Awakening is an independent sex and wellness boutique. It was founded with the mission to create a safe, inclusive, fun, and community-driven space for people to learn about and explore their sexuality. All are welcome regardless of gender, sexuality, race, class, etc. Awakening is Denver’s only independent and woman-owned adult novelty store. In addition to sexual health and pleasure products, Awakening also stocks handmade lingerie, art, select apparel, and home goods. Awakening hosts educational speakers and workshops, and is available for private parties and pop-ups.
Awakening was founded in April of 2018 by two Colorado natives who were unimpressed with current options. Tory Johnson and Rose Kalasz met in preschool, and immediately knew they wanted to build a sex-toy empire together… just kidding, that would be super weird. However, they have known each other since they were 4 and they bought their first vibrators together in high school. Besties who shop for vibes together, stay together. During this shopping outing, they were struck at how uncomfortable and embarrassing it was. The only stores available were sleazy and intimidating. Rather than feeling empowered, they left feeling like these stores weren’t designed for the average woman. Cut to 10 years later, they reunited and decided it was time to make a change.
Tory’s background is in environmental studies and marine biology, specializing in behavioral ecology of large whales - how she got here is a mystery (there’s a joke about a blowhole in here somewhere). However, working in the sciences taught her the importance of using products that are not only good for our bodies, but good for the planet. She is dedicated to sourcing the most eco-friendly products out there. Seriously, if she catches you with a plastic straw in your drink, she’ll straight up slap it out of your mouth and go on a rant about turtles.
Rose is a fiery (fake) redhead that can talk your ear off about anything from tarot cards to radical politics to eyeliner application techniques. She has degrees in art history and Russian literature, so at the very least she is an interesting dinner party guest or trivia teammate. An unexpected stint as an esthetician makes her real picky about stocking products that are made with clean, non-toxic ingredients, and safe for all body parts. Don’t be fooled by the tattoos and the all-black wardrobe, she is actually a big softy who loves flowers, kittens, and talking to strangers about their sex lives.