The journey of SHUNGA Erotic Art began in 2000 when Sylvain Séguin, creator and designer, and partner Manon Vallée, idea manager and cosmetician, decided to launch a new & innovative brand of intimate cosmetic products under their already existent high-end cosmetic company, Eau Zone Oils & Fragrances.
Inspired by Japanese erotic works of art from the 16th to the 18th century and created with the idea that making love is an art, SHUNGA Erotic Art products were, and still are today, designed for couples wishing to add variety and sensuality to their sexuality, heighten sensations and make every pleasuring act a seventh heaven.
Eighteen successful years have passed and SHUNGA Erotic Art rapidly became a leader in the adult-products industry, growing into a benchmark for the competitors. The company’s strive for excellence through innovation and quality brought the brand to recognition, receiving many awards in the last years.
Personality Talk Manon Vallée, VP Eau Zone Oils and Fragrances Ltd.
How did you start your career in this business?
My partner in life and lover Sylvain Séguin and I founded Eau Zone in 1988. Eau Zone is the Parent company of Shunga. Eau Zone was our first cosmetic concept. We created special bath oils that also contained flowers & natural plant extracts, packaged in a specially shaped and designed glass bottle. As soon as it was launched, it dominated the market and obtained a phenomenal worldwide success. In only a few short months, we reached multi million dollar sales and our products were sold in more than 30 countries worldwide. Many innovative product concepts have been developed since and all have reached their own success. Shunga Erotic Art, our latest concept, was launched in year 2000 and has since become a leader of its own, becoming the reference worldwide as the best intimate moment products, reflecting also its high end line.
What do you especially like about your profession and this business?
Since I am traveling a lot, I get to know more people and more culture. Everywhere I go is to present the line and talk about it. People smile and are happy when it is time to talk about love and intimate moment, or ways to enhance their intimate lives. I am very privileged to be able to go around the world such as this.
Why and when did you start working for this company?
In the late 80’s, just a few years before Shunga was created, Sylvain and I had designed a unique condom plant… All flowers were made of condoms in several colors. Many friends enjoyed its unique design and decided to give them away as gifts. This idea transformed itself into a business. We started to sell the plant to various gift shops in downtown Montreal. The first client we had wasn’t too keen about the idea, but when he sold out of plants in less than 2 hours, he soon changed his tune and ordered plenty more! This idea became a multi million dollar business and we sold our condom plants in more than 60 countries worldwide. Most of our customers were adult shops and adult novelty distributors. With the Aids crisis, the condom plant entered the market at the right time. We created many other condom concepts that were sold in bulk worldwide. Amongst them, remember the Condom Lollypop?! Designing Shunga was then the natural next step for Sylvain and I and history shows that it also became a real worldwide success.
What did you do before you entered the adult industry?
When I was younger, I use to work as a bar tender and for catering services. This is where I met Sylvain! In the same time, I was an aestheticism. This is how I earn all the knowledge that helps me later while developing Eau Zone cosmetics lines.
Which principles do you follow – at work and in your private life?
There are more values than principles: respect, friendship and family are the core of life and relationships.
Have you ever experienced anything especially funny or bizarre in the industry?
A funny situation just happened when I was leaving a master class in Russia. At the airport, early in the morning, no one could speak to me in English. They only spoke Russian. I was looking for a way to understand where to register my luggage. People in-line couldn’t help me. But people from the masterclass started arriving: 2-4-6 people and they all knew me. “Hi Manon!” “Do you need help?” Someone even brought me Russian Oil for luck and a good luck rooster also. Then people in the airport looked at me like: “who’s that lady!?” Someone ask me “Who are you?”
Where do you see the industry in five years?
The industry is opening up and we are pushing boundaries always further. The industry understands that it as to be classier and more refined to get more people. It’s opening up to new ages, new groups and new countries.
What else would you like to tell our readers?
For me, we work in the best industry. People are nice, respectful and joyful. It’s funny to understand the difference in perception between people from the industry and people outside the industry. We share that judgemental look from outsiders. They’re always giving you a feeling like it was bad or strange to work in the sex industry. I’m proud and grateful to work in this industry.