A brief introduction to what dongsmiths and independent sex toy shops are.
DISCLAIMER: Although independent sex toy shops may have share some similar practices and methods, no two shops are the same and this blog is not intended to accurately depict all indies! This blog shares information from the experience and general opinions of the Creature Feature Toys team. Always check a shop's website and FAQs for information specific to them, and reach out to the shop itself if you have more questions about their own practices and toy safety.
An ideal day for a dongsmith sounds like a dream… Sculpting cool monster cocks, mixing colors to create unique pours, and then selling your creations! It certainly can be a lot of fun, but most importantly it is a lot of work and responsibility.
If you’re curious to know more about what goes into independent dongsmithing, let’s jump in!
What is a “Dongsmith”?
A dongsmith is a fun term we like to call ourselves at CFT. It’s an all-encompassing title for everything that happens behind the scenes to run our business and create a quality product to share with the world. Other fantasy dildo makers may describe themselves as something else. Silicone-slinger is another favorite of ours!
Independent shops run by dongsmiths are often known as “indies”, meaning our products are created one by one in our own homes or small workshops that are operated by a small team. Not all are full time dongsmiths. It’s also not uncommon for shops to be run by only one person!
A lot goes into “professional dongsmithing”, including countless hours of research and pouring over material safety data sheets to ensure our processes are up to standards by sourcing materials and contacting sales reps, a ton of trial & error with product design, customer service, marketing, accounting, website maintenance, graphic designing, etc. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Now add in regular schedules of designing new products, pouring new toys, cleaning, bagging, photographing, listing new toys for drops, and shipping out orders!
Although the price tag may be a bit higher than a mass produced toy, there’s an indescribable feeling to hold a completely unique toy that is the result of all this hard work (plus a little bit of magic mixed in!), where you know some of its story and how it came to be. Plus, you can play with your toys without worrying about harmful materials — indies are usually very transparent about what their toy is made of and take pride in safety!
What’s different about indie sex toy shops?
Every shop is different, but here are a few things that Creature Feature Toys can offer that big manufacturers don’t!
- Always available for questions. Plus, we love interacting with you on our Twitter & Instagram.
- Each toy is made one by one. At CFT, we hand sculpt models so that every little detail was made with love! Colors are also hand mixed and poured, so every toy is guaranteed to be unique.
- We love our products, too! Created by monster lovers, for monster lovers. As we grow, we will continue to release new and exciting models for everyone.
- Support small businesses! Every purchase supports our community. At CFT, we love to give back to fantasy toy enthusiasts with giveaways & goodies, and we like to make donations to charities to spread the love. We source our materials within the USA and our own city as much as possible to support other small businesses and reduce our carbon footprint.
- We collaborate with other indie shops to keep up to date on the newest market information, discuss best practices, and to share resources. Although sex toys are unregulated, we take the responsibility of our work seriously and always strive to provide safe and fun products. You can learn more about our process by checking out the FAQ (click here).
Typically, indies sell online on marketplaces like Etsy, or they manage their own website. Some may also set up booths at conventions or even work with local retailers to sell their toys. It’s entirely up to that shop’s preference and workflow, while working within spaces that allow adult content.
You may also see that each shop handles new inventory differently. Some only do inventory “drops“, where they restock with new inventory at a specific date and time. It could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or as it fits the dongsmith’s schedule when enough toys have been made. The amount of new stock could range between hundreds of toys from an established shop to a handful from a new or smaller shop.
Some shops additionally offer “Made to Order” or “Custom” toy slots, where you can choose the size, firmness, and color of a model without searching for it in inventory restocks. You may also be able to customize the colors, pour style, and even request special designs if a shop allows it. Each shop has their own strengths on what they can offer. Our favorite requests are for desserts, sunsets, and seasonal color themes!
Unique, Fun, AND Safe ✔️
Earlier, we mentioned the responsibility that dongsmiths have to ensure their creations are safe. This should always be priority #1. Since the sex toy industry is unregulated, it is up to the individual shop to define their safety standards — which means heaps of research, contacting sales reps, and tests.
As a customer, you should never hesitate to ask shops if they do not have clear FAQs or product information readily available on their website! You may encounter toys across the Internet or in stores that claim to be made with silicone, but they do not specify if it’s 100% Platinum Cure silicone or is made of blended materials which may be toxic or porous. A reputable seller will be happy to provide safety information if you have any questions. We will have more posts on material safety in the near future!
As an aspiring dongsmith, even if other indies may use certain materials or practices, the safety and compatibility for your work space should always be verified independently. Because there are no hard rules on the “best method”, one shop’s standards may not align with your own. Imperfections in final products come with the territory, but the most important thing is to be transparent with the customer as much as possible. Make product notices clear, own mistakes with grace, and always strive to improve!
This blog is intended to use our experience with Creature Feature Toys to help make shopping for sex toys safer and approachable. We’ll continue to share more about sex toy safety, dongsmithing, our character creation process, and more!
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