October 1, 2013
eBay celebrates Canadian e-commerce with ninth annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards
TORONTO -- eBay Canada has named Farishta Zarify of London, Ontario as the 2013 winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, a distinction that honours successful and innovative e-commerce in Canada. For the ninth year in a row, eBay Canada recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs who have seized the opportunities of online commerce to develop strong, successful businesses.
As the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, Zarify has leveraged her passion for fashion to create a full-time career. Zarify launched her business, Designer Luxury Gowns, in January and quickly tapped into the high-end fashion market on eBay. Specializing in designer and luxury evening gowns, Zarify sold in excess of $20,000 worth of luxury clothing within the first six months of launching, including her most notable sale to-date, an $11,000 gown by designer John Galliano. Zarify takes full advantage of eBay's mobile apps to meet the needs of her business and her discerning customers: she is able to research prices, post listings and respond to customer inquiries - anytime, anywhere.
Home-preneur & Young-preneur of the Year
In addition to the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, eBay Canada also celebrates winners in two additional categories this year: Home-preneur of the Year, new for 2013 and honouring a seller who operates an eBay business from the comfort of their home; and the return of Young-preneur of the Year, for an entrepreneurially-spirited seller under the age of 29.
Richard Kalpakian of Toronto, Ontario has been named the first ever eBay Canada Home-preneur of the Year. Kalpakian turned his lifelong love of comic books into a lucrative online business with an impressive inventory of nearly 250,000 titles. With the support of his wife, Kalpakian operates all aspects of his business from the family home, and houses his inventory in meticulously organized, temperature controlled storage units. Since launching in 2004, Kalpakian's sales have increased six fold, making him the fourth largest comic book seller globally on eBay.
Adrien Lavoie of Gatineau, Quebec is eBay Canada's 2013 Young-preneur of the Year. An employee and protégé of2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, Jean-Francois Lapointe, Lavoie was inspired to establish his own eBay business offering sports products including longboards, shoes, sunglasses, and other accessories. Since starting his business over two years ago, Lavoie has seen tremendous growth and earlier this year was able to open a 2,100 ft2 brick-and-mortar store, Wooki.ca, as a result of the success of his eBay store.
"Entrepreneurial spirit abounds in Canada," said Andrea Stairs, country manager of eBay Canada, "and eBay is proud to provide a platform for the development of so many successful Canadian businesses. Since the inception of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards nine years ago, we have heard thousands of stories of Canadians who have taken advantage of e-commerce to follow their dreams and passions - this year's winners are no different, they are three examples of the power and possibility of online commerce in Canada."
Almost 150 eBay sellers entered this year's competition. Along with bragging rights and promotion of their eBay business to more than two million online buyers, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner will receive $3,000, and the Home-preneur and Young-preneur of the Year will each receive $2,000.
The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program was announced earlier this year and was open to full- and part-time eBay sellers aged 18 years and older. All entrants were considered for the Young-preneur of the Year and the Home-preneur of the Year categories, if applicable.