VENUS Berlin Interviews & Portraits #04: LODBROCK
Prior to Germany’s biggest sex trade fair entering a new round in October with guest star Stormy Daniels, we will take another look back at last year’s fair. One of the small, fine exhibitors in the Kinky Venus area was the strikingly stylish BDSM specialist LODBROCK from Hong Kong, whose website now lists the successful appearance at VENUS as the starting point of its success story.
At last year’s VENUS BERLIN, the elaborately designed stand of the BDSM specialist LODBROCK immediately stood out from the crowd. Well-designed lighting, specially manufactured booth presentation, elaborately designed, handmade products made of obviously outstanding materials and two friendly people behind the company willingly providing advice. A large number of visitors gathered around the booth.
Even today, the company is still reporting on its appearance on its website and makes the appearance at VENUS co-responsible for the subsequent success of the brand. In June, the company was able to announce the shipment of the first 1000 exclusive Schlossmeister-Sets (a BDSM-pillory set made of fine wood, leather and steel). Early customers at VENUS benefited from an early bird discount.
At the booth, we were able to talk to one of the company’s founders:
VENUS: We are here at the booth of LODBROCK. You seem to build very special pieces of furniture. What exactly is your product?
LODBROCK: We have three main products. Our first product is the world’s first complete BDSM set. This set consists of a paddle, a flogger, a blindfold, a pillory, a lock and complete chain accessories. We deliver it in a large, beautiful wooden box. It can also be used as decoration at home. You don’t have to hide it under the bed or in the closet.
VENUS: How long have you been in business?
LODBROCK: We are completely new. That’s our first line. It will be available in Germany starting January 2018. [Editor’s note: Apparently there has been a delay in delivery.]
VENUS: So you’re a BDSM startup. Do you do it as a team? Or is it a one-man business? How are you organized? Why did you decide to start the company?
LODBROCK: That’s one way of putting it. We are a kind of startup. We are six people altogether. We come from Hong Kong. I myself have worked and lived in Asia for ten years. And the reason why we founded this company is that we expect a very big surge on the BDSM market in the next ten years. We can also see that BDSM is becoming increasingly mainstream. But another motivation is that I have noticed that within the scene Quality is often neglected. There are many products, but they often come from Chinese factories of inferior quality. And we have clearly set ourselves the goal of manufacturing high-quality products.
VENUS: You can definitely see that. The products are well-designed, look very aesthetically pleasing, everything is very high quality. I assume that your prices are in the high price segment.
LODBROCK: Not really. We have very good production possibilities. Yes, everything is handmade. But this set here costs 499 Euro, including VAT. But this is also a VENUS special. It will cost 599 Euro starting in 2018. We’ve had people come to the booth who have said: “We can’t believe it costs less than $1000”.
VENUS: Normally you would check that off as a promotional talk, but the first impression you get when you come here is actually that it has to be custom-made, very, very expensive. How is it possible that these handmade items are so cheap? All because of the production site?
LODBROCK: Exactly. We naturally have very good contacts in Asia. However, we have a German quality management on site. We do everything in-house. This includes the fittings and chains. They are manufactured by us. The reason why we make our own black chains, for example, is that we wanted people to get a perfect set and not have to go to Obi and have to be restricted with the silver chains there. It is important to us that everything fits together visually. And as I said, we manufacture everything in-house. Also the steel frame for the paddle, which we made completely in-house.
What we are particularly proud of about this set is … Women and men have different sizes. That’s why we developed these magnetic inlays so that women can’t just pull out their hands.
VENUS: That describes your BDSM starter set. But you have more products.
LODBROCK: Yes, our second main product is the Goo Plate. This is very successful in Japan and South Korea. And the absolute hit at this fair is our modular St. Andrew’s cross.
VENUS: What makes the cross a modular cross?
LODBROCK: It’ very simple. If you buy the cross, and you want to change the colors, for example, you don’t have to buy a new one, but you can simply take out these legs and replace them with other materials and colors. That will save you a lot of money. The cross is made of MDF, very high quality, it won’t be distorted due to humidity. The surface is also coated. This means sweat or other body fluids can be easily removed. It is very easy to sterilize. Here at the fair, it costs 699 Euro in the basic version with wood inlays. Other materials can then be added as an extra.
VENUS: What did you think of the creation of a specific Kinky area for the VENUS?
LODBROCK: Of course we followed that very closely last year. I think the Kinky section was a good idea from Venus. It highlights the kinky world and makes people aware of what’s going on in that area. When we heard that there would be a Kinky area, we decided to come.
VENUS: How many of these sets do you produce? Or is that something you can’t say yet?
LODBROCK: It will definitely be a limited edition. All components of the set are only available as a set. If someone would like to just get the Flogger or the Blindfold, we won’t do that. We don’t sell these individually. These products are only for those people who decide to buy the whole set.
VENUS: How do you plan to further develop your business?
LODBROCK: The Schlossmeister line with the three main products is indeed only supposed to be the first. We will launch more products in the coming months.
VENUS: How did people react at the fair so far?
LODBROCK: Very good. We had many meaningful conversations. We are really very pleased that people immediately recognize that these products are of good quality. And I simply have the impression that many people yearn for quality. Because often you buy floggers for 60-70 Euros and you can use them once and then you have to throw them away. And people can see that here it is different.
VENUS: Thanks for the interview.