PHS International Names Michael Merrill Partner and Co-Owner

PHS International Names Michael Merrill Partner and Co-Owner
Stephen Yagielowicz

PHOENIX — PHS International has announced that industry veteran Michael Merrill has been named partner and co-owner of the company, in a strategic move that positions the boutique brand for upcoming business growth.

Famous for his branding strategy, packaging design prowess, and long-term business relationships, Merrill will use his 10 plus years of industry experience — which began as PHS International’s Creative Director — to develop the company’s signature product lines while introducing new brands with niche appeal.

Building upon its roots in pride and marketing to gay men, PHS International has successfully maintained one of the strongest positions in the LGBTQ community while bridging the gender gap with product lines that appeal to targeted markets. Merrill’s earliest accomplishment with PHS International made a historic mark on the adult product industry in 2006 with the introduction of gay mainstay M2M, the first fully merchandised line made for gay men — and the first to feature gay couples on its packaging.

From M2M, PHS International quickly expanded its catalog to include fully merchandised and packaged brands made to appeal to a variety of target markets, including heterosexual couples curious to try BDSM and consumers looking for more vegan and animal-friendly alternatives to the colorful leather gear on the market.

In his new role at PHS International, Merrill will combine his creative spirit and relationship skills to widen the company’s customer base while bringing a fresh perspective to these core brands, which include M2M, Heart2Heart BDSM accessories for heterosexual couples, Fresh! colorful vegan gear and vibes, Ka-Pow Color! bold-colored leather gear, and Bijoux de Nip nipple clamps and adornment.

Most recently, the debut of Bijoux de Nip decorative nipple pasties introduced a fresh interpretation of a classic product category appreciated by men and women for decades.

“We could not be more excited about Michael’s return; we feel he is the future of PHS and his coming aboard as an owner/operator will ensure PHS has a long-lasting and powerful presence in the industry,” PHS International CEO Chuck Harnish said. “Michael’s passion for the adult industry, his innovative mind and charismatic personality make him an incredible asset. It was important to us to have someone like Michael in place to ensure our companies long term success.”

Merrill’s current title as General Manager will enable him to concentrate on sales and marketing development while he gets acquainted with the operational aspects of the growing company. A key focus will be maintaining and expanding strong personal relationships with key players in the industry while updating and modernizing existing lines according to current market trends.

“PHS International was my very first ‘home’ in the adult industry and some of my fondest memories come from working with Chuck and Jim to create concepts that truly had never been seen before,” Merrill said. “Throughout my career, I’ve successfully brought a mainstream-friendly perspective and fresh visual eye to adult product lines and the opportunity to come back to PHS as part owner and operator is a dream come true.”

“I’m already loving getting my hands dirty with the day-to-day operations,” Merrill adds. “It’s an honor to have a true hands-on role at the company I can once again call home.”

For more information about his position and upcoming developments, email michael@phtintl.com.

Related: