Mia Lisani – Sales Manager & Product Copywriter at adultshop.com, Perth

By on October 30, 2014

When did you get into the Adult business?

I started in 1999 when the company was called Barbarella’s before re-branding to adultshop.com. The business offered franchises back then, so my husband and I toyed with the idea of buying a franchise. I had not really entered an “adult store” before so when I saw a position advertised for a sales person I thought it would be a good idea to see if I liked the industry, and have never looked back. It was definitely an eye-opener, coming from an accounting background! I love the industry and all that it entails. I have met such a diverse blend of people who each have an amazing story to tell.

A typical day

Haha, this is a question which will have a different answer for every day! There is NEVER a dull moment at adultshop.com. I start the day early in the office, reading and responding to emails, catching up with the other retail management team and discussing any issues or problems and work out what our plans are for the day.

I am in constant contact with our suppliers and have built wonderful rapports with each and every one of them, they keep me in the loop of any new and exciting products to look out for. I usually arrive to a box of sample products in my office to have a look and a play with. It’s like Christmas every day!

I enjoy spending time visiting all of our 13 retail stores, and LOVE to be on the shop floor selling! I really take pleasure interacting with customers, I believe that in the position which I have that I still must maintain this to ensure customer’s needs are met. I like being able to assist the staff with any queries they have about products, giving them sales and customer service training and helping with customer queries. I love a challenge! Especially when a customer comes in with a particular request and we go through different products to find the perfect product for them.

The most significant influence in my working career was/is

I have been extremely fortunate to have some great mentors and leaders working for adultshop.com, beginning with Rod Smith and now Malcolm Day, I admire and praise them both. They are smart, funny, down to earth men who have given me advice which I use in my working and personal life.

I treat people how I like to be treated, my moto is “To be respected you must be respectful”. I have definitely toughened up a bit, I was such a softee and always gave people the benefit of the doubt, although this has backfired on me a few times….. I have learnt though!

I’m most proud of

Of course my 2 children – now adults, Kurt & Kiama and my husband Steve, they are my world and always make me laugh when I have had a difficult day. My husband is my rock and my sounding board – he is so patient and calm and always has the right answer and advice!

I am so proud of what adultshop.com represents, yes, we sell sex toys, however, we are also councilors, therapists, sounding boards and friends to our customers. We offer a fun environment in our stores making our customers feel relaxed and comfortable enough to our staff about anything they want to, and believe me – they tell us everything, sometimes a bit too much!

That adultshop.com has helped normalize the industry – sex is an everyday healthy, fun part of life and adding sex toys enhances relationships.

All our staff at adultshop.com! We are extremely fortunate to have a great team where everyone gets along so well and are loyal, dedicated staff.

 One of the most memorable moments was

There are so many! Meeting porn stars and just hanging out with them at Adult-ex trade shows. Getting to know them and talking about normal everyday stuff! Belladonna, Jesse Jane, Riley Steel – they are all beautiful women who are very good actresses!

Catching Jesse Jane and her man doing the deed behind a skip bin after an in-store signing! I realized then that she just LOVES sex and not just in the porn business for the money!

A young guy came into the store once asking me about lingerie, when I asked him what size he was looking for, he told me that it was for him, and that I was the first person he came out to, it felt wonderful that he felt he could confide this in me. I have so many touching stories, which make me realize how lucky I am to work in this industry.

Last book I read

“Snowing in Bali” which is the true story of the drug trafficking and dealing scene that’s made Bali one of the world’s biggest destinations in the global distribution of narcotics.

I enjoy reading non-fiction books, especially true crime. One of my friends I work with has read nearly every true crime book written and always gives them to me to read.

Of course I have read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which I am going to read again before the exciting premier of the upcoming movie.

Favourite movie/TV show

I recently saw “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz – hilarious! And I’m a sucker for reality shows – The Bachelor, Big Brother…… oh and I can’t forget Sons of Anarchy!

Some of the old movies I love to watch time and time again are Puberty Blues, Pricilla Queen of the Desert, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

What would most people not know about me

How naïve I used to be! I learnt the hard way, that a “Blow job” does not mean softly blowing air over a guy!!! OOOPS! I do know now though!!

That I have a mechanical heart valve and tick very loudly!

That I love to shop and cannot resist a good sale!

My favourite place

Thailand, without a doubt! Especially Phuket, we have been visiting here for years and been on many family holidays and always have an amazing time! The Thai people are always so happy, no matter what. They call Thailand the land of smiles for its natural beauty, friendly people and fascinating culture.

As I also love shopping, in Bangkok there are many mega-malls for me to spend hours getting lost in a myriad of shops and arcades surrounded by hundreds of smiling Thais…

If I could change one thing

It would be to change people’s perceptions about the adult industry. I often see the look on people’s faces when I tell them where I work, and sometimes get a shocked, disgusted look. I remember being on a flight to Sydney sitting next a lady who was reading the bible, I kept my headphones on for the whole flight not wanting to start a conversation….. I could not avoid her questioning when the plane landed and she asked me if I knew where a particular place was in Sydney, when I told her I was visiting for work the dreaded question came…. What did I do, and where did I work? I tried to “blanket” the answer, but she kept prodding….. so, I told her. I watched her reaction, she closed her eyes and stopped talking for a minute then said to me, “that’s ok, Jesus loves everyone”.

I understand that people are a bit hesitant about coming into a “sex shop”, however the reaction is always the same when a first-timer comes in – they are amazed at how light and bright the store is and how friendly our staff are.

I usually get the statement – I bet you meet some very strange people? But honestly, the majority of our customers are normal, everyday people, just like you and me who want to add a bit of spice to their lives!

The reaction from most is of pure delight, and you end up being the life of any party as everyone wants to share their stories with you.

I hope that one day people will realize how much fun they could have experimenting with fantastic products and broadening their sexuality!


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