Mindzai gives artists a great platform to showcase their work, while providing customers the hottest products.
Mindzai also makes DIY toys: small blank dolls on which artists can unleash their creativity. Founder Chris Tsang realized that, while a $500 canvas isn’t affordable for everyone, the $10 DIY toys are accessible and original, allowing artists to exercise their imagination in a new way.
It’s fitting that Mindzai means just that: what your mind sees — your imagination.
We started Mindzai in 2006, it wasn’t always a shop, it was a blog before, and we met some great artists along the way.
Where I had the most fun was just trying to make a difference in other artists’ life. I wanted to do something to really help that creative world so we started Mindzai Creative Shop.
We wanted to sell something awesome, sell something creative so we started to pick toys, and do designer toys was just this awesome scene that we started to get into. Traditionally artists like to use wood canvas, printed canvas, or just a blank canvas to paint on.
A blank DIY toy is just another canvas. It just allows them to express their creativity in another way, and generally I find that you see something more fun and you see something different come out of the artists mind.
I love how these little toys are because not everybody can buy a $500 canvas, but almost anybody can buy a ten dollar little piece of art. It’s not a toy anymore, it’s something they want to put on their shelf and treasure.
"The most important thing that you have to do is to have faith in yourself." —Chris Tsang, Owner
What are the key factors that have helped your store be successful?
Last year we started to think about how to do a website so we started to look around for a great e-commerce platform that was flexible enough for me, that thought about mobile first. We ended up choosing Shopify. I think the best thing about Shopify is that it’s made me not have to worry about anything that has to do with the e-commerce portion.
When I received my first order online I remember the exact moment that someone bought something. It was only a thirty dollar item but I was just so excited! It was validating all my thoughts, validating everything — it was the best feeling in the world.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
The most important thing that you have to do is to have faith in yourself. If you try to make everything as perfect as you can it’s really going to show in your end product.
A lot of people will appreciate that in the end.
Any Closing Remarks?
Mindzai is just a culmination of all things creative around me. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life.