Some of our readers may know Hathor as the Egyptian goddess of feminine love and motherhood. The Canadian company of the same name is not very well-known yet, at least not in Europe – although it was founded more than twenty years ago by Mellta Swift. Now, Mellta wants to conquer the European market, and she has the perfect product to achieve this goal: Sutil, a lubricant with a clear focus on organic ingredients and eco-friendly production. In our EAN interview with the company founder, Mellta talks about this new lubricant and about her strategy to make the leap across the Atlantic.
Today, there are hundreds of different lubes on the market. What sets your lube SUTIL apart from the competition?
Mellta Swift: SUTIL is both natural and effective with long-lasting slip and the silky feel of silicone. SUTILS’ formulation of eco-certified plant based ingredients is pure and subtle. The bio-degradable packaging is modern and understated.
You created SUTIL together with Nathanda Swift. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Since when are you in the business of making lubes and how did your company get started?
We are a mother/daughter family business. Nathanda joined me as partner after she graduated from school. Our background is in herbology, aromatherapy and esthetics (skin care). We introduced a line of organic massage oils to the market in 1989. The line grew to twenty-six facial and body spa treatment products sold in destination spas across Canada. In 2000, after sampling a variety of lubes on the market, we realised there was a niche for us to fill. We applied the same standards of purity used in our spa products … plant-based formulas devoid of parabens, petroleum, and harsh chemicals to our new lube formulation.
Mellta and Nathanda Swift
The company behind Sutil is called Hathor, like the ancient Egyptian goddess of love. Which products do you offer under this label?
Yes the Goddess Hathor…..She rules over love, music, dance. According to history, the Egyptians took aromatherapy to a high art. Their use of aphrodisiacs and euphorics was our inspiration for Hathor Aphrodisia. Hathor Aphrodisia consists of our signature “Lubricant Pure” with horney hoat weed and Siberian ginseng, “Lubricant Lickeurs” organic flavoured lubes , exotic love oil and sensual love lotion containing essential oils with aphrodisiac properties.
What is the most important aspect of a lube – e.g. price, functionality, brand recognition – that makes a customer buy a certain lube?
This is so different from person to person, and yes, all of the above apply. There is no one perfect lube for everyone. Our customers are primarily concerned with quality and effectiveness. They are happy to pay more knowing the product will enhance their sexual experience in a healthy way.
In fact, for our customers, much of the appeal is for what is absent. You barely notice SUTIL is there, it feels so natural….no residue, no fragrance, no taste, no chemicals. SUTIL has achieved great popularity in its first year due to the quality reputation of the Hathor brand. Woman, in particular with sensitivities, feel confident using Hathor brand lubes.
Do you see any general trends in the market for lubes?
I see a new level of sophistication and creative design in the industry as a whole. There is a growing educated customer base who are concerned with the quality of the products they use for sex. These customers will most definitely influence trends in the market.
“Hathor has been active in bringing clean products to the market long before the no parabens, no petroleum trends infiltrated the mainstream market.”
You put much emphasis on the eco-friendliness of Sutil lube. Why is this such an important aspect for you?
The basic principles of the eco-cert standard are to ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic produced by the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources and manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. This standard includes the absence of GMO’s, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicone, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, and animal–derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them, i.e. milk or honey).
Hathor has been active in bringing clean products to the market long before the no parabens, no petroleum trends infiltrated the mainstream market. We see it as a responsibility essential to the health of our families, our customers, and the planet. We cannot escape the fact that the business of manufacturing has a huge footprint. We can however choose raw materials that have minimal greenhouse gas effect in their production. Raw materials that are sustainable. We have also chosen packaging that contains enzymes that will bio-degrade if the tube ends up in the landfill instead of being recycled.
Customers trust is one of the most important assets intimate products like lubricants can have. What do you plan on doing – or are already doing – to build up a growing customer base in Europe?
At home here in America, we have a devoted customer base who have come to trust Hathor. Education for our business partners and our retail customers is ongoing and necessary to build those new relationships. We are confident that our new customers will feel the difference in SUTIL.
How are your products priced?
SUTIL is a Boutique Luxe line….mid to high range.
Where can SUTIL products be bought in Europe and who can interested retailers turn to if they want to pick up your products?
At the time of this article, we are just arriving in Europe to explore the possibilities and find partners that resonate with SUTIL. Our first retail outlet is “Other Nature” in Berlin www.other-nature.de. Interested businesses please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promotional materials are vital at the point of sale. How do you support the retailers in the brick and mortar and the e-commerce trade?
Yes, we offer visual point of sales materials. More importantly, we make samples readily available as lube is such a tactile experience. We know that our customers will love the silky feel of SUTIL. For the e-commerce trade, we rely more on visuals, educational material and reviews.
Are you planning on expanding the SUTIL line in the future? What’s the next step for the brand?
SUTIL has been on the market for one year. We are waiting and listening to our customers. They will dictate the next steps for SUTIL and YES, we have many exciting ideas for quality products in our SUTIL line. Making products is what we LOVE to do!