You are currently viewing Shopify Mafia Members Share Business Success Stories

Shopify Mafia Members Share Business Success Stories

  • Shopify encourages entrepreneurship among its employees.
  • Many employees have left the company to start their own business.
  • We spoke to over 30 of them. Read their stories here.

As a self-proclaimed “entrepreneurial company”, Shopify builds and offers tools to some 2 million merchants to run their online stores. The company frequently highlights merchant successes on its corporate blog and in earnings calls.

But Shopify’s messages about entrepreneurship also extend to its own employees. Business leaders are encouraging employees to start their own businesses in addition to their daily jobs, by holding internal business contests and allowing employees to spend up to $1,000 in business-related costs per year.

Even Shopify President Harley Finkelstein has a side hustle: He runs Shopify-powered DTC tea brand Firebelly Tea with David Segal, the founder of DavidsTea. Finkelstein previously told Insider that having a side hustle helps him better understand Shopify’s product and have empathy for the platform’s merchant base.

“I talk a lot about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur in my role at Shopify,” he said. “Firebelly lets me experience it first hand.”

Other entrepreneurs also have their own Shopify stores, such as Atlee Clark, who is Shop’s COO and also co-founded children’s and women’s clothing brand Pika Layers.

“We have long said that Shopify is a company for entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs,” a Shopify spokesperson previously told Insider. “We promote entrepreneurship internally and encourage our employees to pursue their passions and side projects.”

Insider profiled dozens of Shopify employees who became entrepreneurs. Read their stories below:

A ‘Shopify Mafia’ founder on how he built his brand while working full time: ‘Shopify is the only company in the world where you can have a million dollar stampede’

Greg Macdonald already had a Shopify store when he joined the e-commerce company as Merchant Success Manager in 2016. But his bath products brand, Bathorium, has grown dramatically over his years. five years with the company.

Eventually, the store was successful enough that Macdonald quit the e-commerce giant and ran Bathorium full-time. He told Insider about his experience running a “million dollar side hustle” while working at Shopify.

Shopify encourages its employees to launch side stores. This entrepreneur left the company to run his store full-time and now generates around $30,000 in monthly sales.

Daniel Patricio was working in the product team at Shopify when he launched Bull and Cleaver, a Shopify store selling biltong, a South African beef jerky product, in 2015.

But the side hustle eventually got bigger than Patricio expected, and he quit his job at Shopify to work full-time on Bull and Cleaver. He shared his brand story biltong with Insider.

This offshoot of “Shopify Mafia” has invested $2.3 million in startups led by women. 2 partners share what they are looking to invest in next.

In the spring of 2021, 10 Shopify employees — some current, some former — launched Backbone Angels, an angel investor collective focused on funding startups founded by women, especially women of color.

A year later, they had invested over $2 million in new startups. They outlined some of their investment priorities in interviews with Insider.

Meet 34 members of the ‘Shopify Mafia’ who embraced the e-commerce giant’s entrepreneurial spirit and started their own business

Many other Shopify employees have left the company to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. Insider interviewed more than 30 of them, including Michael Perry, who left Shopify to create parenting software startup Maple, and Erin Chan, who co-founded rental marketing platform Rhenti after years as chief. product at Shopify.

Several alumni went on to create software to help engineers simplify coding, such as Harry Brundage and Mohammad Hashemi, who co-founded Gadget, and Ken Rose, who co-founded OpsLevel.

Others have dubbed DTC and launched their own Shopify stores.

Leave a Reply