Tag Archives: latex

INTERVIEW: Jennifer Santala, Antidote London Latex

The cure for clichéd fetish latex wear? Jennifer Santala from Antidote London Latex thinks so.

According to Antidote founder and designer Jennifer, this exciting new brand offers a potent combination of fetish, fantasy, and theatre. Where do we sign up?!

Jennifer Brawls, Founder of Antidote London Latex, interviewed by erotic marketing agency, Lascivious Marketing [credit: Antidote London Latex]
Jennifer Brawls, Founder of Antidote London Latex [credit: Antidote London Latex]
BRIAN GRAY: First of all Jennifer, what motivated you to create Antidote? What was your own background before this?

JENNIFER SANTALA: It came ultimately out of frustration that I couldn’t really get a latex item to fit correctly and I couldn’t really afford to use a made-to-measure service. I would consider myself quite a standard size but having owned latex clothes for ten years I just found that whatever I bought just wasn’t quite right; there was always something I wanted to change or adjust. So that’s how it started, with me trying to adjust outfits I had bought from other brands, learning how to glue latex and finding out how to work and manipulate the material.

My background and interest in fashion spans from taking a Fashion Design course at college in Manchester which led to me studying Theatre Design at Central St Martins in London. This course allowed me think more about characters and how to portray characteristics and attributes through the medium of costume design.

red-headed woman wearing Antidote London Latex black latex top and skirt. Founder Jennifer Brawls interviewed by erotic marketing agency Lascivious Marketing [credit: Anouk Dyonne Photography]
[credit: Anouk Dyonne Photography]
Antidote is a relatively new brand. How is it going so far? At what stage is it taking over your life? Is it a part-time enterprise just now or is this now your sole focus?
I am very happy with the way things have developed in the last year. I’m focused on creating new products for my Etsy page as well as investing in professional images to market my brand online and at events. Antidote is a very new brand and I have only been selling items online for just under a year but it’s slowly getting to a great place where I’m able to take on more orders and increase my custom work as well.

As this is only currently a part-time venture it means that time is limited so the days are long with me working late into the night to fulfil orders and make items for photo shoots abroad, but this is what strives me to achieve my dream of making this my full-time occupation. It can be hard and sometimes I feel I’m pushing myself to my limit but at the same time I don’t expect this to be an easy ride and I can be a very determined when I put my mind to it. I see this more as my chance to be creative and soon hopefully I can make this become my full-time focus.

Dani Divine, wearing Antidote London Latex. Founder Jennifer Brawls interviewed by erotic marketing agency Lascivious Marketing [credit: 7Blaze7]
[credit: 7Blaze7]
How did you decide upon the name Antidote? And what naming process did you undertake to arrive at this?
Antidote was exactly that: a cure, my cure, for the everyday and mundane. It’s ultimately my escape from the daily grind and a creative outlet for me to explore all my crazy costume ideas. If it means that to me then hopefully it can mean that to others too that wear my designs? I feel the quality and theatrics of the outfits really stand out as being something that’s not just a nice outfit but elevates the wearer into a “whole new you”. If you think of this in loose terms this could in fact be a remedy of sorts. It’s my chance to explore my creativity and the escapism that can bring to both designer and wearer.

I also wanted a name that wasn’t so obviously a fetish brand. I tend to hate all the obvious adjectives that most use to describe the fetish world and I wanted to steer clear of being too apparent or obvious.

The name Antidote suggests drama and although the word is more of a positive it comes from the existence of a negative. Some people like the name, others hate it but I would rather the name provoked a reaction, any reaction rather than none at all…

redheaded woman wearing Antidote London Latex. Founder Jennifer Brawls interviewed by erotic marketing agency Lascivious Marketing [credit: Anouk Dyonne Photography]
[credit: Anouk Dyonne Photography]
And what do you see as the brand vision and brand essence of Antidote Latex?
Every day I am inspired to make and create new latex wear and I want to expand on making a greater portfolio of work that will also include menswear eventually. I feel that there is a huge gap in the market for more interesting outfits and I feel men really don’t have too much choice. I feel the very essence of the brand is creativity on a theatrical scale and the vision to create a work of art rather than just a basic latex lingerie set. I think fluidity is also at the heart of Antidote as my customers are also hugely creative and sometimes come forward with ideas they want to see realised. I want Antidote to be fluid with its creativity so it had room to grow naturally and organically. I feel character is key as it’s more about empowering the individual not the collective. It has never been about selling in volume and turning over a huge profit; it’s more about the vision and the spectacle that ensues…

What defines your typical Antidote customer, and what three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
My typical customers I would say are partygoers, performers and exceptionally creative individuals who are also highly involved in the fetish scene, who wants to get more of a custom experience without paying the world for it. They know what they want and are not afraid to ask for a design to be tailored to suit their individual needs. They want outfits that stand out from the crowd and will untimely transform them into their fantasy vision for all to appreciate. Although they are predominantly women as I don’t have any listed items for men as yet, I often deal with men as they want to surprise their partner/lover with something special.

As the brand is very new I wouldn’t know how my customers would describe it exactly but I would hope that they see the theatrics of the costumes and how much I love playing with historical designs and bringing them into the 21st century.

Taking this into account my 3 words would probably be:
Fantasy, Fetish, Theatre

Dani Divine wearing Antidote London Latex. Founder Jennifer Brawls interviewed by erotic marketing agency Lascivious Marketing [credit: Antidote London Latex]
[credit: Antidote London Latex]
A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
I think the word has to be ‘Custom’.

Right from taking my very first order I was adamant on not making any outfit to a standard size i.e. Size 8, 10, 12, 14. I feel this is an old way of working and will untimely leave my customers in the same position I was in by getting garments that don’t fit correctly. Antidote was created to make bespoke garments for the individual, not to stock outfits for the masses. As I hand-make the items from scratch, it doesn’t take a huge amount more time to make the garment specifically to fit the customer’s measurements. It’s a win/win situation as the customer will be happy with the item and it will show off my work to its full potential.

Moreover I have always seen the brand more in terms of creating full costumes rather than just selling individual pieces.  The work has theatrical elements to it and historical influences and these are not things that ultimately translate on a mass production scale – it’s custom shop. I want to make the person wearing my costumes not only feel like their fantasy has come true but truly standout from the standard black latex outfits flooding the fetish scene.  I think if a customer wanted custom work then Antidote should be high in their ratings plus I personally find custom work more challenging and hugely rewarding. It pushes me to my very limit and in the process keeps me developing and refining my skills along the way…

Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
Marketing is not my strong point. My only real marketing tool is through Instagram which I feel is a great shopfront for my brand. That way people from around the world can follow my story and get updates on new designs. Although online marketing attracts vast quantities of people, sometimes I feel this is not necessary regarding my target market. Having only 40% of the customers following my work being women and only selling women’s wear currently, I think perhaps the models are attracting them more than the actual designs…

I honestly feel the best and most successful method of marketing (one that most forget) is word of mouth and actually interacting with prospective clients at fetish events. Nowhere else would you be able to walk into a room and meet a thousand people who are interested in the fetish scene and should also be interested in your work. Plus this way is more fun too. When I go out to these events I am my own marketing tool (as is my husband when he attends too) and through showcasing my work in the environment it was made for is truly priceless. Most of my best projects have to come to light this way…

Dani Divine wearing Antidote London Latex. Jennifer Brawls, Founder, interviewed by erotic marketing agency, Lascivious Marketing [credit: Antidote London Latex]
[credit: Antidote London Latex]
Your designs have been modelled by some well-known figures in the fetish scene, such as Dani Divine. To what extent do you think this has helped in terms of both raising awareness and in subsequent sales?
It has made an incredible difference to have such a well-loved and high-profile figure modelling my designs. It brings a whole new level of interest that I am very thankful for. Despite working for a photography studio I was pretty late in investing in professional images, perhaps as it’s something I do deal with on a daily basis. I was more shocked than anyone when she put herself forward for the shoot and I am even more pleased with the end result and how well received the images have been. Dani Divine and Zara Du Rose are probably as high-profile as you can get within the fetish scene and it was thrilling to have their support and creativity on these shoots. They were and still are my ultimate target customer.

Antidote London Latex. Jennifer Brawls, Founder, interviewed by erotic marketing agency, Lascivious Marketing [credit: Antidote London Latex]
[credit: Antidote Latex]
After Zara modelled for one of my shoots last month, she has since invited me to present a latex collection at her next event which I am incredibly excited about! A catwalk showcase has always been such a huge dream and goal of mine and I’m so incredibly grateful for such an immense opportunity. This catwalk show will be the high point of my journey so far.

If you could get another adult brand (whether lingerie, sex toys, fetishwear, pleasure products, BDSM equipment or other) involved in a joint marketing campaign or event with yourself, who would it be and why?
As you might be able to tell from my images, I’m really into props! These aren’t just for the shoots: I feel they add as an extension to the costumes and characters and I would love to work with a brand that makes unusual bondage equipment. A brand like Fraulein Kink or domestique, they seem to have a different take on bondage accessories and have more of a storytelling feel to them. I guess it all comes down to theatrics again and any designer of sex toys or BDSM equipment who also feature these elements would always appeal to me.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given or read somewhere, and from who?
I’m currently working my way through “How to Start a Creative Business” by Doug Richards which is a must read for any entrepreneur who wants to start a creative enterprise. It’s a lifeline for anyone seeking new ideas on how to expand your business and takes you through everything step by step without the business talk. If you haven’t read it then this should be on your next present list.

The best business advice I can quote is a quote I read years ago from Richard Branson:
“The best businesses come from people’s bad personal experiences. If you just keep your eyes open, you’re going to find something that frustrates you, and then you think, ‘well I could maybe do it better than it’s being done,’ and there you have a business.”

This is ultimately how Antidote was born and I think it would be true of many other businesses too.

Time is our most precious commodity, especially for entrepreneurs. How do you maximise yours, and what tips have you picked up along the way?
I maximise my time mainly by being organised, prioritising my workload and taking Sundays off. I feel that I need to be at my best when I’m constructing latex and if I’m tired or ill then the work will not be as good. You need to give yourself at least some time off to make sure you’re working to a high standard. This way you work faster and more efficiently.

And what do the next twelve months hold in store for Antidote?
I hope to really start to take on a higher volume of custom orders and also releasing more items for sale on my Etsy page. Currently I only really have my most basic items listed and so I want to make sure that I include a few more customised items to highlight my main focus on bespoke work and more menswear as well. The catwalk show for Zara Du Rose is also going to be an exciting project and the chance to collaborate with Hippy Poppins who is an amazing headdress designer.

I really can’t wait to see how it all turns out! Watch this space…


Thank you Jenny for such an insightful and honest glimpse into the world of Antidote!

Salivating over Jennifer’s creations? Not surprising. Head over to the Antidote London Latex Esty shop and say hello on Instagram.
(but do come back afterwards to read all the other #sexySME interviews!)

 


ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!

Until next time!
Brian

 

INTERVIEW: Rebecca Allsop, Yummy Gummy Latex

Meet the sweet sounding and equally delicious looking latex brand that’s the anithesis of its fetish-esque peers. Introducing, Yummy Gummy Latex.

Yummy Gummy Latex co-founder and designer Rebecca Allsop talks branding, marketing, and the ‘joys’ of social media.

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Rebecca Allsop, Yummy Gummy Latex [credit: Rachel May]
BRIAN GRAY: Who is Yummy Gummy Latex and what’s the story behind it?

REBECCA ALLSOP: Yummy Gummy is myself (Rebecca) and my boyfriend (Sam). I started making sheet latex back in 2013 when I was taught how to make it by a late photographer who had previously been in the business of making sheet latex. I hadn’t discovered latex before then and wasn’t particularly impressed by it.

But after doing a bit of research I realised no one did what I could now do, which was make patterned multi coloured latex. Fast forward to me taking the little bits that I had made to the BBB (Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar) and having the latex designers there jump for joy that someone finally brought them what they had been waiting for. We saw how big the gap in the market was and after being made redundant and with some encouragement from Sam, I went for Yummy Gummy full time and haven’t looked back.

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[credit: Dan Thomas]
Yummy Gummy Latex is certainly a distinctive name. How and why did you settle on this particular moniker?
I literally chucked a pile of the little sheets I first made in to the middle of my room and stared at them until I found a name that described them perfectly. They looked just like gummy sweeties in their colour and texture. For me having a name that made people understand what the company was about immediately was really important, to save having to explain or for people to have to research more. It’s fun and memorable, I’ve had many people stand in front of my banners reading the name and chuckling to themselves saying how perfect it is and how nice it is that it’s breaking the dark fetish nature that latex brands usually take.

Yummy-Gummy-Latex-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-Rebecca-Allsop
[credit: Dan Thomas]
And what do you see as the brand vision and brand essence of Yummy Gummy Latex?
I always say I want to take over the world with latex.  I want to spread multi coloured latex to the masses and break down that heavy fetish stereotype that the non-latex wearer thinks it’s like. It’s not all “weirdos and gimps”, it’s fun and expressive.

What three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
Innovative, Exciting and Approachable.

A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
Innovative or Pioneering.

Yummy-Gummy-Latex-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-Rebecca-Allsop
[credit: Dan Thomas, headdress by Hippy Poppins]
Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
Facebook is crap, Instagram is for the win, and I still don’t know how to work Twitter. At the end of the day I use If This Then That, as a tool to manage all my social medias at once to save myself time. I like posting little clips of me manipulating a sheet of latex as a photo rarely gets across the colours and textures and sparkles right where as a video gives customers a really good idea of what they’re getting.

You’re fairly active on social media, especially Instagram. What have been your key observations on social media as a marketing tool for Yummy Gummy? And how much of your social media activity is planned versus spontaneous?
Its pretty much all spontaneous, I really hate having to post regularly on social media, I much prefer to be making. I have to force myself to try and find something to post every day so I stay relevant and remind people whats new and what they could be buying.

Yummy-Gummy-Latex-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-Rebecca-Allsop
[credit: Dan Thomas]
You also actively sell your wares at various markets around the country. What are your opinions on these and how do your sales at these compare to those ordered online?
I do most of my clothing sales at markets as people can try on and impulse buy, or buy in confidence that something fits how they would like it. I’m very good at convincing people just to try something on for fun and before they know it they’re handing over their credit card because they’ve found their clothing soulmate. I sell pretty much all my sheet latex online however as most people are happy not seeing the latex in person before buying and all the sheet latex is made to order.

If you could get another adult brand (whether lingerie, sex toys, fetishwear, pleasure products, BDSM equipment or other) involved in a joint marketing campaign or event with yourself, who would it be and why?
I have collaborated with Godemiche Silicone who do the same thing as I do with latex but with dildos. They make multi coloured dildos! I gave them some of my glitter that matches a best selling dress and we created the Gleam dildo. We probably could have made more of a deal of it than we did but both being in similar situations we were both distracted by trying to make our own orders and run our separate companies than to make the most out of the collab with give aways on social media etc.

What has been your personal highlight so far with your involvement with the brand, and why?
Meeting customers and attending the first Sexhibition show in 2015 where I got to dress my idolised fetish models in my latex and have them walk the catwalk. Or when I won my two awards, one for Best Newcomer for the European Fetish awards, or the Sexhibition Best Latex Designer of the Year award. Having peer recognition and support from the community was just amazing to see where I had come with the brand, something I had originally just seen as a little hobby / Etsy business than my full time employment of 4 years.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given or read somewhere, and from whom?
I am advised a lot by another latex brand. As for any particular advice I can’t think of any.

Yummy-Gummy-Latex-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-Rebecca-Allsop
[credit: Dan Thomas, headdress by Hippy Poppins]
And what does the next twelve months hold in store for Yummy Gummy Latex?
I’ve just made a catusit and a bra, which doesn’t sound much, but it’s something I’ve been asked for for years and years but put off doing because they have to fit perfectly and be practically bespoke in every aspect. I am hoping to shoot my collection on some well known Instagram models, collaborate with a plus-size blogger for a joint collection for the much larger lady and I hope to approach fashion boutiques and try and get some stockists in traditional clothing shops.

Thanks Rebecca! And here’s hoping Yummy Gummy Latex hangs onto its its sweet spot in the latex world. 

Tempted by Rebecca’s latex lovelies? Head over to the Yummy Gummy Latex website and don’t forget to follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

 


ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!

Until next time!
Brian

 

INTERVIEW: Stacey Mavrou, Eustratia

Meet the Manchester company guiding you the right way into the latex fashion world: Eustratia.

Eustratia Founder and Designer Stacey Mavrou talks branding, marketing, and how she and her company runs.

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-nymeria-bodysuit
Stacey Mavrou, Eustratia, wearing Nymeria Bodysuit. Cat not included!
[credit: Richard Ayres]
BRIAN GRAY: Let’s start from the beginning, Stacey. Give us a brief history of Eustratia, your background, and motivation for going into business.

STACEY MAVROU: I first encountered latex clothes in Camden in 2004. I was initially intrigued by the seams without stitching and the fascination grew from there. I have always seen fashion as a powerful mode of self-expression and I wanted to offer people an aesthetic I didn’t see anywhere else. I guess I identified that need through an inability to find the perfect outfit for myself, I wanted something that defined me completely and I wanted to give others to be able to experience that too.

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing
[credit: Richard Ayres]
Why did you settle on Eustratia as the name? What does it signify?
The name is a translation of the first part of my (Greek) name (pronounced in Greek, Efstratia), meaning the “good” or “right” way in regards to the path that you take. I inherited the name from my grandmother who was a seamstress and the first person to introduce me to the world of fashion.

As an existing name, there are others who use it on social media, so I like to make the brand easier to identify by adding  _fashion.

And what do you see as the brand vision and brand essence of Eustratia?
The core principle behind the brand is the balance between opposites. I enjoy contrasting elements and love to explore the dynamics between them. After years of experimentation, I think I have reached a point where the balance is right and the result harmonious.

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-deluxe-bra
[credit: Richard Ayres]
This has led to a slight shift in direction for the brand in the last year. Instead of creating a new and elaborate collection each season, I now offer a carefully curated range of customisable basics, featuring my signature latex-lace, alongside unique, seasonal motifs and items. I still want to enable customers to create an outfit that defines them, but I have used my years in the industry to streamline the process and offer options that resonate with my customers.

What defines your typical Eustratia Fashion customer, and what three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
I’m not sure if you could call Eustratia customers “typical” but I would probably define the main customer type as a party girl or performer. I make things for men on occasion, but the majority of my customers are female. They want something to wear to a club or event that defines them as a person but also works in a busy environment; something striking yet comfortable, sexy but not vulgar, fashionable and simultaneously unique.

Any of the above adjectives would do: I would be more interested to hear what they would use without my prompting!

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-corset-closeup
[credit: Richard Ayres]
The UK is home to more than a few highly renowned latex fetish / lingerie designers. What do you think differentiates yourself from them?
I do believe we have the latex designers with the best taste here in the UK and there is certainly something for everyone. In the past, I would have said that it was my unique combination of materials and techniques that set me apart, (since I started creating my first official collection in 2010, I have used combinations of latex with lace, guipure, mesh and other fabrics, chain mail, studs, crystals, perspex and taxidermy) but as these are no longer unique to my brand, I would now say that what differentiates me, is the balance between the contrasting elements in my work and ability to look inwards when I create, instead of concerning myself with what other people are creating or comparing myself to them.

A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
“Harmony”

Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
Be consistent, overreaching to do something big is pointless if you can’t keep it up.

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-black-shoulder-pads
[credit: Richard Ayres]
If you could get another adult brand (whether lingerie, sex toys, fetishwear, pleasure products, BDSM equipment or other) involved in a joint marketing campaign or event with yourself, who would it be and why?
I really don’t think I would collaborate with an adult brand as I don’t really consider myself one, I like to walk that fine line between fetish and fashion. I am honoured if people find pleasure in my clothes and I don’t think there should be stigma attached to that but I wouldn’t want to force a certain image onto anyone who sees them differently.

You studied Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Hindsight is always a great thing, but to what extent has it prepared you as a commercial designer, but also as a marketer and businesswoman?
I think doing such a broad course was useful and gave a more spherical view of the industry on the whole and the different positions one could go into. However, as someone whose mind was already made up, I’m not sure I acquired any knowledge could easily be impelled while running my own business. For example, I wouldn’t say I knew much at all about marketing as a graduate, despite doing well on that particular module.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given or read somewhere, and from whom?
Be consistent. I’m sure I’ve read that everywhere but it really is integral. People have short memories and you have to constantly remind them of your existence.

Stacey-Mavrou-Eustratia-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-black-bodysuit
[credit: Richard Ayres]
Time is our most precious commodity, especially for entrepreneurs. How do you maximise yours, and what tips have you picked up along the way?
Time management has been an issue for me in the past , as a young designer, full of enthusiasm to create and be involved in new projects, it’s easy to take on too much and in turn, to neglect the more boring but essential business admin. I’ve found that routine works best for me, I have specific tasks assigned to each day of the week and a certain amount of hours assigned to making each day, to stop it taking over my life!

And what does the next twelve months hold in store for Eustratia?
At the moment, I’m just focusing on fine-tuning the business side of things. I’m having a break from fashion shows and stalls and even large-scale photoshoots, which were previously a priority of mine. Although I love defining and sharing my vision and the stories that inspire my work, I felt the need to focus more on the actual ordering process of the garments and make it easier for people to just order a piece they are 100% sure about without having to make contact first. I answer all my messages myself and I’m always happy to make suggestions and alternations to suit each individual, but I’m aware that not everyone likes to shop that way.

Thanks Stacey! Here’s hoping you’re similarly guided to bigger and even better fortunes on your journey.

Tempted by Stacey’s wares?  You wouldn’t be the first one! Head over to the Eustratia website and don’t forget to follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

 


ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!

Until next time!
Brian

 

INTERVIEW: Jessie Maeday, Elysian Latex

Take one recent De Montfort Contour Fashion graduate, a love of latex and a new brand born just a few months ago. And mix thoroughly. The result? Elysian Latex.

Founder / Designer Jessie Maeday talks candidly about her latex creations, marketing and her first entrepreneurial steps.

 

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Jessie Maeday, Designer / Founder, Elysian Latex [credit: Elysian Latex]
BRIAN GRAY: So let’s get started. Has Elysian Latex been around while you were studying or is this a brand new enterprise launched recently?

JESSIE MAEDAY: Since I started my degree I knew that I wanted to end up being my own boss, and I have always had that in the back of my mind throughout the last three years. It hasn’t really been until the last six months or so that I started to build the brand into something that was ready to go once I graduated.

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[credit: Elysian Latex]
What other possible names did you consider and why did you settle on Elysian Latex?
Oh so many! I’ve lost count of how many hours have been spent with friends and a glass of wine scrolling through the internet trying to come up with something. I started to play around with names on Instagram to test-drive them, seeing how the name worked with the content I was posting.

Elysian Latex came about once I started on my final collection, as I wanted something that reflected the brand aesthetic. The definition of Elysian is ‘characteristics of heaven or paradise’, and this feminine undertone is certainly reflected in the work I produce.

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[credit: Elysian Latex]
And what do you see as the brand vision and brand essence of Elysian Latex?
The brand vision is simple; Elysian Latex challenges what people think they know about latex as a fashion fabric. The idea that latex is a fetish only material has become a bit boring, and I want to fight that by bringing it into 2017. I see latex as any other luxury material, and by incorporating fabric manipulation as well as my exclusive lace laser cutting, I can create garments that are fashion forward, but also have that ever-so- flattering effect of latex when worn.

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[credit: Elysian Latex]
What defines your typical Elysian Latex customer, and what three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
I’d like to think that the average customer is… well anyone! I’ve been approached by customers who are literally the definition of English rose, pale skin, red hair with breath-taking beauty, all the way to heavily tattooed, fetish models and sex workers. If I were to break the brand down into three words, it would be: Flirty, Feminine, and Fearless. I want my customers to feel like they can take on the world, and look damn good while doing it!

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[credit: Elysian Latex]
The UK is home to more than a few highly renowned latex fetish / lingerie designers. What do you think differentiates yourself from them?
I think the fact that my garments come from a mostly fashion background helps to separate myself from the competition, as well as all the technical skills I have learnt studying Contour Fashion. I work super hard creating garments that are not just pretty but designed with proper knowledge of bra construction and how to get the perfect fit.

A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
Quality.
I work so passionately on every glued seam, fabric piece cut and eyelet pressed so that every item is made with love and care.

Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
Oh gosh, I am truly terrible at marketing! I have a little piece of the internet via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter which I try to keep updated regularly with current work, events and inspiration and they are all growing at what I’d consider to be a respectable pace. Branching out to different parts of the work is difficult and most of my followers are UK based, which is good for now as the brand is still in its early stages. I also have an Etsy page where I sell my work, but this desperately needs to be moved onto my own website so I can really show off what Elysian Latex is all about!

If you could get another adult brand (whether lingerie, sex toys, fetishwear, pleasure products, BDSM equipment or other) involved in a joint marketing campaign or event with yourself, who would it be and why?
I would absolutely LOVE to work with fetish/ burlesque club night! Those events look like so much fun and having a catwalk show, as well as people just having a great evening in my garments is a personal dream.

Elysian-Latex-interview-Lascivious-Marketing-show
[credit: Elysian Latex]
The Contour Fashion degree at De Montfort University is long established and renowned within the lingerie and fashion industries alike. How well do you think it’s prepared you for the next stage in your career, both as a designer and as a businesswoman?
The course has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined. Studying Contour was the best, most stressful and most rewarding decision I ever made (even though it sometimes didn’t feel like it at 5am when I was frantically sewing/ drawing or crying into a bottle of wine before deadlines)

The tutors are so incredible at noticing what makes you an individual and how to bring that into your design work. Without really realising it I have grown into a designer, seamstress, pattern drafter and technical designer, and those skills are essential to having a successful fashion career. I do still have so much to learn when it comes to running my business but Contour was definitely successful in getting me on the right path.

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given or read somewhere, and from who?
It’s a bit ironic as the company has recently closed, but reading Girl Boss (the creator of vintage brand Nasty Gal) has taught me so many simple things that I never would have considered. One that has stuck with me is how to approach garments not selling. I am guilty of taking items not selling personally so I can either feel defeated or that the item is rubbish as no-body wants to buy it. Or I can treat selling this item as a work in progress and re-evaluate how I am advertising, photographing, describing it and try again.
And sort out your finances. Obviously.

Time is our most precious commodity, especially for entrepreneurs. How do you maximise yours, and what tips have you picked up along the way?
I work pretty much full time as well as working on my own brand so my time is very scattered at the moment. I try to spend at least an hour a day networking and replying to emails, and I try to make items that aren’t being sold on my Etsy page that could be available to hire for models etc as a form of promotion.

The biggest tip I’ve got would be to definitely have a cut off point in the day where work stops so you don’t damage your life outside of work. There is nothing more irritating that being out at dinner and having the company you are with ‘just need to quickly reply to this email’.

And what does the next twelve months hold in store for Elysian Latex?
Exciting things hopefully! I am currently in talks/ setting up meetings with a few brands and entertainment events to collaborate with in the near future, which is both the most terrifying and exhilarating experience. Elysian Latex has only officially been around for less than two months now and it’s already been a pretty crazy ride, I’m so excited for the future and whatever opportunities it brings!

 

Thanks, Jessie! And the very best of luck in your entrepreneurial endeavours!

If you fancy getting in a latex lather over Jessie’s well designed delights head over to the Elysian Latex Etsy store  and tweet to Elysian Latex or see Elysian Latex on Instagram and nod most approvingly!

 


ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!

Until next time!
Brian

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