Nearly 30 years have passed since David Mazer and his partners entered the personal lubricant market, yet to Mazer it seems like only yesterday when he and his fledgling start-up opened for business in Los Angeles on August 1, 1979.
"When the company began, it was the second lubricant on the market targeted toward the gay community," says Mazer, now the sole proprietor of B. Cumming Co. "Elbow Grease Cream is our original lubricant. Mineral oil- and water-based, it is still the top-selling cream lubricant on the market today. Initially, the cream line was increased to include Light (a thinner version of the original), Hot, and Hot Light."
But since the creams are only compatible with polyurethane, Mazer said a water-based Gel line was conceived in the early '80s to give consumers a more latex-friendly lubricant. Currently, Gels also come in Classic, Light, Hot, and Hot Light formulas, and have been reformulated over the years "to offer the slickest, smoothest, long-lasting, water-based lubricants on the market today," according to Mazer.
Fusion Body Glide, a silicone lubricant that was introduced in 2006, "is 99 percent pure silicone, 98 percent pharmaceutical grade and a stat seven," explains Mazer. "This is the same grade of silicone used by the cosmetic companies in their facial makeup, thus guaranteeing no irritation. Fusion contains no additives; it is pure silicone. Fusion was introduced into the market at a lower price than its competition and has quickly gained a good market share."
With annual sales reportedly in "the seven-figure range," B. Cumming Co. has continued to grow by responding to society's changing sexual trends and diversifying product lines beyond its original niche market. According to the Durex 07/08 Global Sexual Wellbeing Survey, 34 percent of women, among the 26,000 men and women questioned have experienced vaginal dryness. Seeing a market need here, B. Cumming Co. went outside its comfort zone and released Encounter Lubricants for women.
"The key area of the company has always been the gay market," Mazer explains, "but we are making great strides into the ‘straight' market and more of the adult market in general."
According to Mazer, this wider product marketing strategy consists of advertising, promotions and sponsoring nonprofit events such as the IGRA, San Francisco Pride, Folsom Street Fair, Bear events, and Leather events, to name only a few. "This year we were the proud sponsor of ArtSeen LA: a high-end art show, fashion show and auction put on by the Aid Alliance Research Foundation that provides multiple services to the L.A. gay community," says Mazer.
With 12 employees currently at its Sun Valley, Calif., headquarters (having moved in 1988 from L.A.), Mazer believes in controlling overhead as well as other expenses, particularly in the current economic climate.
"The adult industry has always been a recession-proof business, however I'm not sure that will hold true this time," he observes. Still, Mazer is optimistic, and his company's track record and personnel have a lot to do with his positive outlook.
In addition to high-quality product, hard work, honesty and integrity, Mazer also chalks up B. Cumming's success to vice president Nef Martinez, who joined the company in 1990. "Nef no longer works for me, but with me, and is an integral part of the company," says Mazer, proudly.
Together, Mazer and Martinez prove that with a lot of ingenuity and a little elbow grease, anything is possible for B. Cumming.
For more information, please visit ElbowGreaseLubricants.com