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Taiwanese-American woman's innovations heat up US sex toy industry

LOS ANGELES -- A Taiwanese woman who grew up in the United States has shaken up the adult toy industry with her production of luxury items, according to a report by Forbes.

Ti Chang, co-founder of the modern sex toy maker Crave, “stands out not just for her designs but also for being the rare female in the male-dominated worlds of both tech and sex,” the report said Tuesday.

Born in Taiwan, Chang moved to Atlanta, Georgia with her family when she was 6 years old.

People take her seriously because of her perseverance, Chang said, crediting her parents with her work ethic.

“Watching my parents, who were immigrants to the U.S. and worked hard, gave me the notion that anything is possible if you work hard enough,” the 34-year-old San Francisco industrial designer was quoted as saying.

In 2008, Chang started Incoqnito, which is now part of Crave, making high-end foreplay products such as vibrating necklaces and multi-purpose cuffs.

Chang said she was inspired to get into the adult toy industry after a visit to a sex shop.

“I went into a sex shop and thought 'you must be joking,'” Chang related in the Forbes article. “This was a category that needed help.”

After meeting serial entrepreneur Michael Topolovac, who described her as “a female Jony Ive” — in reference to Apple Inc.'s senior vice president of design — Chang joined Crave as a co-founder in 2010.

With a full line of luxury sex toys, Crave now offers products at prices as high as US$349, the report said.

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