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.
Colleen Godin joined Sportsheets International in September as the company’s new field sales and marketing associate, and already she’s earning kudos from company founder Tom Stewart and President Julie Stewart for her enthusiastic approach to product trainings and presentations. She recently took part in Sportsheets’ first on-campus presentation, hosting a “Kink 101” course for the USC Kinky Trojans.
Seeing my staff trainees get excited about the products never gets old.
Godin comes to Sportsheets with a diverse background in pleasure products. She began her career in the industry working behind the counter of an adult boutique chain, where she gained knowledge of Sportsheets products and competing companies before making her leap into the manufacturing side of the business more than a year ago. Godin also holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and specializes in event planning, product education and social media marketing.
In this month’s edition of Women In Adult, we profile Colleen Godin, who shares her diverse career background and reveals her goals for the future.
XBIZ: How/when did you get into the industry?
Colleen Godin: I started working as a sales associate at an adult boutique in college. I loved it so much that I stayed for over two years! I knew right away that I wanted to pursue a career in the pleasure products industry. It was one of the few paths I considered that never lost my interest over time. It always felt “right” and my enthusiasm never waned, so I followed my heart to Los Angeles. Within a year of my move from the Midwest, I had networked my way into the manufacturing side of the business.
XBIZ: What did you do prior to working in the pleasure products industry?
Godin: I’ve traveled a rather labyrinth-esque path to arrive at my current career. My degree is in Tourism Management and Event Planning, which I’ve also been able to wind into my experiences. Working as a Hospitality Manager at an Eco-Hostel in Hawaii was the most interesting. The hostel owners had a secondary business focused on sexual health. I managed the day-to-day operations of the hostel and wrote for their sex-positive websites. I basically lived outdoors for over three months because all the facilities were open-air, even the shower. On my third day of work, I climbed three hours to the top of a live lava flow at 3 a.m. Hitch-hiking was our main source of transportation. Needless to say, very little can match that type of adventure (except for Burning Man, but that’s another story).
XBIZ: What is a typical day like for you?
Godin: I have three different types of “typical” days: office days, travel days and training days. Training days are my favorite. The sales associates in adult boutique retail are some of the most fun, enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet. Training them on how to sell products is the best part of my job. I also enjoy the scenic drives from store to store when I’m visiting a particularly beautiful part of the country. Travel days are the least exciting. After hitting 150k miles in a year, I’m pretty much on auto-pilot as I check my bags, line up for security, and catch connecting flights. Office days are still composed of fairly typical office stuff, like answering emails and attending meetings, but our team makes it a very collaborative, family-like environment. Everyone here is valued and we all pitch in to keep things rolling.
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Godin: Getting into the pleasure products industry, especially in a city like Los Angeles, was a challenge in itself. It took several layers of networking to get my foot in the door. I was told that it was impossible to get a job in Los Angeles without knowing someone on the inside of my prospective field, and that turned out to be true. The second challenge was figuring out how I best fit into the business. Staying true to my values and original career vision helped to lead me in the right direction.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Godin: I enjoy giving back to the people at the brick-and-mortar level because that’s how I got my start. When I worked at an adult boutique, I can remember my manager returning from manufacturer training with all kinds of insider knowledge. Her stories were fuel to my dream of someday becoming the company representative at the helm of a sales training presentation. Seeing my staff trainees get excited about the products never gets old. Sometimes they even teach me a thing or two!
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Godin: I rather enjoy a popular quote by Mr. Seth Godin, and not just because we share a last name. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” There are too many people spending their lives chained to a desk and doing work that isn’t fulfilling or making use of their talents. Though they’ve been pigeonholed as being “whiny” or “entitled,” I actually believe the Millennial Generation is the first to figure out that we, as part of the working class, no longer have to live that way. Positive personal and career growth lies in changing how we think about the work/life balance, but it’s difficult because of how we’re hard-wired from older generations and the media. I’m really pulling for my generation to put a little more life into living.
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Godin: Since joining the Sportsheets team, I’ve been given more opportunities and challenges in a few short months than I’ve had in my entire career! Getting kudos from our founder, Tom Stewart, on my work for our recent USC Kinky Trojans student group presentation or compliments from President Julie Stewart on leading a team meeting are a huge honor. I have a lot of respect for Tom and Julie for maintaining close, meaningful relationships with every level of staff no matter how busy it gets at the office.
XBIZ: What are some of your professional goals for the future?
Godin:I’d like to get more involved in trade shows and events. I still get a rush from the hustle and bustle of being on the show floor. Product development is also high on my list. I started working in this industry because of my passion for quality sexual health products, and I’m always getting ideas for new toys and brands. Designing my own luxury toy line would be the pinnacle of my career.