Ambiance Celebrates 30 Years of Passionate Success | Business
Ambiance, The Store for Lovers is celebrating its thirtieth year in business. The Cleveland-based retail chain currently has seven locations in Northeast Ohio and an eCommerce site, but it humbly began as a gathering of a dozen women in a home in Berea.
With $300 and experience from working in a family business, founder and Vice President Henry Keiluhn started Ambiance in 1981 as a home party venture. A year later, over-the-counter stock trader and model Jennifer Downey joined him, eventually becoming president and company spokesperson in 1985.
“It’s been an amazing thirty years,” states Downey. “We are now seeing a second generation of customers come in, saying that Ambiance is the reason they were conceived. We have certainly done our part to help combat the population decline in Northeast Ohio,” she laughs.
“We have always recognized the importance of marriage and family, and strongly feel that using intimate lingerie and marital aids to ignite passion in a relationship should be applauded. We believe that couples should get as much joy, fulfillment and emotional rewards from the intimate side of their long-term relationship as any other part,” she says. “This approach has helped us become a vital part of the communities we’re in. From the national hotel chains we partner with, offering discounts on romantic getaways, to the PTAs, churches and charitable organizations who ask us for help, it’s rewarding to have the opportunity to give back and be so well-respected.”
The journey hasn’t always been easy, however. “Ambiance promotes sex as a healthy part of relationships and thus, offers marital aids,” states Downey. “There are still places in the US where it is illegal to sell sex toys, and we encounter prejudice because we sell them. The funny thing is, Ambiance only started carrying what we call ‘romantic technology’ because our female customers asked us to. They wanted a respectable place to buy intimate items, so we gave it to them. We will continue to fight to give couples a safe, reputable place to do so.”