We first met Tivan several years ago when both Ministry of Supply and his company, Fortified (previously Gotham), enjoyed their initial Kickstarter success. In fact, he backed the original Apollo Dress Shirt on Kickstarter!
Since launching the first Fortified product, a theft-resistant weather-resistant bike light, Tivan grew Fortified into a full-fledged bike brand, making lights, locks, and a complete theft-proof bike. These days, he is turning his experience as a merchant into a software solution for other retailers. He has been keeping busy with this latest venture, SaveMySales.
“I run a software startup, so my days consist of selling, solving problems, failing, and trying again.”
Somehow in the midst of everything, he found time to get married last fall, and he and his wife avidly seek out windy beaches up and down the east coast for kite surfing. He also loves making music, but, “I have trouble finding the time to do it. My iPhone is full of unfinished recordings of a barely audible hummed tune or a scratchy beatboxing session. I dream of spending a year or two devoting myself to writing and recording.”
Tivan commutes to work every morning and spends his days in constant motion. He told us that he loves his Ministry of Supply gear: “I wear Ministry on days when I’m in a rush and don’t have time to iron, but still need to look my best.” We spun by Tivan’s offices and caught up with him last week.
How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Adventure-seeker with a desire to create things that people love.
How do you take your coffee?
No coffee for me. Gives me headaches.
How do you balance everything?
My wife is an incredible life partner. She runs her own business and also manages to handle all of the things in our lives that would otherwise fall by the wayside. I’m fortunate that I can mostly focus on business and a very limited set of chores (which I’m not even good at). From a psychological standpoint, I make sure to take frequent breaks whenever I’m feeling stressed.
What have you discovered that has surprised you?
I’ve discovered that there are many people in this world who take joy in helping others. To be on the receiving end of it is incredible, and it inspires me to be more generous with my time.
How did you get into that passion?
On a whim with a friend, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic specifically to learn how to kite board. After the first day I was hooked.
What TV shows or movies have you watched recently?
The Americans! I love spies.
What music do you listen to?
Lots of reggae. Some folk/Americana. Select hip hop.
What’s your favorite place?
Any beach where there is wind.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Any Final Thoughts?
MoS makes me feel like a true professional without taking myself too seriously. I can look put-together without any hassle, and stay comfortable all day.