I led a few marketing agencies through my 30’s and 40’s.
I employed a hundred people.
Won a hundred awards.
And of the many hundreds of clients we had over about 15 years.
Only one of them ever showed me her arse.
Leah was the friend of a friend when we first met.
Our first meeting was in our boardroom.
Leah was, and still is, really lovely.
And she only grimaced slightly as she, very gently, sat down opposite me.
Leah had two business ideas.
The first was for premium BDSM related sex toys and outfits.
Premium because they were a huge step-up, price-wise and quality-wise, from the world of Anne Summers and LoveHoney.
What Leah did was to create made-to-measure accessories for the more discerning BDSM-ers to wear or use.
But before we got into that, and before I discovered Leah’s second business idea, Leah said,
“Christ. My arse doesn’t half hurt.
Want to see?”
Despite this being the first such invitation I’d had in any client meeting, I didn’t want to seem unpractised in such things, so I replied,
‘Want a coffee first?”
And she reached inside her bag for her phone.
The photographs on Leah’s phone, of Leah’s arse, were cool.
Purpley and almost black in some places it was, from whatever she was doing the night before.
And as Leah swiped through a dozen or so images, my head began to nod only slightly, but unnaturally quickly.
My eyebrows raised and stayed raised.
My bottom lip protruded throughout.
And in the silence that was left for us to navigate once Leah’s bottom-slideshow was over, both of us looking squarely into each other’s eyes, I muttered the only word I could find,
Leah isn’t called Leah these days.
She only runs the second of her two businesses, and is as lovely today as she was back then, I hear.
I hear this from my good friend Ami, the friend that first introduced Leah to me many years ago, so we could make a website together.
Leah’s first business, the one that bruised arses, was brilliant and fun.
Leah’s second business, of which Leah is now Founder and President, has saved many, many lives, is world class, and world famous.
Pineapple Support is a nonprofit organisation providing free and low-cost mental health therapy to pornographic film actors, producers and others working in the adult film industry.
Pineapple finally sprang to life in 2018, as Leah responded to a great number of untimely and sometimes hard-to-fathom deaths in the industry.
In the first two years, over 1,000 (mostly) women were supported.
What Leah has done, I think, is doubly wonderful.
Leah spoke about and did something about mental health issues that were killing people; mental health being a subject we all might pretend to look at – but rarely do.
And Leah strode proudly and determinedly into the world of porn; a subject we all pretend not to look at – but definitely do.
I know a lot of people running businesses for good reasons.
And I have a lot of respect for a great many of them.
But I have absolutely no qualms in admitting.
That I’d be hard pressed to find someone I respect more than Leah.