Kama Sutra has been around for 46 years- so we get a lot of questions about how we began and how we have stayed in business for so long.
No one can answer those questions better than the man who started Kama Sutra, and is still the CEO today: Joe Bolstad.
We are excited to announce that every Thursday, we will be posting a new story on our blog written by our founder himself!
Tune in every Thursday to read Bolstad's personal memories and thoughts about starting the world's leading lifestyle and romance brand in the mid 1960's and how he has kept it going strong in 2015.
Hello, my name is the Joe Bolstad, and I, along with my partner Hal Hauser formulated and created a company and product over forty-five years ago. The product was Oil of Love® – and the company was The Kama Sutra Company. We are now a mid-sized company that sells our many products in over 50 countries. The reason I am even writing this information and posting it in the “BLOG” (I still don’t know what a ‘blog’ is) is because over the years so many people have become intrigued by the Kama Sutra Company – and how it started. I am amazed at the amount of people that I meet who become aware that I founded and own the Kama Sutra Company and the first question they always ask is: How did you get started?”
Well – here’s the answer to that question to the best of my recollection forty-five years later. I was working in advertising in the mid-1960s as an art director/creative director at a large national ad agency in Los Angeles and worked on many regional and national accounts ranging from cosmetics – to real estate – to the financial world to hair care and many more. I was pretty good and won many awards in the Los Angeles and New York art direction awards. At the agency I met a very creative and funny guy named Hal Hauser another guy from the Midwest – just like me. He was a brilliant writer – his real yearning was to write and direct major movies. We hit it off immediately and became good friends. He was a graduate of Northwestern University and was a jet pilot in the military – so he was a pretty together guy. (Although he had a few bad 1960’s habits – like many did back then.)
Hal and I would quite often have a beer after work – and laugh and joke about the day’s events in the ad biz. He would then go home to his apartment in Hollywood and I would drive to the valley to my young family. One week Hal and I were invited to a big Hollywood Hills party by some friends of ours in the film biz. We decided to go – and it became a life changing night for me and Hal. It was at a big house in the hills. As the night wore on it became packed with a few Hollywood A- listers, many B and C-listers and a lot of interesting people –mostly from the film and advertising biz. As you might imagine there was a heavy pungent smell in the air (it was the sixties) and it became a giddy night – to say the least. At one point I saw several young guys searching the kitchen for any sort of oil that they might use in a night of sexual revelry. Cooking oils were the oil of choice in those days.
I fell into a drunken-drugged haze – how I got home I do not know. The next workday, Hal and I met for coffee and went over the night of the party. I must admit – much of it I don’t remember. But we both remember the kitchen oil raid by several of the young single guys. Being the “ad” men that we were – and the time and place (it was 1968) we looked upon this as an opportunity to create a product that we could to not only make a few bucks – but do a good deed by helping to heal the unrest in the streets of America. We casually called our invention “Love Oil” and thought the whole idea was worthy of our efforts. So we shook hands and agreed to be partners on this “Love Oil” adventure. We went down to the Hollywood branch of Bank of America and each put up five hundred bucks to start the business.
©2015 Joe Bolstad
Founder and CEO of The Kama Sutra Company