TheVerge.com Profiles Jimmyjane
SAN FRANCISCO — Design-centric brand and pleasure products innovator Jimmyjane is the focus of TheVerge.com’s article “Pleasing the Masses,” penned by Lux Alptraum.
Zeroing on Jimmyjane’s new Live Sexy collection of budget-friendly vibes, Alptraum poses the question: “Can the brand that brought sex toys from sleazy to chic lead the charge to finally make them completely mainstream?"
In her article, Alptraum traces the rise of vibrators as medical devices in the 1900s to its ostracism in the 20th century as “the domain of sleazy, sex-crazed perverts.”
“It wasn’t until the turn of the century that a higher quality product emerged on the market: toxic jelly rubber was abandoned for body-safe silicone, dry cell batteries were replaced with rechargeable lithium ion ones, and some manufacturers even began to offer warranties. In the most stunning turn of all, a few companies began to position their erotic products as luxury devices: an aspirational fashion accessory sported by enviable icons like Kate Moss and Beyoncé. Suddenly, vibrators weren’t just the sexually liberated woman’s dirty little secret; they were a sign of sophistication and chic.”
Jimmyjane is credited for playing a crucial role in revolutionizing pleasure products and establishing the luxury market. The brand’s founder Ethan Imboden had set out to do just that when he established the brand in 2003. By 2005, Jimmyjane products were available at mainstream retailers like Fred Segal, Brookstone and W Hotels.
Despite Jimmyjane’s mainstream relationships and support, the company found itself struggling to keep up with expectations.
“As accomplished as the company was, it was still fighting an uphill battle against anti-sex stigma, while also tackling the expensive proposition of developing high quality, beautifully designed hardware,” the article says.
In February 2014, Diamond Products, parent company of Pipedream Products, acquired Jimmyjane. Alptraum highlights how the company has evolved since — namely Jimmyjane’s accelerated new product releases.
"The product cycle has been much faster," Jimmyjane’s Molly Murphy told Alptraum. "We needed to introduce more products. It’s something you need for your retailers, and just to keep the company relevant, keep it growing."
Jimmyjane’s new Live Sexy line of “affordable luxury” items also is “a marked departure from the original version of Jimmyjane as an aspirational, exclusive brand,” Alptraum says, noting the collection’s price range of $29-59 and goes on to describe its beginners-friendly product design features, along with the collection’s retailer appeal.
"We want to make sure that the [retailers] we align with are people that believe in the category and more importantly believe in our brand," Jimmyjane President Robert Rheaume told Alptraum. "I believe if we do it right, with the right partner… it will bring incremental users into the space. And typically when you bring incremental users into a category or space, they will seek out those specialty stores for the broader, deeper, richer experience and possibilities that are available to them."
To read the article in full, click here.