San Francisco is a hotbed for technology. But technology is sizzling at CRAVE, a luxury pleasure start-up assembling sensual products for women in SOMA. Led by two product designers combining smart design with quality and environmentally aware materials and manufacturing practices, CRAVE is upgrading sexy time. As co-founder and lead designer, Ti Chang, puts it "If anything deserves good design, it's the things we bring to bed with us."
Aside from the discreet design, the buzz around CRAVE is the USB-charge capability that doubles as a flash drive. This eliminates cords and batteries bringing the toy into modern times. Co-founder and entrepreneur Michael Topolovac explains, "The USB charging was really about an elevated experience and the removal of unnecessary technology."
The launch product, the DUET, was submitted for funding on the international crowd-funding platform, CKIE.com in August of 2011 and has reached its goal raising $104,000 from over 900 backers. The DUET, without memory, is now available for $149, in three colors. Made of smooth silicone and metal, it has four vibration modes and five power levels, two hours of usage and is waterproof. It comes in a supple leather pouch and can easily be transported or lay on your dresser unassumingly. The DUET LUX, with either 8G or 16G memory, are available for pre-order.
The external packaging is minimal and printed in Sacramento from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper. CRAVE further minimizes waste by printing product instructions on the inside of the box and via a URL printed on a CRAVE charm that comes with.
This is not Chang's first sensual endeavor; at Incoqnito the industrial designer makes "sensation instruments" and jewelry that serve as foreplay instigators. Meanwhile, Topolovac started Light & Motion, the leading manufacturer of underwater photographic equipment and bike lights. Needless to say, the team behind Crave likes toys.
Crave products are designed for women, by a woman, and can be enjoyed by everyone, geeks and provocateurs alike. Valentine's Day is around the bend, shop local and charge your cravings.
Sam Durbin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine and Gilt City.