Business

Firm’s Eggplant-Shaped Vibrator Aims To Remake The Sex-Toy Industry

By Sam Wood
Philly.com

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Though the idea to sell sex toys started as a joke, it’s become a provocative side-hustle for two former University of Delaware classmates.

PHILADELPHIA

Joe Vela and Kris Fretz are all about delivering good vibes.

The co-founders of Emojibator, a “humor-first” novelty sex-toy brand, the pair has sold thousands of vibrators, in the shapes of fruit and vegetables, to customers all over the world.

Though the idea for the Philadelphia-based company started as a joke, it’s become a provocative side-hustle for the former University of Delaware classmates.

“We’ve really changed the sex-toy industry,” said Fretz, who talks about using comedy to break down sexual taboos. “These allow people to talk about female pleasure.”

Vela, 28, and Fretz, 25, know about creating a buzz. Vela once worked for the red-hot Philadelphia e-commerce start-up Curalate. Fretz was a political organizer who segued into a job as an operations manager for a top tech-talent recruiter.

In 2016, Vela quit his gig at Curalate to become a full-time drummer with Tweed, a Philly-based electronic funk band.

“I was brainstorming about business ideas I could do part time and remotely,” Vela said, on the phone from his Fishtown “office” at Front Street Cafe. “And I landed on this.”

“This” was an idea for a small hand-held vibrator in the shape of an eggplant.

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