Products containing hempseed oil or cannabis are becoming more popular, and we also see more of them in the erotic market. Now, Angela Mustone presents a new addition in this segment, a brand called HighOnLove that combines top-notch ingredients and mainstream appeal. To learn more about the new products and the potential of hempseed or cannabis products in the market, EAN asked Angela for an interview.
Everybody in this business knows you, so let’s get down to brass tacks right away: Having been part of the industry for such a long time, why did you decide to launch your own product line?
Angela Mustone: I’ve always been intrigued about the reputation cannabis had when it came to sex. When I knew the legalisation of cannabis was coming, I thought it was the perfect time to test out this theory – how good are they together? Long story short, I decided to ask my chemist to make me a lubricant infused with THC for me to try and I couldn’t believe it…the rest is history! I knew I had something good and that’s when HighOnLove was born.
How much research and development time was necessary to arrive at the finished products?
Depending on the product, it took around 8-12 months of research and development – especially when it came to using different grades of THC/CBD and knowing the right balance of THC and/or CBD that would generate the best results for what the product was meant to achieve.
Gynaecologically tested, free of chemicals, vegan, no animal testing, high quality, and 100% organic ingredients, meaning no soap, no parabens, no allergens, no artificial colours – ticking all these boxes seems like a Herculean task. Why did you decide to aim for such high standards?
Consumers have become very ingredient-conscious these past couple of years and are willing to pay more for a product that is vegan, gluten-free, natural, cruelty-free…etc. I knew I had to make my product stand out from the competition – especially if I was looking to be a high-end brand. It was also important to highlight the values of HighOnLove, which strongly believed in using the best ingredients – specifically knowing some products would be used in more intimate areas.
Hempseed oil also plays an important role in the creation of HighOnLove. Why did you choose this ingredient? What are its unique qualities and why is it well-suited for erotic products?
Hemp is super versatile plant and can be found in clothes, paper, shampoo, creams, oils, etc. When it comes to HighOnLove products, here is a little breakdown of its unique qualities;
Sensual Massage Oil & Sensual Bath Oil
- Full of fatty acids that helps moisturise the skin
- Full of antioxidants that protects the skin
- Full of vitamins that nourishes the skin
- Anti-inflammatory properties that soothes the skin
Stimulating Orgasm Oil & Stimulating O Gel
- Promotes the production of natural lubricants
- Increases blood flow
- Kicks in sex drive
- Intensifies orgasmic experience
Just for clarification: Hempseed oil products are very different from products containing CBD and THC, right?
Yes, hemp and cannabis are two completely different plants. Hemp does not contain any THC and very minimal amount of CBD while cannabis contains a high amount of THC and CBD. THC is known for its psychoactive components while CBD is known for its medicinal benefits.
How many products are part of this collection, and what types of products are they?
Right now, we have 5 products – 7 SKUs; Stimulating Orgasm Oil, Stimulating O Gel, Dark Chocolate Body Paint, Sensual Massage Oil (Strawberry & Champagne, Lychee Martini, Decadent White Chocolate), and Sensual Bath Oil (Lavender & Honeybee).
I am excited to share that we have more products in development; Lip Gloss for Couples (ETA August), Massage Candle (ETA September), and Body Butter (ETA November).
Apart from hempseed oil, which other ingredients are used in the creation of these products?
It really depends on the product. My bath oil and massage oil have a lot of natural ingredients that are nourishing for the skin, not to mention, the heavenly aromas that it comes in!
My orgasm products contain peppermint and L-arginine along with hempseed oil that play a role in kicking in the sex drive, increasing blood flow, and promoting the production of your natural lubricants – ultimately, building
Now let’s talk about the look of the products. What can you tell us about the design of the bottles and the packaging?
When doing my research and seeing what’s out there, I thought the packaging was very bland and boring. I wanted to create something that was beautiful and appealing – something you would want to show off on your nightstand and not hide when you had guests coming over. A lot of thought was put in selecting the bottles and packaging; from choosing glass to plastic, soft touch paper to regular paper, rose gold foil, rose gold bottles…you name it!
What target audiences is HighOnLove aimed at?
Basically; an audience like myself. I wanted to create a product so stunning that you feel the urge to buy it before even knowing what it is. Consumers who appreciate the extra little touches that are added to a design or packaging even though it means you will be paying more for it. Ultimately, my goal is to have my products available at stores such as Neiman Marcus, Galeries Lafayettes, and Sephora.
“I wanted to create a product so stunning that you feel the urge to buy it before even knowing what it is.”
As mentioned before, the product line includes hempseed oil. Can these products be sold freely in Europe?
Yes! The beauty of hemp seed oil is the fact that it’s legal in over 50 countries!
What can you tell us about your distribution strategy for the European market? Will you work with distributors or could you see yourself selling directly to retailers?
My goal is to work with distributors and have them take care of the retailer. The only time I will be selling directly to consumers is when I decide to open a brick and mortar for HighOnLove.
How do you support your distribution partners in terms of POS materials, product training, etc.?
While you will never see me discount my brand, I spend a lot of time, effort and money on providing tools that will help my distributors be successful with HighOnLove. The first thing I offer is product training – whether it’s to the sales team or at a store level. Education is key to selling HighOnLove and making sure the consumer buys not only what they’re looking for but also what they need – they are not always the same thing.
Furthermore, I have POS cards that highlights the benefits of hemp seed oil in topicals – especially sensual cosmetics. I provide testers for the stores and have a product attributes document that serves as a ‘cheat sheet’ for the sales team in regards to my whole product line. I am currently developing HighOnLove acrylic trays and displays for stores in order to attract the consumer to my brand. I also understand the power of providing ‘gift with purchase’ and have a lot of promotional material such as bling pens, cosmetic bags, t-shirts, tank tops, hats, pillow packs…you name it!
Cannabis has been legalised in several US States, and there is a discussion about legalisation in Europe as well. Do you already have plans for day X when products containing THC or CBD finally become legal on a large scale?
Yes, definitely! Penetrating the cannabis industry worldwide is the ultimate goal! While my hemp seed oil line is great – my THC/CBD line is completely on another level!
How much potential do you see in this market for a) products based on hempseed oil and b) products containing CBD or THC? Could those be the next big thing for the industry once laws change?
There are many variables to think about when producing a product line. I intentionally made two different lines in order to cater to the majority of the marketplace. For example, there are different consumer adoption habits; from the innovators to the laggards.
When it comes to cannabis, innovators and early adopters will be more open to trying cannabis products while the late majority and laggards will wait until cannabis is more widespread and there is enough word of mouth that confirms the effectiveness of cannabis products – this is where my hemp seed line comes in. I made my hemp seed line in order to introduce HighOnLove before the legalisation of cannabis but also to cater to those who are not interested or maybe not ready to try the THC/CBD line.
You have been working in this industry for many years. Looking back, what are the biggest changes we’ve seen in recent times? The growing influence of women in – and on – the industry? Trends such as sexual wellness and sexual health? Something entirely different?
There has been a big shift in the adult industry – almost to an extreme. A decade ago, it was very male dominant; from the people working in the industry, to the types of novelty items being sold, and the store environment. Nowadays, women have a huge presence in the industry. Stores are a lot more women and couple friendly, toys went from being black or nude to vibrant colours, and lube packaging went from ‘For Him’ to ‘For Her’ and ‘For Him & Her’.
Sexual wellness and sexual health came into play once people realised there was a huge untapped market – women. This was a great move for the adult industry as it helped break the stigma when it came to sex and buying sex products.