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Miko Exoticwear Expands Workshops

Sex boutique wins praise from Rhode Island reader's poll

Miko Exoticwear Expands Workshops
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Miko Exoticwear was voted "best place for sexy gifts" for the 10th year in a row in the Best of Rhode Island Readers'poll, published every year by the Providence Phoenix.

"The reason for our continued success and loyalty of our customers is the amount of training that we require our staff to have," said Miko Exoticwear's founder and president, Jeff Gellman. "Our staff is extremely passionate about women's studies, health, and wellness, and it shows in the way we treat our customers."

Well known in the region as a 100-percent female-run and -staffed sex boutique, Miko Exoticwear offers workshops and classes for women and couples, both gay and straight, in addition to lingerie, DVDs, sex toys, books, and massage products sold in its retail store.

On March 1, Miko relocated to 268 Wickenden St. in Providence, where the company opened the Miko Learning and Resource Center. The new facility is staffed with a sex educator that helps women and couples with basic and complicated issues on sex and sexuality. Workshop schedules are available online, and instructors have been expanded to include Princess Kali, a professional dominatrix, as well as Tristan Taormino, who has helped launch Vivid Entertainment's Vivid-Ed line.

According to the website, Miko Exoticwear's mission is to change the way people think and feel about sexuality, whether by themselves or with a partner. Having been chosen for a "best of" award for 10 consecutive years, the company seems to be achieving that mission. Gellman explained the formula for Miko's success to AVN Adult Novelty Business Magazine. "All of our staff is highly educated on female anatomy and the use of all of the products in the shop," he said. "We also will not carry products that we know are unsafe to our customers."

When asked how Miko could be considered an all-female-operated business if he's the owner, Gellman clarified, "Just because I'm the owner doesn' mean I make all the decisions. I'm at a completely different site. I leave all the decision making to my general manager, Rhiannon Kopynec—from hiring to how to spend the money budgeted for advertising to what goes into the product mix."

Of the accolades in the Providence Phoenix Reader's poll, Gellman told ANB, "It is a wonderful feeling. No one has won the best of for 10 years in anything—no restaurant, no flower shop, no shoe store, nothing. So this is huge! It makes me very, very proud of my staff, which is [ultimately] responsible for it."

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