"We have employees. We pay taxes. We follow the same rules as everybody else," Tia Loya, owner of an adult bookstore that found itself in the Congressional Record, tells HOH
When the media found out that small-business champ Stan's Two, an adult bookstore from Rowland Heights, Calif., was (accidently) name-checked on the House floor last week, the political world giggled.
“I’m happy if they called [Stan's Two] a small business, and not just [use it as an example of] something negative about the adult industry," said Loya, a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
She says she remembers filling out an NFIB questionnaire but didn't realize that it was used as an example, much less on the floor of the House.
"I’m happy that they didn’t know and that they didn’t use it like that. I hope it was able to influence people," she said.
She gets annoyed when the adult entertainment industry is used as an example to be laughed at.
Loya says she votes faithfully, but "I would decline to share what party I’m in." She says she believes in God and is a Christian.
"I don’t have issue with people that are against the industry," Loya insists, though she does think her industry gets a bum rap. She says she can understand people who have picketed her stores for religious and personal reasons, but she has no patience for political hypocrisy.
"I am against politicians who pretend that they are against the business to get votes. ... I think, people like that are horrible.
"Politics are so bad today, because you don’t know who to trust. You don’t know who to vote for. There is such a lack of integrity, or ethics," she says. "I really feel concerned for our young people. I don’t know how we’re going to get ethics back into a justice system.
"Do you?" she asks.
Loya, a mother of two, has been in the adult entertainment industry for more than 29 years. She now owns three businesses, apart from the Rowland Heights store. There are Stan's Twos in El Paso, Texas, and Tampa, Fla.
HOH asked if she thought her business would benefit from the Republican National Convention pitching their tents in Tampa. She said it probably would, but she hopes the conference attendees would be more classy than the Secret Service agents/johns who didn't pay up during this summer's presidential trip to Colombia.
"I hope that members of the Republican Party [plan to be] good boys and girls, and in that context, I hope we get a good business," Loya says.
The adult entertainment industry is not the business she started in. Her "evil ex-husband" bought the original Stan's — no one knows where the name came from — and the couple expanded the business to include more than 15 stores. After the divorce, the many Stan's stores became just three.
"Some people will do anything to get a divorce," Loya said, dryly. "I was one of those people."
Though the business has struggled since 2008, she still employs almost 50 employees. Loya is remarried and lives in Texas.