Russia. Russia broke down in 1989, before then, there were almost no difference between Russia and Ukraine – both were the states of the federation. It was like moving from NJ to GA ?
You have so many great people working for you on Eden. What do you look for in an employee and what do you suggest for people that want to WORK for people like you?
Your strategy for obtaining your employees via the active members on the site is genius! You not only remove the time consuming process of screening and interviewing but also have years or months worth of experience prior to hiring.
What makes a member an ideal prospect for future employment? What are the key features that make a person stand out as a possible future employee?Community presents treasure trove of talent, energy, knowledge and creativity.
I want to work with people who respect their own time, who know what they do and don’t take for granted everything they’ve been told to do. No matter a small task or a big project – people will have to be intelligent, creative, be team players and seek meaning in what they do.
Kindred (host): "A huge benefit is that much of EF as a business is virtual so it allows you to select people with ideal profiles regardless of geography. The community simply provides an ideal place to search for these individuals."
Will you be joining us for the July 26 party online? If so, remember that clothing is always optional at EF social events!Yes I will Looking forward to it!
Having been in the marketing line of work i know the importance of expanding your reach would you be interested in starting a party program similar to tupperware where representatives would host parties featuring the edenfantasys product line? Id love a chance to help build this if you were ever to do so.Home parties is a big and complicated business. Many have tried, few made it. We have considered it. As with everything, if we do it, I would like to see it done differently. If anything, it should be based on our community. I would like to see if you have any specific thoughts on this.
The deep south is known for being conservative. What factors led to Eden relocating to Georgia, versus the more sexually liberated New York?We relocated to GA as a result of the deal with Liberator in 2011. As you know, it didn’t work out and Eden eventually split out. Moving cross-state again in 1 year wasn’t possible and we settled in Atlanta GA. True, it is not the most liberal state, but being an online business we are not very much concerned with the local environment.
Kindred (host): "I can't help but think there's an interesting story in the entire Liberator experience. Regardless, the bottom line is the EF came through the experience as wonderful as before and I'm guessing a little wiser."
When you first started this business did you ever imagine it would be this successful? And do you have any advice for other people who are wanting to change careers and start a business?
Having obviously made a huge leap in going from a career in science to entrepreneurship, do you have any advice for someone looking to go into their own business one day?Don’t be afraid to try and be determined and passionate about what you do. It is always helpful to follow the MVP-rule: Minimum Viable Product – something that has an essence of your final product but doesn’t cost you that much. Always try to release the MVP first, analyze the feedback and adjust. Helps to localize mistakes at the earlier stage and saves time and money not producing something that people wouldn’t want.
If you had to choose an animal that totally represented who you are and/or what you would love to be, what animal would you choose?
Related question: What animal do you think represents EdenFantasys?I’m a cat person Have a cat myself and would like to be re-born as a cat next time. I have never thought of what animal Eden would be, but if you insist, I’d say it is also cattish, may be a big cat like a cougar, or a panther – mesmerizing, sharp, and independent. Hard to establish the trust, but once done – it’s forever.
Greetings! In your opinion should parents openly discuss sex/sexuality with their children or not and if so what age should we begin discussing it with them?I think it is different for every family. More open and relaxed on the subject families tend to discuss it earlier and there are some families that are stricter and more closed up and they discuss sex in later years if ever. I’ve seen very healthy kids grown up in both environments. I’d say it is a unique mix of a child -parent interpersonal dynamics and circumstances.
My strong belief, as a parent, is that mentally healthy kids require mentally healthy parents. Parents with a solid moral backbone – no matter what the ground is: religion, atheism, customs – will produce moral children.
Kindred (host): "I absolutely agree that there is no one right answer and that it depends on so many factors such as the relationship between the parent and child, beliefs, customs, family structure, etc."
How have you handled people who were negative about your business idea?I always appreciate and seek for constructive criticism: thoughtful, non-aggressive, and helpful.
When you work 10 years on the same project you just need a good outside perspective to stay abreast.
What have you learned from the move to Atlanta and the brief partnership with Liberator?Many things: Even a great idea can be ruined by poor execution; Never underestimate personality factor; Online is an independent channel and not an “extension” – mistakes made by many from notorious AOL-Time Warner merger in 2001 and subsequent AOL spinoff, to the recent Private-GameLink deal breakdown in our industry. Liberator chapter was a difficult time. We learned our lessons and matured from this experience.
What is your secret to aging so well, and can it be purchased with Eden Points?Thank you for the complement.
Are you married? How is your business affecting your privat life?
Do you have to travel a lot for business?I am divorced but in a relationship with Rufina Bulatova.
Not really. With all the conveniences of internet communications, the travel can be substantially reduced and be more productive. Personally, I’m not fond of travelling.
I'm a Russian candy fiend. What's your favorite Russian candy or chocolate?
What would you say is your favorite Russian meal or dessert, is it something you can get here in the States?Russia has a well established custom of gathering berries and mushrooms in the wild. Many families do it during their summer / fall vacations. I picked wild blackberries, cranberries, and gooseberries. I love mushrooming – porcinis (“white mushroom” in Russian) may be quite abundant in a good year.
Every family has its own recipe of the berries jams, preserves; mushrooms usually get pickled. I love these treats very much and they are impossible to mass produce. The classic Russian drink is a straight vodka shot with a pickled white mushroom to go after! No drink has beaten this for me so far.
Rarely do I as a women think of a man being the owner of a responsible, ethical, and safe sex shop. In fact never did I think of that until I found out that a man owns my favorite sex shop...Edenfantasys, aka you. What responses did you receive from friends and family when you decided to start eden? What responses do you get now when people realize a man owns eden?
Do you still have family and friends in Russia? How do they feel about your chosen career path? Are any of them customers?
Were friends and family supportive of your endeavors here at EF when you started out? Are they supportive now?
What does your family think of your endeavors? Have you encountered positivity or opposition, generally speaking?
Have you ever experienced any negativity towards what you do from friends or family members or are people in your life open and proud of your business and the great success you've had?
Once your friends and family knew you had an online sex toy site, did any of them have issues with your decision? Did those issues affect your relationships? How did you deal with any negativity you received?
How does your family feel about your line of work?
What was the most difficult situation you ran into when starting up EdenFantasys? Was it setting up the business itself, trying to explain your plans to family and friends, or some other personal issue? What is your opinion on Edenfantasys today? Are there certain issues with the site that you plan on dealing with or any new add ons in the works? Do tell!My son Ilya is here. The family “at large” is all in Russia. Their feelings toward my business are fine. I discussed it in more details above.
What has been your biggest challenge with this job and how did you handle it?
What is the greatest challenge EF has faced over the 10 years and how did you overcome it?Eden came into play at the times when industry started to undergo transition from its puberty to maturity. Consumer and markets has changed significantly from “teen age” hey days in early 80-s and industry was late to transform. The biggest challenge everyone felt was to earn trust of new consumers who didn’t want to go into shady adult dvd stores. There were obvious requirements for a new marketing paradigm, improved product quality, new product varieties. This slowly started happening and now is in the full swing. New luxury brands have evolved, product quality has increased manifolds, the new marketing established general acceptance of the products among mainstream categories.
There are still many things to do and a long way to go, but it’s started, and this was the hardest I think.
Kindred (host): "Consumer trust is a huge issue and obviously became a main focus with EF since it is "the sex toys shop you can trust." Social acceptance of topics such as sex and masturbation has also made trust easier I assume. And as with many products, manufacturers learn that consumers are willing to pay top dollar for quality products. Sex and the City was, at least for me, a milestone memory in terms of introducing the rabbit vibrator to the masses. No longer was it taboo but instead it was in vogue."
Have you found that women are more open about their sexuality and willing to discuss it than even just 10 years ago?In many ways they are. I do think, however, the right measure of the openness would not be public discussions about women’s sexuality but conversations women have with their partners, in private. The progress has to be made by both partners to establish the open, frank communication. And I do believe, women in general are more advanced than men in this. In many ways women’s shyness and secretiveness about their needs and wants comes from their partner’s arrogance and rudeness toward those needs and wants.
Did you ever think that the company you were starting would have such a positive impact on people's lives? You have created a sex-positive atmosphere where we can feel safe and free to be ourselves no matter what our gender or sexual orientation, or what we're into. You have changed a lot of people's minds about sex toys and many other subjects and made us feel that it is okay to be sexual. Was this your plan from the start?
You've done so much for this community! What inspires you towards it? We know there is something behind making money, for the outstanding customer service, and everything you give to your customers.
Was the "community" and the review program part of your original ideas about the company when you first started it or did that come to play later in the progression of the company?
EdenFantasys has really changed my whole thinking process on sexuality and turned my mind upside down. It has made me believe that sex toys are OKAY. I was very timid to come onto this website and order my first shipment of fun things. Now that I have, I make purchases all the time. How can ONE man, meaning yourself, change the mind of hundreds upon thousands upon all the woman out there that felt that sex toys were so taboo, How did you do that?
Did you set out to make such a female friendly site?Thank you everyone! Eden is not a one-man show. Over 50 people work every day on this website. A lot of efforts, ideas and inspiration come from the community. Eden didn’t start with a sex positive concept. Back then the term didn’t even exist. I am not even sure there is a definition of this today. What I call being sex positive is to be really accepting to any ways of sexual expressions and activities as long as they are consensual, mutually respectful, and overall beneficial for everyone involved. This is what our community has established and taught me. Thank you!
Kindred (host): "And thank you for having the vision of what EF could be and constantly striving to improve something that is already amazing!"
There seems to be a large market of sex toys on the internet. Especially with the appeal of anonymity. How do you separate yourself from other companies?You – the Eden Community - make the major difference. Wealth of the information, reviews, pictures, videos – is what you guys create and what makes Eden the best place.
To complement this with the great servic,e we constantly upgrade our fulfillment operations, customer service, shipping. We are one of a very few shops out there that runs their own fulfillment warehouse.
In your opinion, what is the most exciting recent advance in technology in terms of its impact on sex and sexual products?
How many products do you move a day?Not that much – about 2000.
Has your degree and experience in physics helped you in any way as a business man in the sex toy world? Or is it a completely separate compartment in your life at this point? There are many scientists here in the EF community and personally I find I use my knowledge quite a bit in discussions and reviews.My scientific background helps a lot with technology and my MBA helps me with the business processes. This perspective create a unique position that allows me to communicate business needs to developers and back to the business managers some technology limitations in a way nothing is lost in translations.
As we grow, my role is changing, but it is still mostly about matching the right people to work on a specific task as a team.
I don’t know what I would’ve done if… Today, if there weren’t Eden, I would’ve become a solar panel engineer. I am fascinated with all renewable energy and hybrid technologies. I seriously would want to try it
Kindred (host): "Solar panel engineer? Perhaps you could make the EF facility in Atlanta green by installing your own solar panels."
Do you use your degree still?
What whould you do if you whouldn't start this business?
Do you ever wish you had stayed in physics? How much do you keep up with the news of the field? Do you feel like your education has much application to founding and running EF?See answer to Kindred above.
Do you ever plan to become an Eden Reviewer?
Do you ever log on to the site and look at the reviews that we are posting?
Would you ever consider reviewing products and publishing the reviews on the website?
Do you ever browse the forums to see what customers are talking about?I do read reviews and watch contributor’s video and go through the forums regularly. I follow my favorite reviewers and love to hear from them once they publish. As for writing my own reviews, I work on the programs that allow you guys to have all of the fun with reviewing.
Can you describe what an average day at work is like for you? What sort of decisions do you make on a daily basis? Is it similar to any other business or are there unique challenges for a sex toy company?
Do you use the demographics obtained from our profiles and polls to guide your business decisions? Or are you paying an outside company to do your demographics?
Do you go into an office every day or do you work mostly from home?
How do your decide what new products, or lines of products that you'll carry?
At this point and time, 10 years into the company, are you still involved in the day to day running of the business? Meaning are you involved with what products you will be selling on the site?
How does EF determine which companies will be allowed to sell their merchandise through this website?
Did you choose to sell some products based on personal experience, or other reasons?I work normal hours from the office where I am every day from 8-5. My “second” shift starts at home from 7-9 and I work on the weekends too. My vacation is usually 3-4 days/year, not even every year.
In this regard, work-wise, being a small business owner sucks. If I hadn’t had passion for what we do, I couldn’t maintain such a pressing schedule.
Community reviews, polls, forums are the most viable source of feedback and ideas for all of our divisions. Purchasing literally works off your suggestion lists and major daily decisions are made based on the reviews, ratings, comments. Nothing can beat the wisdoms of the community, we know this, appreciate it a lot, and are very committed to these relationships.
Sorry if this has already been asked, I have headache and didn't read through all the previous questions.
Have you ever considered having an Eden Fantasys convention? I know that you participate in larger sex related convention, but what about a small convention just for Eden Fantasys people. One where we could meet in person and share all the things we normally share online.Wow! This is right on the point. Yes, we had discussions about this multiple times. I am not sure it is feasible this year, but I’d love to see us together in one place someday. Do you see it as the Burning Man-type gathering, or more formal? Would you want to meet manufacturers, or just friends? I have tons of questions on this one myself.
Kindred (host): "I hope you can make this a reality some day; I think much of the community would be interested. Also, since this community is a virtual one, it would be interesting if you could somehow make part of the convention experience accessible to members virtually."
What gave you the opinion that men and women should be equal when it comes to sex toys, and, well, basic equality? I hope that doesn't sound biased, I support equality myself, but how did you learn that equality is a good idea and become supportive of it?It might be a coincidence, but there were more strong and smart women in my life than men. In general, my position on the equality is not conventional. I believe, women and men are different, have their own strong and weak sides, destined to coexist of course and need to give each other room.
Women are powerful in their ability to communicate, to accept the inevitable and move on, to change things in a subtle but nonetheless definitive way, to be more in synch in general with life.
Men are usually stronger physically, much more aggressive, and very often irrational.
I want once to live in a society where women and men are both: accepted and appreciated without prejudice, based on their values, deeds, actions as individuals, not gender representatives. The equality I am looking for is in understanding that everything is equally important, connected and therefore requires open mindsets to appreciate a contribution.
The Olympics are coming soon. This oldest contest of physical ability proves to differentiate between men and women. Is it inequality? I don’t think so. Even if women run 100 meters slower than men do, this doesn’t mean women are inferior. Because there is a car that runs faster than any men doesn’t mean the car is superior.
I hope to see more of not women going into and doing what men do, but advancing and popularizing more of what women love to do and are usually better at.
In your first interview you mentioned the use of brightly colored shipping boxes rather than the drab brown boxes that are used. What happened to this idea? Are there many other ideas that get fizzled out? If so, what are some ideas you've had that didn't make the cut?Melan!e, you cannot imagine how many ideas has not been realized. In fact, I’d say about 1% or less is getting produced and about 1% of those produced are actually getting some traction in the community or among the customers. This is the part that is really frustrating sometimes, but this is life. You have to try, and try, and try, and invent, and re-invent. This is a nature of the internet – always fluid, and ever-changing medium.
In the specific case of the bright boxes – people complained about losing the discreetness of the package. Still a very important factor for many.
Kindred (host): "You can not have success until you have failed, and you can not fail unless you try. What's important is having the courage to try and learning when you fail."
Many of us who are active on EF have developed close, intimate relationships. Building on questions already submitted by Petite Valentine do you feel that it is important (for you) not to develop any relationships in the community at large and do you feel that you are misssing out on what is considered the most important part of shopping with EF?
Thank you again for your great leadership, for you generosity, your ethics and your vision for EF. It is unusual to see a successsful business model with such high ethical standards. I say this with all sincerity, and it is the highest complement I can give, but your Mom should be very, very proud of you. Good job.Thank you very much for your warm regards.
My personal involvement with the community is something that I would want and would seek. On the other hand I hate to have favorites and this is what will happen because you cannot be real friends with everyone. Maybe, when I am less involved in the business and have less authority, I will get out and develop serious and meaningful relationships. Right now, from the top authority, I feel it is somewhat unfair to all of you. This is certainly the most important part of Eden, but I have to stay aside for now.
Thank you for your question though and I hope you understand.
Just to follow Airen's question about Eureka, how did you feel about the news that it was ending? What are your thoughts with there being no solid sci-fi on TV?I’m behind with Eureka, so haven’t seen the end of the season yet.
How did you get the idea for SEXIS magazine? (It's a great resource, by the way!)SEXIS Magazine was a natural extension of our community. We wanted to create a resource that would encompass all perspectives that different people have about sex. Sort of an in-depth collection of stories and research that answer the question “What Sex Is?”, hence the name SEX-IS.
After 3 years into project, we still haven’t quite gotten there yet. At least, I am not satisfied with what it is now. This is why we are taking a new approach and instead of having editorial publications most of the time and staff writers, we are opening up the magazine for submissions from the Eden Community. The goal is still the same – create a multicultural publication that addresses sexual subjects at large: from cultural and social levels to personal. The magazine is open for submissions and we are welcoming everyone to do so. All you need to do is just activate Sexis article service in your Eden account and share with us your writing. Every published submission will receive points and some popular posts will be featured and rewarded additionally.
The redesign of the magazine is also on the way. Keep tuned.
Kindred (host): "Sexis has been a great resource for the community and I wonder in what ways you feel the "old" version did not achieve the goals you hoped for. Regardless, I think we are all looking forward to the new incarnation and are excited that it involves more of the community."
Just one more quick question...Why did the Clone-a-Willy get discontinued? I ordered one and we cloned my hubby. It turned out perfect and is definitely one of my favorite toys. Was it the previous (so-so) reviews? sales? or just not enough demand?
In any case, it is the coolest toy ever! Please bring it back (lol) I want another oneHonestly, I don’t know. There was nothing wrong with this product. Fun and easy. May be they stop manufacturing? You can check with our product specialist Max – he’s on the forums.
What do you do for relaxation? Has that changed since the move to Atlanta?I love being in the wild and off-the-grid: hiking is preferred pastime. Atlanta has much more exciting trails that are yet to be visited. Chattahoochee river, Blue Ridge Mountains, Rabun lake – all in a proximity of the city.
Can you share your porcini pickling recipe with us? I would love to feature it in Eden Cooks... or just use it for myself I've never had a pickled mushroom before.I’ve seen it gets done many times but I haven’t done the recipe myself. So, I won’t give to you non-exact information now. Instead, I’ll check with my mom and will get back to you with it. I promise.
Are you a member of any online communities yourself? Do you get your news online or from traditional (newspaper or tv) sources?I don’t watch TV except shows. My all news comes from online. As of newspapers, I think New York Times is the best traditional paper that has ever been made. Love it, but “experience” it – the paper with a coffee, at the morning table on the street outside of a café – quite a rare and luxury picture.
I know the startup phase, especially, of any business can be really shaky---when did you realize EF had "made it" and that you were an established business? Was there a moment where you said "Hey, this has gone from being a dream to a reality now" ? Or was it a more gradual realization?I wish I could say it. It is never sure thing with online. The whole landscape can change overnight. So, to answer in short – I haven’t said this yet.
Hmmm.....you came to the USA as a young adult who had "grown up" under a communist government. Knowing that communism (at ist best) puts the needs of the community ahead of the needs of an individual, and that materialsim is discouraged, do you think that affected the establishment of the Eden community and you generosity to the members of the community? You could have easily turned Eden in to a greedy company concerned only about making money and not concerned about the consumers. I also notice, tas a testiment to your personal ethics as a man and a business man, that your employees are very loyal to you. All of this reflects positively only you and I am just wondering if you can connect these values from your growing years (not relating to your family influence, but the influence of communism).Interesting question, thank you. Communist ideology as much as it is hypocritical, flawed, and doesn’t work altogether, had a substantial impact on kids who, like me, were raised in the last years of the USSR. At younger ages, when people don’t see the whole picture, the principles sound universally good and have an appeal of a fairy tale. This dream of a childhood is still in me somewhere, although as an adult I have been completely disillusioned about communism.
Eden, of course, is a for-profit business. I try, however, to build and run it in a more responsible way toward all stakeholders: partners, customers, vendors, and Eden Community, as a major stakeholder. My personal political views are more on a liberal side, and while I cannot do much on the grand scale of things, I am trying my best in a small “town” Eden Community.
Kindred (host): "I agree that EF has been extremely generous to the community in many ways. However, I've never viewed that generosity to be based on communism. Rather, I think it's part of your customer service model in that taking good care of your customers makes good business sense. It has everything to do with customer loyalty and why EF is so popular."
What would you say your greatest accomplishment is/was?
What gives you greater satisfaction - creating and growing your own successful company or the fact that something you have created is making such a difference to the love lives of many thousands of people?
When you look back , do you ever think of all the lives that have been changed through Eden? If you do is it kind of mind blowing?
There is much about what EF has become to be proud of. What single accomplishment regarding EF are you most proud?I don’t think there are literally thousands of people whose sex life has changed after they interacted with Eden. However, even if there are few – this is a success and the greatest satisfaction one might have, in my opinion
I don't know how many children you have (and am not asking) but would you like to see one of them take EF even further forward one day or encourage them do their own thing?I have one kid so far – my son Ilya Petrenko. He works for the company now and I would love to see him taking this further to the next level. However, he’s 22 and appears to have his own ideas and interests which he’s pursuing. I am just helping him to find and set on his own path, as my family did to me.
I'm sure being in the Sex Toy industry has brought on many funny conversations, but I just have to ask! What is the funniest conversation you have ever had about your " line of work ". Being a cam girl, I just KNOW there has to be alot of funny questions and conversations that pop into your mind when asked this!Yes, I remember a few. Mostly though, the funny situations arise when talking to a people outside the industry about the business. There was one recent encounte. I’m at the county clerk office getting business license registration. An inspector- women is looking at the application and she asks (loudly so everyone around can hear):
- Is it EdenFantasys?
- Yes, ma'am (my voice down and surprised by her knowing – there is a company name "Web Merchants" on the papers);
She comes out from the counter, hugs me and declares to the whole office and customers (about 20 office clerks and customers total)
- This is EdenFantasys, y’all. I recently joined their review program, and this is why yesterday a vibrator for my review assignment got delivered here and y’all were turning it on and off until our supervisor came in and ya bi’ches dropped it on the floor and broke it. Will you EdenFantasys send me a replacement please?
The was a moment of silence and then most of the people around just started giggling. Before I was done one person from the line asked for my card to sign up too.
Kindred (host): "That is a hilarious story and illustrates how many people are involved in this community. I often wonder how many people I know might also be involved with EF. Certainly with the size of the community, at least one person I know must at least be casually involved. It must be personally rewarding to have encounters such as that."
have you ever regrete that you gave up Physics?
As a kid what did you expect to do with your future? Did you ever imagine of creating a site like Eden?
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?No, I don’t regret making my choices. I am happy where I am now, what I do, and who are with me. What I am grateful for is the fact that these were my own choices; no one did them for me, or forced me into them. This is a blessing.
In various ages, I contemplated many careers. My parents and I made efforts to advance some of them. At the age of 10, I spent a summer working on a farm – wanted to become a farmer; at the age of 12, I spent summer on a construction site with my uncle.
My uncle Mark (a prominent physicist) had a hobby - carpentry. He is very skillful with a carpenter axe, and was on a project to build a summer house – log cabin. I was part of a small team he assembled and managed. We did all by ourselves: from blueprints to harvesting and cutting logs, to doing a fine woodwork on the door and windows frames, floor plans, etc.. We worked all summer. It was some experience: I learned how to cut trees, branch them, cut with an axe special knots to tie the logs together, how to properly sharpen axe – a lot of fun.
At the age of 14, father and I had a 6 months project during which we completely disassembled (to the last nut and bolt) a family car, cataloged all the parts, and then put everything back. (The car drove ok afterwards.) Father was showing me what "mechanics and engineering" means; how the engine works, what are the main parts and what they do – completely mesmerizing experience for a teenager!
I had some more projects like these and every time the experience was so exciting and intense, that I was completely convinced – this is exactly what I was going to do all my life!
Since I don't think anyone else has asked it yet, what 3 items would you take if you were trapped on a deserted island and why?Ha, I am not sure. Probably, I’d take some memorabilia like photos of friends and family. Everything can be replaced but the memories.
I've always been curious about the "WWW - Who Why Where" on your profile page. Is there any specific reference or history to the phrase?No, but I thought it might be an interesting interpretation of the famous acronym www.
Care to share any of your guilty pleasures?I’m not sure. Maybe I’d want to enjoy food a little less, because I tend to overeat, but instead of killing the pleasure, I’m better of just controlling myself more.
do you enjoy your job?Yes, I do. I wish everyone has a job that brings satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
Ok, the really BIG question: Beer or Wine?Depends on occasion: in a restaurant with a meal – wine of course; I prefer simple tasted wines, young and dry. With friends, in a bar, or outside on the bbq party – I’d take a beer. Don’t really have preference on the brand.
What is your absolute favorite song that enlightens you in a way to make all the magic happen?I’m old fashioned.
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd - Youtube video
“Et Si Tu N Exstais Pas” by Joe Dassin – YouTube video - an artist my parents played in the house a lot and I love Dassin since then (did you know he’s an American born in Brooklyn?); from the recent ones, I’m fun of Eminem. “Not Afraid” Youtube Video is very inspiring.
What is your most treasured item that you own and why? Is it an item that was easily attained or was it an item that you had to work very hard for? Is there something you want that you do not have as of now?I am not sure if you are asking about my toy collection. In general, I’m not attached to material objects too much. I like their utility but I don’t treasure them. Memorabilia – yes, artworks – yes, but I don’t have money to collect artworks and even if I did I would’ve kept them at the museum anyway. Artworks need collective admiration, not a solitary confinement.
Hi Fred and congrats on 10 years of EF!
Ok, even though you've long since left Physics I've got to ask about the Higgs Boson. Even the latest Cern news isn't 100% conclusive about whether it exists, so...
is the Higgs Boson directly related to the G Spot? And could EF carry a Large Hadron Collider to help people find it?Unlike Higgs boson, the G-spot should stay a mystery, but they are related in a way it has been spent equal amount of efforts, resources and money to find any.
Some of the top reviewers here at EF have over 500 reviews!! That is a lot of toys! Do you have a toy collection? Does it even compare?
Hi Fred! Firstly, congrats on ten years!
Many members share their "sexy toy stash" in the forum with photos. I was wondering if you have a sex toy stash at home? If you do, how large is your collection and what does your stash consist of?No, not really; I don't have large toy collection.
What is your personal favorite product or product line carried at edenfantasys?
and do you own it?
What's your favorite type of products?
If you could pick your top three favorite toys here, whether you have used them or not, what would they be and why?
What is your favorite toy?
What is your favorite item on the site?
This one might be a bit personal lol...but I have to ask. What is yours/your partners favorite toy/item on EdenFantasys?
You have seen them all, so what is your all time favorite toy?
What is your favorite product on the site?
If you had to pick one absolute favorite item that EdenFantasys sells, what would it be and why?These are the cream of the cream - [http://www.edenfantasys.com/presents/best-sex-toys-of-2011]
As it is tradition on Eden to ask...
Sex is...?It is an old and good tradition and my answer is: Sex is...complicated!
Kindred (host): "Understatement of the year!"
How did you start up and keep going? what gave you the idea?
what caused your attraction the the "sex industry"
What made you come up with the idea for Eden?
What made you decide to implement the review and mentor programs? I think they're really cool and have never seen it done this way, so I'm curious!
How and why did EF administrators decide to implement the points system?
Were you nervous going into this industry?
What got you started in wanting to work with sex toys?
How old were you when you came up with the idea of EF?
Did your family and friends support you when you first started creating EF?
Why did you deside to call your site "EdenFntasy"? Was it your own idea?
What gave you the idea to have forums? (It was a great idea, by the way!)
how old were you when you decided to follow your interests in this industry?
I really want to know how and where you got the idea to start the points program and how you can continue to keep it running after so long?
What motivated you to begin the EdenFantasys points program? It is a lovely program, and I'm wondering how it got started.In 2001, Amazon was already a big player in e-commerce, and it seemed to us that all the markets and product categories are taken. We came up with the idea for sex toys, because at that time we thought no one was selling them (Google wasn’t that good back then). This is how Eden was born in 2002.
The points program, mentor program and the rest of the programs have come about as the community expanded and we realized we needed more resources to both reward customers and help educate them.
Will EF return to NJ, or move to another state now that it is separate from Liberator?
Why Atlanta?There are no plans to move again at this time. Atlanta is where Liberator is headquartered and it came about when we joined together briefly in 2011. Liberator and Eden have since split and it was a logical choice to stay in Atlanta.
Is your company taking part in some exhibitions?
Have you ever thought of doing an exabition type show, or maybe taking Eden on the road for exposEdenfantasys participates in a variety of industry trade shows - Blogher, ANME - are two of the most recent events.
Will we ever see you on the forums getting in on the voting and discussions?
I've read some really awesome reviews on EdenFantasys. What is your favorite review or the one that stands out in your head the most?
Have you ever considered participating in the forum discussions?
Would you ever review your favorite products and post the reviews here on Eden? If not, why not?I don't have one particular reviewer who is my favorite, I try to read as many reviews as I can. I read through the forums but don't really participate, I will try to do more in the future when I am less involved with the day-to-day operations of Eden. As for me reviewing, I'll leave the fun up to you all!
Kindred (host): "If you ever decide to try your hand at reviewing, I'm sure there are a lot of mentors who would love to help you. (Pick me! Pick me!)"
I feel like most sex toy companies or even sex educators are females. Was it difficult as a male to get started in this field?You’ll be surprised how many men are in the business. I wish there be more women (is it another example of the gender bias?), because the business is very female-centric. In the sex education arena, I’d say there are more women and this is great.
Answering your other part of the question, I’d say, starting altogether was difficult, but I have never experienced anything gender discriminating. Even the far-right feminists can be agreeable. Women are great! Men have a lot to learn.
are you married or in a relationship?
Do you read your daily horoscope and believe exactly what it says or never read them because you don't believe in it?No, I don’t read horoscopes, although I do believe that the state of the Universe at the moment of a person’s birth influences this person’s future. I know that the right horoscope is hard to compile and it is very personal. I think the public horoscopes are more of a general approach. Astrology is quite an elaborate magic.
I noticed that your current project is to "personalize the shopping experience" for each customer. This sounds really interesting! I was wondering if you could tell us a few ideas that have been thrown around for this personalization project or maybe just a few hints of what we can expect to see.
I see that your current project is to personalize the shopping experience for each and every customer. Can you give us some hints as to what that means?
how do you personalize the shopping experience for everyone>?This is a good question. Personalization would mean several things. First, we’d like to provide customer an option to limit the catalog to the product categories of interest based on her preferences; secondly, we’d like to suggest a customer products that her friends found interesting and reviewed them well; and thirdly, we’d like to develop an heuristic algorithm that would analyze how a customer interacts with the website and improve her experience based on this.
Kindred (host): "The heuristic algorithm is a really interesting concept. Basically, every action a customer takes on the site would influence their experience and customize it based on preferences and activity. Brilliant!"
Who been your "right hand" all this time?
I think working for EF would be an awesome job. How would one go about getting a job with EF or in the sex toy industry?EdenLink is your entry door to the major players in the industry. There is always a need for a specialist. The industry, however, tends to hire from the inside due to mostly extensive training and special knowledge required to operate; but there is always an exception to the rule. Remember, the knowledge of the products that many of you have due to the reviews you do, are a huge plus for every industry employer. We don’t hire at this moment; we’ll post on the forums when we do.
Where do you see eden in another 10 years? I know that online is wonderful and I will always love the ability to do my shopping from the comfort of my bedroom, but have you ever considered a retail location/locations? I live in a city where the only sex shoppe is sketchy and has a strip club in the back, its run by all men who make weird looks at me when I go in and snarky comments when I check out. How I would love if eden were a real place to visit.
Congratulations on your decade of business. I am a very new customer and was surprised to find out more about your history. With the success you have experienced so far, where do you envision your company being over the next ten years? It is an art to expand and to keep the integrity that you have already established taking into consideration that your industry still has a bad rap.
Where do you see the site going in the future?
Any plans for EF to expand?
Any new business endeavors you are looking to starting in the near future?
Congratulations on 10 years, it is a wonderful accomplishment! I have not been on Eden Fantasys for very long but I have already seen a bunch of great changes, do you have any goals for the site that we can look forward to for the next year? The next 5 years?
As your audience changed in the last 10 years and if so, what are you doing to meet their needs.
After reading your past interview, it is obviouse that Eden has evolved over these past 10 years. Where do you go from here? What do you invision for Eden over the next ten years?
Do you ever see EdenFantasys possibly reaching out into other countries? Not in terms of international delivery, but like a Chinese EF site? Or Spanish EF site? To sort of spread the EF wings or the possibility of a brick shop in some various cities around the world?
Congrats on 10 years!!!! Eden is such a tremendous success... have you considered branching out into other related industries? Publishing (electronic or print) of sex positive literature and educational material seems like it would be a natural extension for Eden!!!
There is such a wide range of products here at Eden, but there is always room to grow. What areas would you like to see expanded? What areas do you think Eden should steer clear of?Our future plans concentrate mostly on the online presence. Brick and mortar business is a totally different beast which we don’t know well enough. In online we have ambitious plans, including mobile presence, multi-lingual sites, local communities.
What have you learned from building Eden? How have you been able to put the lessons into practice elsewhere in your life?
When you started the company, did you have a specific age range in mine?
If so, has that range been the most involved?
Are you surprised at any age group that have become involved?
Just wondering!!! Thanks!!!!!!!
First off I'd like to say thank you for creating Eden. I've been able to open so much sexually since joining, and it's really helped out in my life.
So my question:
Did you ever think that Eden would get as big as it has?
Was it difficult to attract customers early on? How did you get people to not only buy, but come back?
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would do differently? Or has Edenfantasys turned out exactly as you had hoped?
If you were starting EF from scratch all over again would you do everything in exactly the same way?
Have you ever considered opening a brick-and-mortar EdenFantasys store? If so, why? And where would it be located?
Do you think that you've made mistakes, regarding the way you've run this business, or is it all just part of the journey? If so, what was the biggest mistake? On the flip side, is there anything that you've done that you were sure was going to blow up in your face that wound up not being so awful?
Now that you are 10, would you ever consider taking the company public or
putting up company retail stores either in the US or abroad?
Congratulations on a decade of delight!
Have there been any happy accidents (things that were unplanned but turned out really well) here on EF?Eden now is different; better, from what we envisioned. It is due to the people that are part of Eden community. People have made the difference. We have never thought that people will be so passionate, active, forgiving, and loving. I’d like to thank you for making Eden the place it is now.
As for the regrets: I do not regret anything in my life. You make choices and you live with their consequences. Of course, I’ve made some decisions I would’ve not made today, but it was then and there were circumstances, and I was a different person.
We have no plans to open a brick and mortar operation at this point, our focus is online.
What has been the biggest learning experience in growing this company the past ten years? How has the company maid you richer (not including the financial form of richer that is)? I ask that because Eden through its forums and its community, I have learned so much about myself. It also maid me feel not a freak about my interest in sexual things. Simply put it has maid me feel at home when I feel like so much of an outcast in my daily life.
Has the sex positive and open community you created as a business impacted your life personally in any way?
Has your veiws of sexuality changed since starting Eden?
Do you think that use of toys can enhance a relationship? How so?
how has running a sex site affected your life both socialy and in the buisness world not financialy but creditability with the rest of the buisness comunitySex toys in general are a novel product and idea for people. It is definitely not an item that everyone has at home. Some toys do work, some don’t, and we all know that it is also very personal – the toy that works for you won’t necessarily work for me. So, on the functional and utilitarian level – toys are hit or miss. However, sex toys are always good for enhancing the relationships. Being with a partner, or solo, use of toys convey openness, willingness to experiment, rebellion to the mundane – these all is very important for a healthy relationships and I strongly believe that Eden community is the most sexually happy people because of these.
Running a business, Eden for example, has made me fully realize the responsibility I have toward Eden community, customers, and employees. This responsibility is an honor to have and quite tough to carry on daily. Blessing and a curse, if you want .
Do you plan on adding another aspect to the EF products? Such as shoes, bedding, another line of shampoos, make-ups, etc...
First of all, I just want to say congrats on 10 wonderful years!
EdenFantasys is one of my favorite places to shop to shop for club wear and lingerie. I would love to see shoes (like stilettos, sexy pumps, thigh-high boots, etc) on the site because I think they kind of go hand-in-hand. Do you have any plans for adding footwear to the site? What are your thoughts?Thank you! Yes, we are looking for shoe vendors and it is on the horizon. Jewelry and the rest – I am not sure.
Kindred (host): "I know a lot of contributors are going to squeel with joy when they read this comment. People have been asking EF to carry shoes forever."
I do not have a question because most of the question I was going to ask have all ready been ask I want to say Congratulation on three years and I love your site Thank youThank you!
Is this the only business you got right now or you are working on other projects right now?Eden is the only operation at this time.
Do you ever dream of creating your own specialty or luzury line of products?
Have you ever considered creating Eden's own brand of sex toys?
I love EF, and you do carry a wide variety of products. Although it would be nice if you carried more BDSM items. Any possibility of this happening?Probably slim. We realize there are serious BDSM communities out there and Eden will always be “non-professional” enough in this category. But I’d like Eden to handle 101 BDSM better. We have to have more selection for different types of play and more information too. We are working on this.
Is there a sexual product or a type of sexual product (for instance medical devices) that you would never carry on Eden?I cannot think of anything in particular. We try to stay out of really serious stuff like, for example, full size real dolls, or dungeon equipment, or fucking machines. There is a line between fun and obsession and we’d like to stay on the fun side.
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