OAKLAND, Calif. — The Root, an online African-American culture magazine, profiled queer- and black-owned Oakland retailer Feelmore Adult Gallery in a video segment.
In the video, Feelmore founder Nenna Joiner says that they opened up shop after having a dream where they began selling adult toys and DVDs out of the trunk of their Toyota Camry. To view the video, click here.
Joiner says that fiscal and social obstacles caused a nearly seven-year delay between the store's inception and grand opening. The barriers to entry were high: starting capital came from Joiner’s own pocket save for a small, quickly repaid loan.
“Being a person of color, I understand what it means to go into spaces to shop and to be followed around. We talk about a balance in our space,” Joiner explained.
The range of people shopping at Feelmore runs the gamut. “I think with a sex store everybody is the right customer,” Joiner said. They explained that keeping their ear to the ground in terms of culture, rather than focusing on building a traditional store, gives them the opportunity to reach out to a new base.
They added, “A lot of people are very afraid to experience their bodies. [But] we definitely make sure that we send people home with this creative idea that sex is really sculpted by you, no one else.”