Below is an interview with Tiffany Gaines, the founder of Lovability Condoms. Since our interview, Lovability Condoms has been met with some difficulty as Chase decided they would not process credit card transactions on grounds that associating with such a product would risk their reputation (read: condoms are for sex; sex is gross). Much to our delight and admiration, Tiffany has been raising some hell and taking some names in her change.org petition. You can read more about it the issue here.
If you believe that condoms are an essential tool for sexual health then please take a moment and sign the petition.
It's no hidden fact that we're huge proponents of women carrying condoms. And if it's a female driven condom company that you're totin' we're over the moon. When we came across Lovability Condoms, we had to know more. Unsurprisingly, Founder and President Tiffany Gaines is an absolute rockstar. She's built this company on a mission of empowering women to feel comfortable and even inspired to carry (and use!) condoms. It's a great message and Tiffany's Lovability movement is one to be shared with the masses. We chatted Tiffany up to learn more:
What made you start this company?
I had a traumatic tampon purchasing experience. The tampons were located ten feet up on the shelf behind the register and the clerk had to retrieve an “orange-picking” claw to obtain them. Everyone in the convenience store was watching with baited breath as the clerk swung the claw back and forth in an attempt to grasp my tampons. I realized that this was ridiculous, and that the distribution strategy for this product was insensitively designed.
I realized that I had the ability to make people feel more comfortable with the important products that they need for their health and wellness. Condoms are often an even more traumatic purchase for women than tampons, and this reality often inhibits us from being prepared with them. I realized that there was a way to redesign how women related to condoms, so that they would feel more comfortable acquiring, carrying, and providing them. I saw that as an opportunity and took the initiative to start Lovability Condoms.
What makes the idea and message behind Lovability one that differs from other condom brands?
For years, condoms have been marketed primarily towards men; they’re often associated with hyper-sexuality, promiscuity and masculinity. But when it comes to safe sex, most people would agree that men are not always keen on using condoms for protection. In many cases, men are not prepared with them. This can result in couples compromising their health and having sex without protection.
Because condoms have been marketed with such a masculine and hyper-sexualized tone, women don’t feel connected to this product in a positive way. Lovability is giving the traditional brand messaging associated with condoms a complete makeover from the inside out. We do this with strategic packaging design (which is discrete and similar to a high-end cosmetic product) and our new distribution method. Our condoms are made available to women in environments that are intimate and female-friendly, such as beauty supply stores, lingerie stores, accessory boutiques and department stores.
We hope to de-stigmatize condoms by re-designing women’s relationship to them, and also to promote more honest and open communication about sex and safe sex. Lovability can be a catalyst in a social movement. Women can feel proud to not only purchase and carry condoms, but to talk about the value and importance of them across cultures and generations.
We believe that women who carry condoms will change the world. Did you know 1 in 4 women in the USA suffer from an STD? Research as shown that if more women carry condoms these rates would decrease substantially. We're here to help make that happen.
Whats the hardest part of starting a condom company? (No pun intended but maybe just a little bit)
Being a young female entrepreneur presents a certain number of challenges; being a young female entrepreneur who is selling condoms is like slaying a dragon. The most enlightening aspect has been the fact that the more challenges I am faced with, the more I realize the importance of this product.
About 80% of the people I speak to about condoms become embarrassed. They deal with it by acting judgmental or offended by my candid nature. As a woman, I have to make a point of effortlessly coming across as classy, professional and relatable so that people don’t associate me with the stigmas that are connected to women and condoms.
Talking about condoms has to be refined to an art, so that people are open to changing their perception of this product. In fact, when I pitch to store owners, sometimes I avoid the word “condoms” all together because it makes them too uncomfortable.
But somehow, even the most skeptical shop owners have realized the value of my social mission. When they agree to take an important role in this movement by selling Lovability condoms in their store, it reminds me that this goal of de-stigmatizing women and condoms is truly attainable.
How can our readers get involved in the Lovability movement?
The Lovability Movement is all about celebrating the empowerment that comes from loving oneself and taking responsibility for your sexual health. The movement starts with sharing our mission with those you love!
You can also get involved by visiting our website www.LovabilityCondoms.com. There you can join our community by signing up for our mailing list and newsletter, or by applying to become a "Lovability Lady" merchandiser to sell Lovability Condoms. We also recently launched our editorial website. Visit, www.TheLovabilityMovement.com, for tips and tricks all about holistic self-love, and to share your own stories. And be sure to follow us on twitter and instagram @LovabilityInc (We do a giveaway every week!)