In the product display room at adult novelty maker Doc Johnson a backlit pink sign declares “Our rubber doesn’t come from China. It comes from behind these walls.” As company CEO Ron Braverman tells it, offers come in on a regular basis to change that declaration and move manufacturing of Doc Johnson novelties from North Hollywood to outside the country. Braverman gives an emphatic “no” to those offers, without ever giving a full explanation about why he wants to make his products under his careful eye in the Valley. “I want to continue to support the U.S. worker and the local community the best I can,” Braverman said. That’s part of the explanation anyway. The other part can be summed up by the word quality Braverman wants to control the quality of the products sold under the Doc Johnson brand. If he controls the quality then he can stand behind that quality of these personal products. When other manufacturers, not just those also making adult novelties, left American shores for countries where the cost of manufacturing was cheaper, Braverman stayed true to a belief of not sacrificing American jobs or sacrificing Americans to sub-standard quality. There were times during the past 33 years when Doc Johnson struggled. California was not the easiest state in which to own a business. There were higher prices and higher wages and a workmen’s compensation system wrought with fraud prior to the reforms brought by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Everything I went through, during all that difficult time I wanted to believe in the American system,” Braverman said. The belief in that system comes perhaps from how it has allowed him to operate a successful company employing more than 500 workers making products that spice up bedroom activities and modeled on body parts of adult performers. Doc Johnson creates its own formulas for the rubber and plastisol (a form of vinyl) used to make its product. Not taking manufacturing overseas has less to do with losing the exclusivity of those formulas than it does with losing quality in the end result. For it always comes back to the quality. When people think of the Doc Johnson brand, Braverman wants them to think about quality and not necessarily made-in-America quality. Not that where the novelties and toys are made doesn’t get played up with the packaging sporting a prominent logo to that effect. (Doc Johnson does distribute vibrating products made overseas that does not carry the logo.) As more reports surfaced about the shoddy products made on foreign shores, Braverman heard more comments appreciative of his U.S. manufacturing stance. “As we’ve all learned from the past few years much of the merchandise that comes from Asian countries has not been as represented,” Braverman said.
Adult Novelty Maker Likes the Valley