Man who launched family-run sex toy business says it's 'never awkward'02/23/2020
Sex toy business founder who employs four family members including his MOTHER insists it’s never awkward even though they ‘discuss the latest trends’ – and they turnover £1million
- Chris Rice, from Portsmouth, launched BuzzPinky with business partner in 2012
- Now runs the shop with his brother Will, sisters Mel and Heidi, and mother Gerri
- Says his family members are ‘everything’ he could want from employees
A man who employs four of his family members at his sex toy company insists it’s ‘never awkward’ working together.
Chris Rice, from Portsmouth, quit his job as a data analyst to start adult eBay store BuzzPinky with business partner, also called Chris, in December 2012 and within nine months the company was close to making its first million.
Soon his brother Will, 33, and sisters Heidi, 43, and Melanie, 36, quit their jobs as a Police Community Support Officer, beauty therapist and pub manager, respectively, to run the business with Chris.
Their bookkeeper mother Gerrie, 63, also left her role to work for BuzzPinky, and now spends her days discussing the latest trends in lubricants, lingerie and BDSM accessories with her four children.
Chris Rice (pictured), from Portsmouth, quit his job as a data analyst to start adult eBay store BuzzPinky and now has an annual turnover of £1 million
Chris told how his trustworthy family members are ‘everything he could want’ in his employees. Pictured, his sister Heidi and his mother Gerrie with some of the products
Chris soon recruited his family members to create a six-strong team to run the online adult store. He is pictured with brother Will
Chris hopes that the family-run adult store will become an ‘iconic’ sex toy brand, competing with the likes of Anne Summers and Love Honey. Pictured is younger sister Melanie
But businessman Chris, whose business now has a £1million turnover, insisted that discussing sex is ‘never awkward’ between the family, and that they ‘make it our business’ to stay up to date with the latest adult toy trends.
He said: ‘It’s never awkward, we focus on the daily tasks at hand in running the business. We all have a sense of humour and keep things light and fun, as it should be.
‘There is a learning curve obviously with so many new products launching, but we make it our business to stay up to date with the latest, so that our customers get a great insight into the latest toys on the market.
‘We take pride in what we do and how BuzzPinky has developed its own playful character and style over the years, and we are proud of how far we’ve come.’
BuzzPinky now has an annual turnover of £1million.
Chris’, pictured right, with (left-right) his brother Will, sister Melanie and mother Gerrie
Chris insisted the family all ‘have a sense of humour and keep things light and fun, as it should be’. He is pictured with their vegan brand of lube
The businessman went on to insist that discussing sex is ‘never awkward’ between the family, pictured, and told how they always try to stay ahead of the latest industry trends
Chris explained that in an ‘industry guaranteed to cause distraction’, his family members are ‘everything he want’ in his employees
Chris explained that in an ‘industry guaranteed to cause distraction’, his family members are ‘everything he want’ in his employees.
Working with my close family as my team is brilliant’, said Chris, ‘Because they know how much BuzzPinky means to me and are as proud of the business and hopeful for its success as I am.
‘They are trustworthy, honest, selfless and hardworking – which is everything you’d want from an employee, particularly in an industry guaranteed to cause distraction, procrastination and a lot of bad jokes.’
The entrepreneur hopes to build his brand to the point where it rivals industry heavyweights Lovehoney or Ann Summers.
He told that the ‘majority’ of people they speak to about the brand have an ‘open and inquisitive’ reaction when they mention they have a family-run sex toy-business
Chris said: ‘When a gap in the market on eBay UK became apparent, we were in the perfect position to take full advantage, allowing BuzzPinky to enjoy explosive growth and pushing our turnover close to £1 million within nine months.
‘As BuzzPinky began to grow, the rest of my family joined the team and we now work together on what we hope will become and iconic brand.’
He told that the ‘majority’ of people they speak to about the brand have an ‘open and inquisitive’ reaction, and say they ‘don’t tend to get judgmental comments’ as their shop has such a wide selection of products.
He said: ‘People tend to be very open and inquisitive, we always get a positive reaction from the majority of people we talk to.
Chris insisted that Buzz Pinky has a wide range of products and feels ‘staying agile’ is the key to keeping up with larger outlets like Ann Summers and Love Honey
Chris told how his new water based lubricant ‘BuzzPinky Otium’ (pictured) is certified organic, PH neutral, anti-animal testing, vegan friendly and free of parabens
The products on their eBay shop range from personal lubricants, toys, lingerie and BDSM accessories
‘BuzzPinky is a premium adult retailer on eBay UK specialising in high quality adult items, some of which are very advanced which creates a lot of intrigue among our customers.
‘All our parcels are sent with complete discretion in mind, respecting those who want to keep things more private.
‘With such a wide selection of products on our eBay shop, from personal lubricants, toys, lingerie and BDSM accessories, we find that since there’s something for everyone we don’t tend to get judgmental comments.’
As for keeping up with the likes of established high-street chain Ann Summers and e-commerce giant Love Honey, Chris admitted it can ‘challenging for certain’ but feels ‘staying agile’ is the key to keeping up with larger outlets.
He said: ‘It can be challenging for certain and it’s thanks to eBay who has been an integral part of our development, as they offer a safe marketplace for our products to reach a wider audience.
‘We compete with larger outlets by staying agile, and paying careful attention to feedback over the years.
‘For example our new water based lubricant ‘BuzzPinky Otium’ has been formulated and certified certified organic, PH neutral, anti-animal testing, vegan friendly and free of parabens – if it’s BuzzPinky, you can expect good quality.’
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