Name: Maya Irizarry

Major at Baruch College: Bachelor's of Science in Public Affairs
Graduation Year: 2002
School within Baruch College: Marxe School of Public and International Affairs
Company and Title: Barber Bond LLC. Co-Founder

1. Tell us about your company and your role there.

Barber Bond was created by Co-Founders Maya & Joel Irizarry (Barber) who were barbershop owners seeking a professional shave experience outside of the barbershop. Where there are many professional brands on the market for barbers to use while providing a straight razor shave, there aren't as many options for the home consumer. So many shave products are complex with scents, thick consistencies, and many ingredients that aren't very kind to the skin.

2. What made you decide to start your own company and what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?

When you can't find what you are looking for in the retail market, it just comes down to making it yourself. Because we felt the absence of what we were looking for in the shave market, we sought out to create Barber Bond. We figured that we can't be the only people missing out on a great shave experience at home. Entrepreneurship has always been in my bones as a woman and an independent thinker.

3. What were some unique challenges you faced throughout your professional career and how did you solve them?

I have learned that in the business world you are not relevant until you are proven. To get to a proven position, it takes grunt work. The most common theme throughout my working career has been hard work. Your knowledge, your skill, and your words don't matter until you can show a finished product. While in school, it starts as something small like an assignment. In the workplace, it takes not just coming in and doing what you're told. It takes offering to help with the extras and showing an interest in the growth of the common company goal. Perseverance is key. I have experienced many obstacles during my career. The ability to get back up after ridicule and failure is what ultimately defines me.

4. What was the most important part of your business journey?

I have come to understand that challenges and setbacks are intended to teach important lessons. If I can learn through the tough times I am sure to celebrate the good times.

5. How was your experience at Baruch like? How did Baruch impact your life and career?

Being a full time student, a commuter and working taught me about prioritizing the areas of importance in my life. It has kept me serious and so proud.  As I have grown, I have witnessed in Baruch's campus growth. The school's diversity has always proven that all people deserve an opportunity to learn in a great environment.

6. What is one of your favorite memories you have from your time at Baruch?

When I was a freshman, I was a lifeguard at the pool that was as small as a bathtub on 17th and Lexington. Fun times.

7. Do you have any advice for current Baruch students and alumni who are interested in starting their own business?

Understand that success is never immediate. Be prepared to put the work in.

8. How can people contact you?