If you have been to eroFame this year, you will certainly remember Mauro Tarter, the Sales Manager of Dolce & Picante, after all, he had chosen a very original getup for the show – he was dressed up as a Roman legionnaire. You may also remember him because he presented a new Italian brand, Dolce & Piccante, and their luxurious butt plugs. To learn more about these products and the company behind them, EAN asked Mauro for an interview.
Dolce & Piccante – sounds like Italian joie de vivre. How is that reflected in your product line?
Mauro Tarter: In Italy, you can have amazing food with different tastes, from sweet ‘dolce’ to spicy ‘piccante’. Our brand reflects this diversity as well, and our products will have the same ‘taste’, providing a range of Italian-style flavours. The plugs are only just the beginning!
Would you mind telling us a few things about the origins of your brand? Since when has Dolce & Piccante been around? Who had the idea for the brand?
The idea for Dolce & Piccante was born about five years ago, and we decided to introduce it to the market at eroFame 2015. Giovanni Santini is the man who designed the brand and its various products. From an early age, he worked in the family workshop in a small town in the north of Italy. They used to make equestrian equipment from genuine lather. The family had their own, secret technique for working with leather and steel that was passed down from generation to generation. Having years of experience working leather and metal, he one day had an idea: Why not create a series of BDSM products for people. This is how the brand was founded.
Which philosophy guides you in your activities? How do you bring something new to the market?
The customers who enter the Dolce & Piccante world will not only get the opportunity to purchase a high-quality product and design, but also to experience Italian glamour, style, luxury, and art. The origin of the products, the fantastic designs, appealing advertising, elegant packaging, and attractive prices will distinguish us from the rest of the market.
What can you tell us about your products? How many, and which types of products are there to be found in the Dolce & Piccante line?
Our products are characterised by great attention to detail regarding their design (Made in Italy). They are made of steel, silicone, and natural fur. The steel jewellery plugs are available in two colours: ‘steel or gold’ and are coated with a layer of lacquer to prevent scratches. There is a large selection of coloured stones, and we also have silicone jewel plugs with various colours and interchangeable stones. There are currently two sizes, small (3 x 7.5cm) and large (4 x 9cm). Ribbed or tails jewellery plugs are available too.
Could you give us some information about your packaging concept?
Living the ‘dolce vita’ and the Italian glamour begins with the communication of the brand, with images and videos. These concepts are reflected in the creation of the packaging and create a sweet incentive for the consumers to ‘open’ and use these jewellery butt plugs.
Would you describe your products as erotic jewellery? Or rather as accessories?
The definition lies in the eyes of the people who buy or receive our products. What we can say is that every individual, man, woman, gay, or lesbian, can use and enjoy these products. The definition of jewellery is the one that comes closest.
Which trends and developments have the greatest impact on your products at the moment?
Currently our focus is on butt plugs from various materials, in different colours and shapes; tails with various animal themes, colours, and different types of fur.
What are the sources of inspiration you draw from when developing your products?
Giovanni Santini, the founder of the brand, takes inspiration from everything luxury and unique that epitomises Italy. I can’t say more about it, the designers will channel his inspirations into his future products.
Which target audience are you aiming at?
Any customer who feels the fascination of our products; we believe this appeal is not limited to a specific age or lifestyle; we intend to create a limited series in the future, with quality materials and then addressing an audience with a medium – high buying capacity.
Why do the consumers buy erotic jewellery?
To combine pleasure and taste for beauty.
Is demand for such products increasing?
It’s not growing – I would say it is exploding. Dolce & Piccante is managing to keep costs down, so a lot of our jewellery has a price advantage over our competitors.
How did the trade and industry respond to your products when you presented them at eroFame 2015?
Most, if not all, congratulated us on the design of the brand and products. They like the quality of the materials, the craftsmanship, and the presentation. The label Made in Italy it is known throughout the world and it was about time that someone combined the potential of the adult market with a family workshop’s knowledge to create erotic Italian fashion and art.
Where can the European trade get your products? Are there distributors and wholesalers you are working with? Or are you doing business directly with the trade?
It was the first trade show for us, very important and exciting. According to the assessments, suggestions, and feedback people gave us, we will have to ramp up production and distribution.
Do you have some advice for the brick and mortar retailers on how they can be more successful with Dolce & Piccante? And how should e-commerce shop owners present your products to ramp up their sales?
For both segments to be successful with our products, the key factor will be to understand and make it clear to customers that you do not acquire an object but an entire world of style, care, and glamour. They need to see all the parts that make up the Dolce & Piccante range. Various videos and promotional images, catalogues, and also the packaging components clarify that. All the aforementioned sales-promoting materials will be provided by our company.
What are your plans for the future?
The future is now; at eroFame, we have presented a small part of the initial collection to test the reaction of the market. In due time, we will present great new products from the BDSM segment to the market. For the present collection, we had a photo shoot in an authentic Italian palace; we spent thousands of Euros on it, and it will the images will be available for free to all our customers – brick & mortar stores and online shops. That should be a great tool to boost sales.
Finally, we would like to send greetings to all your readers and thank your magazine for the attention. We hope that you all will enjoy the wonderful Dolce & Piccante world.