Your brand is already well-known, so I will ask not about your products, but about you. How did you turn out to be people working in the field of adult goods?
Maxim: It is perhaps the most pressing issue, because we have learned that there are no random people in this area, although there are exceptions. In one way or another, they are drawn here and become intermediaries, manufacturers, wholesalers, open shops online and offline and so on.
Personally, I was drawn, in fact, very simply. My family have always treated seriously the matter of health and nutrition, as well as what you do, what kind of life you lead, how you treat people, and so it took me where I am now. In 2011-2012, I was about to graduate from the university and worked at the same time. And approximately in 2009 I first visited a shop for adults, and was surprised to discover that there is such a thing as intimate cosmetics - oils, lubricants etc. I began to actively use these products. There were lots of brands in sex shops, a lot of different manufacturers, and from this, I chose the one which was best for me according to its structure and composition. And at some point I noticed that in an assortment of products there was not a single one that would not only give satisfaction, but also was beneficial. In any case, this was the situation where I was buying.
It would seem, on the market there is a lot of cosmetics that is caring, anti-aging, health-restoring, for girls and boys, with interesting extracts, essential oils, hyaluronic acid, coenzyme Q10. But the sphere of intimate cosmetics can offer nothing of this. And I thought that it would be very interesting and cool to delve into this subject, to understand it and make something that, first of all, I would use for myself. To me it was important that such a product was safe and bring real benefits, sustain moisturizing and sliding characteristics for a long period. It was also important to be sure, that after using the product there will not be any irritations, allergies, burnings, any unpleasant sensation not only with me, but also with my partner.
This gave a start to everything: team selection, search for qualified specialists, technologists, raw materials and many other things. I had to study a lot of information, especially legal. Then I needed to realize how to work with components and how they are combined. The first to come was our lubricant - Universal Sex. He was followed by Safe Sex, Anal Sex and Hot Sex. (They are still popular with buyers – editor’s note).
These are the first four products with a complex of actually working components included a D-panthenol, caffeine, L-arginine, betaine, aloe, essential oils and natural e extracts. We learned how to mix them, to understand how much of each component we need to make the whole system work. This four has become a powerful base for further development, strong growth and consolidation in the market.
Our first customers, users of our products, were immediately amazed by the quality of our products that competes with that of imported goods, with absolutely new texture and aroma. They also praised Russian-style design of Gzhel and Khokhloma. The icing on the cake is the price that we keep low. Everyone should have our product, because people need it, it was created for people. These are the first products on the market of intimate cosmetics, which comprise a useful health-care abilities and also properties of a high-quality lubricant for sex.
We did not stop there. We realized that it was interesting and began to plunge deeper into the adult goods industry. It turned out that there is a huge range of unresolved problems and issues. At the moment, we can say that our products help reduce the appearance of fungal diseases and allergic reaction due to other causes. We do not use synthetic flavors, colorants, parabens, waxes. All components of our products are useful for health, they do not require washing, they nourish and moisturize skin, they are beneficial for mucosa.
What are your positions, responsibilities in the company?
Maxim: I am the CEO of the company and the project. Julia is my full partner, responsible for quality control. She is the person who ensures that everything from raw materials to the final product is of supreme quality.
Julia: Yes, I am responsible for the quality control of production, as well as for raw materials, that we supply. I also select suppliers, coordinate purchases and supervise employees. Maxim solves global and strategic issues.
Maxim: Julia works with clients, and also checks samples after every cooking, she watches that consistency, color, and properties meet the quality requirements.
How did you promote your products in this rather saturated market?
Julia: It really is not easy. And still requires 1000% commitment. Our advantages in my opinion are teamwork, determination to finish what we started, be prepared for any turns and make right decisions in the most extreme period. To do the impossible at any moment! In a nutshell, we are fans of what we do and we are positively charged!
By the year of 2017 we did a lot of work and we started to make our way in this saturated market. We prepared a certified product, a website and a sales platform. We made photos, videos, prospects and a sachet. But the sales did not satisfy our ambitions not even by 10%. I offered Maxim to create and promote these products through our website. We talked with shops, sent newsletters via different networks. But it was clear that no shop will place on its shelves some unknown products. This did not stop us and we started contacting wholesale companies so that we could be seen, heard and tried. We clearly knew that as soon as our product fell into the right hands, as soon as people who really understand the topic will try us, there would be no questions left and we would begin cooperation. We called different companies saying that we are a new producer of intimate cosmetics with new properties, different from all others. Usually the answer was typical - email your proposal, we will have a look and call you back.
Maxim: We did a colossal job, because to reach people who make real decisions is incredibly difficult. Today with the second Thaifest behind us, when we have direct contact with the owners of companies and people involved in procurement it all became much more interesting.
Julia: The competition is very high, so they did not really believe in us first. We sent out our price lists and presentations, but it did not touch anyone. And then it turned out that someone wanted to listen to us. First, we were given some useful tips over the phone, and then we were invited for a meeting. And so our new story began...
Maxim: Yes, they were the only ones, who believed in our products. We tried hard and convinced them that they will be in demand, if not today, then tomorrow. We believed and still believe, that such products are really necessary. This is how our symbiosis with the brand name Djaga-Djaga began.
Julia: And the next meeting was with Leonid Efimovich (the head of the Astkol-Alpha wholesale company - ed.). He believed in us, we impressed him. It was a very positive meeting. And we should note that he is a person with strong energy.
Maxim: Yes, we already had more than a dozen meetings. But here they believed in us! Launching the brand Biomed Nutrition required a lot of effort. We developed the general concept, packaging, design. The design in the Russian style, which is now recognizable in stores, is the third variant. I remember at the first meeting we were told, that there is only one month left before the Thaifest (which took place in Israel). To prepare from scratch it is very little time. We set ourselves the task to participate and at any cost be prepared on the highest level. It was a challenge and an incredible experience. And we did it!
Julia: Yes, Djaga-Djaga and Astkol-Alpha leaders saw that we are young and promising, the fire is burning in our eyes, we have excitement and willingness to work. They decided that they were ready to work with us and promote our products, but they warned that the market is very large, there will be many competitors, it will be difficult. And all of this we experienced.
How so you now assess your position in the market, the demand for your brand? Has something changed?
Maxim: Confident movement upwards.
Julia: People are gradually beginning to choose, try and return to the shops for our products. We provide training in the stores, and we get feedback that sales increased because sellers understand how to convince customers that these are really quality products.
You prove it by deed.
Julia: We are trying. Before the Thaifest (in Georgia), we did a great job trying to produce a novelty, but it is not so easy, because you need not just to cook a new lubricant, but solve all the problems starting with packaging and design and ending with raw materials and certification.
Maxim: In our products there are over 15 components. To develop a formula which would work well, so that the product is stable, had a long shelf life and a high quality – this is the most interesting part of our work. People become more educated and begin to approach intimate cosmetics selectively. Today they want to get a quality product with certain properties for reasonable money. And we strive to offer them such products.
Through our site you can address your consumers, people who come to the store and buy something that says Biomed Nutrition's. What can you say?
Maxim: First, huge thanks to you for your trust, it is very important to us. We have to compete with imported products from Canada, the USA and Europe. On the one hand, we are pleased because we are the only Russian company that can compete with Western manufacturers. And we really can do it: in quality, in design, in price, in accessibility of information. But our people have greater confidence in imported goods. And this is where the seller comes and tells the buyer about advantages of our products. If it happens so that the buyer chooses our product, then he sees that the product works as stated and corresponds to the quality, and so he is most likely to return for it again!
A few words about Thaifest and its organizers?
This is our second Thaifest. We would like to particularly thank the whole team, which organized this event: Leonid Efimovich, Marina, Tatiana and Natalia, the Prosack team, everybody who worked hard to get everything organized. We have great fun taking part in this event. And special satisfaction we get from the fact that we progressed a lot since with the first Thaifest. At that time we had only 6 items, 6 articles, but today, after a year and a half, we already have over 60 articles, 60 items, and we continue to gain momentum!
Editor’s Note: Outside of this interview, there was a question about the company’s entry into the international market. In June Maxim and Julia were not ready to answer it. But now we already know for sure that this process has begun. Two weeks ago, at eroFame there was a Djaga-Djaga stand with Biomed Nutrition products. Our correspondent managed to get brief comments there.
What new have you brought to this exhibition?
For Europe, we have everything new. They have not seen things like this before. They are trying to understand who is the designer. But this design (Gzhel and Khokhloma - Ed.) has been a collective creation of the Russian people in the last 500 years. Generally, they look at our products with great interest. All reviews are enthusiastic.
We are currently working on massage candles with pheromones, with aphrodisiac. They will be of unique design. Nothing similar you can find in Russia nor in the world. Massage candles are known of course but a design that we come up with you cannot find anywhere. By the New Year they will already be on sale. At the moment, the brand’s portfolio has more than 60 items, and 20-25 are in development to appear in a few months.
We will show something new at EroExpo. We invite everyone to our stand decorated in Russian style of Gzhel and Khokhloma. Surely it will not leave anyone indifferent.