Like many others, US company NS Novelties will use eroFame as a platform to present new products and product lines to an international trade audience. However, our curiosity got the better of us, and so EAN pelted Lavi Yedid with questions to learn more about these products before the big trade show. Another big topic of our interview: Lavi’s promotion to President of NS Novelties.
First of all, we want to belatedly congratulate you on becoming the President of NS Novelties. How important is this promotion for you personally, and how does it reflect the success of NS Novelties?
Lavi Yedid: Thank you. I would not say important – more of an assurance of performance and appreciation. It is nice to know your work is valued and that the dedication manifests itself in such manner.
Has your day-to-day changed a lot since taking on this new position?
My day to day has changed since the day we launched NS Novelties. The speed of change has increased dramatically the past year. Much more administrative tasks and duties replaces other duties that are now being handled by the amazing team we have here.
Since when have you been active in the business? How did you get into the sex toy industry, how did you come to work for NS Novelties, and what did your career trajectory look like prior to that?
I entered the industry around 1981. I was a starving artist looking for work to support my recent move to LA and a friend asked if I was interested. Back then it was all about printed goods. I needed the money and said yes. I started selling magazines and meeting people. One of them was Lenny Friedlander who started a distribution centre called New Beginnings and asked me to join him. I spent 13 years there until it was time to move on. In 2003 I joined Doc Johnson where I learned all about manufacturing and where my design background found an outlet. I was able to combine my work and my passion – designing products and packages. In 2011 I joined Scott Taylor to form NS Novelties, continuing to design and manufacture products while growing the company and establishing the brand in the market place.
Let’s talk about your new products: Which new toys have added to your product range over the course of the past months?
This past year saw both the expansion of existing product lines and the introduction of new ones. The existing firefly collection, Renegade for Man, Colours Pleasures, Sinful Bondage, Shi/Shi collection all have been expanded with new offering. We introduced new collections – the Lollies, Lush collection and a few more. Our established ranges are familiar to the retailer and consumers and they demand more product which we are happy to deliver.
What sets these new products apart from the competition?
We like to think its originality, innovation, keeping one step ahead of the competition and anticipating what the retailer and consumer want and need before they realise that themselves.
The market is close to saturation, many products are nearly indistinguishable … How challenging is it to come up with innovative product ideas in such a marketplace? How does NS Novelties manage to stick out from the crowd time and again?
Thank you for the nice compliment. While it is challenging, it is not impossible. There are a lot of opportunities to create or improve. We have been fortunate to hit the key elements that make our toys successful. You stick out of the crowd by not doing what the crowd does. We have a great team in place and when you combine everyone’s ideas, thoughts, suggestions and a common goal to set us apart, it has resulted in a line of goods being sold world-wide.
Many new products forego traditional vibration, offering other stimulation technologies instead. What is your take on this trend, how does NS Novelties respond to it, and do you think that vibration will be passed over by these new technologies?
Sex toys are all about sexual satisfaction. Does it matter what manner you achieve the intended results? We don’t think so. What has made this field so exciting is the technological advances we have experienced in the past 20 years. Much growth has been enabled with the introduction of materials, machineries and technologies. Each wave of innovation opens up new avenues of creativity and possibilities. Products that are manufactured today were not able to be produce 20 years ago. Consumers will keep buying products that make them feel good. They are not as concerned with the technology but only in the end result. If it feels good, do it.
“Consumers will keep buying products that make them feel good. They are not as concerned with the technology but only in the end result. If it feels good, do it.”
ANME Show in July, eroFame in October … which new products will you present at the upcoming trade shows? What can retailers and distributors look forward to?
Buyers are anxiously waiting to see what NS Novelties will come up with next. At ANME, eroFame, Adultex and similar shows around the globe, is where we get to present our ideas, concepts and new collection to the world. This season we are introducing:
Elements – a collection of odourless TPE products that includes anal plugs and dildos manufactured in true skin tones, presented in elegant eye-catching box and offering unique and original shapes. The plugs are available in white and black while the collection of dildos is available in white, brown and dark brown for a true lifelike experience. The line is intended for the retailer and consumer who is looking to replace their smelly PVC products with a better-quality odourless toy.
Colours Dual Density – A true dual density line of dildos made of 100% silicone and priced extremely competitively. We are introducing 3 colours in both 5-inch and 8-inch versions. For a true lifelike feel there is not a more realistic dildo.
Honey, Darling and Candy / Luxe collection – continuing the tradition of vibrators with the world’s strongest vibrations, we are introducing these petite, flexible, silicone, rechargeable vibrators in 3 original and unique shapes. Packaged in a visually innovative way, it will garner attention immediately.
Renegade Spartan Ring – The new Renegade ring is made of super soft, super stretchy silicone for the ultimate comfort in cock rings. We then added a small, powerful rechargeable bullet for testicular vibrations, offering one of the best performance cock rings on the market.
There are new kits being added to the Firefly collection, new shapes and revised packaging for the Crystal glass collection. We introduced over 80 new SKU’s and are excited by each and every one of them. You can see the entire new collection here.
Where can European retailers get your products? Who are your distribution partners in this region?
Our current European Distributors are SCALA and Tonga.
Currently, we see a return of exclusive distribution agreements in Europe. Do you think that is a positive development? What are the advantages and disadvantages of exclusive and non-exclusive distribution? What is NS Novelties looking for when choosing distributors and wholesalers to work with?
Both options have their pluses and minuses. Both are results of current industry trends and are the results of individual interpretation of growth goals. Companies have shown that either path can be a strategic success or a failure. I don’t think there is only one way to achieve distribution success. We look at many variations when choosing our partners. The synergy between the partners needs to be right and beneficial to both sides. As with everything else we do, we don’t follow the crowd.