Jonathan Morello: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur
Posted on Jul 13, 2016
Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Backstage Commerce Founder Jonathan Morello, whose hair beauty product import/manufacture company provides an out-of-the-box perspective within the industry. What was the inspiration for his career route? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
BSC, inc. is an importer and manufacturer of professional hair beauty products.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I ventured out to start a new business within the same industry I was employed in, leaving my secured salary to do so. An opportunity arose to channel my entrepreneurial spirit, challenge the very inefficiencies I voiced many times while working as an “employee,” but had not much authority to change strategy so significantly; on the pretense that our industry embraces innovation of disruptive models giving room for smaller size companies in the same space to grow and compete with the very largest leading the space. Furthermore, the professional hair beauty industry is very relationship, sometimes politically, driven as opposed to objective in its position. I was fortunate to have friends on the buying side and selling side to get this company off its feet. It was clear for me that I had to pursue my vision.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
1. The opportunity to create a product from concept to production. Every step of the way, the closer you are to reaching the retail shelves, the more excitement fills the whole office. This is what makes it all worthwhile.
2. At this point in time, roughly 3.5 years from inception, time management between family and friends and work. The sacrifices owner/operators make on a daily basis are nothing to living those very circumstances on a continuous basis; the longevity is the true test of time.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Our strategy to grow our business was and continues to be to challenge and disrupt our industry, approaching issues with an out-of-the-box perspective. We are experiencing an over increasing demand for professional-grade hair beauty products by the everyday consumer. It is in our interest to open up our account receivables to other various layers of revenue such as retail, mass retail, TV sales, and online to consumers. It is clear for our industry that “home grooming” is on a hike.
What does success look like to you?
Success involves the harmony of many facets beyond financial independence. It involves emotional, family, and health/wellness success. Big deal if you have a lot of money and every other part of your life is depressed. Success is well balanced!
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Getting into the largest big box outfits within the hair beauty industry – ULTA, accounting for roughly 2% of the whole hair beauty industry with over $2B in annual sales. Then, roughly a few months later, getting in the doors with another giant outfit called Regis Corp also with reported sales in the $2B range. To conduct business with the leaders of the industry and meet their standards as a supplier brought us confidence that we can stand to deal with all the rest.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
The onus is on you whether you are owning/operating a company or working for a company starting your career. Everyone will have their unique circumstance they will need to overcome. Realize where you are now and where you need to do, set goals and make progress. Nothing is done overnight; however, you will arrive to your destination at some point.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Actually in late 2014 we are scheduled to launch Dove Society, www.dovesociety.net which is a charity community to help through small tokens of support; the belief that one form of compassion/generosity will lift that individual and enable them to progress with their day lifting others. This charity involves no collection of monies, but rather the members to contribute personally in good deeds.
What is Notable to you?
Having the courage to honour the decisions you made, working towards your goals no matter what stand in your way.
BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I enjoy martial arts; aiki jujitsu and working out at the gym. I also love keeping tabs on great jokes I overheard at the comedy show to share with others, socialize and make others laugh!
Frank Dicintio wins award using HT Extensions
Posted on Jul 13, 2016
It is a proud moment for all of us at Backstage Commerce Inc. to announce that multi award winning stylist Frank Dicintio has won the Hair Extensions Artist of the Year Award at the 2013 edition of the Contessa Awards ceremony using HT Extensions. While accepting the award, Frank thanked HT Extensions and all the staff members at BSC Inc.
Congratulations Frank and we wish you all success in the future!
Our own Jonathan Morello interviewed for Entrepreneur Exchange for Kickitdigital
Posted on Jul 13, 2016
This week in Entrepreneur Exchange I was lucky enough to talk to Jonathan Morello, Director of Corporate Development, President and Founder of Backstage Commerce inc. Backstage Commerce is an importer and manufacturer of hair beauty goods. Jonathan had some really interesting things to say that anyone considering the importation business — or entrepreneurship — should know about.
He talked about how being an importer requires an in-depth knowledge of world politics and economics. To get this kind of knowledge, Jonathan suggests that experience and real-life involvement is the way to go. He’s learnt about world affairs by being in the business, and if I were interested in jumping into importing, I would seek out a mentor very much like him.
The bulk of the interview wasn’t about importing, though. We talked about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I often ask interviewees what advice they’d have for someone who’s just starting out, and I can say unreservedly that Jonathan’s advice has been some of the best so far. It rings true — the struggle, the risk, the thrill of it, and the (false) glory. If you’re an entrepreneur,read this advice.
What do you do?
Our purpose in the marketplace is to sell products with value propositions. What we sell is either state-of-the-art or a better deal than what our competitors are selling, and that’s why we have an edge.
How did Backstage Commerce start out?
In July 2010, I started it out of the ashes of a previous company I had been a part of in university. I’d been working at a boutique importer for four years so I knew the business. By owning my own company I was able to do things in the way I felt would be most profitable; for example, I made it easier to set up recurring business. In October we had our first sale, and we’re now celebrating our 3rd anniversary of that event and are on route to exceeding 10M in sales for our next term.
When I jumped into the importation/distribution business, it was something that I was familiar with. There was good will there between the buyers and I. Experience is priceless when you’re entering a new venture.
What difficulties do you run into in importing?
Whether you’re importing from Asia, Europe, South America or anywhere else, the goods are subject to various tariffs and import/export laws. For goods coming into Canada, it’s important to match the compliances and find out if they’re electronically approved or if they comply with government electrical standards such as CETL or CSA.
It’s also important to understand whether you’re going to be able to establish a trade relationship based on the economic stability of a foreign country. There’s a certain level of risk that comes with international relationships. For instance, a foreign government could make a trade overnight that would cause the economy to collapse, meaning no work for the local people and no products for you. Knowing about politics in this case isn’t academic. You just have to be in the business and be subject to these forces to really know about them.
What’s fulfilling about working in the hair beauty industry?
In order to be successful we have to be ahead of the market and willing to say what will be the next big thing. It’s all about the salon being happy, and it’s fulfilling to know that the product wouldn’t be there without our work. Seeing the whole process take place — everything from our initial product research to seeing that product in salons — is what makes it all worthwhile.
What advice would you have for an entrepreneur who’s just starting out?
The onus is on you when you own a business. It’s a part of the mindset, and usually entrepreneurs are young with no dependents and not much to lose. It’s a luxury to be able to take part in this risky choice, and you have to go into it with confidence.
My advice to entrepreneurs would be to start out by being extremely lean. This is different from being cheap. Start out with the quick and dirty version of your final product. Have a strategy and build up from there. When you’re just starting out, every dollar that you spend on business — in finance, marketing, sales and product development — needs to contribute in an extremely valuable way to growth. The nice things that come from success, like having a nice office or a receptionist, will come later.
There’s a fast food identity that’s become associated with being a serial entrepreneur, and a culture that fosters entrepreneurship. In reality, entrepreneurs are a rare breed. Owning a business is not for everyone. There’s prestige in being able to say “I’m an entrepreneur” and there’s a lot of money that’s being thrown around in the name of this prestige, but the ideal is a lot different from what it’s like being in the trenches. Most entrepreneurs would want to throw up on hearing the phrase “start up” because it’s not a glamorous process. There’s a lot of sacrifice and stress.
Why would someone become an entrepreneur, then?
For fiscal reasons, perhaps. There is potential to earn more revenue while on your own. You have to be keen on getting it done, though, and to see money as more of a byproduct of your hard work. The main reason, though, is that you’re able to say to yourself “I want to be working here.” You can’t over-think it. The first step is having a good idea. The rest is execution, and enjoying the intellectual challenge of this is important.
Entrepreneurship has a lot to do with fear. A part of the cognitive process of being an entrepreneur is having so much confidence that fear becomes eclipsed and overcome. Through confidence, entrepreneurs become blissfully oblivious to the amount of risk that start-ups take. The person who studies risk focuses on playing it safe — after all, this is the rational choice to make. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, will use his or her confidence to face risks and succeed even when, to the non-entrepreneur, the chances seems overwhelmingly slim.
View Interview at www.kickitdigital.com
Backstage Commerce Inc. Ranks No. 20 on the 2013 PROFIT HOT 50
Posted on Jul 13, 2016
— PROFIT Magazine unveils 14th annual list of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies —
Montreal (September 4, 2013) PROFIT Magazine today ranked Backstage Commerce Inc. No. 20 on its 14th annual PROFIT HOT 50, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies. Published in the October issue of PROFIT Magazine and online at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT HOT 50 ranks young firms by two-year revenue growth.
Backstage Commerce Inc., importer and manufacturer of professional beauty products, made the PROFIT HOT 50 list with two-year revenue growth of 894%.
“This year’s PROFIT HOT 50 companies embody the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Ian Portsmouth, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of PROFIT Magazine. “They have grown exceptionally fast in a challenging economy,
thanks to the ingenuity and determination of the entrepreneurs behind them.”
About PROFIT Magazine
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent publication dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 31 years, Canadian entrepreneurs and senior managers across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT online at www.PROFITguide.com.
Backstage Commerce Inc. is a Canadian based importer and manufacturer of professional hair beauty products, operating in global markets. Always striving to be first to market with differentiating innovative solutions, BSC sources the most cutting edge answers from suppliers ahead of the curve. Reaching out to over a million stylists in North America alone through a network of established distributers, BSC’s team boasts collectively over 65 years of experience in the professional beauty industry, thus appreciating the creativity and artistry of their end user, the stylist, to better serve them and their needs.
Backstage Commerce Inc.
Leaders 2015: Backstage Commerce (BSC)
Posted on Jul 13, 2016