2nd Annual E-List

Fashionmall.com Inc.

Name/age:Ben Narasin, 34
Company/description: Fashionmall.com Inc. is a specialty shopping portal for the fashion and beauty industries.
Based: New York City
1999 sales: Analysts say $3.7 million
2000 projections: Analysts say $6 million

You want to what? Before starting Fashionmall.com in 1994, serial entrepreneur Narasin fulfilled a lifelong passion by starting and designing for a men's sportswear company called Boston Prepatory Co. Narasin's venture flourished during the 10 years he was there, but he foresaw limitations in an era of retail consolidation. "You were either a megabrand or a niche player competing on price," he says. "The Internet seemed to have unlimited upside." But when Narasin pitched Fashionmall.com as a marketing brand to help his own and other designers get publicity via the Net, it was impossible to secure funding because people didn't see the Web site's value.

Hanging by a thread: Starting a business-to-business dotcom with $250,000 (from investors and prior earnings) has its ups and downs. It was iffy when Narasin bluffed calling it quits to get investors to foot the bill for a nearly missed payroll period. ("There was no way in hell I would've shut it down," he says.) But screw-ups are less painful of late: Narasin says he's made his mistakes on the cheap. "I'm lucky we didn't raise a lot of money in the beginning because we would've spent it prematurely," he reasons.

Stitches in time: Increasing traffic from 500,000 "user sessions" last October to 2.5 million in December required dedication. And the site has raked in over $15 million for this year's first quarter. But this candidate for Most Likely Not To Retire would pull all-nighters every weeknight before he'd sacrifice weekends with his wife and two children. Says Narasin, "It's not like I sit in a yoga position and chant all day, but ultimately, you've got to have balance in your life."

« Previous 1 2 3 4 Page 5 6 7 8 9 Next »

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 2nd Annual E-List.

Loading the player ...

Shark Tank's Daymond John on Lessons From His Worst Mistakes

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Most Shared Stories

The Two Words Steve Jobs Hated Most
15 Signs You're an Entrepreneur
The 4 Essentials to Starting a Company Whether You Have Money or Not
Want Media Attention? Target Trades First
10 Things That Set Entrepreneurs Apart From the 9-to-5 Crowd