Digital and Technology
Eliot Jessep is what you might call an accidental entrepreneur.
At 22, he operates two successful e-commerce businesses, has worked in radio, sold calendars in shopping malls, done architectural and stage lighting, sold real estate, dabbled in broadcasting, and given talks to other aspiring young business. His business and personal success story is made more remarkable by the facts he left school at 16 & lost his mother Paula in a car crash, and has only recently been able to forge a relationship with his father.
“In 2013 I was getting into online marketing and e-commerce and thought 'oh, this is kind of interesting'. I read a book or two on e-commerce, clicked on to a top-selling product on Amazon, realised we couldn't get it in New Zealand, found a way to get it here and sell it. The rest is history”.
That led to a trial-and-error process on what could and couldn't be brought into New Zealand, freelance marketing work and running an online games store with his friend and flatmate. The duo shipped close to 4000 items through the online business ahead of Christmas in 2015. Learning as went, but is otherwise a self-taught businessman, learning from his mistakes and taking cues from other companies and businesspeople.