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.
Molly Romeo says it was Holiday Products’ customer base that convinced her to join the growing distribution company in 2005. Twelve years later, Romeo is still inspired by her clients and her passion has made her Holiday Products’ go-to product guru, copywriter and so much more. The spirited sales pro says that her motto is to “keep going” no matter what, and this determination has made her not only invaluable to the Holiday team, but to her clients that see her as a partner in their retail endeavors. In this month’s edition of Women In Adult, we spotlight Romeo and her wide-ranging talents.
I am known around the office as the product guru/specialist, and make it a point to learn all that I can about every item, collection or brand.
XBIZ: What is your role and responsibility as an account exec for Holiday Products?
Molly Romeo: I have all the traditional duties of a senior account manager — managing, maintaining and expanding my current customer base, presenting customers with new products, facilitating customer order placement, procuring new business, and general customer care and service. I go the extra step and offer my customers business consulting, whether they have an online boutique, own a brick-and-mortar store or stores, sell in third-party venues like Amazon or eBay, have a catalog company, a subscription box company, or do home pleasure parties. I help them with promotion ideas, provide product info so they can make the best selections to complement their current inventory, give them product presentation ideas, and troubleshooting tips to help them better service their customers. I've even been known to build or help build a website or two.
I also do the social media for Holiday, including our active Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. Additionally, I write our blog, Your Guide To Holiday's Products, where I feature a different item or series of items on weekdays. Plus, when there's a press release in the works, I'm Kenny's (Holiday's president) go-to girl for copy.
I am known around the office as the product guru/specialist, and make it a point to learn all that I can about every item, collection or brand. This allows me to help the rest of Team Holiday with product knowledge, assist purchasing in making selections that fit our "Softer Side Of Adult" inventory, help create catalogs (like our signature retail catalog, LoveLines) and help to keep our website —HolidayProducts.com — one of the best organized distribution sites out there.
XBIZ: How did you get into the business?
Romeo: In 2005, I had just left the laser toner manufacturing industry, and was not really looking to get back into the workforce just yet. I received a call from an employment agency rep. She had seen my resume online, and based on my history of sales, customer service and management experience, thought I would be a great fit for a position at an adult novelty distributor who was looking to add to their team.
I thought, "Hey, why not?" and scheduled an interview at Holiday Products.
At the time, Holiday's main customer base consisted mainly of home pleasure party companies, but it was the way that market segment was described that drew me in: I was told that my customers would be mostly women who were independent go-getters looking to support their families and themselves by selling pleasure products in a home party setting similar to a Tupperware party. I was also told that these customers didn't just sell sex toys, but they helped enhance intimate relationships and even save marriages. Whoa! That was totally something I wanted to be a part of.
I guess the sales supervisor felt the same way about me, because my phone was ringing as soon as I walked in the door after that interview, and the employment agent told me I could start right away. I have been here at Holiday ever since.
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Romeo: Keeping up with all the trends and product advancement! That's a good thing, though. It's fun and helps keep things fresh.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Romeo: There are SO MANY parts! I'll just pick my top few.
I feel blessed to be part of such fantastic group here at Holiday. Our veteran team has anywhere from five to 25-plus years in the industry, and everyone supports one another, which is pretty amazing.
I also take great joy in the fact that my customers trust me and think of me as a partner in their operations. I love nothing more than helping a startup or a current partner try something new, watching them succeed, and helping them celebrate that success.
Additionally, I'm pretty proud of what Holiday has become. When I started, we carried about 1,500 items. When Kenny came on board, his mission was to reinvent us as a true wholesale distribution company, and we have done that and then some. I love that we have our own spin on this side of the business — offering a mix of the top-selling items from many different types of manufacturers, from the major to niche brands and everything in between — because I feel like this really helps our customers pick the best products. Our curated inventory of about 7,000 items is entirely hand-picked by the sales team and purchasing based on our experience and product knowledge, and that truly sets us apart from the pack.
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Romeo: Keep moving, keep growing, keep going. You have to stay current with the consumer trends, the technology and with the industry in general in order to stay relevant and to continue to provide your customers with the tools they need to be successful. That's what makes this Industry so much fun, don't you think?
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Romeo: There are a lot of points of pride, and being selected for this profile is up there on my list! If I have to pick just one, I would have to say I'm most proud of my reputation within the pleasure product industry. I've been told by mere acquaintances that they've heard I have integrity, provide spot-on advice, and give my customers great service.
XBIZ: What are your professional goals for 2017?
Romeo: Keep moving, keep growing, keep going. [Smile.]