Blaire Hunter isn’t new to the adult industry, but her escort advertising directory – Ivy Société – is.
“Creating Ivy has been an idea that I’ve had for quite some time, so it has been really exciting to see it turn into something tangible,” Blaire says about the new advertising platform.
And as I said, Blaire isn’t new to the industry. She’s seen the rise and fall of other escort advertising directories. So, what’s the difference with Ivy Société? “Our curated team of talented individuals dedicated to building strong escort brands and providing support to our community,” Blaire says. “Ivy encourages equality across all areas and will never ask for additional payments to boost your profile.”
Below, Blaire opens up about her own career as a sex worker and tell us what’s on the cards next for Ivy Société (think: a sex worker-only social gala in Melbourne and upcoming international expansion for the platform!)
Ivy Société’s website
Ivy Société’s Twitter
Ivy Société’s Instagram
Sign up for a complimentary 6-month advertising package from Ivy Société
Register your interest in Ivy Société’s Melbourne sex-worker-only gala
Register your interest in Ivy Société’s complimentary webinars
Amelia: Can you introduce yourself to the readers?
Blaire Hunter: Hi, my name is Blaire Hunter. Although I don’t consider my occupation to define who I am as a human, working as an escort has become an incredibly valuable part of my life. I hold so much admiration for the sex work community. This is my first time publicly sharing my transition into the industry; I initially started bartending at a strip club and soon after became interested in dancing which later led me to become an independent escort. I have now been in the industry for six years, four and a half of those as Blaire. I am grateful for the support I received when I was starting out and have always looked for ways to give back to the community. I have recently launched an escort directory called Ivy Société, designed to support sex workers.
Amelia: Where do you see your career in the industry heading?
Blaire: Blaire is an important part of my life, however, I do see myself dedicating more time and energy to Ivy Société, as it is truly a labour of love, and something I believe is instrumental to the progression of the sex work community. The dialogue around sex work is evolving, and so too should our choices when it comes to advertising platforms. Many workers in the industry have voiced their frustrations with the monopoly held by certain directories.
Amelia: Can you explain what Ivy Société is to the readers?
Blaire: Ivy Société is an Australian owned and operated escort directory, providing an innovative and secure advertising platform for independent escorts. At the heart of Ivy Société is the intention to provide support for escorts. It is my goal to make Ivy feel like home for our advertisers; a place where at any point on their journey can find a supportive network of like-minded people.
Amelia: I can’t imagine developing and building an escort directory is easy. What was the process like?
Blaire: Creating Ivy has been an idea that I’ve had for quite some time, so it has been really exciting to see it turn into something tangible. Starting a business is never a simple process and I have learned so many valuable lessons, not just from starting Ivy but also from other start-ups. Throughout the entire process I felt it was also important to listen to what the community needed.
Amelia: As an escort yourself, I’m sure you can appreciate that it feels like there are already endless advertising directories out there. What makes Ivy Société different?
Blaire: There is definitely enough room in the market for a number of key players, and as an escort, it can be resourceful to promote yourself across these platforms. Having a presence like this can help build an understanding of your legitimacy as an escort with potential new clients. It is widely known that the quality of the current leading Australian escort directory has diminished with its offshore sale. With that in mind, I would like to see a rise in escort-owned directories that can offer support for our industry.
I believe Ivy’s point of difference lies in our curated team of talented individuals dedicated to building strong escort brands and providing support to our community. Ivy encourages equality across all areas and will never ask for additional payments to boost your profile. Instead, these are randomised every hour no matter the advertising package. Our packages are also designed to be more affordable. Most importantly, I want Ivy to give back to our community. One of my favourite features is our free webinars hosted by industry professionals. We have a number of complimentary services that will be announced in the near future which will further assist with brand development.
Amelia: What’s coming up next for Ivy Société?
Blaire: We have a number of events that we plan to run throughout the year to support the community. Recently, we hosted a virtual sip and paint event for the providers stuck in lockdown. Like most industries, the lockdown has been really tough for providers. It was important to me to host a social event, to give me and everyone something to look forward to. We’re in the process of planning a sex worker-only social ball/gala in Melbourne. The event will be curated in a way that allows us to celebrate each other in an amazing venue with good food, drinks, and dancing in our finest dress. We are taking expressions of interest via this sign up form.
Amelia: In Australia, I feel like we’ve seen the rise and fall of a number of escort advertising directories. Once directories reach a certain point, they seem to put profit over and above the best interests of the sex workers using the platform. On one hand, as a business owner myself, I can see how it can be tempting to go for profit above all else. On the other hand, sex workers are really just tired of being screwed over. Ivy Société positions itself as a thoughtful, innovative, and supportive platform – how do you intend to uphold these claims as the platform grows?
Blaire: Yeah, I agree. I think the issue with these directories is that they are built on greed and don’t understand the community’s values. At the end of the day, they don’t care about us. The sex work community is my family, and I am so thankful to be a part of it. With Ivy’s growth comes more opportunities to provide further support to providers. This will forever be a part of Ivy’s core values.
Amelia: Is Ivy Société for Australian escorts only? Do you intend to expand?
Blaire: We have had so many DMs asking this question, and I am so happy to have support from the international community! Our focus is currently on the Australian market, but we will be expanding to New Zealand next and then take on the international market.
Amelia: What is your favourite feature on Ivy Société?
Blaire: I have a few favourite features, some of which I have already mentioned. However, after the feedback from the initial launch, I think the customisable SMS template is a game-changer for how we run our businesses. It allows advertisers to request exactly what they want from clients in order to secure a booking, which is then prefilled into a text message for the client to send.
I believe this will help educate clients on how to write a desirable booking request, guiding them away from the unfavourable, “hi, avail” texts to something more polite and informative, which tends to get a much higher response rate from providers.
Amelia: If readers want to sign up, what is the easiest way to do so?
Blaire: We have a sign up portal on our website. Otherwise I am still offering complimentary onboarding where I will create the account for you and once completed, send you the login details where you will have full access to your profile. Sign up now for a complimentary 6-month advertising package.
Amelia: Last one for fun: How did you choose the name Ivy Société?
Blaire: This is my second business venture and choosing a name has proven to be one of the hardest things to do both times around. I knew that I wanted this platform to be more than just a directory. I wanted the name to be a play on the social implications of what it means to be in the sex industry for many providers and to create a society all of our own. Ivy came from my love of plants and their ability to grow and dominate a space. I particularly love all the Ivy you see growing on buildings around Melbourne, and that’s how Ivy Société was born.
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