The majority of sex toys available today are mass-produced silicone products but that doesn’t mean that there is no demand for toys made from steel or wood or glass or ceramic. When doing research on the adult market, Eva and Luana realised how great this demand in alternative materials really is, and they decided to focus on ceramic products with their brand Persian Palm. This decision was not just a result of the many advantages this material offers, but it also has to do with the fact that the two are from a town in Tuscany where the art of crafting ceramic products has a long tradition, going back seven hundred years.
Since when has the Persian Palm brand been available, and why did you decide to try your luck in the market for sex toys?
Eva Cincar: Persian Palm, the company, was founded about a year ago, although the initial idea was born several years ago. The decision to go on this adventure was based on a combination of deep knowledge of ceramics as a material with its extraordinary features and a knowledge of, and passion for sex toys. We decided to take up this work because we analysed the market and thought this was an idea that could have very good prospects.
Did you conduct a lot of market research before launching your company? What was your impression of the market?
We analysed the sex toys market as best we could. What became apparent through our research was that the market for sex toys is growing at a global level and that more and more space in the market is taken up by products of different and special materials such as wood, steel, glass, and also ceramic. Our research showed that users are paying more and more attention to eco-friendly materials that are sustainable and, above all, body-safe: Persian Palm sex toys are all of the above.
What did you do professionally before setting out on this endeavour? Did you already have experience working in the adult industry?
Persian Palm was founded by two women, Luana and me, Eva, and before the birth of this project, none of us had experience in the adult industry. I have a degree in cultural heritage, but for most of my professional life I was involved in wine marketing, and Luana managed a pastry shop for more than ten years, so this is a new adventure for both of us.
How would you sum up the corporate philosophy of Persian Palm?
Our project is ambitious: We want to improve the concept of sex toys MADE IN ITALY, bringing a ‘niche product’ to the global market – a product that is refined and artistic and makes it possible to take home a little piece of Italian intimacy. We want to bring fans of luxury sex toys a truly unique product, adding aesthetic pleasure to the physical pleasure because our products are real works of art: unique, hand-painted pieces, produced to industrial quality standards. Apart from providing physical pleasure, Persian Palm sex toys are a feast for the eyes that see … and for the mind that fantasises.
Why did you pick the name Persian Palm?
We come from a town whose tradition in ceramic production spans seven centuries. The ‘Palmetta Persiana’ (Persian Palm) is the typical decoration of the Renaissance period that we love the most. This is why we chose this name and we included the main element of the decoration itself in our logo.
What are the advantages of ceramic sex toys?
Ceramic is an extraordinary material; its hardness allows precise stimulation of the desired spots. The glazed surface makes sex toys extremely smooth and shiny, and there is no porosity. Another important advantage is that all production steps are taken care of in-house and this allows us to add a level of customisation to our production ‘standard’, including the insertion of names and dedications to create absolutely unique and personalised products.
Are there also disadvantages to working with ceramic? Are there maybe restrictions in regard to the shapes you can create with this material, etc.?
Ceramic, much like glass, is a brittle material: If it falls on a hard surface or is bumped into a sharp edge, it may break. But with our mechanical testing and digital modelling, we make sure it is absolute safety for normal use in intimate life. Our sex toys are also filled with a special resin which makes them more solid. As for limitations on the shape – the only limitation is that we cannot produce toys with narrow sections of less than 1.5cm in diameter.
Which other qualities make the Persian Palm products stand out from the crowd?
Our sex toys are designed and tested to give maximum pleasure, but they are also brilliant and colourful works of art, often topped off with precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver. This makes our products really different and original: We want our products to spell MADE IN ITALY in every way possible. Producing ceramic sex toys requires a very specific kind of expertise. Coming from a city with a long tradition of ceramic production has been fundamental.
Would you mind taking us through the production process? How much work is it making such a product, and how long does it take?
Each shape is first drawn with a CAD software tool and then modelled and 3D printed. From this object, plaster moulds are created which the liquid clay is then poured into. The created objects are left to dry and heated the first time at 1000 ° C. Then, we move on to the stage of glazing and decorating, handled by artists and decorators. The sex toys of Persian Palm are then heated a second time at 930 ° C. The glaze and the colours harden, become shiny while remaining free of porosity. After that, our products are filled with a special resin, to further increase structural strength, and the bottom is applied – a silver or stainless steel element with the Persian Palm logo engraved on it. Producing a Persian Palm sex toy takes about 10 days.
Are all your products made by hand?
Yes, everything is handmade by experienced artisans. We want to add that, from the products to the packaging, everything is “Made in Italy” – actually, completely MADE IN TUSCANY!
What can you tell us about the pricing of your products?
Our products have a recommended retail price for the final customer, which varies from €120 to €160. Obviously, some shops and distributors offer special discounts.
“Our product is very different from toys made with automated processes.”
Can you give us some information about the products that are available at the moment? How big is your range and which products does it comprise?
We currently produce 7 shapes: 3 dildos and 4 plug dildos. Any design can then be decorated along the following lines:
- Full colour: uniform colour or fire red or shiny mirror black
- Classic line: The decorations are inspired by traditional Tuscan decorations of the Renaissance period
- Gold line: 24ct gold decorations on fire red or shiny mirror black
- Platinum line: pure platinum decorations on fire red or shiny mirror black
- Full gold: The entire toy is covered with 24 carat gold
- Full platinum: The entire toy is covered with pure platinum
- Special edition: more sophisticated and complex decorations. In this category, we also introduce special lines dedicated to Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc.
- Customised Line: products decorated upon customer request
Who is the target audience you are catering to with this brand?
Our products are aimed at customers of any gender and sexual orientation, at people who already use sex toys, people who know what gives them and their partner pleasure, lovers of art and quality.
The lion share of sex toys are created in automated processes, where large quantities are churned out with each production run. How do you present and position your products in relation to all these mass produced toys?
Our product is very different from toys made with automated processes, even if we use industrial techniques for the production shapes. So we don’t see these products as competition. The sex toys market is global and therefore, mass production is needed. Ours is a product that could be called ‘niche product’ – it remains on the fringes of a large market. But as the general market grows, the ‘niche market’ becomes more interesting and attractive to small producers such as ourselves.
Which channels of distribution do you use to get your products out there?
Luxury sex toy distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and our internet site.
Are you looking for distributors/wholesalers in Europe, or do you prefer working directly with the retailers due to the nature of your products?
We are looking for distributors, wholesalers, and retailers who are interested in selling ‘niche products’ like our sex toys.
You will be presenting Persian Palm at eroFame 2016. What are your expectations, and what exactly will you be putting on display for the international trade to see?
eroFame 2016 will be our first fair as exhibitors; in the past two years, we were mere visitors. What we expect from our presence at eroFame is to arouse interest among shop owners and distributors and to expand our network of contacts and clients. At our booth, we will show all our products, including some phases of production … and some other surprises …