How This Sexologist Built a Business on Her Passion


Business owner and sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story is pictured in front a gradient peach and pink background, with her hand on her chin. She has long brown hair and is smiling away from the camera.

Learn what it takes to turn your passion into a business with Rebecca Alvarez Story, the CEO & Co-Founder of Bloomi – a sexologist-led intimacy company that is normalizing sexual wellness & building generational wealth.

Before Bloomi founder Rebecca Alvarez became a business woman and one of the most influential intimacy experts in the country, she was a young girl receiving abstinence-only education. Growing up, she couldn’t help but notice the way energy in the room shifted when the topics of sex and intimacy surfaced, and she was curious to discover more. So after attending UC Berkeley, a liberal university that embraced these topics in a way that felt healing for Alvarez, she became a sexologist.

“I just felt like [sexual health] information should have been sprinkled throughout my life, and I knew other people were experiencing this,” shared Alvarez.

So she built Bloomi, a community-fueled and sexologist-led wellness destination that provides inclusive sexual education with products in over 1,000 Target stores nationwide, and is hosting their first WeFunder campaign of 2023 We had a chance to chat with Alvarez about her entrepreneurial journey below.

What catapulted you to start your own company? 

When I was in grad school, I started working for startups. I was consulting making intimacy products, and I started getting excited about startups. I saw how equity was changing people’s lives. Because I had my daughter pretty young, I decided I wanted to wait and be very financially stable before I started a business (the advice I would give people now is you don’t necessarily need to do that). So when I started the company, I was actually in my early 30s. And now I’m 37, so it did take time for me to feel like I had a lot of support. But I always knew I wanted to. The day I decided to do it was the day that I was watching all these entrepreneurial shows on TV. And I told my husband, “I’m so passionate of this. I have ideas. I’m ready to do this.” And between him and I, we said, let’s just make the plan. Who’s going to do what? How are we going to handle finances? Let’s make the plan.

What is the most challenging aspect of transitioning from working for others to working for yourself? 

Since I didn’t have a co-founder when I started, I didn’t have someone to help me –it was just me talking to myself. I had to learn to trust myself and be OK with testing things out. That was both exciting and challenging And then the other thing is building what I now call a ‘figuring it out’ muscle. In the beginning, there’s so much you truly don’t know how to do. What’s the legal step I should have taken? Is this the right sofware? Are these the right vendor partners? Do I need to invest in these areas? It can get overwhelming in the beginning. Now, if you give me a problem with Bloomi, I’ll figure it out. I did not have that muscle in the beginning, but I had the tenacity and passion.

Rebecca Alvarez is the Co-Founder & CEO of Bloomi – a sexologist-led intimacy company that is normalizing sexual wellness & building generational wealth.

What is the most challenging aspect of transitioning from working for others to working for yourself? 

You have to have the right team in order to scale. I knew that I would only be able to take the growth of Bloomi to a certain point alone, but I wish I had hired even sooner than I did. I saw other startups hire quickly and bring in top talent in key areas of the business. However, in my case, the early years were bootstrapped, so I self-funded part-time team members and forfeited a salary for myself. That was challenging for many reasons, but it taught me a lot. However, once we raised capital, I was able to hire experts and change the trajectory of our growth.

Given that you have a business focused on sexual pleasure, how do you deal with the taboo of sex as you try to grow this business?

When I started this company, it was still taboo, and people thought my ideas were too radical. I was very “put together” and neat if you’ve seen me speaking in the beginning. I was trying to be polished because of so much criticism that I was getting. And now, fast-forward, I’m used to criticism, and it does not bother me anymore. When you stand up for something that you really believe in, and it’s controversial, you will get a lot of backlash. You’re going to get people who don’t believe in what you’re doing – more so than if I were building a beauty makeup brand or wellness supplement brand. I’m in the sex [field], and so much comes with that. But I feel like I’m built for it now. It just took me a little bit to feel comfortable in my skin.

What practices or boundaries do you uphold in your business life so you don’t get burnt out on your passion? 

At one point in the business, I was feeling very burnt out by sex. And it’s not just because I was doing press, answering Q&As, doing the business elements, and trying to pitch it. It’s because what people don’t see behind the scenes of entrepreneurship is I still have my personal life that I’m also navigating. My close friends and family see me as a resource. I’m a magnet for any challenging sexual moment somebody in my network goes through. I’ve been at the center of guiding many people through rape and sexual trauma. And I don’t ever talk about that because I’m being very intentional about growing this business as the positive growth version of the world of sex. Later in my life, I know I will go into the more difficult things. But I was getting burnt out, and I had to stop doing press and stop talking about sex at work for a while. I had to take a break from talking about sex so much. Now, the close friends and family members who I supported are in a better place, and you’re seeing me more in the press. So I think I just balanced my energy that way.

Some people get discouraged from starting a business because many brands are already in that space. What do you suggest?

If somebody is thinking of starting a business, I highly encourage them to do so. Do a lot of research and figure out what will be your special angle because there’s room for everybody, and we need more Latina-founded businesses. I think People of Color make the best founders. We relate to so many people, sit at the intersection of many groups, and have unique lived experiences that it makes us very uniquely qualified to create an idea that reaches the masses. There’s going to be a unique perspective that you bring; just make sure you have a lot of conviction in why you want to create this thing. And don’t give up. Just pivot to what needs to happen.

About the Author

Chantelle Bacigalupo

Chantelle Bacigalupo is #WeAllGrow Latina’s Editorial Staff Writer. She is a Bolivian-American photographer, multimedia journalist, and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work focuses on issues ranging across immigration, social & environmental justice, preserving Indigenous cultures, and reproductive justice. You can read more of her pieces here.




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