Workin' It

photo by H. YOUNG
After working as a network engineer in Oakland, Calif. for more than 10 years, Nenna Joiner was ready for a major career shift. “I worked for a few Fortune 500 companies. After several layoffs, I knew it wouldn’t hurt to do something for myself,” Joiner says. “When you decide, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ then you put everything and more into its success.” She saw the city’s downtown area, in the throes of “retail death,” as the perfect opportunity to open an adult novelty store. Joiner first conducted market research by selling adult products from boxes on street corners, bars and parking lots to find out what customers truly wanted. After developing a business plan, researching more than 20 spaces and working nonstop for five years, Joiner opened Feelmore510 Adult Gallery last February. Also an adult filmmaker (her first film Tight Places: A Drop of Color won a Feminist Porn Award in 2011), Joiner strives to reach people of color, a demographic she believes is overlooked in the adult industry. Her motto: “You must work your ass off, ‘cause you can sit on it later!”