Twelve months ago, Unbound reached $2.7m in funding from a group of investors. “Raising money is always hard but it took an exceptional amount of resilience,” CEO Polly Rodriguez told TechCrunch at the time.
The sexual wellness start-up, which aims to “empower women to own their sexuality” mostly sells vibrators, and offers quarterly subscription boxes with toys and accessories for people with vaginas. The specially-curated boxes can also be purchased on a one-off basis.
SEXTECHGUIDE caught up with Unbound CEO Polly Rodriguez to talk about why she launched the company, designing products based on user feedback and how to curate sex toy boxes for a dedicated following of subscribers.
Check out the rest of the Founder Focus series here.
Why did you launch Unbound?
“Unbound started with the goal of taking sexual wellness products mainstream. We wanted to create an online destination that offered both great products and content. We pride ourselves on our body safe ingredients, elevated design, and affordable pricing.”
What research was involved when you were developing the store?
“We started in 2013 as a subscription box only, and over the course of the following three years sold over 2,000 different products to our customers as the company grew. During that time, we were constantly surveying our customers to understand what they liked about certain products and what they didn’t.
We also took note of what price points, features, colors, and packaging resonated most with our customer base because we were paying for all the inventory ourselves (so you’re very acutely aware of the inventory that doesn’t sell). Before we launched our own line of products in 2017, we had thousands of points of feedback and data from years of customer service, phone calls, focus groups, and conversations we had with those shopping in the sexual wellness category. “
How is Unbound different to other sex toy shops?
“Unbound is different because it was started by a group of women who wanted to make body-safe, affordable, well-designed products. We offer a better quality at a more affordable price because we want sexual wellness to be accessible to all people.”
How do you decide how to curate your subscription boxes?
“It’s a process that is continuously evolving. We try to find products that are new and innovative and deliver a lot of value to our subscribers for the price. Most of our boxes have a retail value well over $100 but are available to subscribers for $65 once every three months. We curate the boxes with the goal of creating an experience for subscribers.”
How important is inclusivity when developing new sex toys?
“Inclusivity is incredibly important, be it sexual orientation, age, or income — we want this category to be accessible to all. Historically, our products have focused on people who have a clitoris, because studies show 40% of individuals with that anatomy have chronic difficulty achieving orgasm. However, we want to expand our product category to include all anatomy so that we can service all people.”
How can sextech improve our lives?
“In my opinion, these are products that allow us to redefine our relationship with our body. For me personally, going through cancer at 21 resulted in a strained relationship with my body. It was sexuality, in large part, that allowed me to reconnect with my body and to love it again. Every person is entitled to defining that relationship for themselves and it is my personal belief that we must define our own relationship with our bodies, especially when it comes to pleasure, before allowing a partner to define it for us.
So much emphasis is placed on partnered sex — I wish, so much, that we’d give people permission to masturbate and explore for themselves before pressuring them into sex with another person.”
Where’s next for Unbound?
“2019 is going to be an incredible exciting year for Unbound. We’re getting ready to launch a community program called Area 69 that is going to be amazing – both online and offline. We also have 10 new products that will be launching in the next six months so there is a lot to be on the lookout for.”m
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