With Halloween being days away, here is a timely Vancouver entrepreneur to know about that has made a business out of selling high-end masquerade masks online; meet Vivo Masks.
1. Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
We sell high-end masquerade masks online. We import our masks directly from Italy and use a third party fulfillment center to help us ship orders to people attending special events all over the world. Our vision was to find an underserved niche market and create a profitable business that we could fully automate.
2. What timely Halloween costumes can Vivo Masks help people pull off before the big upcoming weekend?
We have some really popular masks for Halloween: The V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask, Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman from Eyes Wide Shut, a Creepy Plague Doctor from the 1700s (the long nose masquerade mask). A wide variety of simple leather masks are also available for those going for a more simple, classy look.
3. How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of Vivo Masks?
It’s an exciting time to be part of the startup community in Vancouver. Connecting with other like-minded individuals has kept us motivated throughout the ups and downs of starting a business.
4. What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
It’s surprisingly hard to find a nice masquerade mask. Most stores sell cheap, mass-produced plastic masks, which aren’t quite appropriate if you’re attending a special event. We solve this problem by offering a wide variety of unique masks handcrafted in Italy.
5. How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
Both of us have always been self directed and interested in following our own ideas. However, we’ve always found our biggest challenge is taking some sort of initial action, getting past the excitement of the ‘idea’ and doing something to make the business actually happen. The action might involve building a prototype, or be as simple as sending an email to get some feedback. We have to accept that sometimes things just won’t work, and sometimes they will, but if we don’t take any action, nothing ever will.
6. What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin have been very inspirational for us. They have great blogs that we highly recommend checking out for anyone looking to start a business. Tim teaches us how to outsource work, keep costs down, and grow quickly. Seth helps us take a step back, look at the big picture, and think about how we can do more meaningful work.
7. What Vancouver celebrity/influencer would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
Nathan Fielder, he knows how to think out of the box.
8. If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?
If you’re not getting what you want from your current job or career, start moving toward something that really motivates you right away. There are plenty of opportunities out there and focusing on what drives you will pay off in the long run.
9. What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
Websites like Clarity and Elance have helped us enormously to find great people to work with and learn from. By finding people to help us with things like web development, writing and even some high-level strategy, we’ve been able to focus on growing the business instead of working within it.
10. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Start something today. Put your ideas into action and make your first sale.
*End of interview*
The Vivo Masks team demonstrates that you can make a business out of literally anything as long as you put in the work, leverage the community’s support, and start today.
*Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to paul(at)vancitybuzz(dot)com to explain why you’re a fit.