Q&A with Megan Simon, Manager
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Megan: Taboo Tabou was created to help externalize inner desires, from mild to wild, at any price range. From sex toys to costumes, lingerie to BDSM gear, shoes to stockings, we make sure you leave our store feeling confident and sexy. Taboo Tabou opened in the early 1990s as a condom depot and has grown over the last 20 years into a neighborhood staple for all things naughty. Our décor is a mix of classic vintage meets modern rock ’n’ roll, leading to an aesthetic that appeals to a broad spectrum of women. Our management and staff make great efforts to remain educated and up-to-date in relevant fashion trends and styles, as well as new items and advances in the sex toy industry.
Ted: Who is your typical customer?
Megan: Our customer base is largely women from 18 up through the mid-to-late 40s, shopping to enhance their sexual experience or their sexuality with their partners. We’re also sought out by performers of all types to stock up on necessities for shows and performances.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Megan: Diversity is what differentiates Taboo Tabou from other stores in the city. We offer ever flavor of sexual expression at every price range. An adventurous college student with a budget can leave as satisfied as the female half of a 30-year marriage who is on a mission to spice up her relationship with her partner. We offer a huge collection of dancewear for professionals and amateurs, as well as more burlesque-inspired lines. We also feature a huge line of vintage-inspired dresses and separates which is sought out by women from all parts of the Midwest.
Ted: List some of the brands that are important to your store.
Megan: Taboo Tabou has grown over the years with such brands as Lip Service, Folter, Tripp and Switchblade Stiletto. Brands like Stop Staring! and Pin-Up Couture take up a growing percentage of space in our shop front. We love lingerie from Lucy B, Kiss Me Deadly, Maison Close, Jezebel and Felina. Our favorite toy companies include Je Joue, Lelo, Good Vibrations and Booty Parlor.
Ted: What styles are particularly popular among your customers?
Megan: With the explosion of burlesque across many big cities across the country, Taboo Tabou’s made great efforts to keep our selection geared towards customers’ wants and needs. We offer pieces for burlesque performers and those simply enamored with the style. We also boast a large and growing collection of vintage-inspired selection from the likes of Stop Staring! and Pin-Up Couture.
Ted: What price and size range do you carry?
Megan: Taboo Tabou offers a broad range of sizes for our patrons. Lingerie ranges from XS to 4X and 32B to 44DD, with more and more full-busted options, from 32D to 44DD, becoming more readily available in store. We plan to offer extended sizes in the spring, with sets ranging from 32DD to 36G. Our clothing is available from sizes XS to 1X/2X. The price for a set of lingerie can range from $20 for a simple bra/panty set up to $200 for an outfit pieced together from a higher-end collection.
Ted: What is your average customer size?
Megan: Taboo Tabou offers a huge range of sizes because we don’t have an average-sized customer. More women seek out our store for our non-typical sizes as well as our "average" sizes and we will continue to research brands that offer beyond the small-to-large or 34B-to-36C size ranges.
Ted: How much does the average customer spend in your store?
Megan: The average customer sale is around $80, which might equal a sexy lingerie set complete with stockings, a high-end vibrator or a new pair of shoes.
Ted: What other information would you like to share?
Megan: Taboo Tabou currently offers toy parties for those interested in having an easy answer to planning a bachelorette party, or those simply looking for a fun and sexy outing with friends on any night of the week. We also offer month performances by local burlesque starlets in the art gallery available above our shop. These events are free to Taboo customers and the public, with the store open after each show for shopping. Finally, we will also be offering different workshops in the fall, covering everything from BDSM to burlesque.