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Q&A: WARM Founder Janine Details Making of Flagship Product, Future Plans

Q&A: WARM Founder Janine Details Making of Flagship Product, Future Plans
Ariana Rodriguez

Earlier this year WARM made its debut as an inventive bedroom accessory — it promised “an effective and discreet way to warm sex toys and take sexual pleasure to heightened levels.” While temperature play isn’t an intimate activity that’s exactly new for some couples and solo players, never before has it been packaged up and made available on adult retail store shelves.

WARM allows users to heat up their sex toys of various sizes and enjoy them with the added sensation of warmth. It is styled like a fashionable clutch bag, is made of vegan leather and measures 13 inches by six inches.

The ability of WARM products to turn regular sexual accessories into necessities is what makes our products truly exciting to the market.

Along with a unique product, WARM also introduced us to the company’s founders — Janine and LJ, who created WARM after having their own intimate experience with heated pleasure products.

“While the concept was simple, the dynamic elevated their intimate experience and prompted the couple to explore the idea of offering this concept as a viable enhancement product,” the company says on its site.

With LJ’s engineering background and Janine’s luxury brand expertise, WARM Inc. launched in 2016, and in April of the following year, leading sex-positive retailer The Pleasure Chest began to offer the item in its stores nationwide. Later this year, WARM says it will unveil its next innovation.

We sat down with WARM founder Janine to discuss her foray into the pleasure products industry and future plans for the brand.

XBIZ: How would you describe WARM to someone who has never heard of the product before?

Janine: WARM is the exciting new bedroom accessory, specifically designed to create unbelievable sensations from your pleasure products by warming them! Beyond that, using WARM is also a pathway to creating what we like to call, "Vulnerability Foreplay.” We think this is a crucial element that can lead to having the hottest, fully satisfying, body quivering, deeply connected sex possible.

Vulnerability Foreplay is what LJ and I have come to call our process of providing consent in a way that is fun and sexy — [it's about] checking in with each other, about giving and receiving, making space for anything that could cause vulnerabilities. It’s about being able to let go and enjoy; and using WARM helps us navigate how to have the best time each time.

XBIZ: Prior to launching WARM, did you have any experience in the adult novelty industry? How did you research the market?

Janine: Before WARM neither LJ or I had done anything in adult novelty so when we first discussed bringing WARM to market, I immediately began researching the industry. Luckily for us, we learned the XBIZ L.A. show was only a couple weeks away so we decided to attend. We had no idea what to expect, all we knew was we needed to decide as a couple if we wanted to go full steam ahead with the concept, become business partners, commit to a long-term investment together and, add the excitement and sometimes stressful chaos of starting our own business together to our life and family. Or, if we were just going to be the luckiest couple in the world enjoying our warm toys together via our first fledgling prototypes. Ha!

We are still thankful for the inspiring specialty manufacturers we met there, as well as the XBIZ team! What we discovered about the adult novelty industry was a group of highly motivated individuals who truly cared about the products they were putting into the market. People who wanted to empower individuals who were looking for answers to a range of sex-related questions with tools that supported their needs.

Excited to find such like-minded people, we decided we absolutely wanted to move forward with WARM and set goals to one day join this special group, see WARM sold by the industry’s top retailers and most importantly, add to the powerful impact this industry ultimately has on the lives and intimate moments of the customers.

XBIZ: What made you finally take the step to launch WARM?

Janine: After XBIZ, I interacted with some of my favorite bloggers and educators in the industry and actively began learning how to best serve customer needs. During all this I had another powerful realization. I was not alone in the frustration, lackluster, sometimes even damaging experiences I had in my own intimacy journey. I started to realize WARM was so much more than warm toys. WARM had reconnected me with my body and desires. Through using WARM, with and without LJ, I was able to find my way back to feeling pleasure at full capacity again.

Launching WARM has been an opportunity to take my experience and turn it into a valid product with the potential to help others. Devoting myself to launching this product, to me, is the utmost honor. What is life if we don’t take care of each other?

Sex is often the most vulnerable part of life we will experience. WARM isn’t going to create world peace. It can however, create a way for people to experience more fulfilling intimacy. For me, that is reason enough to have done this.

XBIZ: Who do you hope WARM helps?

Janine: My team and I discuss Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs quite a bit. Maslow’s theory was based on certain necessary steps to reach our highest personal self-actualization. It’s laid out in a pyramid with the foundation being the very basic physiological needs to stay alive: water, some type of sustenance, clean air to breathe, sex and — love this — warmth. Next is the need to feel safe to effectively process emotions and continue to become more self-aware. After that, a human needs connection. This is so important because before personal possessions, recognition or honors, a human wants to feel true, authentic, core connection. We hope WARM helps anyone desiring to experience their needs being deeply met.

XBIZ: How did your relationship with LJ support the launch of WARM?

Janine: Well, LJ warmed up my sex toys so there’s that! Beyond that, LJ has approached the business side of WARM with as much compassion as he did that night in bed. Investing in my ultimate comfort and pleasure during an intimate moment not only revived my feminine energies but it created a special bond between us. A sense of being able to openly communicate about wants, desires, needs and more that has now bled over into our business relationship.

We complement each other nicely; LJ is the engineering brains behind WARM and the product once again, truly reflects his compassion and forethought. What I have brought to WARM is an insatiable curiosity and love of learning, the delicate nuances of an interrupted sexual awakening, and my years in the health and beauty industry. I was a make-up artist and esthetician in luxury spas across the country. Designing WARM to be impactful, striking yet neutral, of the highest quality and worth its value was right up my ally!

And at the heart of it all, my intimacy journey serves as the inspiration behind the “why” of WARM. My deep-rooted sense of serving the greater good and strong intuition, the “me” in WARM, is what lead to certified vegan leather for the product and very specific tactile and brand-driven decisions from the logo to the interior lining all ensure our products are trusted to serve the customers’ sexual needs, desires and experiences. WARM is the best of LJ and I and as it has evolved, also our incredible team.

XBIZ: What has been a proud moment since launching WARM?

Janine: Oh my, so many! But one that stands out is with a couple who was in our beta testing. LJ and I have the most amazing friends and within them is a wide range of sexual preferences and interests: hetero, queer, monogamous, polyamorous, gender fluid, trans and beyond. To truly feel good about providing an inclusive product, we compiled the widest spectrum of beta testers we could to offer feedback.

The couple that came to mind was happily married with one sex toy, which was more “hers” than theirs. After giving them a WARM, they now own NINE toys and they can’t help but high-five LJ and I every time we see them. It’s awesome. They have shared with us that they completely thought they had achieved marital satisfaction, until WARM. They discovered they could use WARM to flirt with each other and suddenly the whole world of sexual accessories became a playground to surprise each other with. Something about WARM broke open a new paradigm in their ability to take chances and communicate desires to each other that they hadn’t been able to before. Official feedback is they are now mutually and literally able to “enjoy the experience” that much more.

Definitely a proud moment for me. Before we had even launched, WARM had hit my personal success metric. To do this … to provide a paradigm shift in how lovers can communicate about and approach intimacy and ultimately impact not only their sex lives but their authentic connection in a positive way — that is very cool.

XBIZ: What do you want your brand’s legacy to be?

Janine: LJ and I currently co-parent two boys and three daughters together so it’s incredibly important to us that we are always checking in that the products we create for WARM, Inc., are products that we feel good about our children actually using one day. Because of this, we focus intensely on the safety of our Warm goods because they not only will be used by someone, but also someone’s son or daughter. That hits home strongly for us.

The “Values” pillar on our website comes from a truth that we consider ourselves, and everyone, stewards for the next generations. We recognize that WARM will be used by those just coming into their intimacy journeys and we hope WARM can make their experiences easier, safer and more supported. It is also important to us to remember that WARM will be used by some who have had difficult experiences. WARM must also be able to provide safe comfort as they heal and redefine intimate loving connections. I want the WARM legacy to be one of a trusted brand. Do no harm and always produce the best possible products to the best of our ability.

XBIZ: What is the future for WARM?

Janine: You heard it here first… we’re excited to be following up WARM later this year with another groundbreaking product. This product will once again use our unique Tender Technology and feature the same quality functions and sleek design retailers and customers now appreciate about Warm products.

Beyond the commercial future for the brand, I truly believe we’ve created a product that is worthy to be considered amongst the key bedroom staples … condoms, lube, sex toys and WARM. The ability of WARM products to turn regular sexual accessories into necessities is what makes our products truly exciting to the market. We distinctly enhance the pleasures of pleasure products!

XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?

Janine: Give easily what you have to easily give.

That is literally a personal motto. It came to me years ago, evolved a bit over time and now is something I am teaching our children. Wherever you are in abundance, find someone who needs what you have. What we have in abundance can change from day to day; sometimes I have time to give, sometimes money, sometimes a bed in my home, sometimes a meal, sometimes I can make a connection for you easily. Whatever I can give easily, I do. Always. I never wind up with less, but more. As does my friend I have shared with.

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