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.
While many professionals end up in the pleasure products industry by chance, Lucy Vonne was on a mission. After graduating college with the goal of working in adult movie production, Vonne landed a job at The Pleasure Chest where her objectives changed and led her to the pleasure products biz. Archiving her early experiences in adult retail and testing products contributed to the success of her blog, SexyBlogtime.com, before arriving at her current post at Evolved Novelties. Nowadays, Vonne handles sales, training and some product development for Evolved and its assortment of related brands — including reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson’s Love Candy collection, which landed Lucy on her show, “Kendra On Top.” In this exclusive interview with XBIZ Premiere, Women in Adult spotlights Evolved Novelties’ Lucy Vonne as she discusses her diverse experience in the pleasure products industry.
I used to hate public speaking and getting up in front of large crowds made me really nervous. I had to get over that quickly.
What is your role and responsibility at Evolved?
My main roles are sales and education/training but when it comes down to it, I do a little bit of everything. If I am not in my home office, I am off somewhere in the world teaching people all about our brands. Not only do we have Evolved but we also manufacture Zero Tolerance Toys, Adam and Eve products and we distribute Shots. That’s just toys; we also have all the DVD lines. I am usually a very busy woman. I love being involved in product development — the process of making the toys and seeing them go from a pencil drawing to an actual finished product — that is really fun for me. I also film the training videos on products, which can be a trip when I walk into a store and see myself on the screen.
How (and when) did you get into the pleasure products business?
I was living in Boston finishing my college degree in TV/video production, which I got a BA in from Emerson College. I initially wanted to work in porn production. After plans to move to L.A. fell through I ended up in New York City in the fall of 2007. I figured the best way to start exploring the industry was to work in a sex toy store and I got a job at The Pleasure Chest. While there, my focus became much more about sex toys rather than DVDs and I decided to start my own sex blog: Sexy Blogtime. I did sex toy/DVD reviews, told funny stories about working in a sex store, interviewed porn stars and offered lots of educational blogs about sex-related topics. I made a name for myself in the sex blogging world. I was even featured in the 2010 NYC sex bloggers calendar as Miss June and was teaching blow job classes on a regular basis. At this point I knew I wanted to advance and work for a sex toy manufacturer. In January of 2010 I made the big move across the country to Los Angeles and was lucky to land a job at Evolved Novelties. Been there ever since.
What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
I used to hate public speaking and getting up in front of large crowds made me really nervous. I had to get over that quickly. My first presentation was in front of about 75 people and it wasn’t my best. Now throw me in front of any crowd and I am perfectly fine. It’s more of an adrenaline rush now instead of nervousness.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The education aspect of it all. I love helping people understand what we are trying to accomplish with our products and how to really sell them. It’s such a great feeling when, after my presentation, people come up and tell me how much they have learned and how helpful the information was. I pride myself on my knowledge of pleasure products. I also love to travel and meet new people. Through Evolved, I’ve been to some very interesting places like Australia and all over the U.S. Also being on “Kendra On Top” when we did her sex toy line was wicked cool. How many sales jobs get you on national television?
What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Sounds silly but my mother raised me to always have good manners. I notice right away when someone is void of them; bad-mannered people sometimes baffle me. Simple things as saying “please” and “thank you” or holding the door for the person behind you. I find it polite and respectful to those around you. It may be a small gesture but sometimes the smallest ones are the most profound. Along those lines is always saying “thank you” and showing appreciation for something someone did for you. A simple “thank you” goes a long way and can brighten someone’s day in an instant.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
When Evolved made a product that I had created. To see my idea and concept in a finalized package was awesome. It was the anal stopper, a universal flared base that you can add to a toy to make it anal safe. I am also proud of myself for taking that step and moving across the country away from my friends and family to pursue my career. It was definitely scary at first but the best move I ever made.
What are your professional goals for 2014?
Continue to grow our brands in as many places as I can. I would also love to create more products we could produce. Maybe they will even let me direct one of our movies; I bet I could make a pretty decent porno. At least that’s what my mom keeps telling me, no really she does. I would really like to do more writing and regularly update my blog again. I miss being a part of that world. You never really know what the future will hold but I am ready for anything it wants to throw my way.