Jaqueline Gold – selling sex toys to women at home

Entrepreneur Jacqueline Gold, who has just died, took four seedy backstreet sex shops and transformed the Ann Summers lingerie and sex toy brand into a multimillion-pound retail empire, playing a key role in the sexual liberation of British women and the high street.

  When she took the company over in her late twenties it was a male oriented business – staff and customers – but she trailblazed the idea of using a direct sales model based on Tupperware parties, where vibrators were sold to small groups of women within their homes. When she put forward the idea to her all-male board they resisted, saying ‘Women aren’t even interested in sex.’ She described the move as taking “the company from the raincoat brigade to a female institution”.

  She was made a CBE in 2016 for services to women in business and social enterprise and died recently after a long battle with cancer.

  She was born 16 July 1960 and had a fascinatingly illuminating chart. She was a Sun Cancer which sign is ambitious and creative, female-oriented but more significantly has a nose for public trends. Added to that she had a defiant Uranus in a courageous and uncompromising square to Mars in determined Taurus as well as in an adventurous risk-taking trine to Jupiter. Even more to the point she had Neptune in Scorpio almost certainly opposition a tactile Moon in Taurus squaring onto a flamboyant Venus in Leo. All the strands of her temperament came together to make an oddball success of an offbeat business.

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