• Velv'Or in the 2014 Winter edition of XBIZ Sensuals


    Welcome to the winter issue of XBIZ Sensuals to start 2014 with coverage of all the latest news and trends impacting the intimacy products market. This month XBIZ is bringing you a slew of events and resources to make this year your most successful one yet. Beginning with our XBIZ 360 conference series, along with the exclusive XBIZ Retreat and XBIZ Executive Awards for the pleasure products and retail community, our full-scale exploration of the adult industry concludes with the highly anticipated XBIZ Awards. If that wasn’t enough, XBIZ is also bringing you your very own “black book” of industry contacts. This exclusive keepsake will be dis-tributed to attendees of XBIZ 360.
    Kicking off the winter trade show season is the always-popular ANME Show in Burbank, Calif., which will undoubtedly present a wealth of exciting new product unveilings — such as CalExot-ics’ Coco-Licious line, which was created in collaboration with the curvaceous Coco, entrepreneur and reality TV star who stars on E!’s “Ice Loves Coco” with her husband, actor and rapper Ice T. XBIZ will be there too, reporting on all of the latest developments from ANME participating vendors.
    This issue of XBIZ Sensuals focuses on Valentine’s Day with a look at trends across multiple prod-uct categories, ranging from soft bondage to bodycare and of course, lingerie. Additional special features include a profile on the designer brand for men, Velv’Or and an interview with Stephanie Salyers, an independent contractor with a stylish eye for sales. She’s working with Impulse Novelties on creating a training program that promotes education among retail staff. We also spotlight Fantasy Lingerie, which is experiencing success with its plus-size collection, Curve, and U.K. costume brand Fever – which just released a line of carefully designed bedroom costumes.
    We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you at ANME and XBIZ 360! Ariana Rodriguez Editor FOUNDER

    Velv’Or’s Jelle Plantenga Is On a Mission to Redefine Men’s Sex Toys With Luxury, Style and Function By Alex Parker SexToysBuzz.com

    Velv’Or is a brand that has chosen to position itself in a sector of the sex toy market that sells some products for as little as a few dollars. So how does a company whose most expensive creations can retail at more than $1 million engender such enthusiasm from those who distribute, retail and buy the products in its range?
    Jelle Plantenga is a striking figure, instantly recognisable at trade shows as much for the en-thusiasm he has for his products as his flowing hair and stylish attire. Plantenga is a creative individual; blessed too with a practical approach to the adult products he brings to market “… all products I [have] created come from my personal search for a specific product. Product of which I know many more men will benefit from.”

    Such a personal approach to the creation of products could lead to niche market items with little commercial potential and it has to be said that some of the lines in the Velv’Or range have a very limited number of potential buyers. As Plantenga explains “[The] sky is actually the limit with the Bespoke products, the chest of the King JCobra can for instance be set with numerous Top Wesselton IF diamonds and a very rare AAA graded natural pearl can be set in its mouth. Making it a multi-million dollar cock ring.”
    Putting aside the headline-grabbing genital jewelry, Velv’Or is very aware of its place within a crowded market and how it has to develop its brand. So does Plantenga think the market is ready for strongly branded and robustly priced sex toys from Velv’Or and other similar manufacturers? “[Brand awareness will] take a while. The moment you know this happened is if you ask people on the street if they know LELO, JeJoue, Velv’Or, etc. And they reply with ‘Yes, of course.’ At the moment most people unfortunately say ‘No.’ I and many of my brand colleagues, as well as the distributors and retailers, are pushing the [brand] awareness to the max.”
    Having what effectively equates to Haute Couture and Prêt-à-Porter products from the same creator has its advantages. The “ready to wear” lines are by mere association with the bespoke products seen as upscale designer items and there-fore desirable. Velv’Or’s high-street products however stand on their own too benefiting from Plantenga’s vision of carefully designed, effective, beauti-ful sex toys for all men that derives from the origins of the brand. “[It] all started in November 2006 when I was looking for a stylish cock ring and could not find what I was looking for. Together with a Dutch Silversmith I created the first prototype; a bended silver cock ring which functioned effectively. But I wanted it to be more comfortable and it had to give pressure on the perineum, one of the most sensitive parts of male anatomy. So I sent the prototype to an award-winning master silversmith from the U.K., and together with him I created the JCobra.”
    It took until November 2011 for the JNaja product to appear as “the first 3D-printed sex toy for commer-cial sales.” The realization of a mass market product from such an unusual and expensive predecessor says a lot about Plantenga’s deter-mination, his ingenuity and self-confessed fascination with industrial design.
    The JNaja kick-started the Velv’Or range of prod-ucts which has continued expanding to this day with the JBoa lasso style cock ring and the complementary Velv’Or “Manhood” range of male grooming and sexual wellbeing products. Jelle Plantenga’s aim is that more men will become “EnRinged” as he likes to term users of his products but also enjoy, enliven, enhance and lengthen the enjoyment of sex through his products.
    From another producer of adult products that would sound like so much marketing spiel but wholesalers and retailers seem to agree, describing their enthusiasm for Velv’Or products with an enthusiasm equal to Plantenga’s. Take the views of Chris Bakker at EroPartner, “As a distributor focusing primarily on brands it was a logical decision to pick up Velv’Or. There are not many brands out there supply-ing sophisticated and well designed CockRings. For us it’s always a mix of the product design/functionality, brand image and off course the price point, we started with the JNaja a product which we gave a 10/10. Keep your eyes open for the new BeauGosse BG’s as well.” 
    In the U.K., Planet Earth Wholesale was keen to emphasize how the beautiful form of the JNaja separates it from other male devices. 
    “There is no doubt that Velv’Or looks stunning, but the design isn’t just about aesthetic value, each curve and contour serves a practi-cal purpose – the end results being improved performance and enhanced pleasure with exceptional comfort.”
    Retailers too are fired up, for instance Neil Duckett of Two Ducks, Australian retailer of “Desirable Life-style Products” enthused, “Jelle is going through an exciting phase of expansion, with the introduction of the BeauGosse Stretchy CRings and the new Manhood Col-lection, we’re just as excited to be able to offer these to retailers in Australia in the coming weeks.”
    Working with his like-minded distributors and retailers Plantenga has very clear views as to how the Internet and other media channels can boost the brand’s already impressive success even further when it comes to consolidation of the existing brand image and promotion of their new products – “[by using] social media, but in the end the mainstream press will be the biggest help. Without them the struggle will be huge like moving a mountain, some-thing which is individually impossible but with combin-ing strength we will be able doing so.”
    Velv’Or are designer sex toys that anyone can afford, assuming you can forgo the precious metal and diamond versions because of Jelle Plantenga’s original concept: “All Velv’Or products are created to be used with the penis. The name Velv’Or stands for the vari-ous physiological stages of the penis. ‘Velv’ comes from the word ‘velvet’ meaning soft while ‘Or’ is derived from the word ‘vigor’ mean-ing hard. It represents the life of the penis as well as the life of all gentlemen; we have stages in life of being soft and flexible as well as being hard and rigid. With this in mind we target men and their partners that are looking for something stylish that enriches their life.
    And as for Plantenga’s hopes for the future of his company, “I hope we all will EnRing many more gentle-men with Velv’Or c-rings soon and advise them to enjoy the Manhood collection.” 

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