(Note: This story appears in the August 2022 issue of Storerotica Magazine)
The boutique company is conquering the industry with thought-provoking, empowering products.
The Palace of Versailles, located outside Paris, is one of the most renowned pieces of architecture in the world. Although the residence was technically started by Louis XIII, it was Louis XIV that went about turning it into a resplendent spectacle.
If it’s up to Peter Ovsonka, his own Versailles will also become legendary. Ovsonka is the president/CEO of ZALO USA, a brand — among which is the Versailles Series — whose “lineup of products empowers pleasure for users that exploring desires on their own,” he says.
STOREROTICA Magazine spoke with Ovsonka about the brand, its meticulously curated product range and what’s on the horizon, and the relief of regaling with the industry at the July 2022 ANME Show.
SE: What would you like readers (retailers) to know about ZALO?
OVSONKA: ZALO brand products are sensual, full of artistic design, and meant to be thought-provoking. We want ZALO to give satisfaction from a psychological standpoint, helping end users to evolve into seeing that pleasure products have so many valuable daily benefits.
Most of ZALO’s customers are women who seek pleasure and men who want to see their partner get their pleasure needs met. We offer a wide selection of items that can also be enjoyed during partnered play, empowering couples on their journey to better intimacy. We’ve adopted all the latest technologies — from our new app-controlled devices to product functions such as heating, thrusting and more.
Every brand in this industry has its own strength and collectively, I hope we can push the entire market so that everyone can prioritize pleasure and have the resources that help them get their needs met. ZALO is grateful to be able to fulfill the needs of a wide range of consumers and to fulfill retailers’ needs for a line that elegantly combines luxury and accessibility with a range of price points that fit many budgets.
I think what makes ZALO stand out the most are our aesthetics. We aim to offer the sleekest designs, available in beautiful, rich shades that are unique and stand out to consumers. We offer a range of themed collections that are inspired by timeless eras and ancient royalty, including our growing Legend Series of pleasure products with Egyptian- themed accents, and the Versailles Series that features gold plating on its exquisite detailing. Although we have different series based on different themes, the romantic beauty that ZALO exudes is consistent with all of our products and that will not ever change. We want that beauty to be felt by our customers who will then feel desired and empowered using our products. This is the mark of ZALO.
SE: What product (either to be released or already available) in ZALO’s portfolio are you most excited about?
OVSONKA: After a long and exciting development process, we’ve made a brand new ZALO pleasure product based on an entirely new concept: an app-controlled wearable vibrator called Aya.
We believe Aya exemplifies exactly what customers are seeking today by delivering on quality and value. Retailing for $99, Aya is like two toys in one, plus it can be controlled easily from within the same room using the included silicone-encased remote control or from afar with the ZALO Remote App. There are endless pleasurable possibilities with Aya, and today’s customers are looking for that instant satisfaction they’re used to getting from their technology.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, consumers have evolved to become a lot more adventurous in the bedroom and panty vibes are trending just as much as app-controlled toys, so Aya couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. Aya can be perfect for any occasion and with its affordable price, consumers can feel confident in making this value-packed purchase.
SE: What product(s) does ZALO have in the works?
OVSONKA: We are excited to announce that Bess 2.0 is in the works. It is the second edition of our popular clitoral massager that comes included with multiple attachments for customized pleasure. For our 2.0 version, we have updated the packaging to now include windows on the front that offer a direct view of the product. We believe that having this feature on our packaging encourages shoppers by allowing them to better make an informed decision before purchasing our products. Bess 2.0 also ventures into the anal category with a feature for backdoor stimulation that we can’t wait to unveil. As I noted previously, consumers are exploring their pleasure like never before and anal play is increasingly becoming destigmatized as more couples start to explore it together. We think Bess 2.0 will also be incredibly well received due to its excellent value that incorporates multiple pieces for a consumer-friendly price.
SE: With ANME on the horizon (in the rearview when this story comes out), can you talk about how good/relieving it is to have the industry come together again?
OVSONKA: We at ZALO couldn’t be more excited to have gathered once again in person at
ANME. As much as we are grateful to have stayed connected virtually with our colleagues and clientele during the pandemic, there is nothing like being able to make eye contact in person and to really make the genuine connections that are most effectively made in person. We are glad we were finally able to physically put our products in the hands of our retail customers after two long years! In-person gatherings like these are productive in so many ways — it’s not just about the sales, but talking to retailers is a great way for manufacturers to learn how to best support stores so they offer the best variety to their shoppers.
“Although we have different series based on different themes, the romantic beauty that ZALO exudes is consistent with all of our products and that will not ever change. We want that beauty to be felt by our customers who will then feel desired and empowered using our products.” — Peter Ovsonka
SE: How is ZALO evolving with the times — put another way, it seems adult retail is becoming increasingly popular, in part due to a heightened awareness with health/ wellness, so how is ZALO dealing with that newfound demand?
OVSONKA: We see the sex toy market evolving to focus less on gender and more on pleasure, which has led to a greater demand from more consumers that are finally being catered to. I’m happy to see the industry is evolving to ensure anyone who has desire for pleasure can have their needs met. ZALO is always aiming to provide the best products available that can be enjoyed by all consumers. Our products are designed to offer customized pleasure with additional accessories included with some of our items so they can be used anywhere on the body that one feels the most stimulation. Through our goals of breaking new ground with innovative design and tech, we hope we are catering to the newfound demand by helping them see the seemingly endless possibilities when it comes to pleasure.
We welcome the growing demand for pleasure products and will continue to serve new customers with our products that are carefully crafted with a lot of attention to detail. We want every customer to be satisfied and proud of their purchase so that they can spread the word and we can continue to grow as an industry. Our retailers can be confident in offering our products because we are dedicated to this growth and it’s evidently paying off for all of us in this marketplace.
SE: ZALO won an SE Award for its packaging previously — can you talk about how conscientious the company is about packaging? What does good packaging do for your products?
OVSONKA: We are as dedicated to designing unique, elegant packaging to match the quality and thoughtfulness behind each one of our products. We believe that the box your products comes in is just as important as the toy itself. We take a lot of pride in our product packaging and are so proud to have received that recognition at the SE Awards. ZALO packaging is what tells the story behind our collections, and we believe our packaging must be effective in conveying the quality of the product that it holds. Our Legend Series packaging features detailed hieroglyphics with imagery of lotuses, pharaohs, and other Egyptian imagery in beautiful gold embossing all over sleek black boxes. Our packaging also features windows to offer a clear, direct view of the product itself. Our Versailles collection is also a consumer favorite as it comes in gift boxes with a timeless floral design that are inspired by the luxury and opulence of Marie Antoinette. We kept it simple with our Rose Series, that comes in stylish white boxes with minimal gold detail. Our packaging is highly giftable for recipients with all kinds of taste in toys.
Since packaging is the first part of the product that a consumer encounters, we put a lot of focus on making it appealing for consumers. We want our packaging to capture shoppers’ attention as soon as they see it on the store shelf, and we want them to feel encouraged to pick it up and make it their choice as a gift for a loved one or themselves.