I’m Dominnique, CEO and co-founder of Healthy Pleasure Group, a pioneering collective that seeks to define, reshape and revolutionise the sexual empowerment of all generations and pave the way for healthy sexuality and healthy pleasure for everyone.
I spent my youth in both Greece and South Africa, studied in Sweden and I’m now based in London, with offices in Barcelona and Los Angeles. I’ve worked in more than 30 markets globally helping start ups and market leaders across beauty, retail and health improve and increase their sales, marketing and distribution channels.
How many hours a day do you work on average?
On average around 12 hours.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
I always start my day walking my daughter and our dog to school, a walk and talk to connect and appreciate my time with her. At HPG, my days are split between internal meetings across the Group, client meetings, industry & stakeholder discussions and Lab innovation planning. I always make time to learn, be it listening to a podcast, reading or attending an industry talk. My personal life revolves around coffee and great food, so every day will see me making great coffee and cooking for my family and friends. I try to make time for myself to exercise and make sure to get at least seven hours sleep most nights.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
It is a constant juggle, but I am fortunate to be surrounded by supportive friends and a work family that help me as a single mum everyday.
What motivates you?
The future. The promise that we can positively change behaviour for better social impact affording humanity the opportunity to benefit from healthy pleasure.
How do you generate new ideas?
Walking in nature or jumping in the ocean. When I connect with nature alone, time and space mutate, holding a space for me to creatively develop or receive ideas, products, solutions and new understanding.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
I truly believe I might be missing the fear factor. Fear is spending a lot of time believing something is true just because I, or someone else, says it is. Being a mother means fear does pull at my heartstrings everyday. This may never change, but how I deal with it and the control I have over it can. I challenge myself to try to never make a decision from a place of fear.
How did you come up with the name for your company?
It does what it says on the tin! The aim of our business is to define, reshape and revolutionise the sexual empowerment of all generations and pave the way for healthy sexuality and healthy pleasure for everyone.
How did you raise funding for your venture?
We haven’t done any fundraising until now. Healthy Pleasure Group was built from the ground up with our network, clients and talent, and we continue to grow organically.
How do you build a successful customer base?
I have been a consultant and Brand Architect for more than 15 years in the consumer market. I also invested in and consulted multiple global, maverick SexTech start ups more than six years ago. Together with my co-founder at HPG, Dr Mafe Peraza Godoy, we developed innovations and dedicated ourselves to building the future Sexual Health & Technology economy. The network I made on this journey and the world class services HPG now delivers means that we have been able to build a strong customer base.
How does someone get you excited and willing to commit?
I live with passion and I am led by my intuitive curiosity. When there is a vision that I can authentically believe in, you have my attention and commitment.
As an entrepreneur, how do you see the market is growing in your country?
The next major change we will see in Sexual Health & Technology is market consolidation. We are fortunate to speak to over a hundred brands a month and can see that the landscape has been fragmented across a range of categories including medtech, femtech, sextech, healthtech, telehealth and wellness. Each of these spaces are booming, so our mergers and acquisitions pipeline is a powerful avalanche waiting to close the trifecta between sex, health and technology and raise the industry up.
How do you advertise your product/service?
We are always mindful of the risks of digital censorship when it comes to our industry, so we prioritise content across our own channels with continued media relations and a roster of speaker platforms. Sexual Health & Technology is a burgeoning industry where everyone knows everyone, so I don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
To what do you attribute your success?
Resilience, persistence and kindness. For myself and with others. This is the currency of our future.
What was the reason to start your company ?
Having worked in the Sexual Health & Technology industry for almost ten years, I realised just how disconnected the world was, as far as business was concerned, when it came to understanding the most innate human experience: pleasure. At the same time, I faced continual resistance from businesses.Telephones would be put down on me. I’d be asked to leave the boardroom. I would be asked to come and talk about a product without saying the word sex. It took two years to put Menstrual Cups on the shelves of Boots.
From this, I knew I wanted to commit myself to creating behavioural change in Sexual Health & Technology to enact social change through three vital economic motors: Education, Innovation and Investment. So together with urologist, andrologist and sexual medicine expert Dr. Mafe Peraza Godoy, we founded The Healthy Pleasure Group which comprises five businesses: The Agency, The Lab, The Demand, The Fund and The School.
What do you look for in an employee? The most important thing to us is that they fit into our corporate culture!
As a relatively young industry, there is no Sexual Health & Technology talent pool to choose from, no one can study the landscape because it’s being built, created and shaped in real time. Attracting skills straight out of school or university with Sexual Health & Technology as their first career move is a tough feat – there’s no 101 in how to market sex toys! That’s why I look for passion and drive; skills can be taught, but sexual empathy to make a real change is always what we look for. We will always choose team over talent.
What made you choose your current location?
Covid. While we have bases in Barcelona, London and LA, we are currently remote, coming together on a frequent basis (Covid-dependent) for Think Weeks. We are concentrating on creating a cultural hub for inspiration and learning, we don’t need a boardroom to squabble over.
What kind of Corporation is your business?
LTD UK Entity that delivers services across four continents.
Do you work locally or internationally?
Both locally and internationally.
What’s your company’s goals?
From democratising sexual pleasure beyond binary understandings to removing stigma and barriers to reproductive healthcare, we refuse to accept the way things have always been.Ultimately, we built Healthy Pleasure Group to create behavioural change through three vital economic motors; Education, Innovation and Investment.
We want to be the leading catalyst for impactful social change while establishing a robust meaningful market share of the fastest rising industry, Sexual Health & Technology.
What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
I’m the CEO so typically this comes with leadership, accountability, mentorship, ownership of our mistakes and successes and the importance of making decisions that are in the best interest for the company, our people and our partners. Most importantly, I see my biggest responsibility as committing to continuous learning and sharing my knowledge with those same people.
Does your company help the community where it is located?
The work we do is intrinsically geared towards creating opportunities, products and education to support marginalised communities globally. From helping one client focus on gender-inclusive pleasure with a take-to-market strategy for a product inspired by trans women for the LGBTQ community, to helping a male grooming brand understand how it can help black men prioritise their sexual wellbeing.
Tell us about your team, and how you got in touch with each other?
Between me and my co-founder and soul sister, Dr Mafe, we were able to build an initial team from our existing networks. As we’ve grown we’ve had more and more people approaching us having read or heard about HPG in the press and industry events who share our passion for making real change in the Sexual Health & Technology industry.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Follow your curiosity. Listen to your intuition and do what makes you thrive. If it doesn’t exist, create it with those that believe in you and genuinely yearn for the same.