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Meet Feras Khouri of MANSSION in Uptown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Feras Khouri.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Feras. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I always knew I wanted to start my own company and have had several ventures in the past, but this time around it was more about finding something I could stay passionate about and also about finding the right partners. Both of those things kind of came together at once.

I reached out to my best friend, Torii, and he and I began brainstorming ideas of what to do. We decided to create MANSSION because we were dissatisfied with the options of men’s jewelry. Everything we found was either terrible quality and clunky, or far too expensive and not fashionable. There was nothing that resonated with what we truly wanted: high-quality, stylish jewelry at a reasonable price, backed by a brand that we could stand behind.

Shortly after creating the company, we brought on our other partner, Yorgi. From that point, we spent over 16 months finding and working with the top suppliers in the industry while simultaneously laying the foundation for our company.

One of the most important things to us was creating a brand that resonated with our target market – which was easier for us to do because we ARE our target market. I believe that the men’s jewelry industry is lacking authenticity, originality, and a voice for our generation. It is one of the fastest growing segments in the fashion industry, yet nobody is capitalizing on the wants and needs of men. We are stuck with old jewelry brands catering to an older generation, or cheap brands targeting very niche markets that don’t appeal to us.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If anyone starting their own company tells you that it has been a smooth road, they are either just barely starting and haven’t done much yet, or they are lying. Building a company and brand from scratch is never easy, no matter the industry. Even though we are a young company, we have already had several struggles including production delays, quality issues, brand ambassadors stealing our product and not fulfilling their commitments, a production order of boxes destroyed, technical issues with the website, obsolescence issues of certain bracelet designs, suppliers going out of business, and more. We don’t expect the problems to go away or get any easier.

I believe that the key to dealing with roadblocks is two-fold: you have to see the good in every situation and you have to make sure you identify and apply what you’ve learned from it. Every setback we’ve had has yielded a better result, an opportunity for us to make a needed change or a learning experience that helped us make sure that we’d never make the same mistake again. I have found that roadblocks, no matter how frustrating, force us to think outside our comfort zone and problem solve more effectively. Surprisingly, this usually results in a better outcome than we would have expected if we hadn’t encountered any problems at all. As any entrepreneur will tell you – do not get discouraged. Resiliency and a strong belief in your vision are important. Remember the three keys to success: consistency, commitment, and control.

MANSSION – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The options of Men’s jewelry are subpar, and we experienced it first-hand, so we decided to do it better. MANSSION is revolutionizing the men’s jewelry industry for several reasons, starting with our custom, fashionable pieces, and relatable brand. The men’s jewelry industry is lacking authenticity – there is nobody speaking to our demographic. Men are looking for more and more ways to express themselves and elevate their styles, and we saw this clearly when watches transitioned from being timepieces to fashion pieces. Until now, men were limited to clunky, cheap jewelry or dinky, overly expensive pieces. There was no brand offering fashionable, unique, and high-quality designs to be worn every day, backed by a brand that speaks to my demographic. At MANSSION, we understand that jewelry is more than just an accessory. Our pieces are something that you can wear during any occasion, and something that becomes a part of you. People wear jewelry to look good and express themselves, and over time, they become attached to it. Some of our pieces age with you, some are meant to stay pristine. Whatever your style, MANSSION has you covered.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment so far has been getting this far towards turning my dreams into a reality and riding this roller coaster with my partners, Torii and Yorgi. I have known Torii since high school, and Yorgi I met when I moved to San Diego years ago. Without them, MANSSION would not have come so far in such a short time, and I would not be as confident in the future of it. Torii is an incredibly smart guy who stops at nothing to get what he wants. He will figure out any obstacle you put in front of him and do it better than just about anybody else. Yorgi is one of the most creative and unique people I have ever met. He has the ability to see what nobody else can, and his style is very different, so he is the perfect person to spearhead our brand and product designs.

Beyond our team, our friends and family have supported us more than we could have ever hoped. Not only did our close friends buy into our vision, but even those who we considered acquaintances came out of nowhere and really supported us. We are so thankful for all of the early love, and of course, the feedback to help us improve!

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