Exeleon Magazine

Interview with Maggie Adhami-Boynton

Maggie Adhami-Boynton_Shopthing Exeleon Magazine

From selling goldfish for Iranian New Year to Mukluks, from entering the fashion space to building a one-of-a-kind live shopping platform – ShopThing, the journey of Maggie Adhami-Boynton has been nothing short of fascinating. Read this exclusive interview to find out more about this innovative leader.

What according to you makes one an innovative leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

I believe that innovation comes in many forms and can really vary from one leader to the next. For me, innovation means that we are always pushing the boundaries and “breaking” everything. If we are not breaking the process, the machine, the status quo, then we are not innovating.

I integrated this into my leadership style by encouraging a culture of failure and learning. If your team is not scared of being perfect and of failing, they can really think outside the box and try new ways of doing things.

What is your earliest memory as a leader / entrepreneur that you can remember?

My earliest memory of being an entrepreneur is at the tender age of 16, selling goldfish at the local market for Iranian New Year. The thrill of “building a business”, even if it was just a seasonal business that barely broke even, was addictive. That quickly turned into me opening an eBay store, selling Mukluks for the better part of my university years, while teaching me a lot about managing funds.

My love for entrepreneurship was definitely instilled in me by my mom, who has been a serial entrepreneur for as long as I can remember and has always encouraged me to do the same.

What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into the tech and e-commerce space?

I have always been very ambitious and had a deep love of fashion. I was looking for ways to combine my fashion interests with my 15+ years of tech experience and saw ShopThing as an amazing opportunity to challenge myself and change how consumers shop and sell with live video commerce.

What is live shopping and how did the idea / formation of ShopThing come about?

Think QVC, but on mobile, with an engaged audience that can participate. Typically done via video livestream or social media, hosts will present products to their audience, answer questions and provide recommendations in real-time.

Live shopping was already an existing retail format in Asia as long-form video, but I wanted to bring the experience to North America in a different way: curated events using short-video, that would resonate with this market.

The pandemic was a catalyst for us. People missed in-store experiences and human connection, and live shopping was such a unique way to help solve for that loss. ShopThing audiences felt like they were out with friends and, even now that the world is opening back up, they continue to shop through us for its convenience and authority.

How did the platform leverage Influencer Marketing to establish its brand presence?

Influencer marketing is an integral part of our company model and has driven a lot of our success. We handpick our influencers very strategically, ensuring that they’re promoting brands that resonate with them and their audiences.

Our influencers curate their own events to create an experience that is engaging and authentic, and that allows them to foster a connection with our users because they’re speaking to products and brands that they genuinely love.

Looking back at your journey, what would you have done differently if you were to start again?

I would have started the first 4 businesses that I was too scared to start.

In my early days as a working professional, I was really unsure of my ability to start and operate a business. As I gained experience scaling a business, I became more confident in my abilities, ultimately leading to the inception of ShopThing.

If I could go back, I would tell my past self to just take the leap and learn as you go. Not all of them would have been successful, but there would have been invaluable learnings in each venture.

Finally, what does the future look like for ShopThing? On a personal front, where do you see yourself standing in the coming years?

The coming months and years will be very exciting for ShopThing! We’re expanding into new markets, bringing on more influencers and diversifying our product offerings. We recently piloted our first pre-loved event, which was a huge success with our audiences, so you can also expect much more to come there.

Read Digital Version.

Visit ShopThing Website

Contact ShopThing on LinkedIn.

Innovative Leaders_ Exeleon Magazine Emanuel Avina

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