EMPOWERED MADAMES: ALEXANDRA FINE, CLOSING THE PLEASURE GAP BUILDING A MULTIMILLION $ SEXTOY COMPANY
Updated: Sep 5
Through my work as a portrait photographer between Paris and New York,
I get to meet amazing personalities, women, and men.
Through the recent challenging times (covid19 NYC lockdown) it struck me that what I MISS the most, and so what drives me to wake up in the morning, is to meet the people I photograph, get to know their stories to create those soulful portraits of them.
After a photoshoot, I am always literally 'high' from all the exchange of energy
and SUPER inspiring discussions that just happened in the studio.
So I decided to share all that stimulation with you
through the blog series "Empowered Madames" as... the saying goes:
"Empowered women empower women"
WHO IS ALEXANDRA FINE?
At first, you might think ..."sex toys ?.. no.. not for me ..thanks" And then you visit Dame Products website and right away you understand that it is totally different, and very far away from the kind of business sex toys could be. So getting to create portraits of Alexandra Fine, one of the co-founder, was a very exciting chance to meet one of the minds who 'dared' launching that business.
Alexandra teamed up with Janet Lieberman, mechanical engineer, to launch the company in 2014 with the mission do 'close the pleasure gap'. It started in the best possible way as their crowdfunding campaign broke records becoming the most successful sex toy crowdfunding campaign in history. It has since grossed some $5 million...
Alexandra shares here more personal details on what it takes on an everyday basis and also what are her tricks to cheer up when some days feel harder than others!
THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE & CAREER, HOW DID YOU PUSH PAST FEAR?
WHAT WAS THAT FEAR?
"Throughout my career, I've always been afraid of failing. I'm afraid of looking like a bad person or an unkind person. And the way I have been able to push back those fears is by being kind to myself, reminding myself that I'm doing the best job that I can do.
And as far as fear the business failing and being worried about that experience, I try very often to visualize the company failing, imagining what that would actually be like, realizing that in the grand scheme of things, I would be OK. I would have this amazing experience that I learned from. But of course, I don't want that to happen.
The kind of making peace with it allows that fear to kind of dissolve. And for it to stop stopping me from accomplishing things."
DO YOU HAVE MORNINGS WHEN YOU FEEL UNINSPIRED AND TIRED?
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET BACK YOUR ENERGY & DRIVE?
"I definitely have moments where I feel uninspired or tired. I think that no matter what you do, even if it's your dream job, it still work. And there will ll be moments where you have to do some work that you don't really want to do.
The way I kind of get around it is by taking many dance breaks, doing something that kind of usually moves my body. It depends on how quickly I need to get back into work. Sometimes I give myself a little inspiration breaks: I'll go and watch a piece of content that I find inspiring, find a biopic about a female entrepreneur or something.
In short: take a moment to dip out to then dip back in.
FOR SOMEONE FEELING LOST IN THEIR CAREER/LIFE CHOICES AND WHO DO NOT REALLY KNOW WHAT’S THEIR NEXT STEP IS, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE?
"I just want to say that I think that's perfectly OK. Our career is one thing and it is not everything. And it's OK not to know. I think that, just like partners, there are a bunch of beautiful career choices that will fit perfectly for you. And in that kind of questioning time, it's about taking the time to not do anything and to listen to what your instincts are telling you, what you would like or dislike.
And then I would also suggest being really open to all experiences and consider them as learning opportunities.
One last element: ultimately, who you work with is just as important as what you're doing.
So keep that in mind as you're looking for places to work. If you're not sure what you want to do, think also with who you would enjoy spending time with."
📚 THE MOST INSPIRING BOOK & MOVIE
I love so many books and movies, I don't have a favorite one that I keep watching again and again...Overall I love a good female lead, and I love character development and plotlines of people kind of coming together to overcome adversity. I think that if it's a little bit fantastic and out of this world, it's a little bit more captivating. But just a brave, young, woman with adventures really get me going.
✨ YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE
Same I like so many quotes... So I'm going to go with my favorite quote that I just remember very easily, which is
You can't control the waves, but you can learn how to surf them. Jon Kabat-Zinn
I think that it makes sense... to learn to control what you can and stop trying to control what you can't. Just accept that and do your best to dance with the realities of life.
💃🏻 FAVORITE MUSIC, SONG TO CHEER YOU UP
WHERE TO CONNECT WITH ALEXANDRA
WANT TO MEET OTHER EMPOWERED MADAMES?
All the professional headshots and business portraits of Alexandra Fine in this article have been taken by the NYC portrait and headshot photographer Alice Prenat - studio Portrait Madame.