Exec Seat: Q&A With Michael Trigg
Michael Trigg founded Trigg Laboratories in 1989 at the height of the HIV epidemic. As an ideal companion to condom sales, Trigg set out to develop lube formulations that enhanced protected sex. Trigg Laboratories products are now available in 62 countries and sales continue to expand throughout the world with multiple channels of distribution including adult boutique stores and the food, drug and mass market. Now semiretired, Trigg focuses on new products, marketing and Wet’s ongoing philanthropic efforts, which he believes has brought about positive karma for the company. Trigg shares his insight and inspirations with XBIZ in exclusive Q&A.
What were your goals for Wet in the beginning, and how have they evolved?
In the late 80s, everyone was very concerned about the transfer of HIV. We saw the growth of condoms skyrocket. Because condoms are more likely to break without the use of a lubricant, the timing was right to hit the market with a “FUN” packaged product. At the time, lubricant use was increasing 15 percent per year. People were beginning to understand that a lubricant not only eased condom use but enhanced their pleasure a great deal. The company began in 1989, in a 1,000-square foot facility in Van Nuys, Calif. We quickly grew every year and now work from a 52,000-square-foot factory in Valencia, Calif. I began the company by maxing out $150,000 on my credit cards and selling off real estate investments I made throughout the ’80s — and you thought Donald Trump was the only one highly leveraged in the ’90s!
How has the marketplace evolved since Wet was established?
Shows like “Sex & the City” and “Girls” and now the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has made intimacy a daily topic like never before. People are seeking out quality sexual products and higher performance lubricants than those traditionally found. Trigg Labs is always working on new and improved formulations to give couples seeking peak performance, greater comfort with a lot of fun.
How hands on are you in the operation of Wet?
I am semi-retired. This allows me to really focus on new products and marketing as well as my philanthropic endeavors.
What makes Wet stand out the most among competition?
Colorful and clean packaging gets a consumer to buy your product once. But it’s the quality inside the packaging that keeps them loyal. We are constantly improving our products as better ingredients and formulating processes are developed. We never become complacent in the marketplace. I am never happy until I am certain we are the best in both areas. Products (like life) are always changing. Adapt and improve and you will always remain on top.
What professional accomplishment are you proud of the most?
We have an incredibly diverse team here. We all come together to care for the company and create the best products available. That is very rare in a business. I believe this to be the biggest reason for our growth today.
When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
I travel 30 percent of the time exploring all the amazing places on the planet. At last count, I’ve been to 170 countries. I love to scuba dive. And I just completed my first speaking role in a feature film. Anything new and fun …. I’m definitely game!
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Wet sponsors and donates to the work of over 300 non-profit organizations every year. We continue to expand our education goals by providing thousands of Safe Sex Information Kits all over the world. Companies have their own Karma and this is something we have done from the beginning. I feel fortunate to be able to contribute back to the community year after year. When I think about all the lives that have been saved, I’m really proud of our impact on the planet.
What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
I live by The Four Agreements. Google it. Personally I’d like to be as smart and understanding as Bill Clinton, as happy as the Dalai Lama and as wealthy as Oprah. Gratitude!