Kevin Zhang is a 23-year-old ecommerce entrepreneur specializing in creating apparel and accessory brands from scratch and turning them into sustainable businesses. He also offers strategic advice to companies seeking to improve their digital marketing performance. He has worked with organizations from luxury fashion shops to household brands. Zhang says that his company earned around $20 million within the first year and learned valuable lessons along the way. So, how did he make this possible?
Before achieving business success, Zhang graduated from Vanderbilt University and took an unconventional route. Many graduates aim to get the highest-paying job. Instead, Zhang ventured out on his own, setting up his ecommerce marketing and branding company, Kreator Consulting, in 2018 with just $3,000 of savings. In 2019, the company had its first $20,000 day and he knew he had made the right decision.
Kreator eCommerce owns and manages several subsidiary men's apparel and accessory eCommerce brands. Past and present clients include: A-list celebrities interested in creating their own clothing brand, a high-end designer fashion brand focused on improving digital sales, a gaming company focused on promoting a specialty collection, and a viral custom jersey business trying to translate organic growth into profitable paid traffic.
At the beginning, Zhang said it was difficult to convince people who cared for him that he was on the right track when all they saw was mounting bills and no stable income. It was crucial to keep the dream alive during that startup period. Although things looked bleak, his business partner Raoul was there to share the tough times as they reminded each other it was worth it to achieve the long-range vision. Zhang learned that a good partnership is essential. “Having someone who’s been in the trenches with you when you reach that pivotal moment makes it that much more meaningful,” he says.
The young entrepreneurs spent the first few months of the business handling returns and exchanges for customers on Friday and Saturday nights, turning down many invitations, and putting all their resources into the business while their friends went out.
Zhang admits that as an entrepreneur the work is never done. Every night he goes to sleep with thoughts, ideas, and concerns racing through his mind. He doesn't have a life outside of work when there's a problem in the business. This could mean canceling a last-minute vacation or not seeing sunshine when there’s a lot of work to be done.
It has been this commitment that has helped Zhang sell his products to over 300,000 customers across 20 countries. Now in its second year, Kreator eCommerce has three locations and revenue of over $30 million according to Zhang. He credits his team of more than 60 with most of the company's success.
Zhang has been named by Affiliate World as the "eCommerce Rookie of the Year" and is a member of the Forbes Business Council, a fee-based organization for successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. He is also a strong advocate for eCommerce education and has served as a mentor to students around the world, empowering and encouraging eCommerce entrepreneurs for future generations.