Young Gun: Katrina McKay of Ohhh Canada

  • Published
  • August 13, 2014
Katrina McKay lede
Have you ever imagined ditching the 9 to 5 and pursuing independent business ownership? Have you ever fantasized about incorporating sex toys, bondage and role play into your bedroom activities? Well, Katrina McKay is uniquely qualified to help make both dreams come true.

The Sexy CEO and founder of Ohhh Canada – a boudoir-boutique offering fashionable, safe and luxurious sex toys, burlesque-style lingerie and sexy beauty products – is also an entrepreneurship nerd and works as a business coach and workshop facilitator, helping small business owners around the world.

We interviewed Katrina and spoke about what it takes to get started in business for yourself, and what it takes to keep going.

Tell us a little bit about your business. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m an entrepreneur through and through, and the business I’m best known for is Ohhh Canada, although I’m also a business coach and I run an international marketing consultancy. But when I tell people that one of my companies sells sexy stuff, they generally don’t care to hear about the other ones too much! :) As for Ohhh Canada, we’re the purveyor of all the accessories you may want to “express your sexy”, and we have a carefully curated collection of high end toys, lingerie and body products. Oh, and my big important-sounding title is…CEO & Founder.

I love creating new possibilities for myself and for others – in the boardroom and in the bedroom.

Do you remember when you first got the entrepreneurial spark?
I was born an entrepreneur. I sold lemonade as a kid, then progressed to greeting cards (I’m sure my family got really sick of buying my wares), and after years in the traditional business world in very entrepreneurial positions, took the leap and struck out on my own.

What made you choose this business?  What inspired you?
Ohhh Canada combines two of my passions – sex and business. I’ve always been fascinated by sex, sexuality, human relationships and identity. And I love the game of business – it’s exciting and challenging, and rewarding.

image of products available at Ohhh Canada
An assortment of toys, a butterfly thong and Katrina McKay at work.

Did you have to convince your friends and family you were serious or were they behind you from the beginning?
I’ve always dreamed really big dreams, and once I’m set on something, it’s nearly impossible to change my mind – my family didn’t even try! They did, however, have some serious reservations when I resigned from my lucrative marketing position to live solely on my entrepreneurial endeavours…  My mother’s first response to me was, “how will you make money?” I laughingly reassured her that that was, actually, the plan.

In fact, by the time I left the 9-to-5 world, I was already making a steady income from my companies. While my family members have had their reservations, I’ve always felt very supported by my family – my mom is now the Warehouse Manager for Ohhh Canada (true story!), my father is my accountant & advisor and more importantly fiercely proud of me, and my brother and I are working on another business together. As for my long-time partner, Darryl, I don’t even know how he puts up with me; being in a relationship with an entrepreneur is hard – we tend to be volatile. He’s my biggest supporter, by far.

Can you describe a typical day?
I don’t think I’ve had a “typical day” in the past four years! I’m day agnostic – most days I have no idea whether it’s Monday or Saturday… And my schedule changes drastically. I travel extensively to buy for Ohhh and to speak to audiences around the world about either sex or business (or both!), so I’m usually half unpacked from one adventure, and packing for the next. I also try to squeeze in daily gym workouts and cuddle sessions with my three cats (I know, I know, I have achieved crazy cat lady status). I’m pretty much always working on strategic plans on my laptop… my MacBook and I are pretty much inseparable.

They say you have to fail first to succeed – have you stumbled or has it been smooth sailing so far?

Successful entrepreneurs who tell you it’s been nothing but smooth sailing have one thing in common… they’re lying

What’s your style on a day off: take time to recharge or always hustling?
A few years ago I coined the term “plurking” which is a combination of “playing” and “working.” My whole ethos is based around work being so amazing that it feels like play… I don’t believe in balance – that’s a fictitious concept that’s overhyped. I live life to the fullest every day, and that includes “hustling.”

Any tips for a young gun just starting out?
Learn to make big decisions, make those decisions quickly and then course correct as needed. The joy of running a small business is that you have the capability to be more agile than the big guys – use that to your advantage. And have fun! It’s a hard road, but if you chose to be an entrepreneur, you chose it because you love the game. So love the game, and play it hard.

What does the future look like?
Massive growth for all of my businesses, and the opportunity to share what I know about how accessible abundance and affluence can be – that’s really exciting to me!

Content Manager at FS Local

Jesse is a typical class clown. Born and raised just north of the Toronto, he fell in love with the City on school trips to the ROM and the Science Centre. He tried Vancouver for a few years, but the call of home was too strong to resist. Today he lives in the North-East Upper Beaches. (What? It’s a thing!)

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