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24 April 2013 No comments

Mal completed a degree in Surveying and Mapping at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia and after working as a surveyor for a few years went on to become a civil engineer, specializing in high rise building construction. In 1995, whilst working as a civil engineer, Mal started a dating business using premium rate phone numbers. In early 1996 Mal launched the dating business Australia wide and later that year he launched an adult phone service business employing up to 200 staff. Within 2 years, the adult phone services business was receiving over 75,000 calls per month from around Australia! The adult phone services business ran successfully through to 2001. Read more about Mal’s decision to move from Civil Engineering into Adult Phone Services on his blog.

In 1996 Mal launched his first adult dating website in Australia and then purchased the Barbarellas chain of adult stores in Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

In early 1999 Mal founded and listed the company on the Australian Stock Exchange. In July of the same year, Limited was listed on 7 different stock exchanges in Germany. Over the next few years Mal travelled back and forth to Germany and other European countries to explore business growth opportunities. 2001 saw the launch of, a German language version of, and as a result Mal set up an office in Munich Germany and then the following year, relocated the office to Flensburg Germany. After 6 successful years, the German website and business was sold in 2007.

December 1999 marked the launch of in Australia. Large launch parties from Perth to Sydney marked the beginning of a new era in retailing adult products online. Sydney city motorists were greeted with a huge billboard just over the bridge as they drove into the city that read: Moan, moan, moan. That’s all we ever hear from our customers.

Calvista Showroom Calvista Showroom

Over the next couple of years, all Barbarellas adult stores were rebranded Today, has 14 stores in Western Australia and 1 in Tasmania.

In 2000 acquired Axis – which at the time, was Australia’s largest mail order company of adult products and films. Axis had its warehouse and head office in Canberra. Over the years has transitioned many of those mail order customers to customers of the website.

During the same year, Calvista, Australia and New Zealand’s largest wholesaler of sex toys, adult films and other adult products, was acquired by After the acquisition, Mal became Managing Director of Calvista and remains so today. Melbourne is the home of Calvista’s head office and main warehouse, however there are also warehouses in Canberra and Auckland – plus an office and showroom in Sydney. Calvista wholesales to over 1,300 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Calvista Showroom Calvista Showroom

Calvista also holds Adultex – the Southern Hemisphere’s largest gathering of adult industry manufacturers and retailers. First launched in 2006 and held annually, Adultex continues to provide an opportunity for invited delegates to meet with world leaders in adult toy production and adult entertainment.

In 2001 Mal was nominated by Ernst and Young as Entrepreneur of the Year for Western Australia.

That same year, launched a US localized version of the website and set up offices and a warehouse in Los Angeles California. A few years later the company decided to operate the US version of the website as a joint venture with a local Californian company based in San Francisco.

In June 2004 held its first annual Boobalicious Ball to raise much needed funds for Breast Cancer Foundation of WA (now known as Breast Cancer Care WA). The following year Mal was appointed as a director of the charity and in 2008 Mal was elected Chairman. He is very proud that the first 9 Boobalicious Balls have since raised a total of $755,000 for the charity and June 2013 will mark the 10 year anniversary of Boobalicious, now one of the biggest events on the Perth Social Calendar.

In November 2010 Mal purchased the chain of stores from the public company, along with the website, and is now the sole owner (again). The business is operated from offices and a large 1,000 sqm warehouse in Perth, although website orders are dispatched from the Canberra warehouse.

Each year Mal attends various international adult toy trade shows like ANME in Los Angeles, Euroframe in Hannover and the famous AVN expo in Vegas where he meets with manufacturers to see the ‘latest and greatest’ pleasure products.

In 2012 Calvista sold over 1.1 million vibrators, nearly 1 million other sex toys and 400,000 units of lube. 14 years after launch and continues to be Australia’s leading online adult product retailer with over 1.2 million unique visitors each year. It’s interesting to note that 76% of orders from the website contain a vibrator or sex toy (or both!) and 47% of the online customers are female.

It’s safe to say that no one in Australia knows more about the ‘tools for the bedroom’ than Mal.

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