I met Rina Valan in the VIP Lounge of the Mt. Airy Casino a few weeks ago, and we had a fantastic conversation about the ups and downs of being a woman business owner, and the fun and satisfaction of writing a personal blog. Because Rina was so entertaining and passionate about her business and her blog, I surely would have asked to interview her for My Cool Job no matter how mundane that business might have been. But luck was with me (and you my dear readers) that day, and it turns out that Rina’s business is anything but boring!
I’m thrilled that she took the time to answer some questions about her very cool (or maybe I should say very “hot”) job as the owner of Fantasia Home Parties and writer of Madame X’s Blog, where all questions about sex and romance are answered. (I’ve already subscribed, and am diligently getting in touch with my “inner otter” as I write this…)
With class and style and a great sense of humor, Rina has been in the business of helping women to improve their romance and sex lives for over 25 years, and bringing them the latest in adult toys and luxurious spa products. Does it get any cooler than that?
When people ask you “what do you do?” how do you describe your job?
I am a Romance Specialist & Sex Toyologist…my business card says Founder & President, Fantasia Home Parties.
What are the things about your job that you love?
I get samples from sex toy manufacturers from all over the world to review and inspect…need I say more? LOL!
What are the things about your job that you hate?
Absolutely nothing, I just hate assumptions that some narrow minded people make about what I do and weirdly tie it to ‘immorality’.
What education, training, vocation or just plain luck would someone have to have in order to get a job like yours?
Passion, compassion, drive, and the overwhelming desire to help women achieve happiness in their personal and financial life.
What is the funniest story you can think of that involves your professional training or your job?
I started my business from scratch 25 years ago, before there was the Internet to help search for products or services, even before there were trade shows for the industry. Being a woman in a male dominated industry, it was not easy to be taken seriously, so I made sure to don my best business suit and little black briefcase any time I made face to face contact with any of them. I would go out to California where most of my toy manufacturers were located and try to make deals. I’ll never forget the first time a major supplier invited me on a personal tour of a sex toy factory….”Why, yes, I’d love to see how your products are made”…I said boldly. I picked up my briefcase and followed him into the factory….
Oh, my God. I never saw so many plastic body parts EVER in my life. I walked past a production line of workers pulling nearly set rubber things out of molds and into cooling water. I saw another line painting and gluing things to things. I was even allowed to enter the all sacred ‘mold’ room where bronze originals stood proudly in place, in a Stonehenge-meets-Michaelangelo’s-David kind of way. I turned every which way color there was, but I somehow managed to just nod my head and say “Oh, yes. Oh, my. Oh, that is interesting. Oh.” I don’t really recall the meeting afterwards, but I do know that once I got back to my hotel room, I closed the door and didn’t leave until it was time to go to the airport the next day.