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Q&A: Kim Faubel Discusses New Role With Clandestine Devices

Q&A: Kim Faubel Discusses New Role With Clandestine Devices
Megan Swartz

I am very happy to share this wonderful story of how one of our very own moved on to assist with creating the hottest, new, high-end toy item on the market. Kim Faubel spent four years with us here at the Deja Vu Love Boutique. It was very hard seeing her go but we are so proud to see her grow. I knew with her heading the project it was sure to be a big hit. The item is even hotter than my expectations. What excites me about the Mimic is that it is different from all of the other items available and yet every segment of it has a purpose. It is not just your average clitoral simulator. It reaches many more pleasure points than the basic bullet. It is soft, sleek and unique. The back of the Mimic was designed to be cradled right in the palm of your hand — simple yet genius. I love using my Mimic because it is nice and thin which allows for deeper penetration during intercourse.

I wish for this to speak to everyone out there that is currently at the retail level with that one idea that could make an impact in our growing industry. Everyone starts somewhere. Set high goals for yourself and reach them. It is my opinion that the best ideas will come from individuals that are in direct contact with the consumers. Clandestine Devices’ Mimic is a prime example of this! As you can see in the interview, Kim has humbly paved the way for the rest of us.

If you attend trade shows, make sure you shake hands and remain memorable. You never know when the opportunity may knock on your door.

XBIZ: Where did you get your start?

Kim Faubel: My very first retail position was in Harrisburg, Penn., at Excitement Video, now called Excitement Video & Toys. It was March of 2003 and I was 18 years old. I had always been curious about adult movies and, in need of a job, I decided to apply and was hired on the spot — for $6.50 an hour as a part-time clerk.

XBIZ: Why did you leave Pennsylvania?

Faubel: Pennsylvania tends to be miserable in the winter! I loved working in the adult retail business, but my time with Excitement Video & Toys had come to an end after eight rewarding years. My partner and I loved Las Vegas and his mother was already living there, which made the transition to a warmer climate an easy one, and in August of 2011, I was Las Vegas-bound.

XBIZ: How did you happen upon Deja Vu Love Boutique?

Faubel: My then-boyfriend had moved to Las Vegas a few months before I joined him and in his own job search, he had come across Deja Vu. I trusted his judgment; since he had been one of the most amazing employees I had the pleasure of working with back in Pennsylvania. He told me they had open interviews every week, and with my experience, I felt confident that I was a great fit.

I submitted an application and resume at the Adult Emporium and, after two interviews, I was once again hired as a part-time retail associate for their sister store, the Love Boutique. Starting back at the bottom was a blow to my ego, especially after having much more responsibility, but it wasn’t long before the opportunity to advance presented itself and I was given the position of store manager at the boutique.

XBIZ: What was your role and responsibilities at each job?

Faubel: My role at EV&T had progressed from part-time clerk to full-time associate, assistant manager, store manager, district manager, and finally an added responsibility of events coordinator. I had seen the stores go from VHS rental shops to sex-positive boutiques, hosting women-only events on a monthly basis at several locations. I had the honor of training the staff on new products and sexual health and wellness. I managed to acquire some colorful nicknames at the ladies’ nights, as I was known for encouraging women to love themselves and expand their horizons when it came to a well-known taboo act in the bedroom. I literally had women return to the next event just to thank me.

As the store manager at the Deja Vu Love Boutique, my hands were in many pies. My favorite part of the position was always learning about new products and assisting guests. I never fancied myself the highest grossing salesperson, but I was always thrilled to be able to help anyone coming to our boutique, especially first-timers. My opinion at Deja Vu was valued by my management — which made me feel like my role was just as important as it had been at EV&T. I may not have been overseeing several locations, but I was always asked to help the other locations in Las Vegas when special events came up or just if any help was needed. I was invited to trade shows and industry events, assisted with purchasing, and was really taken in by the Deja Vu family — particularly Megan Swartz. I will be eternally grateful for the experience I gained in Las Vegas.

XBIZ: How scary was the big move?

Faubel: When I was approached by Jules [Jordan], I was elated, but definitely terrified. Uprooting my life was something I had only done on my terms and the prospect of moving away from everything I loved in Las Vegas was daunting. However, approaching 13 years in the adult retail business had only kept me wanting more, and turning down the opportunity to help start a new luxury brand was never an option I would have given myself.

XBIZ: What advice do you have for other retail associates potentially looking to move to the other side of the industry?

Faubel: Remain patient and make a good impression. There are a handful of adult retail associates that I have worked with, through the years, that have the same spark I had and it’s those people that I truly hope stick with it. We work in such a wonderful industry and are able to share some deeply important information with the people who trust us to help them. The adult retail world is a stepping stone for most, supplementing income with a part-time job or just making a little extra money, but those who take the job seriously and want to turn it into a career are versions of me that I relate to and I love to see it. Be patient, stick with it, learn everything you can and always make a good impression with those you work with and anyone you meet in the field. When you have a store training, introduce yourself and thank the representative for their time. If you attend trade shows, make sure you shake hands and remain memorable. You never know when the opportunity may knock on your door.

XBIZ: What experience have you gained from retail that has carried over to your position with Clandestine Devices?

Faubel: I am working hard to make sure that retailers benefit the most from our products because I know, very well, the products I loved to sell and the products I refused to! Knowing the products so well really gave me an advantage when it came to helping design a new one. What works? What doesn’t? I got very bored with seeing similar items come out, trade show after trade show, but I also knew that we wouldn’t necessarily be reinventing the pleasure product. So I tried to take my knowledge of existing products and use it to make something sustainable and different enough without changing what works.

XBIZ: What is the Mimic and what influence did you have on it?

Faubel: The Mimic is a rechargeable, handheld vibrator. While I was not the sole creator, my influence was key in the design process. It helps that I’ve owned, sold, used so many versions of pleasure products that I knew what every single one was missing — and so making something that fit the natural shape of the hand, especially during a solo session, became a pivotal part of the design. It’s beautiful, and naturally resembles a stingray because of the intention to mold the silicone to vibrate entirely over the vulva. Jules has always had an artistic approach to his work and made it clear that this should look like sculpture, it should be beautiful because of its function, and I think we achieved all of that.

XBIZ: Why is the Mimic unlike anything else on the market?

Faubel: What I think is truly unique about our first product is the look and feel. So many clitoral vibrators say they are ergonomically designed but really, when it comes down to it, they aren’t. Everyone that handles the Mimic immediately finds the comfortable spot in which it fits in their hands, and its versatility occurs because of its shape. We designed it as a clitoral vibrator, but everyone in the business knows that imagination is the only limitation to these products.

XBIZ: What do you predict the future of Clandestine Devices will be?

Faubel: We will always make our products thoughtful, releasing one or two items at a time when they measure up to our standards. Everything we release will be cohesive when it comes to a unique look that is based on functionality and ease of use.

XBIZ: How much do you miss your old employer? She’s cuter than your new employer, right?

Faubel: I miss her everyday — but fortunately she’s always a text message away. And cuter? No contest — but don’t tell my current boss that.

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