WIA Profile: Leslie Schwartzer
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
Boasting international appeal and stylish designs, Rocks-Off has established an undeniable presence in the pleasure products market. Leslie Schwartzer, who leads the U.K.- based company’s U.S. and South American arm, takes on numerous responsibilities and late nights to continue cultivating the brand’s global presence.
How did you get into the business?
Unfortunately, they didn’t discuss selling sex toys on “Career Day.” I started out as a U.S. customs broker, and I worked with Adam & Eve, clearing their products through customs. That’s when I started learning everything there was to know about sex toys. Later I supplemented my income doing home parties, and later I ran Holiday Products for four years before joining Rocks-Off.
Describe a typical Monday at your desk.
Since we’re a U.K.-based company, a typical Monday for me starts way earlier than most — at around 1 a.m. I wear so many different hats doing everything for the U.S., that there is nothing typical about my job. A lot of Mondays I’m on the road. As we speak, I’m on a tour bus in Ireland taking my first vacation in two years.
What is your business philosophy?
My philosophy coincides with that of Rocks-Off. In this business I believe you have to be different and that customer service is key — you’ve got to make sure customers are taken care of. I’m proud to say that Rocks-Off hasn’t raised its prices in eight years — not even in the U.S. We work based on the same philosophy — it’s all about our customers. We make a fantastic product; you get treated the way you treat people and in turn we’re very successful.
What factors do you attribute to the growth of Rocks-Off to where it is today?
Quality and innovation; we do something different than anybody else and we do it with quality — manufacturing in the U.K. is not an inexpensive venture but we do it for quality’s sake.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Three years people kept asking “where are you going?” when I left Holiday — nobody knew who Rocks-Off was, but now we’ve worked our way up to being recognized in the industry. I believe our products are extremely body-friendly not just a big piece of rubber slapped on a motor — I think we really help people. There’s nothing better than standing at a trade show and telling people how to use our products. I also love the people that I work with in this industry from every level — from home party reps to distributors to other vendors.
How do you maintain balance in your life?
I can relate to a friend that used to always say: “balance is for gymnasts and I’m not a gymnast.” My life is sometimes like a juggling act with chainsaws. I do the best I can. I have an 18-year-old son and a personal life that I try to maintain, and I do whatever else needs to be done. I look very laid back but I’m actually very OCD — you have to know what chainsaw is coming down next.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
When I was asked to run everything in the U.S., and South America for Rocks-Off, it was a huge accomplishment that they trusted me. I love that they believe in me to do this — we could get a million awards but it’s most fulfilling to know that I’ve contributed to making Rocks-Off what it is: trusted and respected. I’m proud to have earned the wonderful support of the people I work for.