When Mariam Naficy launched Minted in 2008, she wanted to create a niche business, one that would crowdsource stationery designs from independent artists, ask consumers to vote for their favorites, produce and sell the best-performing creations, and share a portion of revenue with the original designers. But Naficy underestimated consumers’ interest in what she was building, and she soon found herself at the helm of a massive venture-backed design platform that was growing far beyond her original vision.
So she rolled with it—adapting right alongside her company. Now Minted’s team is 400 strong and the company is generating revenue in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Naficy talked with Entrepreneur about letting the business lead the way, carefully selecting strategic partners, and building a team that doesn’t require hand-holding.
Minted has been in business for 11 years. Talk to me about your original vision when you started working on it in 2007.
I was captivated by the idea of bloggers. These unknown writers were coming from nowhere, were unaffiliated with big institutions, but people wanted to read their work. I thought it was fascinating, and thought that there probably were great designers out there that the internet could also help uncover—people who are deserving but don’t know how to get their work to market. I thought crowdsourcing designs and holding competitions was the wa