The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

QQQQQ: Meet the Sex Shop Owner

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Stefanie is the founder of Showtime Concepts established 5 years ago.  The business consists of a 1600+ sq ft  retail shop in Soho Central and an online store selling all things intimate.
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Hey Stefanie, let’s get right into it!  Do you find Hong Kongers to be quite conservative when it comes to sex?

Yes, I am afraid so.  Sex has been such a taboo subject that many Hong Kongers just don’t talk about.  Lack of proper sex education doesn’t help either.  Ladies grow up feeling such guilt and sinfulness thinking about sex and they wouldn’t dare acknowledge their sexual needs.  Men might have more vivid fantasies possibly inspired by the Japanese AV porns but perhaps that’s not something that their partners would want to fulfill or would he even dare to suggest.  Small living spaces with other family members or sharing tight spaces with a helper, also makes it difficult for couples to explore.

I have seen your website, and you have some pretty kinky things!  Talk me through what happens when someone on the more innocent side comes into your shop?

Normally I greet them and ask if they are looking for anything particular.  Some might say their partners had mentioned about some sexual fantasies or playthings to try or there might be a special occasion that they want to give a steamy surprise for, or they read about some BDSM scenes in books like 50 Shades of Grey that they’d like to know more about.  The more innocent ones might prefer to look around on their own and when they seem to be at ease and curious about certain types of products, we may ask if they need any help or recommendations, especially with the sex toys.  I guess I look quite normal and not intimidating so customers feel comfortable asking me intimate questions.  Often the ladies are so impressed that they say they never thought going to a shop could be so informative and inspirational.  They leave my shop excited to have new experiences with their partners.

Our male customers also appreciate how sophisticated our shop is and they feel at ease buying intimate gifts.  They say the music also helps so that other customers wouldn’t be able to hear what they asked for.  We have great appreciative customers who wrote us the kindest testimonials about our shop, our shows and their shopping experience, you can read more here – http://bit.ly/RqdhSb
Hong Kong sales people have a bit of a reputation for being overly aggressive, sometimes stalking their prey around the shop.  What’s your approach when it comes to selling?

Well I don’t blame them because some of them might carry a huge quota in order to keep their job or be paid.  I guess the shops just need to strike a balance and not scare the customers away.  At Showtime, we want our customers to have the most enjoyable shopping experience without feeling the pressure or the embarrassment.  Afterall, everything here is sexy and fun, so the ambience should also be light and entertaining.  Pushing products to customers would just be too annoying.  We would first want to find out whether they might be looking for something specific or for a special occasion or they might not have any idea and need recommendations.  We try to introduce the range of products and options they can choose from so that they can see what might fit best their needs.  We would like Showtime to be seen as the subject matter expert for all things intimate and the one stop intimate lifestyle shop where they can find all things sexy and playful.  Creating an engaging, caring, inspiring and fun shopping experience is what we want for our customers.

Owning a small business in Hong Kong must have it’s stressful moments.  Where’s your favourite place to unwind after a hard day’s work?

More like constantly stressful ha ha.  Unwind … I’m afraid my answer would be too boring.  After a long day’s work, I just want to go home and rest.  Before the major rental increase, I had a few staff members at my shop to handle all the sales, operations and online business so that I could sometimes go out in the evening to unwind over drinks or dinner on Wyndham Street or Soho, and do sailing races on Saturday afternoons or dragon boating on Sundays.  With the rental increase, sadly I had to decrease staff and cut out my favourite sports.  My social life is at Showtime now, friends often come over and visit and we have drinks on the big sofa to catch up, which is actually quite a relaxing venue. We host a lot of private parties here such as hens parties, birthdays, farewell and even baby showers.  Sometimes customers and I have conversations that we might get carried away with and end up chatting on and on for hours.  They call the sofa The Sex & The City Sofa or the Magic Sofa because as soon as they sit down, they just seem to feel comfortable talking about the most intimate things that they normally would not share.  Not to worry … what happens at Showtime stays at Showtime! :  )

 

What’s the future hold for you and Showtime?
Well … if I could dream … I’d like to meet investors that see the potential of the Showtime brand and its business model, so that we could expand the Showtime Concept Stores across Asia.  That would be ideal.  Many of our overseas customers from Singapore, China, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Middle East have expressed that they wish there was a store like Showtime in their country.
In the near future, we will finally have our blog up and running and hopefully some youtube how-to clips to share information.  Also we’ll run more educational events such as the Toy Parties & 50 Shades Parties where guests can learn and be inspired in a classy and entertaining environment.  Event details are posted on our website http://showtimeconcepts.com you can sign up as a member to get event notification and also receive HK$600 shopping voucher for all new members.
In case you haven’t seen any of our previous theatrical lingerie shows, you can see some of the videos here – http://bit.ly/1ldaMvE
Thank you so much for the interview.  May be next time it’ll be my turn to interview you for our blog ha ha.

Thank you Stefanie!  And best of luck in this very fascinating business!  Any business owner in Hong Kong that can go five consecutive years in the same location is doing something right!  We wish you continued success!

If anyone has any questions for Stefanie, feel free to ask in the comments below, or go see her at her shop in Soho.

Shop Address: 2/F Shama Place, 30 Hollywood Road, Soho, Central 

 

Have a good one,

Mr.J

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7 comments on “QQQQQ: Meet the Sex Shop Owner

  1. Juls
    May 16, 2014

    Hey Stefanie,
    It sounds like a very interesting line of work. What made you want to open Showtime?

  2. Stefanie
    May 16, 2014

    Hi Juls,

    Thanks for your question. I got asked about this often.

    Over the years, I heard from many ladies or couples who wanted to shop for intimate products but there just wasn’t a place where they could feel comfortable in Hong Kong. Many ordered from overseas online shop but the experience was often quite disappointing. Either lingerie didn’t fit right or playthings were just not what they expected. So came the idea of Showtime Concepts providing the one stop shop for all things intimate and playful.

    Hope to see you soon at Showtime! : )

    Cheers,
    Stef

  3. brielle87
    May 17, 2014

    The shop looks amazing. I wish I had stopped in while I was in Hong Kong, the vibe seems very soothing and relaxed. I will have to stop in on my next trip to HK.

  4. Stefanie
    May 17, 2014

    Hope to see you at Showtime on your next trip! : )

  5. @Caliishungry
    May 17, 2014

    Hi Stefanie,

    Your shop looks luxurious and it doesn’t look like the seedy looking ones that are commonly operated by an intimidating looking man behind the counter (I live in Sydney, Australia). It looks like you have a pole dancing pole in the middle of your shop? It would be a great idea if you could manage a pole dancing studio for people who would like to learn this fine art. Not only it’s pleasing to the eyes (when done right), it is so much fun & it is a great way to look great naked!

    I’m surprised that people would host baby shower at your shop. Are these customers from HK locally?

    All the best to your business, I would love to pay a visit next time I visit HK.

    Cheers,
    Cali

    • Stefanie
      May 17, 2014

      Hi Cali,

      Thank you for your compliment.

      I think many adult shops around the world tend to be somewhat scary looking and intimidating … kinda hard for ladies to ask a middle age rough looking man what they look for … we hear this kinda experience from many of our customers hence we want to provide a fun and relaxing shopping environment for ladies and couples.

      Yes you spotted it right! It’s a pole dancing pole. Sometimes we have theatrical lingerie show at the shop and we engage both models and Aerial Dancers (Pole, Hoop, Silk) to perform in our lingerie. We also have pole dancing performance as a surprise entertainment for private parties. You are so right about pole dancing, great fun and fantastic work out to tone up the body! There’re quite a few pole dancing studios in Hong Kong.

      The naughty baby shower is fun and gives the guests a non-traditional experience, reminds the ladies that all can be sexy mama! : )

      Thank you for your well wishes and hope to see you at Showtime on your next visit.

      Cheers,
      Stef

  6. Ray H
    September 20, 2014

    I’ll definitely be coming here with my girlfriend soon as we can 🙂

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