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About Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve was founded in 1970 by Phil Harvey and Dr. Timothy Black. What started out in a small storefront in Chapel Hill, NC, soon grew to become one of the largest mail-order catalog selling contraceptives through non-medical channels. Interestingly, as graduate students at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Heath, the eventual founders started a non-profit organization and used profits from selling condoms in the mail, as a way to finance family-planning programs in developing countries.



Our History

Adam & Eve started in 1971 as a college project to make condoms more affordable and accessible. Phil Harvey was working on his master’s thesis, when he came up with a radical idea – selling condoms by mail. At the time, you couldn’t just run out and buy a pack of condoms from a local store. You had to get them from a doctor’s office or a health clinic, which made many people reluctant to buy them. Phil believed more people would use condoms if they could get them easily and discreetly.

And he was right! Phil quickly expanded into other adult products like lingerie, lubes, and sex toys. But this growing success made Adam & Eve a target for politically minded prosecutors in the U.S. Justice Department. It led to a decade-long battle between Phil and the government over personal privacy and free speech. Phil took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before the government finally backed down.

With the legal issues behind him, Phil focused on expanding the business by opening brick and mortar stores. He wanted to revolutionize adult stores. Instead of opening in an industrial area, Phil’s stores would be in a prominent part of town with lots of windows, bright lighting, and a stylish feel. Phil wanted Adam & Eve Stores to offer an upscale, boutique-style experience catering to both individuals and couples.

The first Adam & Eve Store officially opened in 1999 in Greensboro, NC with others quickly following. The classy adult boutique concept proved incredibly popular. Adam & Eve Stores began offering franchises in 2005, leading to dozens popping up all over the United States and internationally. This explosive growth coupled with the customer-first attitude led to Adam & Eve Stores winning the XBIZ Retail Store Chain of the Year Award for the first time in 2008. We’ve won the award multiple times since then.

More Adam & Eve Stores open every year as we continue expanding to better enhance the relationships of our customers in America and worldwide.

Harvey began focusing more time on running Adam & Eve, but was also able to launch DKT International an organization that promotes family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The company continued to use profits from Adam & Eve to support the program and make a considerable impact on targeting high-risk groups.

Since its beginnings, Adam & Eve strived to ensure that it sold only the highest quality products and has successfully raised the standards in the American adult themed industry. The natural progression for the company was to begin to open retail locations throughout the United States. Today, Adam & Stores provide an upscale specialty boutique that has served discerning couples, men and women for the past decade with locations in communities in 18 states and Canada.

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