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.
For anyone reporting on the pleasure products biz, Nichole Grossman is a trustworthy source. Always responsive and driven to keep CalExotics in the spotlight, Grossman is the go-to person for all of the company’s latest news and developments. As the reliable liaison to the powerhouse team at CalExotics, the newly minted director of marketing plays an essential role in delivering their message to the world.
No matter what your circumstance, you have control over your own life. Make it a good one!
Grossman joined the company in 2011 as the social media coordinator and quickly rose through the ranks. She has been an integral part of many companywide projects — including the company’s blog and Club CalExotics — and particularly instrumental in expanding the company’s retail education program, the CalExotics Institute.
Grossmann started her career in marketing in 2006 and has held various positions in sales and marketing with a focus on email marketing, public relations and social media. She holds a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and an MBA in marketing, leadership and management from the University of La Verne.
In our exclusive Q&A with this month’s WIA Woman of the Month, Grossman speaks on her first time meeting with CalExotics and how she’s witnessed the industry — and mainstream’s reaction to it — mature.
XBIZ: What is your role and responsibility as CalExotics’ newly minted director of marketing?
Nichole Grossman: Marketing is an interesting role as it really touches so many pieces of the business. It is involved with advertising and promotions, public relations, design and so much more. As the head of the marketing department I am responsible for overseeing all of these marketing activities. Of course, none of this would be possible without a quality team by my side.
XBIZ: How did you get into the business?
Grossman: In 2011 I was looking for a marketing position. I was searching around several job sites and came across an ad on Craigslist. The job was titled marketing and sales assistant, and the requirements were right up my alley. Plus, it was local to my house. Huge bonus points there! However, the listing did not have a company name, which seemed a bit odd to me.
I decided to apply for the job anyway and thought to myself “what’s the worst that could happen.” A few days later I received an email from Al Bloom, the marketing director at the time, with an email address at CalExotics. My first reaction was “What the hell is this!” I immediately took to Google and did some research. I found out the company was owned by a woman, Susan Colvin.
I learned all about Susan’s history and what an amazing woman she is. To be honest, I was still a little skeptical as I had never even dreamed of working in this industry. My fiancé, and now husband, encouraged me to do the interview. He said, “if you hate it, or feel weird just walk out. You never know.” So I took his advice and went on the interview. I met with Al Bloom, Jackie White and Susan that day. The funniest part was when Jackie took me to the showroom. We walked in to this giant room of vibrators, dildos and other sex toys and she said, “what do you think?” I looked around, turning bright red I’m sure, and said “it’s great!” And now, here we are seven years later. I am glad I took the interview!
XBIZ: What challenges have you confronted in your career and how have you overcome them?
Grossman: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is overcoming the adult industry persona. It’s 2018, but there are still many companies that won’t do business with us or even talk to us because of the nature of our business.
In the beginning I struggled with this because I did not understand what the issue was. Money is money, right? But over the years I’ve learned to be honest and upfront with all of my business dealings. If I find a potential business partner, I immediately tell them what CalExotics is and what we do. I ask them if they have any issues with that and move on accordingly. This may sound silly, but I am sure many other people have faced this issue.
XBIZ: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Grossman: I love seeing people take control of their pleasure. Sex is a basic human desire and it should be fun and enjoyable. For many years sex has been a taboo topic, but I’ve seen such a cultural shift in the way people think about sex toys and it is really amazing to see. I came into the industry at such an important time. Things were changing and evolving and it’s been incredible to be a part of it.
XBIZ: What is your personal motto or mantra that you live by?
Grossman: “Anything is possible.” I strongly believe if you put your mind to something you can do it. It may take time, or it may not work out at first, but in the end you can achieve anything you set your mind to. No matter what your circumstance, you have control over your own life. Make it a good one!
XBIZ: What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
Grossman: I am most proud of becoming a marketing director of a large company before the age of 35. I’ve put my heart into this job for many years, and I am happy to see that it has paid off.
XBIZ: What are your professional goals for 2018?
Grossman: My goal for 2018 is to elevate the CalExotics brand and make it a household name. We have so many exciting things in the works; I can promise you this is will happen!