Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Berman.
Stephanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My journey started 14 years ago working for my family business, which focuses on providing medical products for women’s reproductive health, with a specialization in couples trying to conceive, using methods of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), such as IVF and Artificial Insemination.
In that time, I learned so much about all of the various methods people were using to try and conceive, but it was when my wife and I began our own process of starting a family that everything changed. As a same-sex couple, the options for TTC are either the very costly process of ART with a doctor, or using other methods for trying at home, such as a turkey baster or needleless syringe. My wife and I both agreed we did not want to incur the incredible expense of AI/IVF, and preferred to try at home. We wanted our experience to be more private than what a doctor’s office provides, and I wanted to be much more involved than simply letting a doctor do all the work.
With that said, we tried both a turkey baster and needleless syringes, and were left feeling very unsatisfied with our experience with both methods. There was nothing sexy, fun, or functional about it – and that’s when I set out to find a better option for us. I came up empty-handed in finding other / better options, and decided to take matters into my own hands.
I did a lot of brainstorming and research, and came upon the idea to create a sex toy, which could essentially re-create for same sex couples what heterosexual couples do – and with that, the idea for my flagship product, The Semenette, was born – a strap-on dildo, which had the unique capability to mimic an ejaculation.
When I received my first functional prototype of the product, I was obviously eager to put it to use, and see if this idea would actually work. To my utter amazement, my wife became pregnant on our second try with the toy! That moment is one I will never forget for so many reasons- not only was my wife pregnant, but this product actually worked!
It was at this point when I knew I had to share this product with the world. I started my business, found an investor, and officially launched the product in 2013. It was met with great success in the adult toy market, as other ejaculating toys on the market did not offer the technology, quality, and safety mine did. I received a full Utility Patent on the technology in 2016, which was the same year I partnered with a new, well-known sex toy manufacturer, Fun Factory, and launched the next version of the product, POPDildo. I should also mention that POPDildo is responsible for helping my wife and I conceive our second child!
Today, POPDildo is not only being used by same-sex couples trying to conceive, but it is being used and praised by so people in many other communities, such as men with erectile dysfunction, transgender people, gender role play enthusiasts, and those using it for gender affirmation, as well as those in the fetish and kink communities, and so many more groups. It’s incredible to see how universal the product has become! We are currently expanding our offerings with the soon to be released, POP-n-Play and just launched our collaboration with lubricant company, Sliquid, to create POP Lube.
Has it been a smooth road?
Being an entrepreneur is never a smooth road! Additionally, the sex toy industry is known for being a very male-dominated field.
However, in the past 3 years, I have seen a major shift in that paradigm. More and more women are not only engineering sex toys, but are starting companies of their own, bringing unique and incredible toys to the market.
I also run my business solely on my own, which, as you can imagine, is quite challenging! I do take a lot of pride in the fact I personally answer every email from my customers; it’s not a blanket form-style email people get from me, but rather a personalized response. I often get women and couples asking me for advice, and it makes me incredibly happy to be able to share my knowledge with them.
Like any small business, there are daily struggles, but my happy customers make all the blood, sweat, and tears more than worth it!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Berman Innovations story. Tell us more about the business.
Berman Innovations, LLC was founded in Boston, MA in 2012, as a woman-owned and operated LGBTQ-friendly company, dedicated to the advancement of products designed for men, women and couples.
We have a specific interest in the education, creation, and design of the highest quality and best technology in novelty products. It is always our goal to pay special attention to providing quality products and superior customer service.
I’ve always believed that good customer service can set you apart from the competition, and I do feel we excel in that area.
The first thing I am most proud of are of course, my 2 children being created with my product! It’s truly humbling and incredible when couples share their own success stories with me. Those are all proud moments. I’ve also been so blessed to receive several accolades from the adult industry. Most recently, I won the 2017 AVN Award (the Oscars of the adult industry) for Best Small Manufacturer. It was a huge moment for me. I’d say the other major accomplishment that I am proud of was receiving my Utility Patent. The process of getting a patent can be long and arduous, so it was super rewarding to hit that milestone.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
One of the most interesting and wonderful things about this industry is to watch how it evolves and changes as the years pass. In recent years, the advancements in technology of sex toys has been incredible! There are now toys which are linked to apps on your phone, and can even be controlled remotely.
The newest and most recent addition to the adult industry is virtual reality; VR is basically the new face of modern adult entertainment. It’s changing the way people watch and actually interact with adult video, in ways you can’t even imagine until you see it for yourself. I see VR being the next major trend in that side of the industry, and I’m sure adult novelty products will be taking full advantage of that technology.
- POP Dildo MSRP, $139.95
- Website: http://POPDildo.com
- Phone: 877-424-9673
- Email: Stephanie@TheSemenette.com
- Instagram: POPDildo
- Facebook: https://Twitter.com/TheSemenette
- Twitter: https://Facebook.com/TheSemenette
- Other: https://YouTube.com/channel/UC1hfPyVJVLYnxsS4vOcRK1Q