WIA Profile: Lupe Martinez
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.
After 15 years with CalExotics, Lupe Martinez has reached several milestones with the company — including overcoming public speaking and solidifying her reputation as a dedicated sales executive, which earned her a nomination for Business Development Executive of the Year at this year’s XBIZ Exec Awards.
When Martinez joined the pioneering pleasure products brand CalExotics, she possessed little knowledge of the industry, however quickly mastered the field and from there, has developed her own unique style of personalized customer service.
Today, Martinez not only conducts trainings for retailers worldwide, she also is responsible for CalExotics’ impeccably stylish trade show booths’ merchandising. With the inspiration of CalExotics founder Susan Colvin and Executive VP Jackie White, Martinez continues to thrive in her role.
In this month’s edition of Women in Adult, we profile Martinez and her expanding role.
XBIZ: What is your role and responsibility as CalExotics’ international account manager?
Lupe Martinez: My role has changed over the years. At one point, I was responsible for U.S., Latin America, Australia and Russia. I’ve handled accounts in all segments from distribution, retail, online and home party companies. Covering all these countries has given me a broad scope of the marketplace, and has allowed me to better understand and service my clients. As our sales team has grown, I now have a more concentrated territory primarily in the U.S. and Australia. In addition to my sales role, I also coordinate our major industry tradeshows. My favorite perk of merchandising our tradeshow booths is shopping till I drop for the cutest things I can find to give a product line a bold statement. Louboutins anyone?
XBIZ: How (and when) did you get into the business?
Martinez: I have been with CalExotics for 15 years. When I started working for CalExotics, I was not familiar with the industry. I found out about the position from a personal trainer, who was also working with Susan Colvin. I remember the interview with Susan vividly, specifically when she took me into the CalExotics showroom; I don’t think I’ve ever blushed as much as I did that day. Being a novice with toys, I had many misconceptions about the business side of the industry. I remember attending my first ANME trade show. I had been with CalExotics for only a few months, so I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I was completely blown away by how friendly and down-to-earth everyone was. I was also very impressed by the women in the industry, and over the last 15 years, it’s been exciting to see the growing number of strong women in our business.
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Martinez: When I came on board, Susan and Jackie were the sales team at CalExotics; there was no one else! My initial role was sales and customer support, and I was quickly given accounts to manage. Although it was an honor to be given those accounts, it was also very nerve racking. I’m sure the customers were thinking, here’s a new person, totally new to the industry and clueless about the product and now she’s handling my account! I took this as an opportunity and challenge to win them over. I made sure I knew our product line and worked very hard to get to know them. If it meant having to do store trainings in the middle of winter to build that relationship, I did it! I believe in letting your work speak for itself, and hard work does pay off.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Martinez: Our mission at CalExotics has always been in delivering exceptional customer service. The focus starts and ends with the customer in mind. I’m lucky to be a part of a supportive, dedicated and focused team that understands the importance of taking care of our customers by offering a fantastic product mix, high fulfillment rate and quick turnaround time. The most rewarding part for me is the daily interaction I have with my clients. It’s fun and exciting to work with them on product selections, promotions, and in-store campaigns and immediately seeing the results. Over the years, my travel schedule has increased tremendously,and being away from home is not always easy. However, each time I travel, I feel as though I’m seeing my extended family. It’s nice to say I have family around the world.
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Martinez: Eldorado was the first warehouse show I attended with Jackie White approximately four months after I started. I remember Jackie took me on a walk and gave me some advice that has stuck with me all these years; she said: “always be yourself.” As simple as that may sound, when you’re in sales it’s easy to lose a sense of who you are. I’ve developed a personal approach to sales by building on those relationships and catering to the specific needs of my clients. Being genuine and trustworthy is key!
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Martinez: There have been several proud moments for me during my time in the industry, but the one that really stands out is when Athena’s Home Novelties invited me to speak at one of their conventions. I was asked to speak about CalExotics and to introduce, train and get them excited about the new product launch. I gladly accepted, and to my surprise, there were approximately 400 Goddesses in attendance. Growing up, I was shy and timid; in fact, I had to take an acting class to help me overcome that. I was really nervous that day, but I got on stage and spoke to them, and I was surprised by how easy and natural it was. When you’re passionate and love what you do, everything is possible. Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing me to overcome my fear of public speaking!
XBIZ: What are your professional goals for 2017?
Martinez: Working for Susan Colvin all these years, she still inspires me. No one works as hard as she does! Susan is an amazing role model. My goal every single year is to strive to be like her and to continue to represent CalExotics with professionalism, dignity and class.