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Meet the Up-and-Coming Pleasure Brands of 2022

Meet the Up-and-Coming Pleasure Brands of 2022

Every year, the pleasure products industry welcomes new brands that bring their own unique vision of sexual wellness and pleasure to the marketplace. Offering high-tech solutions, ethical and eco-friendly alternatives and new stimulating experiences, 2022’s new “Brands to Watch” were all created with the modern consumer in mind.

Today’s emerging brands aren’t just providing consumers with new and exciting offerings; they are proving that contrived backstories or over-hyped products are increasingly becoming obsolete. In the sexual wellness industry, consumers have their pick of the litter when it comes to the type of product that best suits their lifestyles. For this reason, to create a solid brand, companies must connect with their audience meaningfully.

Today’s emerging brands aren’t just providing consumers with new and exciting offerings; they are proving that contrived backstories or over-hyped products are increasingly becoming obsolete.

Consumers deserve more than just a good slogan when searching for products that are part of their intimate lives. At the heart of their purchase decisions, most consumers are choosing to invest in a new brand first and foremost because of an emotional connection. Because of this, brands that have a built-in connection will start out ahead of the pack when it comes to selling; there is no need to oversell because the proof is in the lived experiences.

Companies like Viben started out by recognizing a need for premium products that relate to a female-identifying consumer. Kyle Tutino, who has been in the industry for nearly two decades as the purchasing director for pleasure products distributor Honey’s Place, was instrumental in creating the collection, alongside Honey’s Place owner and CEO Bonnie Feingold.

Last January, Viben launched as “a collection of innovative pleasure products curated by women.” Inspired “by beauty, with a focus on function and quality,” the line reflects what the female execs say are the characteristics that today’s shoppers are looking for.

“Everyone in the company had input in the making of Viben,” Tutino said. “I am excited and proud that we created a brand whereby every item is unique in some way, powerful and high quality. I love the entire presentation.”

Similarly, Freedom Novelties was established based on adult retail insider expertise and the need for more female execs. Melissa Herbstman, the company’s president, said that her company currently employs a female staff with a combined experience of almost 60 years.

“Combining logistics with long-term vendor and client relationships and feminine perspective gives us a great edge,” she said. “I watched my husband in the industry and felt like I could add a woman’s touch and creativity to his expertise. I bring a fresh outlook, and because I am a customer first, I have a pretty good idea of what the customer wants.”

Another priority for building a successful brand is possessing a deep understanding of the needs of consumers. This happens effortlessly when a product is connected to a personal story.

Patricia López, CEO of MyHixel, had been working in the industry for about four years when she realized that “there were many brands taking care of female sexual health, but there were barely companies focused on male sexual health.”

MyHixel, which according to the company website was designed by doctors, therapists, scientists and sexologists, is marketed as a “climax control solution.” This illustrates the underutilized value of rethinking the way that products are positioned in the market. MyHixel prioritizes the desired result, as opposed to repurposing the more common product terms like “male stroker” or “penis stroker.”

For Pris, founder of Pris Toys, the idea for unique silicone toys “born from fantasy and inspired by science fiction” came from losing all avenues of income due to the pandemic. Formerly, Pris had to learn how to sculpt for a short film project, so she decided to apply those skills to product manufacturing. Inspired by her humble beginnings, Pris is now combining her experience with body-safe toy materials, design and sex toys with a priority for “building relationships exclusively with shops and retailers that fit with my beliefs, such as paying a living wage and concern for the safety and needs of their employees.”

According to Pris, while some new brands might have big corporate dreams, she prefers her hands-on approach versus taking her designs to factory production. “I think [there is] a gap for makers like myself to create unique handmade pieces that have a little more oversight and care put into the process,” she said, adding that she’s focused on creating “the most interesting, functional and pleasing designs while being as affordable as possible.”

Love Not War was established with a commitment to creating change through eco-conscious sex toys with sustainable, recycled materials. The entire product collection is modular, featuring base units with a variety of attachments for a customizable experience. Regarding the inspiration for the company, Will Ranscombe noted that consumers are making more consistent efforts to embrace sustainable habits, and that sexual wellness products should be no exception.

“Going green shouldn’t be a marketing ploy. It needs to become a way of life, a culture,” Ranscombe said.

With prior backgrounds in different areas of the sex toy industry, both founders of Love Not War noticed that eco-friendly efforts had a long way to go, including material use, waste, sustainability and recycling. Aside from rethinking the manufacturing process, Love Not War has built its company culture centered around sustainability.

Possessing industry expertise is an added benefit for new brands in the pleasure products industry. However, having no industry experience whatsoever, but only a personal story, may prove to be just as strong for emotionally connecting with consumers and, ultimately, winning with purpose.

Aside from up-leveling the quality, design and overall functionality of their products, new brands are relying on top-notch tech and inclusivity to create notable impact among their competitors.

In addition to vegan pH-balanced lubes, Vibio, a queer-owned startup, offers a range of app-connected sex toys made by women for womxn. Vibio’s signature toy Frida, formerly known as Ella, achieved early consumer success through Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns in 2020.

Alma Ramirez and Patricia Cervantes, co-founders of Vibio, stated that they are “firm believers in the power of tech when it comes to creating change and positive impact in the world, and wanted to apply this to the sexual wellness space.”

Vibio’s website advertises that their products are “designed with love” and “stigma-free,” which communicates the brand’s intention to lead with purpose.

“Our mission has always been creating an inclusive brand that would not only make tools to explore sexuality but combine them with content to guide people in their sexual journey,” Ramirez said.

Sweet Tech AS, developers of the Handy interactive stroker with VR integration, are dedicated to utilizing tech to create quality-oriented design and engineering for any individual with a penis.

“The Handy is an interactive automatic stroker with superior IoT capabilities,” Sweet Tech AS CEO Jens Petter said. “The Handy brings inclusiveness, openness and quality-oriented design and engineering into sextech. By being completely open, with an open API and flexible in terms of what sleeve you use — Handy sleeve or another brand — all we care about is to bring the best experience to the customer.”

Aside from the focus on tech, Sweet Tech AS notes that maintaining transparency and affordability is a priority for building long-term trust with its core audience, while surpassing customer expectations in terms of functionality.

“We wanted to be honest in our communication and make sure that if a customer did not like the Handy, then they could use the 30-day satisfaction guarantee for a refund upon return,” Petter said. “This showed our confidence in the product and removed the risk for the consumer, so they could trust our new brand.”

Focusing on the importance of diversity, inclusion and representing under-served demographics can further contribute to the authenticity of a brand. That’s why businesses like VDOM are harnessing the power and opportunity of aligning their purposes with societal good, developing products that accommodate lesser-known demographics. VDOM’s website states that the brand’s intention is to “democratize sex and enhance sexual wellness among marginalized persons with anatomical restrictions.”

VDOM’s signature product is a high-tech wearable prosthetic that has the ability to go from flaccid to erect at the push of a button. Glenise Kinard-Moore is the company’s lesbian-identifying founder with a background in cybersecurity who says she was inspired to create the brand out of personal necessity. Once development was underway, Kinard-Moore discovered that the product concept would be “useful for many people including transgender, those with genital injuries or anatomical restrictions such as paralysis or erectile dysfunction.”

In VDOM’s case, brand inspiration resulted in discovering new opportunities to deliver value to potential customers and their respective communities. This is also true for Lavinia, manufacturer of the cannabis lubricant, oh.hi.

Some say that your core consumer is a former version of yourself, and if that is true for successful grassroots brands and small businesses in the mainstream, it certainly applies to consumers who lack resources when it comes to finding relatable intimate wellness resources and products.

Katie Enright, founder of Lavinia, said the brand was “inspired by feeling like I was alone on my sexual journey and realizing that I was actually far from alone in what I was feeling.”

Before oh.hi, Enright’s original plan in life was “at the complete opposite end of the sexual spectrum.” Enright believed that she was called to a life of study and reflection — as a nun.

While traveling abroad, Enright met an individual who inspired her to rethink her views of lifelong celibacy. Deciding to step away from nunhood and into a lifestyle where sexuality was expected, the “very apparent lack of experience felt like a constant burden. I found myself scared to ask, scared to explore, and doubting my sexual worth. No one gives you the rulebook or the tools to feel empowered, let alone pleasured,” she said.

As a result, Lavinia’s brand purpose extended beyond creating an effective stimulation product and began focusing on a brand mission that encourages consumers to find empowerment in pleasure.

All of these new brands were inspired by a versatile array of life experiences. However, what they do have in common is the organic approach to authenticity and purpose, leaning into passion to drive product development.

When it comes to outpacing competitors, the most impactful business strategies cannot be taught or bought. Resonating with everyone you touch likely comes down to being who you already are.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

An unexpected side effect of the pandemic was that many people reevaluated their relationship with work. While some decided to retire early or leave their job for a more satisfying career, thousands of Americans used this time to reassess their future and start their own business. According to a September 2021 NBC News article titled “Entrepreneurship during economic uncertainty: Why millions of people started a business during the pandemic,” the number of newly created companies skyrocketed during the pandemic.

“Business applications of all sizes nearly doubled during the first few months of the pandemic last year, jumping from 234,362 in April to 558,688 in July 2020. They remain elevated and well above pre-pandemic levels, hitting 427,842 last month,” NBC News reported. “This is in stark contrast to the Great Recession, when business applications from 2007-2009 remained below 250,000 a month, according to data from the Census Bureau.”

Jack Tai, CEO and co-founder of online learning platform OneClass, described this trend best in a Forbes article from January 2021. “More businesses are being launched than at any time in the past decade, and existing startups are showing a rapid acceleration,” he said.

These new companies surging into existence were not only in sectors like fintech, education, fitness and other mainstream industries; they were also in areas related to sexual pleasure.

Love Not War is one such pleasure-focused company to have been created during the pandemic.

According to Will Ranscombe, the CEO and co-founder, founding Love Not War during this period has meant that “the pandemic has actually been on our side with the sex toy industry actually experiencing a rise in sales across the whole board.”

With many reevaluating their outlooks based on the world’s reactions to COVID, Ranscombe shared that the pandemic inspired Love Not War to be mindful of how consumers want their purchases to have an ethical dimension.

“We have watched the world navigate not only the virus over the past 12 months but also the increasing climate emergency,” Ranscombe explained. “With that, consumers expect action, not only from the government but also from the brands they buy from. So, during a time when the pandemic was so uncontrollable for brands, we chose to make a difference by creating a ‘green’ option for those wanting to purchase a sex toy.”

However, the pandemic did create sizable supply-chain obstacles for companies wanting to launch new products. “When the pandemic hit, we had just finished our Kickstarter campaign and were in the middle of finishing our testing phase,” Vibio co-founder Alma Ramirez Acosta said. “We ran out of electronic components and had to deal with the factory being closed intermittently, causing roughly a one-year delay in our production and eating into our budget, time and effort.”

This was a particularly difficult time for the Vibio co-founders because, as they explained, “as a new and independent brand … we didn‘t have any existing stock to sell, nor any type of external funding to aid our situation.”

These setbacks did force Vibio’s founders to refocus on what they could control. Thus, they took the time needed to work on their app and “create a library of inclusive sexual wellness content, a community area and a better experience for the controller for our toys — milestones that were scheduled for further down the road,” the co-founders said. “So, all in all, we made a lot of progress that we’re very proud of.”

Similarly, Lavinia’s founder Katie Enright also used the pandemic to perfect her company. Lavinia, as a concept, as well as its first product, oh.hi, were developed before the pandemic. “We were lucky to be able to really devote the time that the pandemic provided us to the R&D process,” Enright said. “We partnered with Dr. Kristina Collins to better understand the sexual experience from a medical perspective and formulate oh.hi into a medically-backed and orgasm-tested product dedicated to empowering pleasure.”

“We had the opportunity to take the time to perfect oh.hi in terms of THC:CBD ratio lubricant base to use to keep your body happy and healthy, and many other little things that make up the overall composition of the product,” Enright communicated.

Sadly, the pandemic-created supply chain issues simply hurt companies.

“The sourcing of parts was extremely difficult,” Glenise Kinard-Moore of VDOM said. “But in addition, we had to pay high premiums and fees to expedite parts and materials to get what we needed sooner than later. This of course had a huge, unexpected impact on our budget, which caused more delays in the final stages of the manufacturing process.”

And given that VDOM is mainly self-financed, these cost increases were deeply felt. “We are 90% personally funded,” Kinard-Moore continued, “so as one can imagine, the hit to our budget had a huge impact on going to market.”

Interestingly, Sweet Tech AS was a company that struggled with supply issues but still managed to benefit from increased consumer interest in sex toys. As CEO Jens Petter explained, “The pandemic has been challenging for production, logistics, moving team members across borders, participating in events and showcasing the product, as well as meeting with partners and suppliers. The fact that we have not been able to travel to China has been challenging, but luckily we have a fantastic relationship with the producer there.”

“That said,” Petter continued, “the pandemic has increased the interest in interactive pleasure, and we have no doubt that this trend will continue.”

MyHixel, which sells its automatic masturbator online, reports that it experienced an increase in sales due to COVID lockdowns.

“We understand that people spent more time than usual connected to their devices, so we were able to reach more targets,” MyHixel CEO Patricia López said. “Another helpful factor was the fact that people had more free time to get information, and to search products they were interested in.”

The companies that appeared to face the most challenges were those that were already established but on the verge of launching a new project. Viben Toys was one such company in this situation and found that “it is much more difficult to launch a new brand during COVID,” Kyle Tutino said.

“Pleasure products are items that need to be seen in person to really be able to appreciate the quality and all details that go into a brand. We can send samples, and we do, but we are not able to have the in-person meetings that we normally would,” Tutino continued. “One of the things that makes this industry so special is the relationships that are built over time. With everything being virtual, building those relationships for the brand is harder and it is more difficult to see all of the effort that the team has put into making Viben an exceptional brand.”

GROWING PAINS

Aside from the unique circumstances that the pandemic created, newcomers to the pleasure products space need a thick skin to deal with the various other obstacles that adult brands face. Even the most progressive pleasure companies with the most nonsexual advertising are likely to be shut down by social media platforms and other services and resources from which startups could benefit.

“The list of challenges in sextech is endless,” Vibio co-founder Patricia Cervantes said. “Some of the main ones have been: getting banned in social media, getting rejected by multiple banks, payment processors and email marketing tools and having our app taken down from the Google Play Store three times. Despite this, we're incredibly proud to have a live iOS and Android app with thousands of users even before we've shipped our first toys, and of having finished the first production batch of our four new toys and two natural vegan lubricants.”

Love Not War’s Will Ranscombe also called the unfair censorship on social media the biggest challenge that pleasure product industry newcomers have to learn how to overcome.

“We’ve had our Instagram account shadow-banned many times in the past year,” he said. “Sex education and open discussion around sexual wellness are important, and shockingly we’re prohibited from getting information to people who need it. Most startups can use social media to advertise their products, but if you sell sex toys, you are restricted, so we have to be more creative with our marketing.”

Brands like MyHixel have launched with the mission of destigmatizing sexual wellness with certifications and endorsements from the medical community.

“We show that MyHixel is not a brand that creates products for sexual pleasure, but a brand that seeks to improve male sexual well-being by offering a whole range of solutions, products and services to meet male needs and to launch their sex life to the next level,” Patricia López said. “We are proud to be breaking down those barriers and raising awareness about the importance of men's intimate wellness. In addition, we have the FDA medical certification and are marked with the European CE as a medical device.”

With sexual health gaining more awareness and mainstream exposure thanks to today’s more liberated generation, Ranscombe is hopeful that pleasure products will eventually reach a tipping point and become more acceptable.

“As the younger generations become more open and sexually confident, I think the Big Tech media giants will have to reevaluate their censorship and restriction policies on sexual wellness brands,” he said. “Society is becoming more vocal and it’s about time the advertisers listened.”

Today’s pleasure industry startups are known for cutting-edge technology, which can lead to more complications in the product development process.

“As one can imagine, making an IoT hardware with complex mechanics and electronics that simultaneously needs to communicate with our software, you cannot expect anything but a lot of challenges,” said Jens Petter of Sweet Tech AS, which manufactures the Handy interactive male masturbator. “Add in our global distribution to consumers and retailers, and you have a nice cocktail. Additionally, working within a vice industry, we have had to be extremely bootstrapped as it is not always easy to raise funds for a sextech company. We have not been in a position where we can afford to fail. The consequence? We have had to put in the hours to make sure that things go the way we have planned them to, at least close to, and put up a lot of personal financial collateral on the way.”

Entrepreneurs enter the pleasure products industry for a myriad of reasons, with all kinds of goals for the long run. Fueled by the desire to help people feel sexually empowered with the right tools, sometimes they may not realize that the pleasure biz is not all fun and games.

“The biggest challenge so far besides overcoming my financial limitations is probably learning the dry technical aspects of operating a business,” said Pris, who founded her own line of toys. “I'm all right brain, so the creative aspect is my bread and butter, but the business side tends to be the hardest part for me to focus on. Luckily that works with my ethics as well since I don't have the desire to ‘destroy all competition’ and ‘dominate the industry’ — I just want to thrive and treat everyone as fair as possible.”

With such a wide spectrum of sexual preferences, the pleasure products industry is a welcoming hotbed for new brands that can continue to broaden that range of adult retail consumers with new designs, colors and new ways to speak to today’s shoppers. While some are stepping up to change the game, other brands are happily serving their own unique niche without the fanfare.

WELCOMED LAUNCH

The members of this year’s class of “Brands to Watch” are already making noise in the marketplace with new and forthcoming releases that are getting retailers and consumers excited. For industry newcomers, a positive response from consumers makes all the obstacles worth facing.

“Our community has been extremely supportive. It has shaped who we've become as a brand and has had input in every step of our journey, from product design to app development,” Vibio co-founders Acosta and Cervantes said. “During the hardest times, speaking to our customers and followers was what kept us going strong.” Glenise Kinard-Moore said that she is grateful for the patience that her customers have displayed as her company works diligently to get its product, the VDOM, to market.

“We presented our first full demo video of the final product and our followers and supporters provided excitement and awesome feedback about the look and functionality,” Kinard-Moore said. “We are ready to see how our customers will respond once the VDOM is officially in their hands.”

Pris, founder of Pris Toys, said that while the response towards her new brand has been positive overall, she is often motivated by customer feedback. “There are so many different bodies and preferences, and you always want to make sure there's something for everyone,” she said. “The tricky part is that the creative process is generally sparked based on something I want to see or feel, so the goal is then trying to balance that design with the feedback you receive.”

Pris says that she’s been compelled to redesign a toy entirely based on a negative review, but then the same design will “receive a flood of positive feedback for all the reasons that other person had a negative experience.”

“It's a delicate balance, but the most important part is to just listen and learn,” she said.

For Lavinia, the maker of cannabis-infused lubricant oh.hi, the proof is in the orgasms, which are reported by users.

“We rely heavily on product testing and consumer feedback, from firsthand data comparing number of orgasms with oh.hi — four — versus a water-based lubricant — two — to conversations with the Lavinia community to learn about what issues people are continuing to face when it comes to pleasure,” Lavinia founder Katie Enright said. “We have built the brand around the feeling of being alone in your sexual journey and realizing that it takes having a conversation to know you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing. To continue to expand Lavinia and provide products that meet the needs of the community, conversation and feedback is a major component in being a consumer-centric brand.”

MyHixel CEO Patricia López says that with more than 8,000 penis owners — and counting — now owning a MyHixel device, she can see that awareness related to male sexual health is growing, which is one of the company’s goals.

“We have also noticed that not only men buy our products, but more women are also buying our products for their friends and partners,” she said of the trends she’s noticed. “This shows that little by little, society is aware of the need to take care of male wellness as well as female, and we are proud of being part of it.”

Jens Petter of Sweet Tech AS says that the reception from consumers has been “fantastic” as the brand expands its reach online. In December, the company announced that its flagship device, the Handy, would become even more accessible to consumers as it began retailing on Amazon. com.

“We have grown significantly over the last year and are really starting to see the result of all the hard work we have put in,” Petter said. “Our Reddit and Discord communities have been supportive from the very beginning, and they play an active role in the product development, both on the hardware side as well as the software side. I feel like they are part of the Handy journey, and we would not have been where we are today without our community.”

Love Not War is tapping into the growing awareness surrounding climate change and offering consumers concerned with the planet eco-friendly alternatives. Co-founder Will Ranscombe says that the brand’s mission has gained in popularity with consumers, retailers and fellow manufacturers.

“Everyone is starting to have a heightened awareness of the consequences our actions can have,” Ranscombe said. “We’ve really found that everyone has welcomed Love Not War with a sigh of relief. People are discovering that our eco-friendly manufacturing processes don’t come at the cost of high-quality products. Sustainable sex toys are long overdue and we’re excited to see Love Not War grow and hopefully see greener practices adopted across the industry.”

Veteran adult distributor Honey’s Place launched its toy brand Viben Toys with insider expertise on the wants of retailers and their shoppers.

“Our customers love the packaging, which is reversible and beautiful and stands out on their store walls and shelves,” Viben Toys’ Kyle Tutino said. “Customers have been excited that our products are designed with powerful motors, functions that make sense and have unique features that set our brand apart. The feedback that we are getting is that the products are high-quality and sell themselves.”

NEW YEAR GOALS

With much of the new year still ahead of us, the latest crop of new pleasure products manufacturers is setting a wide range of goals. From refining products and operations to persevering despite obstacles, our panel of up-and-comers shared their hopes for 2022 and the future.

“One of our main goals is to create a more affordable range of toys to continue with our mission of making pleasure accessible for everyone,” Vibio co-founders Alma Ramirez and Patricia Cervantes said. “The downside of app-controlled toys is that some of the components are expensive and being a new startup, we don't have economies of scale to leverage when purchasing them. We are aware that not everyone can afford toys that are over $100 — we've been there, and it is in the top of our minds to accommodate for different budgets as we grow.”

Love Not War recently debuted its seventh item — a sustainable wand massager — and will soon be following it up with the release of a sustainable bullet made with 99% recycled aluminum.

“We also have a few more ideas on the back burner that we can’t wait to test, trial and get out to market,” Will Ranscombe said. “By spring next year, our product range will also be available to all distributors and retailers all around the world, which is very exciting.

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, our goal is to continue to discover and implement more sustainable measures and practices for Love Not War, and hopefully encourage others in the industry to try too. Our brand’s eco-friendly ethos is not just an added extra, but it's at the very core of who we are and what we do and it’s something we don’t ever want to lose. We want to ensure that it remains the driving force behind the brand.”

MyHixel plans to expand to offer a whole range of services and solutions to improve male wellness. The company is launching a new platform called MyHixel Clinic that offers an exclusive service to contact professionals that can answer questions related to their sex lives.

“We are also working on the development of new products and co-brandings to cover all the needs of the male sexual health sector,” MyHixel’s Patricia Lopez said. “We are also increasing digital content to offer sexual education and push our goal of breaking all taboos that surround it.”

Lavinia also is aiming to bring normalcy to conversations about sex. The company’s founder says that through building a community, she hopes more people will feel comfortable discussing their needs and desires.

“Eventually, we want Lavinia to be a leading name in the mission to take the taboo out of sex, starting with making masturbation a normal brunch conversation, stopping the need to stash your container of lube and vibrator under your bed, and having a dialogue with your partner about what is pleasurable for each of you,” Lavinia’s Katie Enright said.

VDOM’s Glenise Kinard-Moore said that she is excited to finally get into full production this year to satisfy the company’s ever-growing wait-list of customers.

“The list is getting longer by the day, and we have a huge demand,” she said. “We believe we have gotten past the sourcing issues and will be able to go full speed ahead no later than spring of this year.”

Many companies are reflecting on their journey so far to inspire them to continue building their brands.

“Besides actually creating Handy and launching the product, the fact that we have managed to build the team we have today is by far the company’s biggest accomplishment to date,” Sweet Tech AS CEO Jens Petter said. “I feel honored and humble to have such a dedicated team that all work towards the same vision of enabling infinite pleasure for everyone. Our goal is to keep building a customer-oriented sextech company for everyone with no compromises. We have a fantastic team in place to introduce a lot of new things in 2022.”

Freedom Novelties’ Melissa Herbstman said that the trust and support from former customers and colleagues is serving as validation for the new brand.

“It feels great to know so many relationships stood the test of time, that people know and trust us, and like the innovation we are bringing to the market,” she said. “Our goal is to build relationships, get in front of our customers, spend time with the stores, deliver amazing products and continue to grow. It’s been amazing and keeps us going. We have had wonderful feedback which shows in the demand and reorders and confirms we are bringing in the right product. The buyers know we are reliable, and that means everything.”

For Viben, 2022 will be dedicated to marketing, Kyle Tutino said.

“We are new so not everyone knows about us yet,” she added. “We know that once a customer sees what we have to offer they will be excited.”

As for independent makers, Pris says she’s simply thrilled for her spot on the marketplace.

“My biggest accomplishments are pretty much any time I get positive feedback from a customer or when a retailer loves my samples and places an order,” she said. “I'm just thankful that I have a roof over my head and that I'm able to do what I love! If I can keep building new relationships and learn through creating these products, then I'm happy!”

2022’s class of “Brands to Watch” has already achieved a lot in its freshman year, graduating into a new year of business despite the pandemic and the expected obstacles that adult companies face. The future looks bright for these intrepid entrepreneurs who are consistently inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

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