opinion

Eliminating 'Novelty' From the Novelty Biz

Ann-Marie Holman
There is surprisingly little actual “novelty” in the so-called “novelty business.”

The term often seems to be applied to adult products only because it has the ability to impart a toy-like, all-in-fun character to things that would be subject to oppression or legislation if they were to be taken more seriously. After all, when you’re talking about products outside the adult trade, the word “novelty” conjures up images of cheaply made gadgets that are amusing but have no practical purpose otherwise: pencils with fluffy heads and googly eyes, theme park tchotchkes, singing fish on a wooden plaque.

And in a business clogged with mass-produced knockoffs that are white-labeled to oversaturation, things that are genuinely creative, unique or innovative are as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

But they can be as lucrative as that pot of gold, too. People forget that cutting costs through outsourcing and using cheap materials isn’t the only way to make a profit.

This year, the Stockroom celebrates its 20th anniversary because we’ve always remained committed to a business model that focuses on staying at the cutting edge in our designs. In our Los Angeles workshops, we’ve learned how to balance mass production with good craftsmanship. Our manufacturing processes ensure that we can hand-make our products in the U.S., pay good wages and still turn out goods in volumes sufficient to make us one of the largest manufacturers of our kind in the world.

Quality, trust and the prospect of seeing something new and different are key tools for building repeat customers — and in the long term, a devoted customer base is a better and more reliable source of profits than one that’s hunting for a quick bargain.

As a manufacturer known for handcrafted, innovative products and creative imagery, the Stockroom has built an incredible loyalty to and respect for our brands. Those who buy our signature gear — whether they are retail, wholesale or distributor clientele — know they can always look to us for original, top-quality products that stand out in a sea of tired retreads. This has made our brand name a valuable selling point for those who carry our goods in their stores and on their sites.

The Stockroom has always been a groundbreaking enterprise. We were the first adult toy company ever online — in fact, we were one of the first ecommerce companies of any kind. Today, we continue to safeguard our investment in creativity and design by patenting our latest inventions.

We have patents pending on our Jawbreaker Ball Gag, a fully functional gag with a mouthpiece of real candy, and our Bolero Straitjacket, a beautifully tailored, buttersoft leather straitjacket that’s being granted a medical patent because the openbreast design allows medical personnel to monitor vital signs while a difficult patient remains safely restrained. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the cutout chest and form-fitting cut are also incredibly flattering. It’s the perfect example of what Stockroom-brand gear is all about: sexy, unique, beautiful and top-quality, from the materials to the level of workmanship — and built to last a lifetime.

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