There's a new toy store in town—but you won't find anything from Fisher-Price there.
It's X & Oh, kind of a big girl's (or creative-minded big boy's) toy store, and owner CJ Zucker last week gave us a tour of probably the most beautiful high-end pleasure boutique your eyes have ever seen.
About as far removed from a tacky sex shop as you could imagine (I'm talking to you, Condom Revolution!), X & Oh is high on class and impressive customer service. Zucker is the Willy Wonka of her candy factory, and she knows exactly the toys to satisfy your sweet spot.
Zucker's high-quality merchandise is beautiful enough to display on your nightstand as a modern art piece. The hand-blown glass toys, modern colors, and sleek designs are just as pleasing to look at as to play with.
"I wanted it to be easy on the eyes," Zucker explains. "Nothing that would intimidate or offend everybody."
Zucker has been in the toy business since 2007, when she used to make house calls hosting Tupperware-party-like events at bachelorette gatherings and all-girl get-togethers. She made an impression at her company creating The Girl's Best Friend Kit, which became a number-one-selling item among her 5,500 fellow sales reps. The kit really could be dubbed a girl's best friend—it gives the guy quick pleasure without too much work, so she can get back to watching The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Zucker has done extensive research on all her products, not only personally, but she's used feedback from clients and friends as well. All toys are phthlate-free, a chemical found in most toys but one that's recently been linked to cancer. She offers a one-year warranty on her products. Some toys are even waterproof ... swimming, anyone?
X & Oh's luxury toys feature different speeds and movements. Most women experience over-stimulation during intercourse, and these items offer both straight-across and up-and-down movement.
Her boutique is decorated in black, white and Tiffany-box blue. In addition to high-end toys, X & Oh has plenty of accessories to complete the night: lingerie, edible body powder, scented sheet spray, lotions and Taschen coffee table books. There are Swarovski-encrusted masquerade masks, whips and cattails, all kept in a case since they were hand-crafted and imported from London.
Works from photographer Josh Stevenson line the walls, each a visually stunning homage to the nude form using light projection on aluminum. The prints are for sale and can be delivered.
Perhaps the most decadent item in the boutique is a $45,000 Swarovski-encrusted clawfoot bathtub in the shop's front window known as the Diamond Bathtub. In case you were thinking of buying a Mercedes instead, this tub includes one real diamond amongst the crystals, which will have you playing "Where's Waldo?" during a fun bathtime with your man (or that could be another game all together). The tub is already such a hit that it has its own Facebook page.
Zucker's decision to open in Laguna Beach was an easy one.
"There was no other place we wanted to open," says Zucker. "Newport was too young, Corona del Mar was too old."
Getting the retail space wasn't as easy. "We got a lot of doors shut in our face," says Zucker. She originally wanted the location, but was turned down. "This was the first place that said yes. People just couldn't get the concept."
The concept, however, was simple. A beautiful and classy boutique where customers could get educated about what they purchase. It's also a place where couples can come to enhance that intimate part of their relationship.
"I realized I'm good at what I do. To get a woman at a stage in her life where she has the kids and her husband, but needs more fun and rebounding," says Zucker. "I love educating everybody. It's about keeping relationships together."
Zucker herself is a wife and mother of two living in Orange County. "I get it. I'm a mom, a wife, a business owner. I still have a balance. I love my life with my husband, and it's not about him wanting it, it's about me as well. I think of it as maintenance. Like we maintenance our cars, why aren't we maintenancing our relationships?"
Zucker has been divorced once, and knows it's hard to keep a relationship moving in a positive direction if you don't work on it. "Once it goes to (a level of) no respect, it's hard to go back," she says.
She follows her own advice and always puts her family first, taking off weekends to be with them and being dedicated 100 percent.
X & Oh has been opened just shy of a month, and has already had a warm welcome from local shopkeepers and the community.
"We're in the HIP (Historic Places) District of Laguna now. Fun nightlife and people in the perfect age range for us, from late-20s all the way to 80- and 90-year-olds," Zucker says.
Zucker has already hosted a number of parties in the lounge area of her boutique, where girls can get together (a minimum of 10 are required), uncork a nice bottle of wine and have fun shopping for big-girl toys. A recent party resulted in about $3,000 worth of sales. The parties are a way for Zucker to educate girls on her products before they commit to purchasing.
CJ offers this advice to new businesswomen. "Stay focused on what you believe and don't let people persuade you to do what they believe. If you have a vision, you can create it and make it happen, just like The Secret."
X & Oh, 1143 S. Coast Hwy. 949-715-4242; www.xandoh.com.