It was Cosmopolitan that first broke the news of this Philly-made gadget. But they got it wrong.
Jaime Jandler, the supposed creator of the item, does not exist.
The mastermind behind the sex toy is actually a 26-year-old software engineer who used to work for Curalate — the visual commerce company where he was one of the first 30 employees, the company confirmed.
(That’s right, Bustle, it’s a he.)
Under the condition that we don’t reveal his true name, the entrepreneur agreed to speak with us about how the idea came about, why he chose to hide behind a pseudonym, the challenges that the business has brought about so far and where this whole vibrator thing is going.
First of all, why did you choose to go by Jaime Jandler for this project? And how did you come up with the name?
I just wanted a fun name that was gender neutral. Some articles are calling me a man and others are calling me a woman and the truth is that Jaime is the gender-neutral owner of Emojibator. I chose to go by Jaime because I have other ventures.
After so much innuendo behind the eggplant emoji, how did you finally put two and two together?
I had one of those nights brainstorming up late, and chatting with my friends it just came to me. I’m an artist by trade so I’m comfortable working with different art projects.
You say this is the official eggplant emoji vibrator. Isn’t there trademark on those symbols?
Well, Unicode characters themselves are not copyrighted, it’s kinda like the alphabet. However, specific ones are copyrighted. We’re not using the Apple or Android emoji, and there’s really not any copyrights preventing us from calling this an emoji.
How have these first days gone, sales-wise?
During the first four days of business, we sold over 200.
Are you up to the task of handling that volume all by yourself?
I do have another person working with me on this project, and we’re going to be shipping out of multiple warehouses just to handle the demand. So, yes, without a doubt.
What does your family say of this?
We were keeping this kind of a secret from my parents, and the day that we launched I sent my mom the article. She and my dad were just laughing hysterically.
Did you have beta testers? What was the initial feedback on the product?
We shared samples and prototypes with certain people and everyone was very happy with it. And yes, it gets the job done.
Are you afraid this will only be a fad and that excitement will wear off after a while?
Yes, that’s a possibility and we’re prepared for that. We’re actually structuring a business model right now. We want to learn more about our customers and are already working on some other products. I think the future is still a little bit unclear for Emojibator and we’re just getting our feet on the ground.