LAS VEGAS — The brainy pair behind Crave, Michael Topolovac and Ti Chang, were profiled in the Las Vegas Guardian for their mission to turn their company into the “Apple of the adult toy industry.”
The two met when Stanford-educated Topolovac was visiting China and stopped by a local tradeshow. Chang’s exhibit of sex toys from made from everyday items, what she calls “foreplay jewelry,” caught Topolovac’s eye.
“While we have beautifully designed iPhones and laptops, the sex-toy space is so heavily stigmatized that it doesn’t draw a lot of talent,” Chang told Fortune magazine. Topolovac is vocal about his admiration of the aesthetic-conscious Steve Jobs and his desire to emulate his vision, as applied to the adult industry.
Aptly educated with an industrial design degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a graduate degree in design from the Royal College of Art in London, Chang decided to change that and grow her self-founded company Incoqnito. That is, until she met Topolovac. The two “shared a similar passion for sex [and] design and Crave was born in 2011,” the profile says.
Crave represents the burgeoning face of adult entrepreneurship — it began as an “alt” crowdfunded project, too risqué to campaign (at the time) on Kickstarter.
Despite getting marginalized by the mainstream site, the demand for what would become their flagship product, the USB rechargeable vibrator called Duet, was evident. Money spoke: the project received $100,000 from 900 donors and coverage from leading media outlets.
“I was shocked at the kind of coverage we got on Techcrunch and Gizmodo,” Topolovac told Fortune. “At our peak, we were getting one tweet a minute. That was one of the things that made me realize people are looking for this.”
Topolovac added that Duet was the first sex toy to ever be successfully crowdfunded.
Now Crave has an arsenal of discreet and design-conscious products, which includes the Droplet Necklace, a 43-inch necklace that doubles as a nipple vibrator and a leather cuff bracelet that functions as handcuffs inside of the bedroom, the profile says.