Would you introduce yourself to OnSuccess readers and share your thoughts on Korea?
Hi my name is Jason Apfel and I am the founder and President of FragranceNet.com! I am a native American and I live and work in Long Island, New York. Although I don’t know much about Korea, I am inspired by a country with a forward thinking culture, a fast economic growth and a love of technology! Keep it up we like what we see!
Please tell readers a bit about history of your company? What’s the concept of your company that you are trying to show to Visitors? And what inspired you to start your own business?
FragranceNet.com was created to provide the public with access to the largest inventory of genuine, brand name fragrances, skincare, makeup candles, aromatherapy and more at the lowest possible prices. We work hard to ensure that your shopping experience is completely satisfying and enjoyable. Along with great selection and prices, our number one concern is offering superior customer service.
I had already succeeded at several enterprises prior to starting FrangranceNet.com in 1995. While still in college, I created a student magazine that distributed 10,000 copies a week featuring special discounts from local and national companies
After graduation, I began to experiment with the Web, and my interest in online communities led me to form CyberCampus.com, the only Internet guide made for college students by college students. These positive experiences prompted me to apply my commitment, creativity and hard work to another venture: the mass marketing of fragrances.
At first, FragranceNet.com only had an 800 number customers could call to order fragrances over the phone. Then, the Internet came along, and the business went in a whole new direction. Within a few months FragranceNet.com, the world's largest discount fragrance store, was born.
I knew that the Web site had to have a unique and user-friendly environment. i developed the company with that in mind, not only offering huge discounts, but free gift wrapping, personalized gift cards, and delivery on more than 3,000 brand name products
Fast forward to 2010. FragranceNet.com is a recognized leader in the online beauty retail industry with over 15 million visitors annually. The company ships over 1.5 million packages worldwide each year and is currently ranked as number 156 on the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide
Q3. and one thing that I am curious is that how did you contact all the brands into your website? At first, there might be difficult to persuade CEO of luxury perfume brands to offer their items to your company at wholesale price.
We have a team of great buyers who are able to source products from wholesalers, distributors and fragrance companies. Our business model is simple, we have built a successful business, we buy in bulk, warehouse and ship out of our own facility and we ALWAYS pay our bills. It makes it easy – companies actually want to do business with us now.
What's your business system? and let readers know the strength and weakness of your business system? and what kind of business system is good for online store?
Home grown and built technology– every business is different so it’s mostly “learn as you go and grow”
There are so many specialized websites about perfumes. what makes your company different from your competitors?
Like I said before, we have a great team of buyers. We are able to secure the best prices and we pass those savings along to our customers. We are different from our competitors because we offer the widest selection of products (we currently have over 13,000 sku’s on our site) at the best possible prices! Plus we have great content and customer reviews.
and many people consider starting their own business while they are at certain Job or school, but very few have been successful in actually doing it. what’s your advice for this?
Being an entrepreneur is taking a big risk. Therefore, don’t hope you will be a success, plan to be a success. Build your business on something you believe in. Be willing to try something that is out of your comfort zone, know your market and most importantly enjoy what you do.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur? What's the real life as an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a way of life. You are always at the office, morning, noon and night 24/7. My schedule is very often dictated by my business needs and my family has grown accustomed to my ALWAYS being at work – even on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I have an active and rewarding life but it includes my business as well.
and who do you think is the best entrepreneur that you’ve known?
My Father who has been a constant inspiration to me.
Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
As for my business – my goals have always been to grow globally and to be the best that we can be.
And would you please say the things that you want to say to korean readers especially to entrepreneurs in the field of online shop, before saying good bye?
Starting a business can be a daunting task. Stay true to yourself, stay happy, surround yourself with positive people and you will persevere.