Jason Carvalho.

Former Kitimat kid becomes top entrepeneur

At 34 years old, Jason Carvalho has made it as one of B.C.’s Top 40 Under 40, a list compiled by Business in Vancouver.

At 34 years old, Jason Carvalho has made it as one of B.C.’s Top 40 Under 40, a list compiled by Business in Vancouver.

The distinction recognized Jason’s work as a notable entrepreneur in the province.

He’s also a product of Kitimat.

That’s right, one of the province’s top business men got his start in the quiet town of Kitimat, and his passion for business began inside a classroom at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School.

“I think when you’re in a larger metropolis, there’s a lot of distraction,” he said of the benefits of getting his start in Kitimat.

He said that growing up in Kitimat gave him a lot of opportunity to share ideas with friends and other business owners, more ideal than the rush of living in a city.

“People were actually willing to talk to you,” he said.

Even as entrepreneurship flows in his veins, it certainly isn’t hereditary. He said he comes from a family primarily made up of teachers.

“It wasn’t easy, because I came from a family of people who are in professions,” he said.

That background makes breaking into business-making hard.

A lot of people encouraged him to just get a regular job, something he wasn’t willing to do.

Aside from the usual jobs of working at gas stations — he had a run in Kitimat’s Husky station — he started his own consulting business at age 16. He said he was contracted by then-Alcan to install software on their computers.

He’d also approach the realty companies to contract lawn mowing work for the homes they were selling.

A marketing class held at the high school was, he said, what really set him down the path of business.

From here he spent four years working on a political science and psychology degree before leaving that to focus on business pursuits.

All that experience lead him to where he is now, a co-founder of a website called MarilynJean.com, a private sale business for families with children from zero to nine years old.

The business is approaching its second year and has done very well so far, said Jason. It’s a happy success story for a person who says it takes an entrepreneur three-and-a-half tries to get a successful business — this is his second.

But success comes from knowing what you want early, getting into the right circles and, as he said, having very supportive mothers and wives (or husbands, of course).

And finally, and perhaps counter-intuitively, failing is one of the best ways to eventually become successful.