New Home-preneur of the Year announced for 2013 along with winners for
Young-preneur and esteemed Entrepreneur of the Year
TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - eBay Canada is thrilled to announce Farishta Zarify of London, Ontario as the 2013 winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, a distinction that honours successful and innovative e-commerce in
Canada. For the ninth year in a row, eBay Canada recognizes Canadian
entrepreneurs who have seized the opportunities of online commerce to
develop strong, successful businesses.
As the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, Zarify has leveraged her passion for fashion to create a full-time
career. Zarify launched her business, Designer Luxury Gowns, in January
and quickly tapped into the high-end fashion market on eBay.
Specializing in designer and luxury evening gowns, Zarify sold in
excess of $20,000 worth of luxury clothing within the first six months
of launching, including her most notable sale to-date, an $11,000 gown
by designer John Galliano. Zarify takes full advantage of eBay's
mobile apps to meet the needs of her business and her discerning
customers: she is able to research prices, post listings and respond to
customer inquiries - anytime, anywhere.
Home-preneur & Young-preneur of the Year
In addition to the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, eBay Canada also celebrates winners in two additional categories this
year: Home-preneur of the Year, new for 2013 and honouring a seller who operates an eBay business from
the comfort of their home; and the return of Young-preneur of the Year, for an entrepreneurially-spirited seller under the age of 29.
Richard Kalpakian of Toronto, Ontario has been named the first ever eBay Canada Home-preneur of the Year. Kalpakian turned his lifelong love of comic books into a lucrative
online business with an impressive inventory of nearly 250,000 titles.
With the support of his wife, Kalpakian operates all aspects of his
business from the family home, and houses his inventory in meticulously
organized, temperature controlled storage units. Since launching in
2004, Kalpakian's sales have increased six fold, making him the fourth
largest comic book seller globally on eBay.
Adrien Lavoie of Gatineau, Quebec is eBay Canada's 2013 Young-preneur of the Year. An employee and protégé of 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, Jean-Francois Lapointe, Lavoie was inspired to establish his own eBay
business offering sports products including longboards, shoes,
sunglasses, and other accessories. Since starting his business over
two years ago, Lavoie has seen tremendous growth and earlier this year
was able to open a 2,100 ft2 brick-and-mortar store, Wooki.ca, as a result of the success of his eBay store.
"Entrepreneurial spirit abounds in Canada," said Andrea Stairs, country
manager of eBay Canada, "and eBay is proud to provide a platform for
the development of so many successful Canadian businesses. Since the
inception of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards nine years ago, we
have heard thousands of stories of Canadians who have taken advantage
of e-commerce to follow their dreams and passions - this year's winners
are no different, they are three examples of the power and possibility
of online commerce in Canada."
Almost 150 eBay sellers entered this year's competition. Along with
bragging rights and promotion of their eBay business to more than two
million online buyers, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner will receive $3,000, and the Home-preneur and Young-preneur of the Year will each receive $2,000.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program was announced earlier this year and was open to full- and
part-time eBay sellers aged 18 years and older. All entrants were
considered for the Young-preneur of the Year and the Home-preneur of the Year categories, if applicable.
About the 2013 Winners!
eBay Canada's 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year: Farishta Zarify, London, ON (eBay ID: luxurydesignergowns)
A frequent guest at weddings and formal events, Farishta Zarify quickly
developed a love for fashion and was inspired to turn her passion into
profit when she found a gap in the online luxury gown market. Creating
her eBay business in early 2013, Zarify sells a selection of new and
pre-owned gowns, at fixed prices, from renowned fashion houses such as
Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Marchesa. While competition
amongst fashion retailers is fierce, Zarify uses social media tools,
like Facebook, to market her business, and further sets herself apart
by adding a personal touch to each sale. With an average selling price
of $1,500 to $2,000, Zarify takes time to get to know each buyer and
ensure every gown purchased is a perfect fit. Having seen such
tremendous success in just eight months, Zarify has quit her job to
focus on her business, full-time, and aspires to travel the world to
expand her inventory.
eBay Canada's 2013 Home-preneur of the Year: Richard Kalpakian, Toronto, ON (eBay ID: armbo_comics)
A comic book collector since childhood, Richard Kalpakian witnessed a
growing demand for his books worldwide and began selling his personal
collection on eBay in 2004. In less than a year, Kalpakian's eBay
store Armbo Comics - which features a breadth of new and used comic
books as well as other collectibles, cards and figurines - was so
profitable that he quit his job to focus on his home business and make
it a full-time career. To further supply his growing stock of almost
250,000 comic books, Kalpakian uses online resources like Kijiji as
well as comic stores to curate an assortment of titles - including his
most notable sale, a first edition X-Men comic book which he sold for
$1000; 20 times what he originally paid. The Home-preneur winner uses
his home office as his main sales and distribution centre, and houses
his inventory in temperature-controlled storage units. Since starting
his business, Kalpakian's store has become the world's fourth largest
eBay comic store, and hopes to one day open his own brick-and-mortar
eBay Canada's 2013 Young-preneur of the Year: Adrien Lavoie, Gatineau, QC (eBay ID: boardshopw)
Twenty-four-year-old Young-preneur of the Year Adrien Lavoie was introduced to eBay during his employment with BDH
Bikes in Gatineau, Quebec, while working alongside business owner and 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, Jean-Francois Lapointe. The store owned by Lapointe gave Lavoie the
experience that undoubtedly helped and motivated him to create an eBay
business of his own that ultimately became his full-time career. By
generating over $200,000 in sales since launching his store in 2011,
Lavoie was able to fund a recently opened brick-and-mortar location,
Wooki.ca. A 2.0 version of his eBay store, Lavoie offers similar
inventory online and offline, including longboards, shoes, sunglasses,
shirts, and accessories.
About eBay Canada
Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global
commerce platform and payments leader connecting millions of buyers and
sellers. We do so through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace,
which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth;
through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely,
easily and quickly send and receive digital payments; and through GSI,
which facilitates ecommerce, multichannel retailing and digital
marketing for global enterprises. We also reach millions through
specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket
marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence
in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited
by more than 8 million Canadians in July 2013 (comScore Media Metrix).
SOURCE: eBay Canada
For further information:
Edelman (on behalf of eBay Canada)