In May 2020, Ownr launched Ownr Grants, a $25,000 fund sponsored by RBC Ventures in their continued support of entrepreneurs in Canada, facing challenges due to COVID-19.
Ownr received over 2,000 high-quality applications for this initiative and from the over 2,000 submissions, we are incredibly proud to announce that Urban Minimalist was one of the 25 grant recipients!
Here's an excerpt of a brief interview conducted after we were chosen as an Ownr Grant Recipient:
Give us some background on how you both started out in this business.
Both of us started our careers in a shared startup/ecommerce environment and have been working together already for a few years. Together, our core competencies consist of Operations, Supply Chain Management, Sales Operations, Marketing, and Product Development.
Urban Minimalist originally started as a way for us to create the products and projects based on our own personal interests that didn’t already exist in the marketplace. So we decided to create them ourselves and believed that if we had been searching for these items, then others were likely searching for a product to fulfill that need as well.
What first inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I don’t think that there’s one specific person or experience for either of us that inspired us to become entrepreneurs. Instead, it’s been a combination of having the opportunity to work alongside and meet a bunch of really amazing and talented people who already own their own ecommerce companies. It’s also the incredibly hardworking but fun and informal culture that makes working in or having your own startup so appealing—working somewhat against the odds to create something that you’re proud of and learning lots along the way.
Co-Founders Curtis Nemechek (Left) and Max Mak (Right)
Can you share one of the key learnings you’ve had as a business owner?
There is always going to be a new problem or obstacle that emerges. At the end of the day, no one else is going to solve that problem for you and push your company forward but yourself, so just do it. Find a way to figure it out and learn a new skill or insight along the way.
What is the most rewarding part of being apart of Urban Minimalist?
Being able to funnel our creativity and passions into products and sharing them with others who have the same interests and passions.
Any future plans for Urban Minimalist you’d like to share?
Our three main product lines consist of Grow Your Own Microgreen Kits, Handmade Home Décor, and Curated Gift Sets. We’re currently building out our catalog across these 3 categories to add lots of new products for people with varying interests—whether it be Indoor Gardening, crafting the perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail, or decorating your home with handmade concrete or leather goods, we’re always adding items that provide an experience.
To read through the entire list of recipients, feel free to check out the full blog post from Ownr here!