At Crave, we stand for two things above all else: empowering women to own their pleasure and great design. So with those principles in mind—and the help of Crave co-founder and designer Ti Chang—we’ve rounded up 10 awesome and unique gift ideas that your friends and significant others are sure to love. We've included a few Crave toys, of course, but we have no financial affiliation with any of the other brands or products featured here. We simply think they’re awesome!Read More
Facebook censorship. We’ve all seen it -- the controversies over images of women breastfeeding, classical art depicting nude figures, and breast cancer survivors, among others. We navigate this carefully on our CRAVE Facebook page to make sure we don’t run afoul of the ever-shifting boundaries, but I never imagined that my work at CRAVE would result in Facebook censoring a line of coat hooks I designed!
I have been an industrial designer my entire career. I received my undergrad in Industrial Design at Georgia Institute of Technology and my masters at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London in Design Products. I’ve honed my skills at large corporations working on consumer products and home accessories such as hair brushes for Goody, bicycles for Trek, and modern furniture and accessories exhibited at Milan and IMM cologne fair.
When I graduated from RCA, I exhibited my cheeky Knife Hooks (pictured above) at my final show. I’ve now sold these handmade coat hooks for a number of years through design sites such as Fab.com, ThinkGeek.com, TouchofModern.com, Bezar.com, and MikMak among others. I’ve since expanded the line to include Knife Magnets, and continue to manage this as a fun side project in parallel with my work at CRAVE. I set up my new DesignHustler site and Facebook page to promote my home decor line, and decided to purchase a Facebook ad to spread the word.
Imagine my surprise when I received the message pictured above.
Now I can’t imagine that Blake of Facebook really thinks these hooks and magnets are adult toys, which brings up issues I can’t comment on and that they should probably speak to trained professionals about. So it appears because of my day job designing elevated adult toys, I am being blacklisted by Facebook from ever promoting anything else I design -- even if it has nothing to do with adult toys. It is alarming that a powerful platform like Facebook would decide that because I design sex toys, I am not worthy to utilize their ads to promote anything else I design. These are coat hooks and fridge magnets, people. My Facebook DesignHustler page clearly articulates that is a “home decor” brand founded by yours truly and I share my bio as any designer would.
It is not uncommon for designers to work on a variety of products and projects -- should Facebook be able to decided that once a person has designed certain genres of products they can just be blacklisted from the marketplace?
With great power comes great responsibility. Come on, Facebook. You can do better.
Ti Chang is the co-founder and VP Design of CRAVE, and runs DesignHustler in her spare time.
People often ask what inspires me, and lately, I am thrilled to see fantastic women entrepreneurs who are making products in a way that contributes to making the world a better place (especially for women and girls!) Here are a few notables:Read More
When we launched our Vesper pre-order campaign, we heard a lot of people say how much it reminded them of the sort of pen necklace Joan Holloway wears in Mad Men. While it wasn't intended as a direct homage, it's true that pens — like jewelry and sex toys — are really personal and intimate objects that must be "just right" as we use them everyday.Read More
We’ve had a lot of media coverage for our Vesper Vibrator Necklace this month, with a range of reactions that makes it quite clear we’ve touched on something provocative. I want to give the Cravings community a bit of a behind the scenes peek into my thoughts about this product from an aesthetic, functional and emotional point of view, especially since Vesper is all about the interplay between our public and private selves.
As a friend of mine teasingly pointed out, “Ti, I think you’ve nailed it.” Personally as a designer, I am drawn to distilled and symbolic forms, forms that are simple to understand yet open for interpretations. In this case I arrived at the iconic look of a nail from several factors: material choice, technical constraints and the aesthetic I wanted to evoke. As a designer I do not start my process with a look in mind, but rather a holistic understanding of the product.
I deeply appreciate high-quality materials such as 316 stainless steel from a visual and tactile point of view. I chose this material for its longevity, visual purity and quality — it will not rust, tarnish or change color. It is also a material that is easy to clean, which makes it ideal for this application. Functionally, creating a rechargeable super slim compact vibrator that was both highly functional and could be worn unobtrusively was not an easy task. Luckily because we have engineering and advanced prototyping under our roof, we were able to innovate to employ both a high-strength motor and long-lasting battery in an extremely compact form factor.
Visually, Vesper's iconic shape will appeal to some more than others, as with any fashion object. The nail projects a balance of edgy and symbolic motifs that can be open to interpretation. To me, it is a traditionally masculine and raw symbol that I am reinventing as an elegant instrument of pleasure.
On a deeper level, I think masturbation has been taboo for women for too long and this is my way to publicly say it is okay in a fashionable way. That said, it’s an individual choice if you want to wear it publicly or not. Vesper is designed so that the chain is removable, so if you prefer to leave this by your bedside, you'll find it equally functional in private and public, with or without the chain.
We have our first batch of Vespers in production this week. We'll put them through our rigorous quality checks, charge them up, and get them shipped out very soon. Please feel free to drop a line to let us know what you think.
I read Casey Johnston’s recent Ars Technica article "Flowchart: How not to design a 'woman's' tech product" with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I agree completely with her core recommendations:
- Don't make it pink.
- Don't *just* make it pretty.
- Don't dumb it down.
If you’re familiar with our line of foreplay jewelry, you know we have a soft spot for adornments that blend beautiful design with a bit of hidden meaning or secret fun. The Passion Cuff Ring is not our design -- it’s the work of Swedish designer Efva Attling -- but it’s probably not hard to see why we love it.Read More