Interview with Cécile Gasnault from Smile Makers

Interview with Cécile Gasnault from Smile Makers

Femtech at TheDrug.Store

We have now launched the accessory collection on our website and we can see that many of you are excited about these new products. We wanted to bring some products that would be great to combine with our range of CBD products. 

We also want you to know more about the brands, their backgrounds and purpose. 

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An Interview with Smile Makers

To start off, we interviewed Smile Makers, an innovative vibrator brand who aims to break the taboo around female sexual wellness. We have been developing our intimacy collection for a while now with products like Foria Awaken and Kiskanu Intimacy Oil. So we wanted to complete our collection with pleasure products.

In this interview, find out about how the idea of Smile Makers came to life, what their mission is and about how our partnership came to be. 

We interviewed Cécile Gasnault, Marketing Manager at Smile Makers. Cécile joined Smile Makers in 2016 to develop the brand digital platform and content strategy. Her role is to exchange with the community on a daily basis on social media and online, to grow the brand as a conversation-enabler and an expert on the topic of female sexuality. 


What was the initial inspiration for Smile Makers?

Smile Makers’ original idea came from a personal experience. One of our founders, back in 2002, walked into a sex shop to buy a vibrator and found the whole experience appalling, from the shop itself to the products on display. Surveying the market, we realised vibrators are actually mainstream products that many women own, and even more women are interested in trying. Yet, the way the category was executed was not respectful to women, and if anything, strengthened the stigma around female sexuality.

We decided to change that and reinvent it as a truly mainstream, wellness category of products for women.


What message do you want to convey with the Smile Makers products?

Sex is a natural and enjoyable part of life, and should be treated as such.

Indeed, as we collected data and discussed with medical experts, we understood more clearly the health benefits of sexual pleasure and it became evident that vibrators should be treated as wellness products, from their design and manufacturing to their distribution. Thus, we set out to create beautiful products, designed for women and sold only in stores where all women feel comfortable shopping.

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How long did it take to develop the products? (shapes, materials)

It took us a year to develop our first collection, and we’ve done 3 upgrades to it since.


How would you describe your customer base? Who is your target?

She’s an empowered consumer who is used to buying for herself. She’s also a demanding consumer who checks ingredient lists, wants to be delighted by her purchasing experience and expects to be respected as a consumer and a woman. She’s in charge of her health and is up to date with the latest wellness trends. She's curious to try vibrators, but the traditional offering or shopping experience doesn’t meet her standards.


What’s the biggest misconception people have about your market/your brand?

When it comes to vibrators, the biggest misconception people have is that it is inappropriate.

Vibrators are intimate products, which is very different. Some might be inappropriate, but many other categories of products like perfume or cars sexualize their marketing to the point of being equally inappropriate. It’s all a matter of execution.


What is your way of fighting it?  

First of all, we always design our products with women in mind, working with insights from women and research on female anatomy. This leads us to create shapes that are very unique, and never inappropriate.

Second of all, we sell exclusively in stores where all women feel comfortable shopping, never in sex shops.

Lastly, we create safe spaces to talk about sex respectfully and joyfully, be it our Instagram or our sex education workshops. This allows us to prove that you can talk about sex openly and clearly without ever being vulgar or inappropriate.


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What’s been the feedback from your customers so far?

It’s been overwhelmingly positive. When it comes to product usage, our customers unanimously praise the ergonomic shapes and the softness of our silicone. We use a unique process to polish it and it makes it extremely smooth. They also love the intriguing names and colorfulness of our products, and how approachable they are.

Moreover, our customers support the mission of the brand to normalize the perception of female sexuality. It resonates strongly with them and allows us to have an authentic and personal conversation with our community, which has been the most rewarding part of our journey.


Which one is your personal favourite?

I would say the Frenchman, a soft tongue vibrator, because it’s so unique and delicate. Its shape is intriguing, but once we explain what it is and what it does, it gets a lot of interest!


What drew you to the partnership TDSxSmile Makers?

Several reasons.

First, TheDrug.Store and Smile Makers share a mission of debunking misconceptions to destigmatize a category of products. We are both breaking taboos and shaking things up in the wellness industry. It’s very exciting to team up!

Second, a selection of your CBD products relates to intimacy, self-care and female sexual wellness, so it’s a natural fit for our friendly vibrators and it makes sense for the consumer.

Lastly, both our businesses have high standards of quality when it comes to products and customer experience. TheDrug.Store has crafted a truly premium and pampering experience for their shoppers, and we’re very happy to be part of it!


What’s the next chapter for Smile Makers?

We have exciting news when it comes to product development. We are launching a new vibrator this November featuring a new vibration technology and there are going to be more news very soon!


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