A Story Written Together
There are no big fetishes in my life as of yet, but I do have the firm conviction that a dirty mind is a joy forever! That’s why I think that almost everyone has some kind of fetish. There are so many interesting aspects I’ve learned and to which I can relate, but the most important one is about BDSM: a story that you write together. No single person is in total control, unless the other has allowed it. A dialogue with equality as the base and with clarity on the do’s & don’ts makes almost anything possible. This, to me, is what a healthy and prosperous business relationship should be about, always in dialogue and wanting to grow together.Happy twist of fate
My best friend was approached by our HR-manager at the time about a vacancy at the Sales Department of Mister B’s head office. Prerequisites: command of the French language and prior experience in the erotic industry. As I was done with the hospitality business and looking for new challenges, my friend called me immediately about this opportunity. I sent my CV, got invited for an interview two days later and got hired within the week. We hit it off right away, and the only person I can think of being happier than myself is my mother, for me finally having a ‘decent job’!Mister B
As the branche we’re operating in is quite a ‘creative’ one, no two days in the head office of Mister B are the same. Having worked in the gay hospitality business, meeting all kinds of colorful people, some of whom I already knew, is completely up my street.
From everywhere I get compliments about our store in the Warmoesstraat, where it all began in 1994. The heart of Amsterdam and in the middle of the Red Light District: I can’t think of a better of a better place to have your first of many business endeavours in this branche. A beautiful location with an open atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, are the perfect ingredients for people to overcome their shyness and just walk in and explore. Everything Mister B has to offer you can also buy online, but for specific things like fitting leathers or exploring the realm of electro stimulation, a visit to the store really has a surplus value. Quality is paramount and we’re operating in the upper echelons of the fetish industry, which gives a store visit a feeling of luxury, with the staff assisting you in the most respectful, professional, but also ‘normal’ way.
These joint experiences are the best way of giving you what you want…what you really want ? This is also reflected in the way we conduct business on a wholesale level: anything is discussable and we have a lot of fun with our clients, next to doing good business of course.Sales and Marketing joining forces
Sex is foremost an emotion, and this can be powerfully conveyed in very different ways. As a sales person I’m in touch with our wholesale clients in several regions. As marketing approaches these same regions through advertising, parties & local fetish organizations, the main challenge is to bring all this together. For this, an open dialogue is essential: internally - between colleagues and departments by sharing knowledge and experience(s), as well as externally – approaching the scene from all possible angles. My main responsibilities are recruiting, visiting and supporting clients, going to trade fairs, and bringing all this back to headquarters, so we can meet everyone’s sexy needs and continue writing the Mister B story together.
Gijs van der Zwaag is working for Mister B Wholesale & Internet B.V. since July 2014, and is mainly responsible for wholesale business relations in Holland, UK, France and Eastern Europe.
Working at Mister B doesn't feel like work, it feels a little like coming home
Mister B is actually a very normal shop, only we sell naughty products. For me, it's very normal to work here, I know all the products already. Some customers come in saying things like ‘Ooh, my first sex toy’ or ‘first leather pants!’ I love that, it's great fun helping those people out. Telling them what you can do with certain products, how you handle them safely. In that respect it's just a shop, but obviously with a different product range than most shops in Amsterdam.Spice up your life
For tourists it is quite different from what they are accustomed to. They'll see a sex machine, or a row of dildos. All sorts of things. I do understand that people think “gosh, what is this?!” I must say, I do get stared at, and sometimes I feel a little bit like a monkey in a zoo! So what do I do? Stare back! Or I wave, so they have a nice picture. Sometimes, people will literally be standing on the threshold of the store, and they don't dare come inside. But just because you're in a shop like Mister B doesn't mean you're suddenly gay or bisexual. It doesn't say anything about you as a person, just that you want to give your sex life a little more spice. In my view, that's not a crime.Working at Mister B
A day at Mister B almost always begins with cleaning the shop. We tidy up everything and count the cash register. Whatever you do in a normal shop when preparing to open up. During the day I help customers, replenish stock and answer e-mails. We are usually in the shop with two people, but sometimes with three or four. It depends on what there is to do in Amsterdam that day. There is a lot of contact with customers. For example, tourists may ask us about places for going out, or about other shops. Sometimes we feel a bit like the gay Amsterdam Tourist Office! I think it's important to provide customers with information. Not just about where you can do fun things, but also about our products. Sometimes the game can get pretty intense, and it's good to know what you should and shouldn't do. We always try to put customers at ease and make them feel at home at Mister B. We'll get you a coffee and have a chat, but if you want to shop on your own that's fine too. How did I end up here? I walked in a year ago and the manager asked me if I'd like to work here, because I said I was looking for a job. I didn't know him at all, but apparently I had a certain something they could use!Friendships
Our team is very friendly. At work, we joke around, we drink tea, that sort of thing. I feel that we're a great team. I also think that it creates a great atmosphere in the shop. It doesn't feel like work to me, it feels a little like coming home. Mister B is my second home.
To the people who don't know our shop or think it's a little scary: just come in! Have a cup of coffee and just look around. Don't be ashamed, make your life more fun! There are so many cool things you can do. Go for it!
Raymond Huizinga has been working at Mister B as shop assistant since December 2015.
Everyone can be themselves at Mister B
I work at the warehouse of Mister B. We usually start the day by checking how much work there is. Then we go and ‘round up’ orders, a term a colleague came up with. It just means we start collecting ordered products. I always try to make sure that I pack the products in a way I would like to receive them. So I make sure they're neat and tidy. After all, that's how the customers want to receive things at home or at work. We don't just ship products to the Netherlands, we also ship boxes internationally. And then there are products people have ordered on our website, we also get those ready and packaged.Variety
Fortunately there is enough variety for me at work. We also take care of the logistics services for a particular type of lubricant, for example. We work with about half a dozen people in the warehouse every day. That may seem a lot, but we do have our hands full. There is plenty to do.
This work is not new or unique to me, I have worked in the industry before. So I already knew a thing or two about it, and by working for Mister B I've expanded my knowledge even further. I just bounced around and ended up here, really. My family and friends know the kind of company I work for. They make the odd joke, but that's about it! You have to be able put up with the odd joke, of course. They don't think it's weird or anything.
Working here is better than just working at a supermarket. It suits me very well, I see no reason to stop, really. I do have a problem with the fact that I have to travel quite far to the warehouse in Amsterdam every day. I live in Almere, that's not very close. Especially because I have a young son, but once he is older and more independent, it should no longer be a problem. I keep that in mind.
I think it's really nice that everyone can be themselves at Mister B, it makes it a lovely place to work. We work with a very nice team. I'm also glad that the bosses treat us well.
Robin Spanjaart has been working at Mister B as warehouse employee since April 2016.