WIA Profile: Briana Honz
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.
Briana Honz joined Pipedream Products as visual merchandiser with a degree in fashion business and merchandising, and extensive experience having worked for a Fortune 500 company doing visual merchandising and Hustler Hollywood as head buyer. In her current role, Honz travels worldwide to help retailers maximize sales and enhance the customer experience through optimized merchandising of Pipedream brands.
What is your role at Pipedream?
My primary role at Pipedream is visual merchandising and sales. I make sure Pipedream is represented well in stores and that it expresses our vision as a company. I travel worldwide to various stores ensuring that merchandising meets our standards, offering merchandising tips, educating customers on our brand and products while making sure we are exceeding customer satisfaction. I wear many hats at Pipedream which allows me to express my creativity and incorporate my mainstream experience.
How did you get into the novelty business?
I started in the adult novelty business about five years ago. I was recruited by the Hustler Stores to come on board as the adult buyer. At that time I was a buyer in the fashion industry with more than six years of experience as a buyer and merchandiser at the corporate level.
How has your previous experience prepared you for your current position?
I have a BA degree in Fashion Business & Technology. My previous experience includes retail management, merchandising management, personal styling and senior-level buying for a Fortune 500 fashion company. My experience has definitely molded me into a triple threat for this industry — hard working, educated and experienced. I take my career very seriously as I have worked my way up the ladder in the good ol’ corporate world. I have had my hands in various positions in the mainstream industry and have worn many hats in the adult novelty industry, which has allowed me to be selfsufficient.
My education has taught me how to be a dedicated and driven person. I graduated with honors, which proves I take any task that is given to me quite seriously and strive for perfection.
I received best speech in my college speech class, which is paying off now with the amount of public speaking I have to do in my role at Pipedream. So having my degree and the experience I have definitely allows me to contribute that much more to my career.
What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I have faced was changing my career path from the fashion industry to the adult novelty industry. I went from a business where I knew the ins and outs to an industry I didn’t know much about. But that’s me and what I do — I embrace every challenge that is put on my plate and I give it 110 percent. I absorbed all information that was given to me, did my own research, and here I am today! I like challenges, it keeps me driven! I am able to adapt in any atmosphere, and now that I am in this industry, I can’t see myself ever leaving it.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is interacting with the people I do on a daily basis! I am very fortunate to be part of the successful Pipedream team. I get to travel the world representing the No. 1 manufacturer while spending oneon- one quality time with our customers! Pipedream is my home away from home and I couldn’t be happier!
What is your personal motto?
My personal motto is “Never give up on your dreams, but continue to dream BIG … dreams really do come true.” Without having dreams or goals, then you aren’t challenging yourself. I dream big and that keeps me motivated. I am living many of my dreams right now. I have never given up on my dreams despite the many obstacles that may come along the way. After all, those obstacles are what make me the person I am today, a tough cookie!
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
This is a tough one. I have been fortunate to have received various awards for my hard work in the fashion industry. I created an exclusive brand for one of the fashion companies I worked for that launched in over 700 stores and the product sold out in less than a week. Now that was exciting! But speaking more on an analytical level, I have ran many departments that were down double digits when I took them over and turned them around to positive, double digit comps within a few months. Now that is a great accomplishment!
What are your professional goals for 2012 and beyond?
My professional goal for 2012 is to continue to help Pipedream remain No. 1. I want to continue to mentor those breaking into the industry and to motivate others to chase their dreams. My main goal is to keep Pipedream at the top and continue to keep the big boss happy! I always set so many goals for myself and it sure feels good to check them off one by one.