Everyone has thought to themselves at some point in their life “I could really use a hug right now.” What if all you had to do to get one is drive up the street to the local cuddling shop?
Samantha Hess decided to open up the world’s first professional cuddling shop in Portland Oregon, where customers can pay $60 per hour to get “the level of human contact that we want or need in order to be our optimal selves.” The shop is called Cuddle Up To Me, and allows people to book appointments with cuddlers to receive the comfort they are looking for.
60 bucks an hour may seem like a lot of money to cuddle someone, but apparently there are many people who are willing to pay that amount.
“This business has taken off,” Hess told Fox 12. “I’ve gotten as many as 10,000 emails in a week.”
What inspired the creation of this business? Hess said she decided it would be a good business idea when she was going through a difficult time in her life.
“I was at a place where I thought paying someone to hug me and not have ulterior motives sounded like a great idea,” she explains. “I decided why can’t this be a thing that we can easily and safely reach for?”
Each 60 minute session is customized to fit the preferences of the customer. Hair stroking and hand-holding are other options that are available to include in a session. If physical contact isn’t your thing, but you still wish to be in someone else’s company, you can pay to just sit and read with someone.
Her studio has four themed rooms and she employs three other cuddlers. She initially was operating out of her home, but was forced to upgrade to a larger space due to high demand.
Her business kind of raises a red flag when it comes to people paying extra to get a little more, if you know what I mean. Hess emphasizes that her business is in no way ‘adult-oriented’, but rather ‘family-oriented’:
“People always think that there’s upgrades or, you know, additional services that we provide, and that’s not true.”
Here is her cuddling service receiving news coverage from a local station: