Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We Won and our 30th Anniversary.

Recently we won our fight against the City of Toronto. What a waste of money from Councillor Peter Milczyn who put the city in this wasteful spending mode. What a farce. This was about land development not what I sell and the Bi-Law. Why would a land developer show up at the OMB hearing, when this is suppose to be about what I sell. Shame on the Councilor. We improve family life by creating a healthy way of looking at sex and romance. He didn't do his homework and didn't even know what kind of store I am. He should simply resign based on what he did to the city and me,  as I run a clean store for good fun loving people who work hard and are very professional.

The issue is if Peter was so interested in cleaning up the Queensway, why didn't he get rid of the Massage business that everyone seems to know are fronts for Prostitution. Milczyn, even said we have a problem when you have a Tanning salon and you have 4 black guys waiting for a booth. Yes, he actually said this to my lawyer and myself. Every thing seemed fixed, but lucky we have the Ontario Superior Court which is really fair, its just too bad we had to spend so much money to get there.

Anyway, its done, we have to move on and renovate the store.

Well we opened in Brampton in 1983 and I was a young puppy. Now the store is still open and its been 30 years. Since that one store we have done many things.

11 stores and one wicked website

Wholesale business for Canadian customers located in a 41,000 square foot distribution center, also in Brampton

Product development marketing departments within this distribution center

Manufacturing in Shenzhen, China. Providing work for over 150 people.

Creating international brands. Swan, Leaf, Lux for Men, PowerBullet.

Selling internationally to customers in the following countries: China, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Australia, European Union, Russia, The United Kingdom, and South Africa.

I would say this is something to be proud of.

Party on Saturday July 6 in Brampton. Come and see our original store that started it all! Amazing surprise sale so you can save some big $$$, plus few draws worth 100s of dollars. Even the Mayor is making an appearance.








Friday, December 28, 2012

Xmas is Over...

Well Xmas has passed and things are quiet at head office, but in the stores, we are busy. Yes, AWN continues to rock even past Xmas. Why not people have a lot of free time.

Considering last years winter was so easy, this one isn't too bad for Toronto. So far this year, one snowfall and by the end of the day, everything was under control. No big deal. Montreal however received up to 45cm of snow. Now that is crazy.

Tiffany's
Anyway, just went to Yorkdale Shopping shortly before Xmas and wow, what a great shopping center. The best window display was Tiffany as shown on the left. What a beautiful simple display that was extremely hard to do. I'm a fan of this kind of thing.

I must say the Bay is amazing in there. Totally a new Bay with nice name brands and different ones. A pleasure to shop.
Congratulations Bonnie Brooks, great job. I'm a fan.

Its not just the Bay that is great, so many others, have beautiful stores in Yorkdale. The new section is  so well designed, with interesting stores. A nice welcome. This makes Yorkdale like Yorkville of the burbs.

January means another show in LA and we will be featuring the New Ultimate Personal Shaver. This won't be available until March/April, but the wait will be worth it.

Nobody takes a much care as we do in making such a product. We must perfect it and then we release it, for now we are taking preorders. Its not easy to make a good shaver, especially where this one shaves.

New Printer

Well we are happy to tell you that we have acquired a new printer. Its a flat bed printer and roll to roll, meaning posters are a dream, so will POP displays. 

So if anyone needs any printing done, BMS printing just started. This is printer is the best in the world and I'm proud to say it is made in Canada. Most of it is. This was a great selling feature. Below to the right is how it came to our offices. We looked at so many flat bead printers, but this one is far the best we have ever 
The Oce Technician opens our Xmas Gift!
seen. I mean the quality was so amazing and it can
print on anything.....almost and up to 2 inches high.
Training






Sunday, December 16, 2012


How to buy the right sex toy...

This is our busiest time of the year. I'd like to take this time to wish all my readers of my Blog a Merry Christmas, all 3 of them.  Stores are stocked really well, now it's crazy time.

Well we have a new DM and his name is Mark. What a nice person and very well-spoken. He gets it and most of all what a great retailer!

Recently he just completed a revamp of our Pickering store.  He completely re-merchandised the entire store. It looks fabulous. Mark is making sure every one of his stores is the same way as a good retailer should. Also, he is ensuring every one of our sales associates loves the AWN experience and what we represent. Simply put, AWN is a fun place to shop and an amazing place to work.

One of the things we try to instill in our sales associates is sell what the customer needs, not what you want to sell them. Sure we have promotions and try to push certain products that we feel are really great, but at the end of the day, that customer must feel and we must feel that we sold them the right product. Nothing is above that. We all must listen to the customer and when the customer doesnt know, we take over and we ask the right questions. Not too personal, but just the right questions as to not embarrass them.

Most likely youre reading this blog on line and you might see another article to help you, our customers, select the right toy. What to really look for. I thought one day, that customers come to AWN for this knowledge, we need to help them more on line. It is a tough decision for most. Ok for me this stuff is a no brainer as I live and breathe it every day. This is from a guy who has been selling vibrators for 30 years, has 10 stores, Canada's largest wholesale operation, and operating a factory in China. It is my life folks.  So let me share a touch of my vibrating wisdom. A lot of reviewers out there really just want to get a few free toys. Im telling you the real important stuff, so you can make the right decision.

1.    Aesthetically Pleasing: a toy has to look good to you, just like a mobile phone does when you hold it in your hand. After all, it will be one of your best friends! Its not the most important however, but you have to love it.
2.    Silicone: silicone is a beautiful, and a totally safe material. Always make sure the product is made with this material.
3.    Rechargeable: batteries are fine if you are on a limited budget. For years this was how all toys were made of but today, rechargeable I'd the way to go. These Lithium ion and polymer batteries found in todays toys are really good and provide long lasting power.
4.    Seams: this is something most people overlook. You shouldn't and here is why. Many manufacturers do what I call "decorating" their products. They will put a silver shiny band around their products to make them look good, but after you have this toy for a little while and if you don't clean this particular part well, guess what - yuck. Seams trap dirt and bacteria. Look for a smooth surface and one that is seamless. It's a pleasure to clean.
5.    Power: really try to feel the power before you buy it. A few manufacturers make products that look good but its hard to believe they forget power. If you're buying on-line, buy a product that is powered by PowerBullet, as it will knock your socks off...which by the way, shouldn't be on anyway.
6.    Vibration: the kind of vibration now is important. Years ago this wasn't an issue. Give them anything and it will sell. Now a particular deeper frequency works better than high. PowerBullet products for the most part have achieved this.

Now to be honest with you, I have achieved all of this in our line of products called Vanity and SWAN (Vanity outside North America), Leaf and Lux for Men. Yes, this little Canadian company simply makes the best and safest products on the Planet. Now the other company making excellent quality is the We-Vibe from Standard innovation. They too have achieved this kind of quality outlined above. This is a couple’s vibrator and between the two of us, Canadians are proud exporters to the world. We are proud!


I am sitting on a flight once again on my way home from Hong Kong. First Im flying to Tokyo first. This was an emergency trip as I'm making a large quantity of a specific toy for a specific customer. It was the order Ive dreamed about all my life and the biggest wholesale order ever since being manufacturing. My customer wants it tomorrow and this is a new supplier and they are really slow. So before I flew, I took a whip with me and made things happen in China. The good thing is the product is good.   

Our New Printer
Océ is a Canadian manufacture of flatbed printers and more. These kinds of printers are amazing and, I decided that I was tired of outsourcing my wide-format printing jobs. So one day a few months ago, my guys from the office and I went to a print show near the airport in Toronto. It was a sign show. Well I was a kid in a candy store. First I saw all the possibilities these kinds of machines can do. Agfa was our first choice. Upon investigating closer, I looked at China, they make tons of them there, but availability of parts/service was scary, however the prices were delicious. But we went to one more show and we made our decision with Océ. Aren't We Naughty printing just started...The point is the quality was stunning and its Canadian made.  It arrives December 18 and is a Xmas Present to ourselves.  A flatbed printer can print any almost anything. It is just so cool and is a marketers dream.

So soon our stores will have all updated posters, banners, you name it.  Also we now can brand better. BMS Factory our sister company who makes Swan, Leaf and Lux will have more support material available to them for when we ship our products worldwide. Best of all, all our local customers can get posters for free and really high quality for in store or window promotions. The sun doesnt bother these inks.

Well I'm close to Tokyo now and have a two hour layover which is nothing and arrive in Toronto, around 2:30. What a great time. Well I've started the decent into Tokyo, have to go.

Merry Christmas

Steve Bannister
Head Honcho,










Sunday, July 08, 2012

What a Great Month.

Aren't We Naughty just had a super month. We were up over 14% as a whole company, and in retail is is huge.

To all my readers, did  you know our sister company BMS Factory now is a world leading manufacturing company in Sex Toys and has won 5 outstanding awards, including Sex Toy Company of the Year. Our brands Swan, Leaf and sister brand Vanity, have won awards on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. These toys are simply the safest and have the most play area of anything around today. They are vibrators in the purest form. Also we just launched Lux a new product line for men.


Next week we are off to Los Angeles for our show of the year, ANME, which stands for Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo. We will be showing a few cool things. Leaf once again, Lux, and Emotion. There are some really good products at this show and great people. We have a great time. Its a place to talk to buyers and show them your stuff.


Two days ago we went to a very special golf course call Bigwin Island. Take a boat over and play golf in heaven. Love it. If you love golf, this is a must. We used my friends motor home for 8 guys.

The allure of Muskoka is wonderful. I was melting at the lake and how peaceful it made me feel. Golf sometimes makes me frustrated and this could never make me frustrated.

Sometimes its good to visit the the trees and get close to nature. I guess I'm due for a fishing trip.


Also the Ultimate Personal Shaver update is coming out in October all redesigned. We are so excited. It is now in testing stage and the reviews are wonderful. Stay tuned. I'm so proud of our design and it works really well.

Steve




Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SWAN Vibrators Win Top Industry Awards


Well it's been a while that's for sure. My life has been a bit of a blur in the past few months. Let me recap what has been going on.

First of all, let's go back to October when BMS factory, a division of Aren't We Naughty, won best product line at the Hanover Germany Sex Show for its next generation product line titled "SWAN". This is the highest award anyone can achieve who produces adult toys. All of us at BMS where proud, yet at the same time, we knew we had simply the most awesome product line on the planet.  I have enough experience to know this and strongly believe in it.

SWAN (Vanity in Canada and USA) is a pure vibrator with pure power. That is how I see it. Swan for reference sake is the same product as Vanity by Jopen. It's not decorated to look glamorous with silver ring around it. It's designed for use and cleanliness. Those who know their toys see it as a glamorous product anyway. The way a vibrator should be built.


Next the Xbiz awards in LA in January 2012. This is host to the Novelty and Porn awards under one roof. What a night this was. Since SWAN is sold under the brand name Vanity in USA, Vanity won "Best Luxury Line". We have to share this award with our distributor. An awesome award for both of us! Then as a bigger surprise for us, we won Sex Toy Company of the Year. This is the highest award and I'm still thrilled we were picked.

Now I'm on my way back to Toronto from Australia and China. In Australia BMS just received Best Environmental award for LEAF.  That is 4 awards!
Speaking of LEAF, we have a great promotion.
If you buy any LEAF product, you'll receive a free towel. These are 70% cotton and 30% bamboo and originally an Alfred Sung brand. It a great promotion of considerable value and is on while supplies last. If you are a retailer reading this, I have good news. We have basically finalized our display for LEAF and it will go into production in early May. It is simply gorgeous if I say so myself. Check it out to the left here.

 think I've spent equal time in China as in Canada in the past 6 months. I am presently on the plane from Vancouver to Toronto. I just drifted off on the runway before the plane took off. Don't know how long I was out. Anyway, I'm amazed at Vancouver airport. Automatic Canada Customs machines, a dream come true! It scans the card you filled out. Then you take the card to a customs guy who asked me a simple question about reselling, and then I was done. Personally I think it is a great system. This is the most beautiful airport in the world. Bar none. We should be proud as Canadians. 

In Australia I had to do my presentation and I knocked them dead. I remember one retailer coming to me and saying she had goose bumps listening to me talk about SWAN and checks our site frequently. That was when I really knew, our SWAN brand is getting some legs. What really stunned the crowd was a video showing our newest SWAN products created in house. Almost had a standing ovation after it finished. I had a ton of confidence during this presentation and reinforced the SWAN brand over and over. It was a wonderful feeling to feel the crowd.

Brisbane is beautiful and as usual, I take my staff (Kim and Jane) on a one day adventure to sightsee. I just simply can't be all work. I want them to have fun! How can you take someone so far and not have a little enjoyment, especially being in Australia. The Gold Coast is stunning, with Surfers Paradise and some of the best beaches in the world. We drove most of the morning stopping and checking out beaches. Our first stop was at a pancake house for breakfast that didn't serve toast! I was devastated! Near the end of the day took my girls to a bird sanctuary where they were hugging Koala bears and feeding Kangaroos. I was touched when  Jane from China simply said, "I have seen so much today, that if I died tomorrow, it would be peaceful". Statements like this make it all worthwhile. The pink photo above is our three new Swan (Vanity products).

Aren't We Naughty as opened on 1100 The Queensway!!! I've always felt that I wanted this location. I overpaid, but this has a nice future. We have some issues with the city that is public news now, but we hope to resolve them. If they would simply understand who my customer really is, which 70% women and couples. I will be part of the clean-up of the Queensway. Presently this store isn't our look, so stay tuned. Please support your right to have a store there. Write Peter Milczyn tell him your rights as a citizen are violated. You know he only won on a recount. He is so misinformed about our store. One man shouldnt dictate what happens there. Nobody really cares accept him to be honest. I feel he is way out of touch. Next door to me on the Queensway I have people lining up there in the morning for their booze fix. Nobody is lining up for my store to open to get a sexual fix. Amazing how my LCBO neighbor exists so peacefully.
Back in early February, Pickering grand reopening was an amazing success. The store is one of the first to incorporate all LED lighting in a whopping 7000 square feet. The Deputy Mayor of Pickering showed up giving full support of our store concept and even cut the ribbon
 Shortly, Im back to China for a week of work and then to meet my buddies for some rest and relaxation. Had my first golf game this week and it was fun. Its the same four guys for about 10 years now. I love these guys.

Before I go I want to mention www.Luxformen.com , its in stock now at AWN. Enjoy guys, this one is for you.  Next stop, LA, July, we show LUX and Leaf again.

Now it is June 12 and I'm finally home and rested.  Its hard to manage a blog. I'm getting worse. Anyway, Lux is here! It is awesome. Luxformen.com Website is being worked on. The product is amazing.
























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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Big Show

Next week is the Big Adult Toy show in Los Angeles. Its the biggest show of the year for the North American market.

We will be debuting LEAF and LUX at the same time and they are different than anything around. LUX is for the man with products marketing in a box similar to a cigar box. Surely will be a hit.

LEAF is a different direction for us in marketing. We are using people in advertisements so more mainstream. Using a model to relate more to life is new for us. LEAF is a brand that has amazing feel and environmentally friendly, people looking natural elevates this experience and can relate better to the product.

I'm really proud that LEAF is a combination of efforts of all of us here in Canada. From marketing, to design, we are all one proud TEAM.

Recognition and special thanks goes to Geoff in Graphics, who designed our first advertisement as seen above and inspired us all to make this LEAF line.

We couldn't produce these lines without the help of some other dedicated employees as well. Starting with Alex and his renderings, Maggie for her dedication, Sean and Serge for their literary and web expertise. Jane for the photo shoot. Thank you all for making this project complete. Its the first project where I felt so many people played a part which makes me so proud. The last team I need to thank are the DM's (district managers) at Aren't We Naughty for the approval of the designs. They loved what we did and also inspired us. Roberta, Stephanie, Tracy and Kathy all took part in the design selection. They are the pros!

Below is our booth for next week. Its very clean and makes a statement. This is the best marketing we have ever done. It pays to travel and keep your eyes open in airports in those duty free shops as to what the big guys are doing, meaning the larger brands.

This is so much fun!

All LEAF and LUX products are powered by PowerBullet.

Steve

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Australia 2011 SWAN and Vanity by Jopen

Well ever since China cut off access to my blog, I haven't been the best in updating it. Better late than never. Yes, I took that shot of the birds...

This trip was my longest ever. True, I didn't work everyday I'll admit that. If I worked for someone else, everyday would have to be productive. Not for this guy! I always take a few days off and check out Shanghai. It's 23 million people (just released census results) seem evenly spread out. That is about 3 New York cities stuffed in there! To me, Shanghai is a marvel of architecture. I walk around with my head up and stare as there is always something to see. Walking there is my favourite thing to do. Here in Canada, I only walk on the Golf Course, and to the fridge. In recent years since the Olympics and Expo 2010, the air quality is brutal. I used to think that's it's just a foggy day, no its down right pollution. I can't believe it's so bad. Now I can't even stare out the window as there's nothing to look at! On the ground it's not as noticeable, but it is on floor 43!

This trip was about the release of SWAN in Australia and you can see my booth above. One year later after my prototype release last year when they voted me "Star of the Show". Now we showed up with a slick booth, and a full product line the same as Vanity, but only in pink.

I brought with me two well deserved employees who are dedicated to serving the cause! Kim, from Canada, and Jane from China were great help in the booth, and I'll let you figure out who is who! I'm glad I brought them both. Kim especially with her retail knowledge brought much needed insight when speaking to fellow retailers about SWAN and how to sell it! Jane brought answers from the factory side and she even learned how retailers appreciate SWAN, something I didn't think about until it happened. Also it was Jane's first trip outside China. Chinese people do not get to travel as visas are so difficult to get, so BMS had an huge impact on these two girls lives, all because of SWAN!

It doesn't end there either, LEAF Debuts in July, and soon, two other new technologies will find there way into products compliments of BMS Factory. Our products and image impressed so much, that our competitors want to be a part of our growth and approached us. They rejected our advances in the past, SWAN blew them away and they want to use our technology in their products. All is working to plan.

Speaking to 150 people wasn't as bad as I thought. I simply told the SWAN story and why is our product so superior which is Power and our Structure! I found 7 key points which will be on the website soon. When the audience saw the seven points, they were wowed. I told them the truth, I reinvented the vibrator as we know it. There is no more handle folks! Hello! That's 67% more play area and two motors. Kim even conducted training seminars on how to sell SWAN. She is so proud and I was so proud of my team! All three of us kept banging our heads to the fact we were in Australia. The first day we drove along the Great Ocean Road, which is one if not the greatest drives, and the last day I arranged our customers asked me if we wanted to see their stores and see some wild Kangaroos! That was the best!

After Australia, we were in China, I brought Kim to the Factory where she saw our workers, which by the way have gone from 60 a year ago, to 200+ now. She was so surprised what effort of grinding went into our plastic seamless products and how much work goes into producing each Vanity product. She left with her jaw opened. Each Vanity and SWAN product is handcrafted, one at a time as you can see above!

The factory is so backed up, we are two weeks late shipping to our only second customer for SWAN. Third in next month and it continues on.

If it ever stops raining I might play golf again. Now I'm home and everything is getting better in the sleep department. This time was bad, I was averaging 4 hours a night for a few nights. Then Saturday would come along and I didn't move. The new Lumpy. Now I'm better and good to go and energy is back.

I'm proud to announce a new General Manager at AWN. He is very knowledgeable,and has introduced nice things to the business. Kevin is welcomed by all at AWN.

So I'm back in China in August and and in November which also includes a trip to Melbourne Australia to help with Sexpo. That is exciting.

Somebody smack me hard. Is this real? Life just keeps getting better and the good thing is, I don't take it for granted. I'm loving every second of this success.

If there is one employee I have thank is the Doctor. She worked for 6 months as part of or agreement at first in my China office and was good, and she would have worked for me forever. She loved the job. I kept my word and sent her off in pursuit of her medical career in Medicine. Now I'm so proud to say she is Married and Pregnant and lives in USA. I could have been selfish and keep her as she was actually great in her administrative duties and really good in sales. Congrats Doc, we are so proud and miss you.

Now this is cool and took this while going for a walk in Shanghai. AWESOME