Featured Coworker: Sam Gastro

Say Hello to our new Co-worker Sam Gastro

Sam founded My Gift Card Supply in October of 2012. My Gift Card Supply sells U.S. gift cards electronically to customers across the world. Their main focus is on international customers looking to buy U.S. movies and music.

We sat down with Sam to find out more about him and his company.

How did you get into this business?
In high school, I started buying Nikes in bulk from distributors and selling them to customers for a profit. I realized early on that e-commerce allowed me to reach a broader network of customers. Initially, I sold the shoes on eBay, then after a few months, I started my own website: kickcitywearhouse.com. I didn’t know too much about e-commerce, but I figured the internet would be a good place to start a business.

What do you like most about your job?
Above everything, I love the flexibility that my job allows. I love the role I am able to play as the founder. I can follow my curiosity wherever it may lead me and act on that in my work. As a founder, I also find it very beneficial to listen to my employees’ feedback so that we can improve the business together. All of these ideas combined help me to create a culture with my company that is built on success.

What are some challenges you have faced in your business?
My Gift Card Supply has 8 people on and 5 full-time employees. Everyone works remotely, including me. We have employees in Pakistan, Chile, Bangladesh, San Francisco, Chattanooga, and in Boulder. There is a big challenge to running an international team. Between time changes and the lack of face to face communication, it has become difficult at times. This past January, everyone was supposed to come to Colorado to meet for a few days and every international employee was denied a visa.

How long have you been at TEEM and how did you hear about us?
I’ve been at TEEM for a few weeks now. I had been working at home and wanted a change of scenery. I dropped into a few different coworking spaces around town but there was no real community in any of them. They honestly felt like a fancier version of a coffee shop where no one talked to each other.  

Ed bardzik, who is a member at TEEM, brought me to a taco Tuesday lunch and invited me back to show me around the space. I met Tammie and a few of the other coworkers and knew this was the right place for me. Tammie asked if I wanted to try it out and work here for a few days and I couldn’t say no.

What do you like most about TEEM?
The vibe of the place is what got me. It doesn’t feel like a coffee shop, a real community rings true in this space. It is a collaborative environment where you can have good conversations with a whole range of different people. Being here has helped me to rethink my business and re-spark my creativity to look at things from a different angle. Also, the fact that I can bring my dog to work is a major perk!!

Do you have any interests/hobbies outside of work?
I love to snowboard, my favorite mountain is definitely Copper. I also love to run, specifically trail running. My goal is to run 1000 miles by the end of 2018.

What is one unique fact that not many people know about you?
When I was 12, I won a citywide pog tournament.

What exactly is a pog tournament??
For those of you who want a detailed explanation of what pogs are and how to play, click here! But for a brief description, pogs are plastic/metal disks with fun images that can be collected or used to play different games. The game consists of stacking the disks and using a “slammer” to slam the stacks down.

Where do you search for inspiration when you’re feeling stuck?
I look at my future goals and where I want to be. I enjoy hearing feedback from my employees and from my customers. The whole process of owning and running a business inspires me to do my best every day. In business, you learn that some things will work, while others will not. You need to love the process of discovery and trying new things to keep it fresh for yourself and your customers.

What is My Gift Card Supplies secret sauce?
We are more customer focused than our competitors and we do not compete on price. We realize that speed is important in this type of business. Our specific customers are often acting on impulse in their buying process. They quickly realize that the product they want is not available in their country, so the next step is to figure out what they need to do to get what they want. That is where we come in. We know what our customers want and we know that they want it quick.

iTune gift cards are one of our major selling points. International customers want equal access to the media selection that we have available in the United States. My Gift Card Supply is able to deliver that access to a broad range of customers.

It’s important to convey a safe purchasing environment on our site. When you are dealing with a company from another country, it’s common that there will be some reluctance on whether to go through with a purchase. My Gift Card Supply displays real customer reviews to prove that we are a reputable company across many countries. We use trusted payment methods, such as PayPal, to give customers further confidence.

We are who we say we are and we do what we say we are going to do.

Tell us about Porter!
I rescued Porter from the Boulder Humane Society. She’s 2 years and 3 months old and is a wannabee dingo!!

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