(Note: This story appears in the August 2023 issue of SE Magazine

In this interview, Charlette Lopez, Brand Manager of Viben Toys, outlines the company’s philosophies and details their latest line of products, Cheeky Charms.

Viben Toys, a Honey’s Place brand, is completely female-run and curated, according to Charlette Lopez, Brand Manager of Viben Toys. That’s why it’s so beautiful, it’s full of feminine energy. Talking women-supporting-women and what makes Cheeky Charms the perfect Viben addition, in this interview, Lopez shows what a true gem she is.

SE: What is your background in adult retail and marketing?

LOPEZ: I started in August of 2013 for Williams Trading. But when I walked into Williams Trading, I didn’t quite understand exactly what I was getting myself into. I do remember reading the job description. I’m a little bit of an off character, I guess you could say, and I was a natural operational manager. I remember thinking, “I could do this, it’s so easy.”

They had four stores between New Jersey and Maryland, and I managed them all for a while until I moved into the office to help with more mainstream stuff. Back then, it was very sexual health and wellness-focused, so we did a lot of pushes to major magazines and doctor’s offices to see if there were marketing levers there. I then worked for some time for Cloud Nine, their private label brand, before I moved out of the company entirely, in September of 2019, to work for NS Novelties as a Sales Representative in Los Angeles. I technically worked in International Sales for them, but COVID happened within a month of me getting there, so our international sales weren’t exactly a solid market.

SE: And then how did you get involved with Viben?

LOPEZ: My relationship with the team at Honey’s Place started when I helped to launch Cloud Nine. They were customers and trusted friends within the industry, which was important for me, especially coming as a woman. Bonnie [Feingold] wanted her own line and she needed some help bringing it to market. They had a lot of products already started. The line was there, we just needed to push it forward and get it into market, essentially. That’s what I’ve done. I just celebrated my three-year anniversary with them..

SE: Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?

LOPEZ: No [laughs].

SE: It’s something you fell into? 

LOPEZ: Manufacturing makes me happy because there are so many moving parts and you’re able to create in this space. I think sales are fun, but they just don’t blow my skirt up as much as creating and piloting and solutions. That’s the tits. That’s what makes me so happy. In sales, it’s fun to go in, and say, “Hey, here’s another vibrator.” But when I can say I made it, that’s a totally different ballgame. 

SE: So what is your end goal. as far as your career?

LOPEZ: To be honest, I look at somebody like Susan Colvin. I want to be the person that they go to for toys, like I want to be “Manufacturing Maven.” I love that in the making of toys, there really are only three or four of us: me, Autumn O’Bryan and Susan Colvin, and they’re the most incredible role models. I hope I can engage those coming up in the industry with all that I’ve done. I want to be a role model, like Susan, especially, has been for me.

SE: We love to hear that, women inspiring women. And Viben is all female-run, correct? 

LOPEZ: 100%. We say, “Female-run and curated.”

SE: How many SKUs do you have at Viben? And how many of those did you have your hand in?

LOPEZ: We are 47 SKUs as of right now, and I’ve helped with at least 31 of them. The original release for Viben was 13 SKUs, so I came up with the concept and Bonnie supported me in it for the Cheeky Charms line from Viben, which is 20 SKUs, and then we just added another 10 to it at the last release.

SE: Tell us more about Cheeky Charms!

LOPEZ: There are a couple of reasons why we did Cheeky Charms. Viben is a collection of silicone rechargeable waterproof vibrators, a very female-friendly line. We wanted a complementary line which would help stores to actually sell more of the Viben toys, something that made sense, and anal play was an obvious choice, because everybody’s doing it. Everybody has a butt hole. And then, too, it was the price point, to be honest. Viben is a little bit more than $30 average wholesale, whereas for Cheeky Charms, the wholesale average might be like seven bucks. It’s a low price point, which is good for customers.

So from a boutique point of view, I wanted an introductory level butt plug that complemented our Viben toys in sales. All of the colors that we have in our butt plugs from Cheeky Charms match the Viben products. Now customers can pick up their wands in very beautiful packaging and add the corresponding Cheeky Charms that are reminiscent of the feel of Viben.

A butt plug is a butt plug, and I always tell customers: “Listen, I’m not pretending that I reinvented the wheel. What we have is very beautiful, thought-out packaging, with a very beautiful and very good product within that packaging, so it’s a nice and easy sale.”

However, there were no really good vibrating plugs out there, believe it or not, before ours. And the bottom of our butt plug is an actual jewel, which you won’t see. It’s a jeweled vibrating plug with a rechargeable waterproof remote, which is something else you will not see. We designed that 100%. And then we put it out in really beautiful colors: a purple, a hot pink, a beautiful red and then a black, gunmetal kind of color. They’re unique and they’re so beautiful. I’m so proud of them actually.

SE: You keep saying “beautiful.” How would you describe the overall aesthetic of the brand? 

LOPEZ: That is the brand. I mean, we’re women, right? It’s a high-functioning, elegant, beautiful brand. And I’m the function person — I want to make sure the toy delivers everything that it’s supposed to. I want to make sure it’s quality; I want to make sure it’s good. We want to make sure it’s pretty, because at the end of the day, eyeballs tend to spend the most money, but then, you’ll be happy to know that it works when you get home. So you get this high-end toy in a beautiful package at a decent price. 

And when you see the packaging — the Cheeky Charm packaging alone is quite gorgeous. It’s a foil, so it actually is a hologram, which changes color a bit when you walk past it, and it’s an iridescent. Also, it’s stamped, so it pops. It looks incredible. And then the Viben packaging has a finish on the outside of it, which gives it a textured feel almost like art.

“I mean, we’re women, right? It’s a high-functioning, elegant, beautiful brand. And I’m the function person — I want to make sure the toy delivers everything that it’s supposed to.”


– Charlette LOPEZ, Brand Manager of Viben Toys 

SE: And how do you market that?

LOPEZ: Bonnie says that “Viben” evokes movement, that’s why she picked it. We’re a fun brand. We say, “We want to bring fun to the bedroom” and for people to “Feel the vibe.”

SE: What is Viben best known for and how have you contributed to that brand recognition?

LOPEZ: Viben is a luxury boutique brand, but I’ve made sure that we are completely price competitive, because I have a great appreciation for my customers.

You and I get these toys and we throw them around, right? We have so many we would give them away if we could. But if you go into a store, they’re $110. How many hours does the average American have to work to obtain one of my wands? A good seven hours. I’m not trying to bottom dollar. I want a customer to know that I appreciate that they spent that money with me. I always say that if it’s not good, I’m not doing it. I won’t put shit out. It’s important to me that we’re known for our great product, amazing packaging and customer service, but I think all of that translates to an appreciation for our customer. That is what I want to be known for, overall: providing the all-time best experience for our customers. 

SE: Do you distribute with anyone other than Honey’s Place? Or is that exclusive?

LOPEZ: Williams Trading is our partner, and they’re the best. That’s really where I grew up, too, so they’re like my family. I will always call the Pines my industry family. Bob Pines Jr. is my dysfunctional coach. I love that man.

SE: And where do you see Viben going?

LOPEZ: I want Viben to be in every store. I want it to be a brand that is just recognizable, 100 miles away. I want Viben to be the house name. I’ll know I’m hashtag winning if somebody uses our name like they use Hitachi Wand. I want that mainstream recognition, like what Dame has — that would be super dope sauce. Wouldn’t that be Christmas? Like, if you saw us at Walmart?

SE: Tell me a little bit more about how closely you work with Bonnie Feingold.

Editor’s Note: Bonnie Feingold, Chief Executive Officer & President of Honey’s Place, was recently presented with SE’s 2023 Businesswoman of the Year Award!

LOPEZ: I try to provide Bonnie her dream. That’s what I’m here to do is deliver to her. We work very closely together, like every day. Everything goes through Bonnie’s approval.

SE: Finally, what’s something you want our readers to know about Viben?

LOPEZ: I just want people to know that we’re here to support our fellows, and we’re going to have fun and exciting things coming out in the next year. Teaser alert: Look for new releases in September!

For more information, visit VibenToys.com.