"One thing that I'm very comfortable saying now is that I know that I don't know everything."

My favorite quote is: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde My happy place is: At home with my family

Donny Salazar

Enabling brands to build with confidence

A MINDSET OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Donny Salazar is a self-confessed perfectionist. His singular desire for excellence and to hold himself to a high standard has propelled him through a successful career in logistics and now his own company, MasonHub.

Donny founded MasonHub, an order management and fulfillment platform for fast-scaling beauty and wellness brands, in 2018. He launched the company after years of successfully scaling some of the world's most innovative brands into billion-dollar businesses in the mid-aughts, including sneaker marketplace Flight Club and flash sale retailer Gilt Groupe.

Noticing the world's shopping habits shifting towards direct-to-consumer e-commerce, Donny realized a new fulfillment solution was needed, with brands negotiating outdated technology and overwhelming logistical complexity. MasonHub's goal is to modernize the entire system, taking care of everything from inventory management to shipping and returns.

Donny says pursuing a career in logistics was serendipitous, the result of working at a distribution center for a catalog business instead of going into consulting or investment banking after graduating from Northwestern University. With a taste for the industry, he left the role to pursue an MBA from Stanford and moved to New York City, leading to successful stints at multiple fashion retail startups.

After 15 years and with wide-ranging industry experience, Donny finally decided to embark on a startup. "I moved to LA with my partner to do something different. I knew it was time to start my business as soon as I arrived - except I wasn't sure what I wanted to launch. I started networking with different people and discovered many retailers needed a lot of operations support."

While Donny had known since his early college days that he wanted to be an entrepreneur, he admits he felt a lot of insecurity about starting a company. Raised in a low-income family, his parents, who had emigrated from Mexico to seek new opportunities in Salinas, California, had always impressed on him the need to get a good education for a better life.

"I struggled early in my career because while I came off very confident, deep down inside, I was very insecure. Being this first generation kid coming from 'orchard country', I suffered impostor syndrome, and at the same time, I was balancing the fact that I was coming out as gay."

EMBRACING YOUR DIFFERENCE. After Donny discovered he was academically gifted, he leaned into his parents' wise words and decided to emulate the actions of his successful classmates. "I was very self-motivated and wanted to be the best at everything. And when I came out at 15, that gave me even more confidence because I had to no longer care what people thought of me to get through it. My advice to any young LGBTQIA+ founder is don't go out of your way to hide it because, ultimately, you won't come off as authentic."

With MasonHub now successfully established with three distribution centers across the US and working with over 50 clients, Donny admits he's learned a valuable lesson in his quest for perfection. "What I've learned is that nobody is perfect. In fact, it's impossible to be perfect. What's been most important for me in my journey is acknowledging my failures, learning from them, and taking them as opportunities to improve.”

"One thing that I'm very comfortable saying now is that I know that I don't know everything, but I know that I am capable of learning. I'm always telling my team that I'm a man of continuous improvement. There's always a way to do something better, a way to learn from any failure and move forward."

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Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.