Today I’m presenting a 2nd interview with Lisa Lawless who is the C.E.O. and founder of HolisticWisdom, Inc., a successful sexual health business established in June of 2000 through her retail site HolisticWisdom.com. She has also begun teaching other aspiring entrepreneurs how to break into the booming adult novelty industry through her consulting business (SexToyConsulting.com) as well as through her organization the National Association for the Advancement of Science & Art in Sexuality (NAASAS.org) which is an educational organization for professionals in the field of sexual health that features an academy and a safe sexual products campaign.
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Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in starting a sexual health business such as HolisticWisdom.com? Share your story.
I began my career as a mental health therapist who found that many of my patients were asking about sexual health issues. As there were such limited resources available at the time I began an education focused sexual wellness company that only sells nontoxic sexual products so that consumers can find it easy to enjoy sex while not compromising their health.
2. How have you gone about marketing your site and standing out in this niche?
We are the first company to educate consumers about the toxins found in many sexual products such as sex toys and personal lubricants at the level we do. We spent a year doing research and putting together educational resources as well as ensuring all of our products are phthalate and paraben free. In addition, we are the only company that sells only nontoxic products and provides a school for professionals to help other business owners do the same.
3. When it comes to the adult toy industry, do you find there is a lot of competition for products? How do you help others stand out in that niche?
There is a great deal of competition but our retail business HolisticWisdom.com stands out through our dedication to being health focused while providing pleasure products that not only make people happy but enhance their sexual health. We also offer incredible customer service by providing honest information about products as we have found in the 14 years we have been doing this that our customers are loyal because they trust us for our feedback, discreet shipping and the vast information we provide them when it comes to improving their sex lives.
We offer only a limited amount of sex toys because we only carry those products that are nontoxic and that are of high quality. Once a product makes it our site after our extensive review process we are certain consumes will be getting a quality product not one that is sold based on hype.
4. What are some ways you have helped raise awareness for safe sex through NAASAS?
The National Association for the Advancement of Science & Art in Sexuality -NAASAS.org is a new organization and is just getting started. That being said we already have 600 members and are quickly growing to unite the adult novelty industry in order to evolve education and awareness within it. We provide a vast amount of educational resources for both aspiring and established professionals because we believe that we can positively impact the field of sexual health by not just reaching the public but also teaching the teachers.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
In addition to growing our consumer site HolisticWisdom.com for sexual health education and products, we will be expanding NAASAS by providing more educational resources to professionals and evolving the Safe Sexual Products Campaign that we have started in order to continue our work for safe and nontoxic sexual products, such as personal lubricants and sex toys.
Starting a sexual health focused business is challenging and there are a lot of areas where people get into trouble. There are also companies that sell to aspiring business owners making false promises while taking advantage of them. It is certainly a challenging field to navigate and is why I also do consulting for aspiring business owners through my site SexToyConsulting.com, which has helped me to better understand the needs and desires of those just starting out and thereby allowing me to create free resources for them through NAASAS.org.
I am also currently writing two books; the first is for the public which is focused on the importance of nutrition and the role it plays in sexual functioning, while the second is focused on understanding hot to navigate and become successful in the adult novelty (sexual products) industry.
My vision for both our retail and professional education program is to create resources that empower people to have better sexual health on every level- mind, body and spirit, while having access to safe sexual products.