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#10 A sexologist’s journey to pioneer the erotic store world – Sabina Elvstam-Johns

Sabina Elvstam-Johns founder of started her first store in Copenhagen in 1998.  Sabina’s wish to make adult stores change from man focus to women focus, opened a complete new market. Today is a well-known brand with several stores.

In this Podcast Sabina describes her journey as women in the business world.


  • Started as a small erotic shop with unique products (00:04)
  • Opened the first shop with borrowed money and collaboration with a friend (01:24)
  • Investors approached them after media attention (02:30)
  • Facing cash flow problems initially, but slowly picked up (12:58)
  • Found it rewarding despite financial challenges due to the gratitude of customers (13:44)
  • Encourages sticking to a strong vision and belief in the idea to succeed (19:14)
  • Being women in the industry was an advantage as it carved a new market (21:03)
  • Feministic attitude helped stick to their focus and ways of doing things (22:29)
  • Being women also brought some disadvantages and prejudices (24:25)
  • Had to be authentic, open, and honest with employees to build trust (26:54)
  • Opened a second shop and faced challenges with managing employees (31:13)
  • Emphasized on addressing issues immediately and clear communication (34:43)
  • Starting up the third shop and facing challenges with finding reliable managers (31:55)
  • Traveling and exploring opportunities while running the business (28:21)
  • Considering opening a shop in Berlin or developing a mobile pop-up concept (37:45)
  • Looking towards healing arts and self-development projects (39:20)
  • Advises her 20-year-old self to stay close to loved ones and follow passions (41:49)

Interesting Quotes:

„Be ready to take risks, instead of taking a small space rent a big beautiful space”
„Dont be scared, if you don’t know everything”
„All beginnings are hard, just put the hard work in and stick with it”
„Have a partner you respect – hard times will come”
„Let your heart guide you, not just your mind”
„Stick to your vision, even when advice tell different”
„In Communication – If you feel that something is wrong act on it immediately”

Book Recommendations:

A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt