Boss Woman: Rea, Perlesque

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What is your company?

Perlesque

Where did the name come from?

An amalgamation of lots of things; we wanted something that sounded feminine and unique and not overtly sexual, but was still a little different. We always liked the idea of having a play on ‘pearl’ as it is often sexualised as being the hidden treasure, much like the female anatomy.

How did it start?

Perlesque came about from a personal need to revive a dying relationship and not being able to find anything I wanted to buy without having to blow a stupid amount of cash. There was an obvious gap in the market for sex toys that were high quality and aesthetically pleasing without the huge price tag, so we went for it.

What gave you the drive to do it?

I feel passionate about normalising ‘sex’ and ‘pleasure’, so I wanted to create a safe place for both women and men to explore something new that perhaps before there had been stigma around. I wanted to create a shopping experience that was similar to other experiences in our consumers lives.

What do you love about having your own business?

Having the ability to create something special and seeing the difference you can make to people through your own passion. Also being flexible with my hours, meaning I am mostly available to do every school pick-up, dinner, homework, bath and bedtime, is priceless.

And what do you not like so much?

It can get lonely at times — working from home at the kitchen table requires a lot of motivation, but I am a keen list maker and that keeps me motivated! I love the feeling of giving myself ticks as the day goes on (haha).

What's the most surprising reaction you've had to someone finding out you own your own business?

Most people think I am joking when I tell them I run a sex toy company — it is often followed by ’No, but really what do you do?’... I have to keep it fairly quiet at the school gates though.

What’s one thing that would make your life easier?

An IT guy!

What’s your message to other people thinking to take the leap and start their own brand?

Do it. But prepared for the extreme highs and lows, and it takes hard work and continual attention to everything. I would also recommend continuing learning — never stop doing your research and evolving in your thinking as it’s important to have a fluid attitude to things and be prepared to change from your original plan.

What quote sums up your experience?

Stay committed to your decisions, but flexible in your approach.

What’s your favourite stationary?

Muji all the way!

What do you listen to while you work?

Mixcloud — live sets from dance events keep me very motivated and energised!

Do you drink coffee or tea or something more hipster?

Diet Coke and water for me - then wine at 6pm!

What’s next to your computer?

Diet Coke!

What’s exciting you at work at the moment?

We have so much going on; new products in development is probably the most exciting, then we’ve got some really cool collabs too!

How do you switch off?

By spending time with my daughter, aforementioned glass of wine and a good book!


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Bex Gillam