“Two things I’m passionate about in business, talent and cultural relevance. Ikonick has both of those things.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
LOS ANGELES August 29, 2018
Scooter Braun and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk have partnered with online art retailer Ikonick to help grow the startup by expanding its brand licensing roster. Both will take equity stake in the art e-commerce company.
Ikonick (@Ikonick) specializes in canvas art, acting as both the artist and distributor. The company was co-founded in 2017 by Mark Mastrandrea and Jeff Cole, 32 and 29, respectively, and is near $10 million in revenue after 15 months. Cole, the band's digital artist, has over 400,000 personal Instagram followers and has been contracted by Nike, Adidas, Jordan Brand, Disney, Marvel and more. Ikonick currently has brand licenses deal to create exclusive art series for the NBA and Muhammad Ali.
With Braun and Vaynerchuk's influence, the plan is to develop signature lines for major brands from entertainment, sports, fashion and beyond. Vaynerchuk also plans to release a signature series with Ikonick this fall.
“I was introduced to the guys by Michael George [of Braun's SB Projects] and was really impressed not only with their design work but also their work-ethic and determination to start a business,” Braun told Billboard in a statement. “I started my business when I was 19, when I meet young entrepreneurs I want to support them the way I wish I had someone supporting me at that age. These guys are hustlers and innovating a space that's been stagnant for a while, they are going to do big things.”
Vaynerchuk told Billboard, “Two things I’m passionate about in business, talent and cultural relevance. Ikonick has both of those things. This business fits into a sphere I haven’t played in, arts or creative output. As with a lot of what I do, it was intuitive to get involved. I met the guys, I liked them. It lead to serious conversations and I thought I could help. It was one of those things, living the life of an entrepreneur.”
Vaynerchuk said that if he and the rest of the Ikonick team “do our job right in the next 24 months” the brand will grow with brick and mortar retail sales and collaborations as well.
“Jeff (@Cole) and I believe that teaming up with Scooter and Gary will assist in raising our business to the next level,” said Mastrandrea in a statement. “We have always really admired Scooter and Gary from both a business and personal perspective. As these men have hustled relentlessly for their current success, they truly embody the spirit of Ikonick and we look forward to working closely with them.”
Ikonick's art ranges in price from $40-$700, targeting a younger audience with the intent of offering modern art at affordable prices. The pieces often feature words and motivational phrases like “hustle,” “always be learning,” “Tunnel Vision,” or contemporary flips on iconic pop imagery. As Mastrandrea (@markbrazil) explained the company in a statement, “Our artwork is fundamentally designed to evoke feelings, we marry aesthetically pleasing graphics with prescriptive thought.”
Added Vaynerchuk: “Scooter is a true mover and shaker within the current entrepreneurship landscape and we’ve had very nice friendship over the last decade. I have not found that many places where we have been deeply involved in business. That's a tremendous cherry on top of this opportunity. I didn’t know he was talking to Ikonick and then they dropped that on me, it was a huge positive.”
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