Five years ago in a rapidly evolving world, where conversations about intimacy were often hushed and products remained hidden in the shadows, sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, set out on a remarkable mission. With years of experience supporting individuals on their journeys towards sexual wellness, she recognized the need for a paradigm shift in the space and created Bloomi, a category-defining brand that set out to revolutionize the way people approached their intimate well-being.
Alvarez Story’s entrepreneurial journey was inspired by her desire to address the struggles that people faced in embracing their intimacy. Having spent a decade as a sexologist, she intimately understood her clients’ challenges. The idea for Bloomi came from the numerous requests for product recommendations that followed her sessions. Alvarez Story saw an opportunity to create a solution: An easy and seamless shopping experience that would empower individuals to explore their desires and deepen their connections.
Bloomi started as a marketplace, curating intimacy brands handpicked by the founder herself. It provided a platform where her clients could find trusted recommendations and access a range of products tailored to their unique needs. Her vision, however, extended beyond being a mere “middle(wo)man”, and she eventually created her own line of intimacy essentials. Bloomi’s first product, the Bloomi Arousal Oil, received an overwhelmingly positive response. Recognizing the potential for growth in the sexual wellness category, she secured a $600K pre-seed round in 2021 to develop a holistic, clean, allergen-free, and user-friendly product line. A $2M seed round followed in March 2022 helping the company to launch at Target stores throughout the US.
The journey to turn Bloomi into an established challenger brand didn’t come without its fair share of challenges though. In an industry that has long been stigmatized, skepticism and resistance were not uncommon. Alvarez Story and her team faced criticism and doubt from many who couldn’t see the potential for growth in the sexual wellness space. Education – both in the VC ecosystem and for consumers – became a cornerstone of Bloomi’s brand, as Alvarez Story realized that knowledge was key to dismantling stigmas surrounding sexuality.
Asked about the challenges of fundraising for a sexual wellness brand Alvarez Story shares: “A few years ago, most investors were not investing in sexual wellness – some were not allowed to, actually. However, we’ve seen a shift in the ecosystem where the investors who see the opportunity, are excited about what Bloomi and other brands are creating in the category. Like many founders, it took several meetings to find the right investors, but we were determined to. Now we are excited to be backed by some great funds and angels that are helping us make intimacy more progressive.”
Looking toward the future, Bloomi is working on securing additional retail partnerships and will likely launch a number of new products in the near future. While the sexual wellness landscape has changed over the years, the brand’s commitment to education, community engagement, and inclusivity continues to break barriers and challenge societal norms. As the world slowly starts to embrace a more open and curious attitude toward intimacy, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Rebecca Alvarez Story and Bloomi to see what the next chapter of their journey to revolutionize the intimate wellness space holds.