Words: Meryl Cubley
Rude magazine recently reviewed Passion’s ‘School of Passion’, held at their city road headquarters in Cardiff. Now it’s time to get up close and personal with the fabulous owner of the brand, Faith Attwell….
RM: When was Passion established and why? Did you do it alone? And what was the driving force behind you opening a sex shop?
FA: 1999 was the year that I set up Passion! I had seen a few mail order catalogues for sex toys, and they felt a bit seedy, almost like soft porn. And their design looked cheap and old fashioned! My background was in business development at a design company, and marketing so I was always being exposed to new products, great ideas and small, innovative companies. This led me into yearning for a business of my own. When online shopping first emerged, it was so much easier to enter into a market and the opportunity was too hard to resist.
RM: What was the philosophy behind Passion when it was first opened? Is that the same as now – or has the philosophy grown along with the brand?
FA: Just to give a good, honest service, good prices and a nicer shopping environment for our customers, that still holds true today.
RM: Would you say you have an ‘average’ customer base?
FA: What’s average?!
RM: How do you decide what brands and products to stock?
FA: In our industry there are many thousands of products and many are similar but in different packaging. We try to offer well priced, good quality products that offer value for money and that deliver the desired results!
RM: Along with a large selection for women, you also stock products that are definitely for men only, such as blow-up dolls – is this because you want Passion to appeal to all markets (men/women gay/straight etc) rather than a narrower focus on women-only?
FA: Customers ask for them. There certainly isn’t as much out there for men, and often dolls are purchased as gag gifts, although we have Fleshlights which are definitely for men’s personal use! They sell very well!
FA: We were thrilled to have Rude attend the School of Passion! We had a lot of fun on the day and we’ve got some more classes lined up, including bondage for beginners, how to handle your sexy photoshoot and how to look good (almost) naked!
RM: How are you involved with other complimentary businesses in the area? (So pole dancing classes upstairs, burlesque girls etc…)
FA: At Passion we have our own studio which offers pole dancing lessons every day of the week and photographers also use it for photoshoots. We’re always interested to hear from complimentary businesses who would like to work with us for a mutually beneficial promotion.
RM: What’s next for Passion? How do you see the business developing?
FA: We do have some plans for new ventures coming up this year – watch this space because Rude readers will be the first to know!
63-65 City Road
Tel: (029) 2048 9669
Open: Mon-Fri 11-7pm, Sat 11-6pm