This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Ti Chang, co-founder and VP of design of San Francisco’s design-centric sex toy company Crave. When Crave’s Duet vibrator debuted in 2011, Chang’s work at the intersection of wellness and technology was a revolutionary presence in both sectors. Her sleek vibrators were high-end, elegant, and discreet at a time when her competition was definitively mid-market; their success pointed investors to the market potential in the woefully underexplored area of women’s sexual pleasure. Crave’s new Duet Pro is the perfect example of that intersection, a chic vibrator that comes with 16 preprogrammed “vibes” – vibrational settings that can also be remixed from scratch via the MyVibes app.
In this interview, Ti shares what it was like to go on a cross-country road trip in an Airstream reworked as a “build your own vibrator” sex toy factory – an adventure intended to provide a way of connecting to would-be buyers, especially those only beginning to consider what sex tech might offer them: “One of the things that struck me is that people are so ready for a conversation about pleasure,” she says. Her core mission, she explains, is building a sense of agency around sexuality, desire, and pleasure.
During her Milkshake interview, Ti discusses how hard it can be to conduct those conversations, due to restrictions around sex toy marketing within social media spaces, and how she’s had to fight for equal retail space for her products. She also answers a question about what she’d most like to redesign – and her response delves into a part of life that’s often considered as fraught, private, and taboo as sex, despite their shared importance.
View Ti’s DMTV Milkshake episode above, then check out the rest of the series here.
About the author: Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.