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Business – website selling sex dolls

When I tell my friends and new acquaintances that I run a website selling sex dolls, they often laugh.

What!? I know someone with a sex doll shop now? How crazy is that!?” are the words I typically hear.

To them, it must almost sound as if I am joking about my job. And that reaction really is quite appropriate. My first foray into adult pleasure products was actually the result of a joke.

Once upon a time I was a freelance videographer in far off Shanghai, where I lived for 13 years prior to returning to Canada. I worked in fashion and luxury frequently, with clients like Guerlain, Chaumet: Ted Baker, London and others.

I was also dabbling in writing erotic fiction, and won a prize for a piece I wrote awarded by the world’s biggest sex toy brand: Lelo.

One night, I was filming a fashion show in a luxury furniture showroom. Everyone was dressed to the 9s, including me. I was somewhat renowned for my look: I had a silver Mohican hairdo, and I always wore vests, nice button up shirts, vibrantly colored pants, fashionable shoes—and a bowtie. Yes—I love bowties! 

As I was shooting cutaway/detail footage of the venue, I was approached by a handsome gay gentleman who complimented me on my tie. For some reason, I decided to mess with him and suggest that it wasn’t the only place I wore bowties, and then gestured down to my pants, my eyebrows raised suggestively. He giggled and blushed. And that’s when the lightning flash hit me. “Wait a second!!! Is that a thing? Could that thing be the next big thing in sex toys?”

That was the idea that sparked my friendship with my current business partner. A mutual friend of ours, an entrepreneur building a lingerie brand, recommended Eddie to me. My friend told me Eddie had been helping him source the lingerie and that he’d worked in other adult segments as well. He gave me Eddie’s number.

I was sold on Eddie after our first conversation. Here was a guy with knowledge, expertise, initiative, contacts, a professional/success mentality, and a hilarious sense of humor. A truly quality human being! Just—the perfect person to start a sex toy brand with!

Fast forward years later, and Eddie hits me up, this time with another idea: sex dolls. He’d found the source of the highest quality sex dolls on the planet. Dolls made by the most talented craftspeople with the highest quality materials out there. After reviewing the product catalog, I realized it was a brilliant proposal.

Stephan Larose –  Co-Founder

Who Are Dollknights?

We are champions for your sexual health and pleasure. Our mission is to give people the opportunity to explore any and all fantasies, to experience any and all sexual gratification they desire, by offering the highest quality sex dolls.

We are people who know the importance of sexual gratification and pleasure and understand how important sexual release and sexual self-expression are to our physical and mental well-being. That’s why our culture is sex doll positive, and why we offer nothing but the best products and customer service out there.

As a former award-winning customer service trainer at Asia’s largest travel services provider, I understand how important empathy and great customer service are. As an amateur erotic fiction writer, sex toy entrepreneur, and extremely high-libido individual, I also understand the value sex dolls have, and how much they can improve your quality of life.

Sex dolls are the ultimate safe space. They are a judgement-free sexual release. They are partners we can say anything to, try anything with, dress how we want, position how we want, and they’re down for everything.

Too many people lack the sexual release and the opportunities for sexual self-expression they need. Sex dolls make it possible to explore fantasies, enjoy regular sexual release, to have sexual agency, without ever having to worry about being judged, doing something the other party doesn’t enjoy, or disappointing anyone. It is all good, all the time, every time.

And this is what we believe every human being deserves. The health and joy of sexual release!

The Challenges

Many of our challenges are common to all businesses. We need to connect products to the people who want them, but that’s not always as straightforward as it seems. Many advertisers and platforms refuse to run ads for anything in the adult segment, reducing our options. There is SEO, but there are hundreds of websites out there offering similar products. The chances of being found via organic search without a six-figure content marketing + backlinking effort are remote.

In today’s age, it isn’t enough to have ads with good video or graphic design, to have banners on every website on the web, to have product placed in the best movies and video games, to have the best prices. You need to stand out, and you need to stick. We live in an age of media saturation and tiny attention spans. Your impact must both be immediate and long-lasting.

The first thing to consider is targeting. Even the most impactful ad is wasted if the target has zero personal interest in the product. Where are the people you want? Where are their eyeballs? How can you reach them?

The second is, how do you get attention? How do you stand out? We see commercials and ads becoming more and more creative, but many are too disconnected from a core message to be memorable, meaningful, or to impel action in the audience.

Do you go rock’n’rolla and make your product/service the star of a 30-second version of Trainspotting? Do you allude to an epic quest?—Does the hero ascend the tallest mountain to ask the wisest ancients for the ultimate answer? Do you tell the most impactful real story? —A personal testament that pulls heart strings, wins minds and elicits universal empathy and good will? Well, good creative can do wonders, but don’t get so caught up in great storytelling that you obscure the story! We’ve got what you need. Let us, help you.

Lastly, your message has to stick. And the best way to get someone to remember something, is if they want that thing in the first place. It’s a lot easier to remember something you want to remember. Which brings us back to point number one: targeting.

For those new eyeballs, you have to transmit some sense of the potential importance to them of your message. This could be THE thing.

Another common challenge: recruiting the right people and retaining them. There is a lot of competition there out there for talent working in graphic design, SEO, ecommerce development, marketing, web development and the other job descriptions related to our business.

When you are a Startup and bootstrapping, you aren’t likely to compete on remuneration, so the only way you stand of chance of attracting and retaining top level people is with culture, and sweet, sweet promises. Like shares. If you want others to share the love you have for your business, spread the love.

Culture is difficult to get right. Sometimes competition overcomes team work and there is friction. We need winners in our teams, but that doesn’t mean there always have to be losers. People like a good challenge, the opportunity to grow and improve, but most of all—they want to like the people they work with. Nothing makes a better workplace, than a place with a really good vibe. When you have the combination of people loving what they do, loving the people they work with, and the gratification of self-development, there is a chance you’ve assembled your long-term A-team.

What does the future hold?

For Dollknights and the entire sex toy industry, we can look forward to growth for the medium-to-long term. Technology will continue to play a strong role both in innovation and as a disruptor. The companies that succeed will be the ones with the new killer app, the new user experience, the ones that can adapt to change.

With 3D printing, more and more boutique brands will emerge, leading to an increasing abundance of selection and ever-more interesting design.

With AI, more and more businesses and relationships will be disrupted. AI companions will be superior to human ones in many respects, with conversational abilities and empathetic responses developed to the highest level. AI will permit new forms of erotic entertainment and interactions, which may render some businesses, people and relationships obsolete. More will be possible, there will be more fantasy and role play than ever, and the landscape will change quickly and dramatically.

Sex toy use has basically become normalized in the West. Sexual release is seen more as a necessity for mental and physical health, rather than as some sort of sin. Sales of these kinds of products increase every year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In the past, I wrote erotic fiction about getting it on in a quasi-secret nook at Comicon with a cosplay hottie playing as Nebula from Guardians of The Galaxy. Nowadays, I am writing about being a vampire with a hemi-penis (because I’m actually a lizard person) who helps a prostitute kill off the criminal underworld in an orgy of sex and violence. Seems like the same old things are just getting better and better.

For me, I still think it’s funny that my job is to name product categories “Bootylicious,” and to give my dolls exotic names like “Saori,” and “Mirjana.”

I love this industry and the fact that I get to play a role in it, and that’s how I know we’re going to win.

Stephan Larose is the co-owner/founder of Coolwanna Inc., operator of

Ksenia Sobchak