Where do I even start on Tiffany? This babe embodies everything we aim for – female empowerment, passion, drive, enthusiasm and down right badassery. We have all been completely obsessed with her from the very first second that we came across Lovability – which was approximately .01 second from when we ordered our first batch of Fuckboy Repellant and condoms. There is nothing that we would rather do than support businesses that support women embracing their sexuality, taking their power and rocking it out. Tiffany, we salute you. (PS now they even have lube!)
“Sexual wellness for your power and pleasure”
I love that the two of you came together in New York to make a stylish condom by women, for women. Could you share a little more of the Lovability backstory, and how you guys came to be?
I started Lovability between my first and second year of graduate school, studying “Design For Social Innovation.” I was passionate about using design as a way to encourage positive behavioral change. The idea to focus on condoms hit me after a traumatic experience purchasing tampons at a bodega, the tampons were 10 feet up behind the cashier, and he had to use an orange-picking claw to grab them. A box of condom came tumbling down with them. There was a line of bros behind me buying beer. I felt humiliated. But then I thought to myself, “Why should I be humiliated associating with these products that are so essential to my health?” After discussing this experience with my girlfriends, we collectively noted that purchasing condoms was one of the worst; plus carrying, and providing condoms was uncomfortable too. I realized that years of masculine and dominant messaging had created a negative association with that. I set out to change that with our products. I wanted to redefine condoms as a symbol of self love.
While I was coming to this conclusion, Claire was working on her thesis on “Pleasure In The Condom Industry” in college in California. She reached out to me upon graduation looking for an internship. She joined the fledgling company and helped take it to the next level. We gained momentum through a crowdfunding campaign that went viral and grew day by day! Every day has been a struggle, an adventure, and a blessing.
What experiences in your own life can you attribute to the birth of (and success of!) Lovability?
I was always challenged to be resourceful as a child. Rather than being given a “Barbie House” my parents told me to be creative and to make one myself. I’ve always had the mindset that I can make things and do things even when I don’t have all of the pieces ore resources that seem necessary. That has served me well because there is no pamphlet or kit to help you become a successful entrepreneur, (in the condom industry especially!) I have had to be very creative to make things work, and very resourceful to reach this level.
What were some of the challenges you faced when getting started? Did you meet any opposition that was solely based on the fact that two women were taking back their sexual power? (FYI for any and every chagrined man you encounter, yesterday, now, or tomorrow, just know that 10 years will be added to your life).
We have faced so many challenges. First, there was a lot of push-back from retailers who weren’t ready to associate with condoms. One lingerie store owner I pitched to back in 2014 stands out. She sold nipple tassles and other kinky items in her boutique. When I showed her the tins she was excited about their aesthetic, but once I mentioned the word “condoms,” she wouldn’t make eye-contact with me and said, “we’re not that kind of store.” Another challenge was when Chase bank wouldn’t be our credit card processing company because they considered condoms a “prohibited adult category.” We’ve also felt challenged by Facebook and Instagram when they restrict our advertisements.
I love the expressions printed on the Lovability tins. “Babe With The Power” is a favorite of mine. How did you pick each phrase, and which one is your favorite?
I love “Talk Feminist To Me,” because the best way you can tell if the person you’re hooking up with is a feminist, is by pulling out your own condoms and seeing how they react! If they react respectfully and respond well to your commitment to valuing your body and future, you’ve got a good one!
How has your own relationship to yourself and your sexuality evolved since the birth of Lovability?
In the beginning, Lovability was more centered around the providing women the opportunity to choose discretion with their condoms, and have a more comfortable buying experience. Now it’s about encouraging an open and vocal commitment to your power in the bedroom and beyond! This mirror my transformation as a person that used to speak about condoms with an apologetic tone and concern of what people would think of me. Now I’m loud and proud and carry around a tote that says “feminists carry condoms.” I also speak openly and confidently about sexual health with everyone from my nine year old nephew to my boyfriend’s grandparents.
If you could share one piece of advice with young women looking to own their power and agency, what would it be?
Don’t apologize for your uniqueness. Embrace your feminine intuition. Ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
What’s some of the feedback you’ve received from women so far?
I’ve been thrilled that our products make women feel powerful and lovable. I also know that they make it easier to talk to friends and family about sexual health. They’re a conversation catalyst in the best way possible.
Have you ever sprayed a fuckboy with fuckboy repellent? Did he melt like the wicked witch? We plan to test this.
I often spray it on myself for some body glitter sparkle! The visual shimmer reminds me to NEVER put up with Fuckboys and their advances. We have lots of customers who have sprayed actual fuckboys. One customer said, “I sprayed my boyfriend when I found out he was having an affair so that he’d come home to the other woman covered in glitter, (and then she’d know.)”
What is your ultimate vision for Lovability? What impact do you want to make on women, and the world?
I want women to feel powerful, lovable, and strong. I want women to ask for what they want and stand up for what they deserve. I see our products as female-power-tools that inspire confidence and strength.
What word encompasses the twenty-something decade?
Magic! Anything is possible. It’s a special time to adventure, explore, and commit to pursuing your deepest desires!