Camille Massaad is 19 years old and the oldest of five boys. He is a student-athlete studying both Biomedical Sciences and Business Finance at the College of Idaho, and plays football as an Offensive Lineman. His entire life Camille recounts having an entrepreneurial bend, passed down to him from his immigrant family and their journey to America. Below is Camille’s story as co-owner of Idaho-based company, Gem Gear!
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur and/or own your own business?
Like I mentioned prior, I knew very quickly that I wanted to be a business owner at a young age. I always loved systems and order, along with craziness and difficult tasks. I would say that as I continued to grow my understanding of entrepreneurship in high school, I started to become more aware of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I began to indulge in content via podcasts, books, and articles, on what it truly means to be a business owner. I see myself being a business owner in one way or another, for the rest of my life.
Who/what inspires you daily?
Someone who inspires me daily is my father. He is the true definition of someone who is disciplined. My entire life he has shown me what it means to outwork the sun. If you are awake before Mother Nature turns the lights on and asleep after she turns them off, you’re doing something right. He reminds me that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day and that it is what you make of that time that separates you from the rest of the pack. Knowing this, the early mornings, and late nights 100% worth it!
Why do you do what you do?
The best part about operating Gem Gear is the community. I am in contact with so many creative people here in the valley that have talents that I can never achieve on my own. This allows me to help companies produce hats, tees, or simply a unique sticker they can give clients as a gift! This community has motivated me to continue to grow and expand not only Gem Gear, but other projects that I am constantly trying to rework. The apparel and stickers Gem Gear sells is simply my addition to the community that has given me so much in return.
Favorite thing about owning your own business?
The best part about owning your own business is the accountability. Nobody else is more responsible than you! Although this may simply seem like pressure, to me this is more of a peace of mind; knowing that your success is determined on your vision is so empowering! This shows that anyone of any age can start a business and eventually scale it to something bigger than they imagined.
How do you and/or your business stand out from the rest?
Gem Gear stands out from the rest because we do not simply serve someone looking to purchase creatively designed stickers or apparel, we also support small businesses with their needs. Since 2019, we have collected an immensely reliable and consistent group of vendors that ensure that Gem Gear can provide value to all kinds of Idaho companies. Hats? We got them.. Tees? We do those too…and frankly, anything else! We often create more than we produce, meaning most of our business comes from helping others reach their vision for their small businesses!
What can someone entering your business expect, or what do you hope they’d experience?
If you are looking for sweet stickers and tees, you’re in the right spot. I am personally always checking our inboxes for questions regarding our products and keeping in touch with those on social media spreading our content around. If you are a fellow business owner, you can always bet on me. I’ll find a way to make it work, and if I myself unable to handle it, I know the right resources and steps that needs to be taken.
Here is a quick scenerio: Business XYZ wants their new logo on some of the best selling trucker hats on the market. The only thing they has to do is tell me what they want, and I will do the rest. No back and forth with another company, no headaches, no inconsistency in emails, no hassle. I will be be taking all that away and putting it on Gem Gear to take care of! The design and hat style will be the only thing they need to take care of and then before you know it, the product is at your doorstep, hand delivered by me!
Oh, and if you want to change/create a design, we can do that too 😉
Why here in Idaho?
I think that this ties back directly to community. The welcoming nature of the people here and the passion behind the creators are what drive Idaho forward. In fact Idaho is so small business friendly that over half of the private sector works for a small business!
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