The media hubbub surrounding Toys in Babeland’s opening in Park Slope earlier this summer ranged from a Post screamer ("Sex-Toy Shop Has Bad Vibes in Park Slope") to a Daily Intel piece about how Internet buzz on the new store was largely favorable. In between, the Daily News informed that the shop would have a baby changing table to cater to the famously family-friendly hood, a tidbit that netted Babeland’s owners an irate phone call from Focus on the Family.
So how’s business going now that the store’s been open a couple months?
"We’re doubling our sales projections," says Claire Cavanah, one of Babeland’s owners. "We were conservative about how the sales volume would be, but it’s almost been effortless."
Cavanah says the chainlet’s "meat-and-potato" items like the Magic Wand and Rabbit vibrators are top sellers in the Slope, and the store has surprised her by selling a lot of luxury toys priced at more than $100 and "designed for a lifestyle crowd."
Despite the negative reaction about the changing table from Focus on the Family-types, Cavanah says people are bringing infants into the store, and their "Sexy Mama" workshop series has been well received.
"People are so hysterical about kids and sex, and some articles made it seem like we were opening a kid-friendly sex shop," she says. "One person came in with a 7-year-old girl, and my staff was like, ‘You know what kind of store this is, right?’ It’s a parenting issue, though, and we turn away minors who come in without their parents."
One of the things that’s pleased Cavanah most about the store is that it’s drawing customers from all over Brooklyn.
"We’ve gotten people from Coney Island, crowds of women from Bushwick and other places deep in the borough," she says. "The Park Slope people would have found their way to our Manhattan stores anyway. It belongs to the borough."