Today we’d like to introduce you to Raven Faber.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Raven. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’d be happy to! My story really starts with my career in STEM and also with my previous experience in the direct sales industry (and the realizations that I had while doing that) but I’ll skip to the part where I founded my company, otherwise, this will end up being a really long story. It’s also the best part, in my opinion.
I initially started EngErotics (which is short for “Engineered Erotics”) in July of 2016 for the purpose of designing and developing better, safer intimacy devices (yes, vibrators and other sexual devices) and helping to educate the public at large about intimacy device safety and quality. Due to the stigma and sense of embarrassment and shame that often surrounds these sorts of products, most people don’t take the time to educate themselves about product quality and materials: things that can affect your health directly. As a result, and because there aren’t any safety or design standards that hold manufacturers accountable for the quality and safety of their products, there is a plethora of unsafe and toxic intimacy devices out there. Shortly after I founded the company, it was suggested that we start exploring ways of incorporating CBD into intimate body care products. Like intimacy devices, CBD products are still largely unregulated and things like quality and efficacy can vary from company to company depending on how they manufacture their products. It can be tough for consumers to find a brand that will deliver what they’re advertising on the label, so we make an effort to use the fundamentals of engineering and science to help guide us in the process of design, development, and manufacture of intimacy products. Engineers exist to help keep the public at large safe by following established standards and guidelines during the design process. Products that are designed for intimate use deserve the same attention.
EngErotics wouldn’t be anywhere close to where it is today without the team that is constantly working to push it forward. There is no way we’d be what we are without their hard work and fantastic ideas. At first, it was just me, my CTO, and my web designer. Over time, the team grew to include our chemical engineer, formulation specialist, AutoCAD designer, as well as a very talented electrical engineer and mechanical engineer that we currently contract with. There is just so much to do and so many things to cover, I couldn’t possibly do it all if I tried. Having a solid, reliable team has helped propel my little company forward in an incredible way.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not. Building a company from nothing is incredibly difficult and it’s definitely not for everyone for a variety of reasons. We’ve faced all sorts of setbacks and struggles as a company. I think one of our biggest challenges that we often deal with is being a company that specializes in two areas that have been highly stigmatized and even viewed as being taboo or shameful in the past; even now to some degree. Being a company that deals with sex and CBD puts us in an interesting position: advertising on social media can be tricky or not allowed entirely, merchant processors consider both intimacy devices and CBD to be “high-risk”, I’ve even had one company bow out of working with me after they learned about what we do. There is no shortage of people that are comfortable with one aspect of the company but not the other. The list goes on. I could easily name more. In short, EngErotics has had to deal with a number of unique issues that other businesses don’t in addition to the “regular” struggles that most businesses face. So, yeah, it’s quite frustrating at times to be a Founder in this particular space. In spite of this, we’ve still managed to persevere and gain a good amount of traction and organic growth!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the EngErotics story. Tell us more about it.
EngErotics is, first and foremost, an engineering company. We are a team of engineers, scientists, and analytical minds with several scientific degrees and more than a decade of industry experience collectively. We’re not simply a “sex toy company” and we’re not really “just a CBD company.” As I mentioned before, we specialize in using the fundamentals of engineering and science to create better intimacy products while raising the bar when it comes to best practices and design standards within both the intimacy device and the CBD world. While fancy innovation certainly excites us (we’re working on that too!), we believe that it’s often the simplest solutions to practical problems that can make the biggest difference in the user experience. At EngErotics, good engineering begins on the inside and at the molecular level. An effectively designed vibrator requires an understanding of how its internal components can best work together. An effective CBD topical requires comprehension of how all the raw materials will interact with each other under a variety of conditions. Vibe No. 5 and Conjurer 1.0 (our two name brand vibrators), although very simple in design, contain internal components that were chosen for specific reasons in an attempt to explore how the internal components of intimacy devices could be better designed. Our Soothing Salve Sticks, while similar products exist, were born out of a lengthy R&D process, several iterations, and a thorough study of the process by which they’re manufactured. If this weren’t enough, we also strive to carry a selection of intimacy devices from reputable, third-party companies that are known for creating high-quality products. We’re nearly three years in, however, I feel like everything is still a work in progress. We’re getting there!
Several different things set us apart from others. We’re female and minority-owned. We’ve made it a point to openly advocate for the joining of a “respectable” industry like engineering with the “questionable” industries of intimacy devices and CBD (huge air quotes here, obviously). Science is our jam and it’s front and center of just about everything we design, formulate, test, and create. For us, the fun part happens a long time before a sale is ever made; it’s the journey in the exploration and the making that we enjoy. Yes, we love making money too but I’m not in the business of just slapping products together to make a quick profit. The thing I’m most proud of is the team that supports the company. Without them and their expertise, our product line wouldn’t be what it currently is. I’m also very proud of all the work that we’ve done as a company. I remember how hard it was launching Vibe No. 5 and Conjurer 1.0 on my own (this was before the team grew to where it is now) and how broke I was. I was too impatient to deal with a crowdfunding campaign. I wanted to design something simple yet enjoyable that I could get into peoples’ bedrooms right away! I remember how excited we were when we launched the first version of our Soothing Salve Stick and it got incredibly positive feedback overall from our first clients but, also, how much time it took to rethink and refine our formulation to address the bits of negative feedback received during the beginning stages. Finally, I am extremely proud that we, as a company, have successfully created several intimacy products that seem to help people and make them happy. I LOVE getting those particular emails!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Although much of what we do can easily be attributed to hard work and perseverance, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve been extremely fortunate during my life’s journey. I’m especially lucky to have a loving, supportive husband and that I’ve been able to leave the corporate world to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. There was a time when I was working full-time as a structural engineer and working on EngErotics at night and on weekends while being a new mom. To be able to leave that life behind to come home, be with my kids, and focus on building my companies (I have two!) is a huge deal. I’m lucky to have the team that I do and I’m fortunate to know each one of them on a personal level. Many of the things that have propelled the company forward seemed to have happened at just the right time, in the right place, with the correct person, etc. Yes, I work hard and the team works hard…we pour a ton of time and effort into what we do. However, it does seem like amazing opportunities come to find us before we even have the opportunity to begin looking for them. It seems like I’m constantly being connected with new resources and new ideas every single day; many of these have opened up some pretty big doors for us.
To be honest with you, I think just being in this particular place in my life makes me feel extremely lucky. It seems as though a number of previous life events and experiences helped to prepare me for what I’m doing now without my realizing it. I truly feel that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. Some people would call this luck. Others might argue that all of this was predestined. I’m just thankful that I get to participate either way. I feel like I’ve been given an extraordinary opportunity and I don’t want to waste it. My life as an entrepreneur isn’t perfect and it definitely doesn’t look like what you might find on Instagram. Much of my work has gotten done while breastfeeding and also between the unexpected diaper blowouts. I wear yoga pants and a t-shirt most of the time and I often do my Facebook Live videos with no makeup and with my dark undereye circles clearly visible. Still though, what I have going on right now is so much better than what I was doing before. It’s an incredible feeling! I can’t describe to you how happy it makes me being able to chase my wildest dreams while being at home with my kids. Whether it’s luck or something else entirely, I’m happy to be here to experience it.
- Website: https://www.engerotics.com/
- Email: Questions@engerotics.com
JP Butler Photography, Kirsten Carrasco