Tell us more about yourself
Jacqueline Kee is the co-founder of the Apogee Collective, the parent company of the sexual wellness brands Hedonist & Good Vibes. Prior to this, Jacqueline has built a wide range of experience as a Buyer and Manager of Content Creating at HipVan, being a Matchmaker and Date Coach at Society W, to becoming an ACE Certified Fitness instructor. With her years of marketing experience at a start-up coupled with her passion to inspire others to have balanced, healthy, purposeful lives of their choosing, she hopes to empower others to discover their authentic self and take control of their own pleasure and happiness with a sense of confidence.
Tell us more about your business in an elevator pitch
Hedonist & Good Vibes is a pleasure centric brand that prioritises self care and normalising the conversations about sex and pleasure.
More than just a retail business, both brands also specialise in organising sex positive workshops, talks and pop-up events that are fun, unique and educational.
This includes hosting private parties for bachelorettes as well as conducting workshops in collaboration with various clubs, fitness & wellness studios alongside leading professionals, and experts in the industry.
Why did you choose to do this?
Growing up I was so made to feel like my sexual needs were “too much” and I didn’t really have someone to give me a healthy support and understanding towards sex and pleasure. That is why I'm so passionate about being an advocate for other women who perhaps second guess themselves when it comes to this topic. I want to de-stigmatise the conversation of sex and pleasure by helping others find their voice, their self worth and confidence - To create a supportive and safe environment, for people to ask intimate questions as they navigate their sexual journey without any shame or judgement.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
When I first started out my sexual exploration in my late 20s, walking into a sex toy shop with my partner felt intimidating, awkward and confusing (and I consider myself to be someone who is pretty progressive and open minded). We live in modern times and yet most people still occasionally speak in hushed tones when it comes to topics like buying your own sex toys especially in Asia.
I wanted to take away this taboo idea by turning the impression of a “seedy” sex shop into one that is fun, normal and approachable for adults - Where people can reach out to us anytime via our online platforms or at our pop-up events and ask questions they may have about sexual wellness and pleasure without any shame or judgement. I wanted to create an empowering sister figure, a relatable brand that has got your back.
How do you see your business impacting other women?
Too many women check out from sex because they don't know how to ask for what they want. They either feel too embarrassed or fear their partner will judge them and so they end up suffering in silence with unfulfilling sex lives. That is why it is so important to normalise the topic of sex and pleasure by speaking about it with peers, their partner or even with a therapist so that they can become more confident about themselves and their sexuality. To create the desirable outcomes they want, women need to first understand what they want when it comes to sex. But to get there, firstly they have to stop being too critical of themselves and learn to explore their own body - find out what turns them on, because if they can’t do that for themselves, then how can they expect that from someone else?
We’ve been deeply humbled by our female followers who have told us how we’ve helped them build better relationships with themselves and with their partners because they don’t often get to share their intimate encounters with others. We have since forged quite a few great relationships with our followers, from being customers to friends overtime.
How do you think you can uplift the community?
Sexual wellness is for everyone and I think a lot of people tend to think that it concerns only those who are sexually active or looking to procreate, or that it’s about sexually transmitted diseases. That’s just a fraction of what it really is. Sexual Wellness is actually a part of a holistic approach to your physical and mental wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization, sexual wellness by definition is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well being concerning your sexuality.
Our sexuality is a natural part of who you are. It is a healthy and intimate expression of our self-identity and if left neglected, it can cause a lot of imbalance in our lives.
It is directly linked to our happiness and if we don’t have the safe space to talk about our inner desires, wants and needs, it can negatively affect the way we develop a relationship with ourselves and our partner.
Do you collaborate with other women? If so, how and why? If not, is that something you'll consider exploring in the near future?
As a female forward business we have had many collaborations with other empowered women. Throughout the span of our pop-up The Origin in 2022, we will be conducting themed women-only workshops to expand on the exploration of one’s pleasure and community-building will also be conducted on a weekly basis. They will center around pleasure, relationships, sexual health, and self-empowerment for women.
Starting from 19th January, these intimate workshops will be held every Wednesday by notable experts and partners. Click here to refer to our list of events. Since its launch, all our workshops have been a sell out and we are even looking to repeat them for both women AND men in the later quarter of the year.
Any wise words for other women looking to venture into running a business?
Find something you are passionate about and grow with it. The journey may not be the easiest but it will be the most rewarding with lots of hard work and perseverance. Surround yourself with a positive tribe of people who are willing to build you up rather than tear you down. There will be plenty of challenges along the way. Learn from them, keep growing and remember; pressure makes diamonds and you’ll glow when you step out of your comfort zone.
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