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Start Your Own Business With Shopify

Chris Tsang
Chris Tsang

October 15, 2012

Creativity is useless without conviction

Hi, my name is Chris, owner of Mindzai and one of 30,000 happy Shopify customers. Here's my story:

Hear more stories of Shopify storeowners here.

Five years ago, Mindzai was a simple creative design blog. We had a passion for the art and creativity in things like sneakers, caps and toys.

In our effort to support the art community, we posted interviews and held our own events and galleries across the city to showcase aspiring artists.

We had a blast doing it and the artists we worked with really appreciated it. But were we really helping them? Did those 150-200 page hits really do that much for them? Personally, writing blog posts till 3 in the morning wasn't really doing any wonders for me and I started to hate it.

I decided to take a hiatus and focused on a more professional career and took up a job at a national wireless carrier where I would hone other corporate skills. The money was great but I was really angry at myself.

What happened to that creative passion that I once had? Did I really put all that effort into Mindzai and not continue with it? What happened to our mission to give back to the creative community? What happened to our ideals?

I was feeling really down and I decided to do something about it. I started to research what I wanted to do for weeks. Then it hit me: I knew that I needed to create a shop where I could actually affect artist's lives and breathe creativity into people's homes.

My best friend and I decided to restart Mindzai and focus on promoting the trendiest design products into peoples homes.

We immediately got working on our website design and, after some research, decided to pick Shopify as our e-commerce platform. It's a really great flexible platform that packs some awesome features (complete control of HTML/CSS, accepts credit cards and PayPal, SEO features), along with a great design all from the admin dashboard to its mobile app.

Shopify helped me finish a site design in only a matter of days, with their plethora of available templates. Without this, I would have had to spent hundreds if not thousands of hours getting a site designed, shopping cart set up, blah blah blah. With Shopify, I was able to immediately start focusing on working with the right artists and suppliers, and growing my business.

Now, a few months later, we work with some amazing local artists and others across the globe. This year, we were nominated as a finalist for the Best Online Toy Store for the Designer Toy Awards by Clutter Magazine

When writing this post, I was told by the team at AppSumo that I didn't really have to sell Shopify and that they really just wanted an honest story about what I was doing. The truth is...I don't think I have to sell anyone. Choosing Shopify has easily become one of the most important decisions of my life. The best thing about Shopify is that it's made me not have to worry about the e-commerce portion of our goals.

When you are choosing a platform to work with, it's important for you to focus on your actual objectives and not get caught up in platform comparisons. Technology is evolving all the time so it's best to just focus on getting that first sale. The folks at Shopify are hardworking and really make an effort to improve their platform from all perspectives. The support is great and you really have nothing to worry.

The best part of all of this? We're doing what we love and we know we can actually contribute to the art scene in a meaningful way. It's the only way to live life.

Mindzai is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and Shopify made it possible.

Get on it people. Get your ideas out there. Be strong. Because creativity is useless without conviction.

- Chris Tsang, Founder of Mindzai

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