»Our Aim Is to Encourage a Change of Perspective in Society.«

Lea-Sophie Cramer, Founder and Advisory Board Member of Amorelie

When Lea-Sophie Cramer and Sebastian Pollok founded AMORELIE in 2013, they had a vision: to break down taboos and make love toys for both singles and couples a socially acceptable part of a modern lifestyle. After seven years as CEO, Lea-Sophie Cramer is now devoting herself to new topics. On January 1, 2020, she handed over the management of the company to Claire Midwood and became a member of the company’s Advisory Board. In this “Insights Interview” the founder of AMORELIE looks back on the past years and reveals, among other things, which project has particularly stuck in her memory.
Lea, can you tell us a bit more about your vision? What drives AMORELIE?

Lea-Sophie Cramer

Founder and Advisory Board Member of AMORELIE
At the age of 25, Lea-Sophie Cramer founded her first own e-commerce company. Today, seven years later, she is one of the most well-known founders in Germany and supports young startups as angel investor. Since Lea became a mother for the first time in 2015 and for the second time in 2017, she also stands and fights for the compatibility of family and work, and is committed to supporting and encouraging women in leadership positions.

In 2013, we started with the vision of breaking down the taboo surrounding products for our love lives and integrating them as a key part of an open and modern lifestyle. We were driven by a desire to make it our society’s topic of conversation and contributing to a change of perspective. This idea remains the centerpiece of AMORELIE. To some extent we’ve achieved this already. Dealing with sexuality and sensuality has become more natural over the years; you can even buy our products in dm stores all across Germany these days. Moving forward, we keep focusing on the most intimate and most beautiful moments we share with one another and continue to use our innovations to strengthen couples’ relationships. That’s what drives AMORELIE!

How do you know what your customers wish for – now and down the road?
»Getting to experience and design the whole process, from the initial 3D prints in our office right up to a finished, well-functioning toy with the perfect packaging, was new to me. The moment when I saw for the very first time our name on the products we had developed ourselves was very emotional!«

At AMORELIE, we focus on market research, both qualitative research in terms of in-depth psychological interviews and quantitative research. An example is our “sex report” that we publish every January, which presents the results of our survey of over 3,000 people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The study deals with the topic of sexuality in society and examines the individual person’s needs and wants. Moreover, we receive a huge amount of customer feedback through our app and website. After checkout, they often fill out our surveys answering questions on their shopping experience and our products. Not to forget our toy advisers who get real insights into what our customers expect when advising on the products.

Has there been an offer or a product that has been received particularly well by your customers?

Definitely our advent calendar. It makes up a large part of our business and has also started an advent calendar boom in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Lots of brands, companies, and people now sell similar products. We are extremely proud that we have become one of the biggest producers of advent calendars in Europe and that we have managed to use this market for our products. The “AMORELIE advent calendar” offers ease, gamification, and curiosity, thus embodying everything we care about at AMORELIE in just one product!

Which project of those you have implemented so far has remained in your memory?

The development of our own AMORELIE toy brand, which we will be bringing to the market in 2020 was very special for me. We already launched our own products five years ago, but they didn’t carry our name. They allowed us to test if we were able to manage the whole process ourselves and how these products would be received by our customers. Well, how should I put it: They are incredibly successful. In 2020, we will launch the brand under our own name. Getting to experience and design the whole process, from the initial 3D prints in our office right up to a finished, well-functioning toy with the perfect packaging, was new to me. The very first time I saw our name on the products we had developed ourselves was very emotional!

Lea-Sophie Cramer at the AMORELIE office in Berlin
AMORELIE
In 2019, you expanded to China. Can you explain briefly why you chose this country?

Claire Midwood

CEO AMORELIE
On January 1, 2020, Lea-Sophie Cramer handed over the management of AMORELIE to Claire Midwood who has over 20 years of experience in the retail and lifestyle business and previously worked for Apple and Adidas.

Chinese customers value European brands and their high-quality standards, especially brands that are authentic, with their respective story and corporate identity. We also noticed that China’s market for sex toys is changing at the moment; it reached the same point Germany was at in 2013. The timing to expand into one of the biggest markets in the world, drive the revolution, and to contribute to a change of perspective there, like we have done here in Germany a couple of years ago, is good. It’s been going very well!

On January 1, 2020, you handed over the management of AMORELIE to Claire Midwood and became a member of the Advisory Board. What were your most defining experiences at AMORELIE?

Where should I start?! Our launch in 2013 and our first advent calendar, where we produced a run of 300 pieces, were so very special. The first investment by ProSiebenSat.1, a media-for-equity deal in 2014, has also stuck in my memory. It gave us a completely different forum, as TV is a great marketing channel for us. Working together has been a good decision, which I would make over and over again. Back then, we – in a way – started a relationship with ProSiebenSat.1 without knowing that we’d get married one day. Nobody would have guessed that ProSiebenSat.1 was to become our long-term investor, with us becoming a subsidiary of the Group. 2017 was an important year because we began working with dm. Coming from a digital company, it was unbelievably fascinating and magical for me to see our real-life products on the shelves. Our anniversary celebration in September 2019 was another really big moment for me. That whole day was incredible; there were workshops going on the entire day and we've had a massive party in the evening where we also revealed our advent calendar 2019. Our AMORELIE story in one day – that was something really special!