First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Andrew Lippincott: Thank you for asking! We’re doing great. I feel for anyone that has fallen on tough times during this pandemic. For me, though, this has been a very fortunate opportunity for personal growth. I’ve taken a long look at my life and made a multitude of positive changes where things weren’t working so well. Without the distractions of normal life, it became a perfect environment to work on myself.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded MAK Digital Design.
Andrew Lippincott: My entire career has been in the software and services side of eCommerce. After graduating from Drexel, I took a position as a Junior Sales Rep at an eCommerce services company called WebLinc. It was essentially dialing for dollars and learning the ropes of the sales and tech industry. It was a great fit. I spent 3 years at the company, and under great leadership, I learned many skills.
Eventually, I was recruited by Magento, who was owned by eBay Enterprise at the time. In this role, I was selling software to merchants and working directly with the partners’ ecosystem to match merchants with the right agencies for the services that surround the software. My wife, coincidentally, was working at eBay Enterprise as well. She was a Senior Developer that helped build a number of sites for big names like Timberland, Toys’R’Us(RIP), Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more.
My wife, Marina, and I were learning all the skills necessary to take us to the next phase of our professional lives. Marina eventually left eBay to start freelance web development and formed what is now the MAK Digital Design we have today. I stayed with my position at Magento for 6 years, winning numerous awards and bringing on a total of 200+ clients. I eventually left and joined the family business, took my working experience with the best partners in the industry, and applied it to our agency.
How does MAK Digital Design innovate?
Andrew Lippincott: Our clients drive our innovation. In order to be successful in our industry, you have to be at the forefront of technology or be left behind. When we work with a new client in an industry like cycling, for instance, we’re coming up with newer and better ways to sell bicycles and accessories than what is currently being done. We’re constantly looking for better technologies to partner with, and at the root of that is always the client.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Andrew Lippincott: Working in the world of eCommerce, as you can imagine, our business has been doing great. People that never shopped online before are making the shift to buying all of their products online. While this, of course, started out of necessity, consumers have gotten much more comfortable with the process and are seeing the convenience of buying from the comfort of their home.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Andrew Lippincott: We didn’t have to make very difficult choices. Again, we were quite fortunate to be in the eCommerce industry rather than something like the restaurant industry, which, unfortunately, has suffered greatly due to COVID-19. We were unfortunate that we moved into a larger office, and before we could get everything moved in, the lockdown happened. We’re scheduled to return to the office next week, and we’re all very excited to get back to some form of normalcy in our work environment.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and MAK Digital Design in the future?
Andrew Lippincott: Stress and anxiety are no stranger to the entrepreneur. For me, living a healthy lifestyle mitigates stress and anxiety to a manageable level. Our heads are down, and we’re staying the course; we plan to continue growing and be a large formidable services agency that any merchant can turn to for help to be successful.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Andrew Lippincott: We have a number of great competitors that offer some or all of the services we do. There is more than enough business for all of us to keep food on the table, and I believe we all offer something unique that gives merchants options on who they want to be involved in their business.
Your final thoughts?
Andrew Lippincott: Stay safe and stay healthy, everyone! This, too, shall pass.
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