When Brian Gonsalves was a junior at Pacific Lutheran University, he cut his entrepreneurial teeth on an Internet business that he created selling nutritional products out of his college dorm room. While he would go on to sell that company, the e-commerce experience he gained helped set the stage for his current endeavor: Vancouver-based NetRush.
Gonsalves opened NetRush in 2006 with close friend, Chris Marantette, who has a background in finance. The company positions premium brands on the Amazon Marketplace, and has done so rather successfully over the last decade.
Originally, the company worked with a wide assortment of brands and products. However, over the years the team at NetRush has fine-tuned its mission statement, turning their eyes toward the lifestyle sector – natural products, sports and outdoors, health and personal care. Gone are the myriad of brands for the sake of having thousands of options.
Currently, NetRush works with a little over 40 brands – all known for excellence. Names like Leatherman, Shwood Eyewear, Bob’s Red Mill, Strider, Eagles Nest Outfitters and Alaffia (manufacturer of quality skin care products) are among their list of partners.
NetRush is more than a third-party seller. They strive to build synergistic relationships with all their clients. Part of that entails a brand manager assigned to each individual or company that sells through them. That brand manager takes the time to learn about the products the client sells, the goals of the client and how the strengths of NetRush and the partner can work together to accomplish a favorable outcome for all parties involved.
Gonsalves explained that at NetRush, the focus isn’t on the bottom line, but rather a holistic approach that ultimately improves the financial return for everyone as a result. In that way, the team at NetRush considers themselves contributors for each brand they represent as opposed to merely order takers.
This approach is obviously working. NetRush has enjoyed 150 percent growth over the last two years; 80 percent in the last 12 months alone. In 2013, they opened a processing facility in Kentucky – ten miles from one of Amazon’s four redistribution centers – to further solidify their commitment to deliver beyond expectation. They currently employ nearly 40 people in their Vancouver office, that same amount in Kentucky, and are looking to expand their employee base in Vancouver by 25 percent in the next six months. Everything from sales managers to graphic design specialists, brand managers, digital content and digital marketing positions will be available.
But they’re not looking for just anyone. Gonsalves shared that the culture at NetRush is different from what some prospective employees expect. Two of their three top principles are:
Be the first to take blame and the first to pass credit.
Always do the right thing, even when it hurts.
The industry is not without its challenges. According to Gonsalves, being able to adapt to trends and changes in the business and marketplace environment that NetRush sells within is necessary to thrive.
Looking to the future, Gonsalves said his company intends to expand into Canada and Europe in the next six months, but their primary objective is always the health of their brand partners.
“They (our partners) are putting a lot of trust in us to really develop and market what we need to in the marketplace…” he said. “Our team continues to go through that process, making them much stronger and more knowledgeable all the time.”
17800 SE Mill Plain Blvd.Vancouver www.netrush.com Founded 2006