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WIA Profile: Claire Blakeborough

WIA Profile: Claire Blakeborough

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.

No one knows electric sex better than Claire Blakeborough. As marketing and communications director for e-stim toy manufacturer ElectraStim, Blakeborough is best known in the pleasure industry for working marketing magic on this fast-growing kink category.

ElectraStim is a great fit for me as I have a lot of creative freedom and support to drive the brand forward.

Located in the U.K., ElectraStim is a one-stop brand for anyone seeking a little extra spark in their sex life. E-stim can be an understandably intimidating sex toy niche, but Blakeborough helps ensure that even the greenest of consumers comes away with a shockingly great experience.

Blakeborough is a self-described control freak, which is a good thing considering her dizzying amount of responsibilities at ElectraStim. She prides herself on taking ownership of her creations, which run the entire gamut of daily pleasure business necessities.

If you've better understood e-stim because of the text in an ElectraStim web blog or FAQ; or if your customers have reassuringly smiled after picking up an ElectraStim product off the shelf; or if you've been convinced to start carrying this high-quality e-stim brand upon peeping a company advertisement, you can thank Blakeborough.

From website and graphic design to copy writing and packaging layouts, right down to the final products that land in stores, Blakeborough literally does it all in a day's work. She touts the company's trust in her creative vision as the secret to her career success.

Come COVID or high water, Blakeborough is determined to put e-stim right where it belongs: on a pedestal of safe, comfortable and exciting sexual exploration for all levels of sex toy lovers. Like the unstoppable force of nature that is electricity, she's driving forth into the New Year with plenty of unique ideas to keep ElectraStim at the height of sextech.

Blakeborough encompasses everything that makes an inspiring Woman in Adult, and that's why we've handed her the mic in this issue of XBIZ Premiere to spread the gospel of niche brand success.

XBIZ: What is the state of the market for electro-stim products right this moment?

Claire Blakeborough: Despite how strange and scary the world is right now, we’ve seen an increase in people trying electro for the first time or expanding their collection, so sales are strong as a result. Whether it’s mainly due to people having more time at home due to lockdown, it’s hard to tell, but either way, electrostim is performing really well at the moment.

XBIZ: Was ElectraStim your first industry job, or do you have a history within the pleasure space?

Blakeborough: I started my adult industry career back in 2012 with Nagook (Bondara.co.uk) as their copywriter and later as the marketing manager; so I’ve been in the industry nearly a decade. That doesn’t seem possible! I spent just over five years at Nagook, so I was very familiar with ElectraStim products. I’d always been impressed with the quality and the straightforward way that electro was presented. I knew I had a lot of ideas to bring to the table and that Andy and I would work well together, so here I am!

XBIZ: What contributions do you make to the ElectraStim team through your position as marketing and communications manager?

Blakeborough: One of my favorite things about working at ElectraStim is how varied my job is and how much ownership of the marketing I can take. We’re a small team, so my job role covers copy writing, website design and maintenance, photography, graphic design, product and packaging design, and advertising. Basically if it’s digital or concerns our brand, it’s my responsibility. Let’s just say I’m never bored! We all pitch in with customer services as well where necessary, as it’s a great way to keep your product knowledge up-to-date and become familiar with repeat customers.

XBIZ: Why is ElectraStim such a great company fit for your career goals and personality?

Blakeborough: The most important career goals for me have always been that I enjoy what I do; that I’m being challenged and that the work/life balance is healthy. ElectraStim is a great fit for me as I have a lot of creative freedom and support to drive the brand forward. Although I deal with a lot of different tasks, I’m a bit of a control freak, so being able to see a project through from beginning to end is really satisfying for me. Designing new products is one of my favorite bits of the job and being involved at every stage means that when the product is eventually launched, it’s all the more gratifying.

XBIZ: How have things changed since COVID took effect, both for the company and your unique job position?

Blakeborough: We’ve been very lucky at ElectraStim that none of us have been sick and we’ve been busy. Once we’d adapted to the social distancing and cleaning guidelines, we found that they’ve become second nature and the orders are flooding in. I think the same is true for a lot of the adult industry. We’re seeing other local businesses around us struggle while pleasure products seem to be seeing a huge boost. My position can be almost entirely done from home, so from March until early July I worked out of my dining room while my partner did the same in our spare bedroom. Although I definitely missed seeing the rest of the team in person (and I’m glad to be back in the building full-time now), it showed Andy and I that we could adopt an ad hoc approach where working from home becomes a regular part of our schedules.

XBIZ: What are some interesting facts about electro-stim play that new customers might not expect?

Blakeborough: When you look at advanced stimulators like our AXIS, it’s easy to think that electro-stimulation is a modern type of play. In fact, the use of electricity for erotic entertainment actually dates back to as early as the 1740s! Technology has evolved quite a bit since then (and the toys are much safer) but the principles remain essentially the same.

XBIZ: How is ElectraStim helping pleasure businesses and their consumers better understand electro-stim play, thus increasing sales for all involved?

Blakeborough: We’ve created a ‘What Is Electro Sex?’ beginner’s pamphlet, which is available now to retailers and distributors while stocks last. These pamphlets are part of our planogram packages and also come with a bespoke slat wall-compatible holder. We strongly believe that the way to better electro-sex sales is education, so this gives customers an opportunity to come away with some literature.

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