We talked to Virginia Sofia Cerrone of Pureeros about women’s intimate wellness and here is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: It’s a difficult time for all of us, but luckily my loved ones and I are all fine.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Pureeros.
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: I have been intrigued by the female body since the age of 10. I was the first in my circle of family and friends to begin the transition to womanhood. This headstart led me to be the go-to person for advice.
Many years later, over dinner with my flatmate (at the time) Evren Inangiray, CEO and Co-Founder of Pureeros, I recollected my experiences with women’s intimate health, sexuality, and lack of recognition.
My skills lie in marketing strategy, branding and understanding intimacy and sexual wellbeing. Evren has an entrepreneurial background, several years of banking experience, and a passion for reshaping society through HeForShe. Together, we wanted to make a change.
How does Pureeros innovate?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: We are a diverse team with positive energy, clear direction and vision.
We have created a culture where creative thinking and business thinking are given equal attention. We reward innovative habits in the same way we celebrate the success of experimentation. We encourage people’s ideas to overcome the fear of failure.
Having a good understanding of our marketplace has allowed us to take risks and adapt to changes quickly.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: For us, the pandemic’s challenges have also brought opportunities; we have seen an increase in the demand for intimate and sexual wellness products since March 2020.
We have seen organic traffic increased by 60%, which we believed is the outcome of people spending more time at home.
The focus on wellbeing and the desire to maintain long-distance relationships has not only resulted in more sales but also an increase in readers. Our online magazine reached 90 000 readers in 2020 alone.
Our sales have grown by 220% in the past year, with increasing demand for sexual wellness products like toys or lubes along with eco-friendly solutions for periods. We have managed to build a loyal social media following of almost 25 000, with a growth of 200% in the past year. Since the start of our journey, we have interacted with over 400 000 people!
We are incredibly happy to see people taking more interest in learning about their intimate health and its contribution to a better quality of life.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: The most difficult part for us was not being able to travel and move forward in building strategic relationships with our stakeholders and partners. This has, in some ways, limited the ability to perform testing and work on new projects.
We have learnt to pivot our strategy successfully to keep up good results.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: As our team has worked remotely since day one, we didn’t face too many difficulties. PM tools like ClickUp and Slack have been incredibly useful. And, of course, Zoom & Google Meet, which we are getting sick of, but it’s been the best form of communication so far.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: Pureeros is more than an intimate wellbeing platform. It’s an agent for driving social change. We cover content, product and solutions, alongside raising awareness of issues such as; gender inequality, women’s rights, diversity, disability, women’s health and LGBTQ-related issues.
We are proud to say that we don’t see many other platforms that cover the same range as we do. But we do admire a lot of the brands we work with, like Dame Products, TOTM, Cocoro, just to name a few. They are doing amazing work and share a lot of the same beliefs.
We are a platform for inclusivity and encourage everyone who wants to learn, be part of our community; in fact, 25% of our customers are men.
Last year we took on our first social responsibility project to help end period poverty. We donated over 300 boxes of pads and 100 hygiene products to a large charity in Turin, dedicated to helping women in need, refugees and victims of violence and abuse.
Your final thoughts?
Virginia Sofia Cerrone: I am grateful that we have been able to grow and become stronger during these difficult times. We have gained new skills in understanding consumer behaviour. But most of all, I’m happy to see the positive effect this pandemic has had on the role of pleasure in our everyday lives. Lockdown has raised awareness of alternative ways to experience pleasure, helping destigmatize the role sexuality has in your overall wellbeing.
We want to continue generating content that will inspire and educate women on intimate health issues.
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