We had the pleasure of interviewing and speaking with Matt Smith the Founder and Creator of CherryBanana.com.au about the FOSTA/SESTA Legislation, Their Adult Retail Business Story and Insider Tips For Aspiring Adult Retailers Around The World. SRA: What Are Your Thoughts On FOSTA/SESTA Legislation? "MATT: I think it is rushed and ill thought out, and has many negative implications for both sex workers and sex customers. It is punishing legitimate sex workers, reducing their income and means some have to resort to unsafe measures to keep working. Especially the closing down of online forums like Backpage.. I understand that these things need to be safe and friendly for all, but let's discuss ways to do this in a more positive and well thought out way." SRA: Briefly Introduce Your Business To Us: "MATT: We are a fun, safe and affordable online destination people can visit to enhance many aspects of their sex life. We offer quality sex toys , bondage toys, essentials, lingerie and all the good stuff, with fast discreet delivery. Our main market is Australia, then New Zealand, but cater to and can deliver to the whole world. We are more than a place to just buy adult products , we aim to teach and inform people on a variety of sex related topics. We are young, but growing every day and won't stop learning and improving our offering. Cherry Banana branded toys are soon on the horizon and we already have our own line of Cherry Dolls, which we are also expanding as we speak by adding another 30. 60 dolls total.”
SRA: How Did You Get Your Start?
"MATT: I have always been fascinated by both business and the adult industry. From a young age I knew I wanted to own a business, and had a few small ventures throughout school and college. I started in the adult industry first by answering a newspaper ad for a sales assistant at the local adult shop. I worked there for 3 years and found it fascinating.. The products, the people, the confidence it builds in you to handle such sensitive topics and make people feel comfortable.. The shop was ran so badly, and I saw how it can be improved in a lot of ways. I also have a passion for IT and e-commerce, so opened my first online adult store 8 years ago, which was very poor, I had little idea of what I was doing.. It took years of research and growth until we launched Cherry Banana in November 21st, 2016, taking 2 years to build the site and make it an enjoyable experience for customers. Seeing things come together, like pieces of a puzzle, is rewarding. Knowing we are helping people improve their sex life, explore their kinks and try new things is the drive I have to take this business to new heights."
SRA: What Attracted You To Having An Adult Business? "MATT: I think a mixture of things, some explained above. I think the ability to make people feel comfortable on such a sensitive topic is a strong point. Also, it's such a fun business. The innovation in the industry is the best it's ever been, with new tech coming out, cleaner packaging and also society as a whole is becoming more acceptable of sex and the sex industry. I mean, who wouldn't want to own a sex shop for a living? It's a dream... I can see a lot of potential in this industry and a lot of opportunities rivals aren't capitalizing on. Not many people are doing it right.. If there is a 'right' way. There is definitely room for a younger player to make their mark and present their offering in the right way to the right market. Building Cherry Banana as a brand with our own branded products is very attractive indeed." SRA: What Advice Do You Have For Other Adult Businesses? "MATT: Don't be in it just for the money! You need to have a passion for what you do. You need to have a desire to impact customers and the industry in a positive way. You need to address the problems and reasons why people are going to purchase a products of this nature. You need to be committed. Not just because you think it's fun and want to make money. It's a serious business and needs to be treated with the respect and care it deserves."
SRA: What Are Your Top 3 Business Essentials That Adult Businesses Need? "MATT: Strong management, - who have a vision for the future and passion for the industry Quality products - things are going inside people's body, they need to be safe Strong online presence - e-commerce is key in any adult business"
SRA: Do You Think Sex Sells Itself, Really? "MATT: It definitely needs a helping hand. Sex sells is too vague. What sex? To who? What products? You need to target your market with the right products and offering." SRA: Where Do You See The Adult Industry Heading Into The Future? "MATT: I think it's going to be very tech based. Lots of innovation. I think the stigma around sex will continue to be removed and shed in a more positive way. To do this we need strong adult businesses who are in it for the right reasons. Product quality will play an even bigger role." GET SOCIAL WITH CHERRYBANANA: TWITTER INSTAGRAM