Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Kyras, Co-Founder of Matagora, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We're a Canadian startup on a mission to level out the playing field for independent retail. We want independent retailers to have a fighting chance against big-box retail and even flourish by uniting them under one roof. We do this by automating the tedious parts of store-brand retail collaborations. This enables brands to expand their reach and stores to multiply their product curations capabilities.
With Matagora, stores can sync with brands' inventory in real-time, import all product information in one click, and take care of fulfillment all the way to the payouts to each partner - all put on autopilot. Stores are instantly transformed into real-time scalable marketplaces and get to keep their product curation exciting for their customers. Brands get access to more distribution channels while ensuring they always get paid on time and empower their store partners to sell better together. By simplifying store-to-brand partnerships both online and offline, we eliminate the friction of stores testing out brands on the fly and the eventual move to wholesale.
Tell us about yourself
Our whole team is made up of through and through passionate retailers with a strong and foundational belief in shopping small. Much of the team has a background in small business, whether through family or friends, and knows the importance of small businesses to the communities around them. Our founders bring uniquely helpful insights that the team leverages to build Matagora so it can tackle the problems facing independent retail in a direct and valuable way. We care so much about independent retail and work hard every day to empower them to have access to the same or even better tools as big box retailers in an affordable way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Our biggest accomplishment was taking an idea from our minds to a whiteboard, to an actual running business. From there, we built up a marketplace of stores and brands from 0 to 500+. Finally, we got what started as a simple idea into a business backed by the world's best VC partner, Y-Combinator. This was by far the hardest thing my business partner and I have ever accomplished in our lives. The challenges of running a small business never stop and always represent an exciting opportunity to overcome obstacles.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is maintaining a healthy work-life balance and its effects on your mental health. It's so important to have a good support system of people around you that understand the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that are required to grow a business from the ground up. Then, it's important to have activities in place to manage your mental health, such as sports, meditation, yoga, reading, and anything that allows you to have a healthy re-energizing disconnect when required. When you start a business yourself, it's easy to feel it's the most important thing in your life, but it's only through balance and self-care that you can actually bring your best self to the table.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a cause you love and are passionate about, and never give up until you've exhausted all options.
- Create a healthy support system around you of friends and family while also having a re-energizing set of activities and hobbies.
- Make something people actually want! It sounds obvious, but it's important to know there's a place for you and your ideas in the marketplace. Even if you're passionate about a business idea, there may not be room for it. Be strategic and listen to the market around you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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