Driving Massive Growth For Luggage Brand Away - Mr. Mark Chou

Mark has one of those incredible resumes, from investment banking, to fashion, to tech accelerator, to startups. He is now the Head of Growth Marketing and E-Commerce at Away, the luggage startup that raised $50 million in Series C this year and has pulled in an estimated $125 million so far according to Forbes.

But for Mark, that's just one of his passions, which also include photography and the hunt for the perfect fried chicken joint.

  

mark chou away luggage awaytravel travel growth marketing e-commerce

 

How did you get started with marketing?

I got started with marketing when I was with Ralph Lauren’s digital and e-commerce strategy group, where I had moved after transitioning from finance. Following my time at RL, I joined ONA, a start-up brand of high end accessories for photographers and creatives, where I led marketing and strategic partnerships.

 

How did you join Away? Why do you do it and how do you think you've gained the success that you have?

When ONA was acquired towards the end of last year, I joined Away after being introduced to the co-founders through mutual friends. I think it’s a bit early to say that I’ve “gained success” in what I do, but I think that over time, I’ve been able to hone in on the type of work that really fulfills me – the challenge of taking an idea and scaling it into a company.

 

How did you end up in NYC?

Wall Street, actually. After spending a summer interning with The Blackstone Group in New York, I accepted a full-time offer to return to the firm after I graduated from college. I’ve been here ever since!

 

What's the highlight of your career?

ONA’s acquisition and more recently, raising a Series C financing at Away, were both highlights. In both of those cases, I felt like my work as a marketer had a tangible impact on the success of the company.

 

What do you do for fun?

Photography is the hobby I’ve had for the longest – it’s been something I’ve loved to do ever since I was 14 years old. I’m also a cyclist and watch collector, and on Saturdays in the fall you’ll find me glued to the TV rooting for my Auburn Tigers. In general, you can expect me to be on the lookout for new and interesting things to eat – my friends often joke about my extremely high “mark-tabolism.”

 

What are your favorite places to hang in NYC?

On the weekends, my wife and I love eating at Maison Harlem, a French bistro just a minute’s walk from our door. Afterwards, we might head to Lenox Coffee, just a couple of avenues over – another favorite spot – and then to the Great Hill, a lesser known spot at the top of Central Park. Further downtown, you might find me shooting a portrait session on Jane Street in the West Village or at the Away Concept Store in Soho.

 

What’s something people who only know you through your work would be surprised to know?

I am a fried chicken fiend. In fact, I even had a (now defunct) blog about my fried chicken adventures in New York City, from Charles’ Pan Fried Chicken to Questlove’s short-lived fried chicken joint in Chelsea Market.

  

mark chou away luggage awaytravel travel growth marketing e-commerce

 

SHOP MARK'S LOOK

 

 

THIS IS PART OF OUR #BEHINDTHESENE SERIES. VIEW OTHER STORIES HERE.

 

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