Founded by Sam and Justin Roddick in 2000, daughters of Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop retail chain, Coco de Mer has stores in Los Angeles, New York and two in London.
The boutiques specializes in lingerie, upscale adult toys and erotic art, homewares, jewelry and books.
“I have had a surprising number of mothers that bring their daughters into the store in Los Angeles,” Justine Roddick, who oversees the company’s U.S. stores, told CNBC. “Their daughters are going to college and it’s like a rite of passage. I hear [the mothers] talking to them about buying a sex toy and how it’s better to pleasure yourself than just going out and having random sex.”
The Coco de Mer stores have decidedly boutique appeal, carrying only high-end merchandise as well as custom-crafted items made by artisans from around the world.
The company’s chic appeal has attracted celebrity clientele including Ringo Starr, Deepak Chopra and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart who all attended Coco de Mer’s Los Angeles store opening.
“We were bought up by feminist mother and father, and we wanted to bring a new message to the world of sex and sexuality that included love and kindness, but also included naughtiness and humor and filth — and it wasn’t until the doors opened that we realized [the best way to do that] was a store,” Sam Roddick told CNBC.
The Roddicks say that brick-and-mortar sales are strong, outpacing Internet sales by a wide margin. The sisters told CNBC that they’d like to eventually open 20 Coco de Mer’s.
“It’s pretty difficult to fake it when you’re not enjoying your job,” Justine Roddick said. “Sam and I don’t have to work, but we choose to because we love it so much.”