Homegrown Video was born out of the back room of a tiny mom and pop video store in San Diego, CA. The advancement of video cameras and VHS tapes allowed Greg Swaim, the store’s owner, to begin filming real couples at his popular sex parties. Swaim called the videos “Homegrown Videos” and rented them at his shop. In 2007, AVN magazine listed “Homegrown Video #1”, the brand’s flagship title, as one of the 50 most influential adult video titles ever released, as it was responsible for creation of the amateur pornography genre in adult video. Homegrown Video was the first company to distribute people’s homemade sex tapes; Swaim solicited amateur tapes by advertising “Send in your home videos and earn up to $20 per minute” at the end of each Homegrown Video tape.
In 1993, Swaim sold Homegrown Video to Farrell Timlake (adult performer Tim Lake), who had submitted amateur videos of himself and his wife in the past. Swaim sold the company due to a mismanagement of funds and impending bankruptcy. Still inspired by the first Homegrown Video VHS they ever watched, the Timlakes decided to purchase the company in 1993, with money borrowed from Farrell’s mother.
Timlake and his partners expanded the business to the Internet, cable television while taking the sales of their videotapes and DVDs worldwide. Author Eric Schlosser, in writing about Homegrown Video said the company served “as a clearinghouse for the democracy of porn, supplying hard-core videos by the people, for the people”. The self-titled flagship title is now well past 800 volumes and is acknowledged as the longest running series in the history of porn.
Homegrown Video’s establishment and domination of the amateur porn market is evident in its 11 AVN Awards and 2 XBIZ Awards for Best Amateur Release, Best Amateur Series, and Niche Studio of the Year.