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Good Vibrations Leads Cooperative Towards a New Business Model
San Francisco, CA -- August 17, 2005 -- Is it possible to stay committed to cooperative principles in the face of industry competition? Good Vibrations, legendary destination for sex positive products, service and education, acknowledges that as the cooperative grows into a multimillion-dollar business and as its market expands, so must their business practices.
Since 1844 when the Rochdale Pioneers founded the first coop that endured in history, business leaders have attempted to reconcile the advantages of a democratic business model into the economic rewards of a corporation. As early as 1998, aware of the increase in market growth, Good Vibrations started hiring an experienced management team: professionals with the experience to make the business structure more competitive and nimble without loosing the fundamental characteristics of what made them successful in the first place. Always a non-traditional business, Good Vibrations worker/owners and management knew their task was marrying its one-of-a-kind history with state-of-the-art contemporary best practices.
According to Chief Financial Officer for Good Vibrations, Theresa Sparks, a veteran with 28 years experience of spearheading and building multimillion-dollar businesses, "The opportunity of taking a cooperative into a new business structure is very exciting. Helping shape a company to adapt and embrace global growth without compromising its democratic operations is a challenge, but a participatory style of management is a core value of Good Vibrations and fundamental part of who we are."
One thing that hasn't changed is the company's dedication to up-to-date education. Good Vibrations, founded almost 30 years ago by a sex therapist and educator, was the first company in the industry to employ a doctor of human sexuality. Dr. Carol Queen, Staff Sexologist, has been with Good Vibrations for fifteen years and is well known worldwide for her nine books, sex education videos, and a multitude of television appearances, hundreds of interviews and published articles. She has been the company's sex education spokesperson since the retirement of Joani Blank, Good Vibrations founder, sold her business to its workers in 1992.
"Ours is an industry that has historically sold products regardless of their quality, and when it's provided any information at all has often been riddled with inaccuracies. Misinformation about sexual functioning, pleasure, and health can have serious consequences in peoples' lives; we promise our customers informed good quality, plus correct and nonjudgmental information. It is imperative to continue the grassroots outreach and emphasis on education that has been the cornerstone of the company. Our customer service and our brand depend on it," asserts Dr. Carol Queen.
What are the ingredients to making a successful shift from a cooperative model to a more traditional, yet progressive culture? Sparks highlights a few key points, "Never loose sight of the original vision that launched your current success, budget for profitability, institute planning, efficiency and accountability as part of our business model, re-invest in the people and infrastructure of the company, never compromise on training and education and, finally, make change and strategic adaptation fundamental to the culture and daily operation of the company."
Good Vibrations today stands poised to continue to be a unique San Francisco-based business, which holds true to its core values-- and its historical position as the thought leader in its industry.
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About Good Vibrations
Established in 1977, Good Vibrations is the San Francisco-based retailer trusted for nearly three decades to provide a comfortable, safe environment for finding sex- positive products and educational materials to enhance ones sex life. Good Vibrations offers its products through its retail stores, mail order catalog and on their ecommerce web site at www.goodvibes.com