Dario Markovic, the CEO of the luxury fashion accessories brand Eric Javits, is a man of surprising contradictions. On the one hand, he is driven, ambitious, and visionary – everything you would expect from someone who turned around a major company on the verge of bankruptcy by tripling its overall revenue. However, in a society that often glorifies the hustle culture, Dario stands apart in insisting that a healthy work-life balance is (truly) attainable even as he is well-known for his late nights at the office. In talking to Dario, we would find one of the rarest of business leaders: someone who does not shy away from challenges but who has lived long enough to know that sometimes you really do have to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Dario’s journey to the top of the ecommerce and fashion industries began in Basel, Switzerland, where he grew up. He says that even as a kid, he had a special interest in business, which only increased as he got older.
“I was also right in the middle of Europe, a fabulous mix of cultures, languages, history, and viewpoints,” he recalls. “I got an incredible education in diversity, which would fuel my interest in working in business on a global scale.”
After graduating college with a business degree, Dario had two goals: to see as much of the world as he could and to keep educating himself, especially in digital advertising, marketing, and ecommerce. He believed deeply in keeping up with emerging trends and strategies so that he could be as successful as possible in his industry, so he took online courses in everything from Facebook Ads to TikTok to stay current.
“I also moved to Chile with my Chilean wife, whom I met in South Africa. We got ourselves a place in Santiago, where I focused on learning Spanish – my fourth language – and on making my way in the business world,” Dario says. “Over the next few years, I founded three companies, including my marketing agency Made Communication, Creative Academy Chile, and Blackzar Servicios Financieros. I was also blessed to be able to travel around the continent, networking and seeing some gorgeous places.”
At Made Communication, Dario built a strong client base and served companies around the world. His specialties, which include developing online stores and leveraging digital marketing strategies to increase ecommerce sales and PR, helped his international clients enter markets in new countries and scale up, including during challenging economic climates.
“About this time, COVID hit the scene and wreaked havoc on businesses everywhere,” says Dario. “I was busy helping my clients to stay strong and thrive during the lockdowns and recessions when I got a call from Eric Javits.”
Eric was the creator of the Squishee® hat, whose straw-like material meant it could be rolled up and tucked away in a bag and would then spring back to its original shape, undamaged. Despite the popularity of its luxury accessories, the brand was struggling. Eric wanted to know if Dario, one of the most respected leaders in ecommerce and digital marketing, could come on as CEO and transform the company.
“I jumped at the opportunity,” Dario recalls. “It was an incredible line of products that just needed the right digital approach to really take off. I knew that if I could tweak how they were marketed online, the brand would grow exponentially.”
Dario, drawing upon his knowledge of business strategies and ecommerce, focused on digital transformation, streamlining financial processes, restructuring internal processes, creating strategies for expanding into markets on different continents, and building strong growth. His hard work and that of his team paid off: Eric Javits LLC went from generating only 2% revenue in ecommerce to 80% and also tripled its overall revenue.
“It took persistence and stamina, which are so often undervalued in society,” Dario believes. “We just continued going until we saw the results we wanted. As I said, the brand was incredible – it just needed a more modern marketing approach to become a powerhouse.”
Dario is focused on growing Eric Javits LLC even more and cementing its status as the leader in luxury fashion accessories. While he is committed to leading the brand as it expands across Europe and Korea, he still makes time to help his favorite causes, which include economic empowerment, the environment, science and technology, and arts and culture.
“I want to live as fully as possible and disrupt industries by making a big impact in the digital world,” Dario reflects. “That combination of hard work, a positive impact on the community, and rest and relaxation now and then are all what make my life the joy that it is.”