“Our goal is to present the right products at the right time.”
From puppy masks to lubricants for fisting to BDSM furniture – SJ Trade has everything specialised retailers need. The company, that is operating across all of Europe, carries a wide range of first-party and third-party brands. Speaking of which: When it comes to their products, SJ Trade sets great store by product quality, and the team use customer feedback to continuously improve their collection. We interviewed SJ Trade CEO Stephane Lies (right side in picture above) to learn more about the company and its products.
Stephane, you are the CEO of SJ Trade GmbH. Could you give us a short overview of your company?
Stephane Lies: What SJ Trade offers the European erotic trade members a great variety of first-party products and a wide range of third-party items. Our goal is to provide wholesalers and retailers with everything they need in the segment of leather/BDSM/Playroom products. SJ Trade is a reliable partner, and we guarantee controlled quality and favourable prices. This commitment to our customers is also why we started creating our own products.
When did you start SJ Trade, and how has the company evolved since then?
We launched the company in 2015, and we have grown a lot since then, expanding our range and increasing sales thanks to the loyalty of our customers.
In the segment of BDSM furniture for people’s “playrooms”, we have been carving out a significant market share thanks to our “System Metal Frame”, a sling frame that can be set up and dismantled within just a few minutes. Many accessories such as our fuck machine mounts are compatible with the sling frame; also, there are various foldable benches, a carry bag, a BDSM holder for a basket … All of our playroom products are made in Europe, which ensures first-class quality and favourable prices.
Moreover, we have a VIP sling (Very Important Passive) that is somewhere between a standard sling mat and a swing. There are two position points to attach it directly to your sling frame. Long story short, this is the Rolls Royce of the sling segment!
In addition to all that, we manufacture our own leather and BDSM furniture.
SJ Trade has specialised on the gay market. What are the biggest differences between this niche and the rest of the erotic market?
Yes, we have a strong presence in the gay market! However, we don’t necessarily associate BDSM with a certain gender or a certain sexual preference. I think that BDSM transcends all variations of sexuality, which sets it apart from the other segments of the erotic market that are usually either “for her” or “for him.”
We focus on function, ergonomics, and design. Obviously, it is also great fun to play around with colours and shapes, which results in a variety of great, playful items. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, or bi. Anybody can enjoy our products!
Do you see any big trends and developments in this segment right now, and what is your take on them?
Actually, there are several trends in this segment: fisting, puppy play, sneaker, and SM. Naturally, we want to cater to these trends, and we are working to introduce more puppy masks and new lubricants to the European market; for instance, there is “X Lube”, which is available exclusively via SJ Trade in Europe. This lubricant has been developed by a fister, based on feedback from many other fisters, and they wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best fisting gel on the market.
So, as you can see, our goal is to present the right products at the right time!
Do your customers care about brands, or are they only interested in the products themselves?
Well, the special thing about a brand is that it inspires loyalty and trust in the consumers. Therefore, brands are extremely important, and they require special attention on our part. There is hardly a day when we don’t get feedback or don’t have conversations with our customers that give us a better understanding of what the consumers expect from our private brands, THE RED and COCKPIT. As a result of this work, more consumers visit our retail partners seeking out our products, and consequently, sales go up. Maybe I should put it this way: Brands create trust as they guarantee quality. And as a brand producer, we can control this quality on a scope that goes beyond any individual product.
You also support your partners in the creation of new collections. Could you tell us more about this aspect of SJ Trade?
Over the course of the past 15+ years, I worked for various import-export companies, both in sales and in product development, and of course, I brought this experience to SJ Trade when I joined the team.
Many of our customers ask us to develop products and product lines for their own brands, and they expect products that will be unique to their range. Thanks to our various networks all over the world, we are in a position to find the right producers for these projects. Therefore, we can guarantee a great price-quality ratio, and we can live up to the expectations and requirements of our customers. It is important to us that our customers are 100% happy with what they get and that they can market these products in line with their image and get great profit margins out of it!
Is SJ Trade doing business all over Europe or do you focus on certain regions?
SJ Trade is active throughout all of Europe. Thanks to our unique and original products, we have created an international customer base spanning many markets: Germany, France, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, even beyond Europe, in markets like Australia …
And we are still looking for more trade partners in Europe.
What are your plans and goals for the near future? What can your customers look forward to?
We are in the process of developing new products for our range … but that’s a secret, so mum’s the word! We are going to expand and optimise our range of leather products, our range of BDSM furniture, and our range of metal toys.
By the way, we are going to present all of our latest products at eroFame in October, and your readers are welcome to visit our stand and take a closer look!