Donny Salazar, founder and CEO, MasonHub
Donny Salazar, founder and CEO, MasonHub

Donny Salazar, founder and CEO, MasonHub: California Is One of the Most Populous States and Therefore We Have Good Access to Talent

Donny Salazar, founder and CEO, MasonHub of MasonHub, Inc. .

Tell us about yourself?

I grew up in California’s Central Valley and my parents were Mexican immigrants. I was very driven to succeed in school because I knew college was a way to better my circumstances.

While I was at Northwestern University, I interned at supply company where I fell in love with logistics. However, I wanted to work in fashion so that led me to retail.

It was while I was running operations for e-commerce brands that I experienced first-hand the pain points of working with third-party logistics companies.

I had the same challenges when I ran a retail consultancy. I knew there was an opportunity to improve the logistics experience, fulfillment specifically, so when a friend introduced me to an investor, that’s when the idea for MasonHub was born.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

There’s the perception that starting a company is glamorous, that there’s a ‘wow’ factor, but building something from nothing takes a huge amount of work and you are constantly ‘on’ with clients, investors and those you are recruiting.

When you have a stressful moment, you have to internalize it and figure out ways to work through it without letting it show.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

You can’t do it alone. I may be the founder, but in order for a business to grow, you have to surround yourself with a trusted team, advisers, board members and investors who have the company’s best interests in mind.

Many of us are also Type A personalities who want to control everything, but you have to be able to let go and trust and empower others to make decisions that you would support.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Don’t sweat the small stuff because that’s nothing compared to what you will ultimately come up against as you become successful and grow your business.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

It can be difficult, but I have a supportive partner and friends and family who understand what it is that I’m doing and who support me. When there is time for us, it is quality time.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

My personal experience of having worked with different 3PL providers has given me insight into all the challenges and tech needs that these brand partners require. These were the problems that MasonHub was built to solve.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

We have a vertical-ized approach, meaning that we are very focused on supporting beauty and wellness brands. This allows us to build products and services that are most beneficial to these types of companies.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Very strong. It’s important to have an understanding of your ideal customer profile, but at the same time, be open to different opportunities and different customer profiles because what you thought you would go after may not end up being what works best.

This allows you to learn and adapt. Once you understand what works, be as focused as possible and this will help your sales team.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?

California is one of the most populous states and therefore we have good access to talent. This goes back to building the best team possible.

What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?

It’s a tightly regulated state so the cost of doing business here is higher than in other states.

We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?

Everything costs even more now, from labor to warehouse space to gas and transportation. However the benefits of living here can outweigh the costs for many.

It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?

It is competitive wherever you go. But the fact that there are more people in California means there’s more talent supply. We are also flexible from a location standpoint for certain roles, so that allows us to open up hiring to anywhere in the world, which can help mitigate some of the recruiting competition.

Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?

No, we haven’t considered moving to another state.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

I see us as being the premiere fulfillment platform for all beauty and wellness companies globally.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Please check our our website and also explore our LinkedIn and BuiltinLA profiles to learn more about our team members and the types of people who work at MasonHub.

Follow MasonHub, Inc. on Twitter or Linkedin.

Ricky L. Shepherd II

Founder & CEO of Pndoras Box,  Ricky Shepherd II: When It Comes to Technology California Is Sublime for Innovation. Networking, Recruiting and Publicity Also Reign Supreme Here

James DeCicco: There Is a Strong Presence of Tech in California and Generally People Are More Aware of the Tech Industry