Connect
To Top

Meet Marianna Zvaigzne of Startup Vitamins in Chatsworth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marianna Zvaigzne.

Marianna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

Startup Vitamins is an online store specializing in motivational merch for offices, businesses, and entrepreneurs. It is the brainchild of Lauris Liberts, Latvian-born entrepreneur, who, for many years, was known primarily as one of the co-founders of the so-called Latvia’s Facebook, draugiem.lv. Although he has several noteworthy business ventures under his belt, these days he’s known as the co-founder of the umbrella organization Draugiem Group (https://draugiemgroup.com/en), and one of its fastest-growing projects, the global print-on-demand drop shipping and warehousing company Printful (http://printful.com), with facilities in the States and in Europe.

And the story of Startup Vitamins is essentially the story of Lauris’ entrepreneurial growth.

The draugiem.lv project, launched in 2004, was a big hit, but when it started growing bigger and bigger, Lauris discovered that getting caught up in a routine of riding the wave of success wasn’t for him. Yes, he had tasted success and it felt great, but things started to get a bit predictable.

Lauris found that there were two choices before him – either to stay in Latvia and grow increasingly more bored with everything or take another adrenaline-drenched dive into the unknown.

So Lauris went for the unknown. Eventually, in 2011, he decided that the next big unknown to be discovered would be the United States. Considering his background in tech, Silicon Valley seemed to be the obvious choice. However, San Francisco didn’t turn out to be the right fit for Lauris and his wife Inga – they soon answered to the calling of sunny LA.

Then came the time for conjuring new ideas and putting them to the test. A number of the ideas became businesses – some did quite well, but not well enough, and others simply flopped. However, that didn’t keep Lauris and his wife from pushing forward. For them, trial and error has always been what being an entrepreneur is really about.

In 2012, a game-changing idea crossed Lauris’ mind.

As an avid reader of all sorts of motivational content, from blogs to books and beyond, Lauris saw that he had an eye for noticing blunt, to-the-point words of wisdom, and figured that other entrepreneurs might find them interesting and inspiring, too, just like he did.

Coincidentally, the Draugiem Group had just moved house to a brand-new HQ, and its bare walls were in desperate need of a pick-me-up.

Lauris and his wife started hand-picking the quotes, working with designers to give them the right look, and printing the end result on posters. And that, in a nutshell, is the origin story of Startup Vitamins.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Actually, the biggest obstacle in Startup Vitamins turned out to be the foundation for Lauris’ next big idea.

Initially, the printing and packaging of the Startup Vitamins posters were done by Lauris and his wife in their Los Angeles home. However, the posters soon became hugely popular, and the two couldn’t keep up with the demand – fulfilling the products was becoming an ever-growing burden and there was little time for anything else.

For Lauris and Inga, quality was key, and none of the print-on-demand services out there could meet their expectations. In addition, they wanted their solution to be automatic, something that would integrate with their online store and take away the hassle of handling orders manually (technically speaking, a well-crafted API).

And so, it goes in business – if you can’t find a service you need, it can mean only one thing. It’s up to you to create that service.

So that’s how Printful, Lauris’ latest success came to be, all from the simple idea that online businesses just like Startup Vitamins need a quality white-label print-on-demand drop shipper they can trust.

Please tell us about Startup Vitamins.
In essence, Startup Vitamins specialize in giving motivation and support for startups and entrepreneurs. The market has changed since the early days of Startup Vitamins – back in 2012, there weren’t too many companies specializing in creating motivational merch of this kind.

We’re not into spreading fluff and empty words, we spread ideas we actually believe in, and we create products with words that actually mean something to us. In fact, when you visit our page, you’ll notice that every design comes with a little side note of why this or that quote is important.

And it’s not just about selling products, either – we help out when we can, collaborating with up-and-coming startups organizing events and trying to launch their next big idea.

So, if you’re making your first steps in your business and you need a helping hand for promo or merch, you can get in touch with us, we’ll be happy to come up with something that will help you make your event better and help us spread the Startup Vitamins vision.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in