I guess you could say I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. But not an entrepreneur that follows the money. An entrepreneur that follows their passions. I started my first business, Sekansin, when I was 22 years old. I had just bought a white car and I wanted to figure out how to change the roof black. So, I started learning about car wrapping. It was still a new industry at the time, and I immersed myself in it. Having been obsessed with cars since I was a child, I quickly realized there was an opportunity to turn something I loved into a business. If I wanted unique, quality car wrapping, others must too.
As a business owner, I’ve always felt it’s important to stand out from the crowd. With that mindset, I decided to enter the industry with a bang by wrapping a car with glow-in-the-dark vinyl. It worked so well that the car lit up the walls when the lights were off. My car got a lot of attention in Toronto and North America, and I ended up working with a number of celebrities (including my first celebrity client, deadmau5, to create the famous Purrari and Purracan), brands and individuals. At Sekanskin, we’ve wrapped Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and everything in between.
In the process of running my wrap shop, which I continue to run today, I came to understand the car industry deeply. A problem my wrap shop, and others, was facing was how to help clients visualize their final product from just a small colour swatch. There were a few design tools available to create prototypes of car wrap designs, but nothing that was easy to use or that provided a realistic, 3D rendering. So, my co founders and I decided to start a new business, called xix3D, to create software that would do this, helping wrap shops everywhere stand out from the crowd.
Although I had run my own business for almost a decade, a software startup was a new challenge. I decided to join the DMZ Accelerator program so we could fast track our company. At the DMZ, we received invaluable advice about how to develop a strong financial model and how to scale our business. By surrounding ourselves with seasoned entrepreneurs and mentors who had done this before, we refined our business and have tripled our projections.
I didn’t go to business school but I’m highly driven and passionate about what I do. I know my industry inside out, and I’m helping to solve a real-life problem that I’ve personally faced. I’ve surrounded myself with the right people and mentors, and together we’ve spent a lot of time refining our business model. I firmly believe that no problem can’t be solved – especially when you approach it from a creative perspective.