At the upscale San Ignacio mall in central Caracas, Venezuela, the only sight less likely than a sex shop is a sex shop with a mezuzah on the doorpost. But TuTiendaSexy — “your sexy store” — has found success by defying expectations.
Founded by a trio of 20-something Jewish-educated college buddies, the brand now encompasses wholesale distribution, retail locations in three Latin American countries, and a burgeoning online business. A new offshoot, TuTiendaVIP, offers bachelorette party planning, pole-dance clases, “seduction courses” and strippers.
Unlike its lurkier local counterparts, the brand injects humor – and uninhibited enthusiasm – into its site and stores. Now, as TuTiendaSexy plans a U.S. debut, Argentinean-born founder Gabriel Noe, 30, talked to the Forward about why sex still sells – and about those mezuzahs.
MICHAEL KAMINER: Jews have had a long involvement in sex-related industries, from adult films to sex toys. Why do you think that’s the case?
GABRIEL NOE: It’s as simple as this: Sex sells. The market of sexual wellness products is almost $15 billion annually, not to mention the market size of adult entertainment. Basically, it is an excellent business and is known as Jews we like to endeavor in “good deals “