What it Takes to Go from War-Torn Iran to Successful Entrepreneur in America

Alex Dastmalchi, chief operating officer of the Dastmalchi company - photo credit Lauren Hillary.

Alex Dastmalchi, chief operating officer of the Dastmalchi company – photo credit Lauren Hillary.

Those who know business statistics know how difficult it can be to have a thriving business in America. While many businesses open each year, just as many close up, and the five-year survival rate for a new business is only around 50%, according to the Small Business Administration. Add to that being an immigrant from a war-torn country in the Middle East, and it may seem like “successful American entrepreneur” is a far-fetched dream. Yet there are business success stories that inspire and motivate others, such as Alex Dastmalchi’s story. As a successful California-based serial entrepreneur today, he began from humble roots in war-torn Iran.

“I know that I have come a long way, but the one thing that always remains is my gratitude for everything that I have,” explains Alex Dastmalchi, chief operating officer of the Dastmalchi company. “Gratitude has a lot to do with how successful someone will be in business. Being grateful is the best way to bring about more success for yourself and those around you.”

Alex Dastmalchi may be one to focus on gratitude, but there are other factors at stake that have helped him become the success that he is. Growing up in Iran, he came from a family of educators, and as a teen he knew he wanted to leave the country for more stable and opportunistic means. Leaving for Austria at the age of 16, he began working hard, moved to America a year later, and hasn’t stopped having that strong work ethic ever since. Alex now owns Dastmalchi, a company with a successful portfolio of lifestyle, beauty, and health brands sold globally.

In addition to focusing on the power of gratitude, some of the other things that have helped to lead Alex Dastmalchi down the path to serial entrepreneurial success include:

  • Not being pigeonholed. In fact, his motto is that he created his own box, rather than having to fit into someone else’s.
  • Having the right mindset for growth and success. He believes that everything is possible and that you should not have self-limiting thoughts. Focus on believing in yourself and what it is that you want to accomplish.
  • Giving back to others. Being a supporter of charity, he serves as the volunteer vice chair for a charity that is dear to his heart, Corazon de Vida Foundation, which focuses on ending the cycle of poverty in children in Baja, Mexico. Having a mindset that giving back, paying it forward, and helping others is something everyone should do has helped propel Alex Dastmalchi ahead of the pack.
  • By sharing with others he helps others to also achieve success. Alex Dastmalchi shares his knowledge by coaching a small number of young and motivated individuals that are either building their own start-up businesses, or contemplating starting one. He currently works with one that is a junior at the University of Michigan, another at the University of Alabama, and with a team at the USC Marshal School of Business Incubator Program, as well as a few others. He doesn’t charge a fee for his coaching services, nor does he participate in their companies as an equity holder, he simply is sharing the knowledge he has learned along his journey.
  • Solving problems in the marketplace. If you can identify what it is that people are missing or need, you can focus on it, provide it to them, and have success.
  • Having an eye for being able to source products well, so that consumers are able to get the most desirable options.
  • Empowering your staff. Many people fear delegating and giving their staff power, but when you believe in and trust them, good things will follow.
  • Focusing on giving the world something positive. Alex Dastmalchi believes in infusing the world with positive intent, and all the products and services provided by his various professional ventures align with that highly personal mission.
  • Having good business sense. While he knows exactly how to run his own business, he is also great at working with other business leaders to help them with their product and marketing needs. By helping others become successful, he in turn rises to the top.
  • Staying the course and following your vision. Know your end goal and stay on course. Planning is a key factor in success. Alex Dastmalchi takes pride in involving his brilliant team and creates a comprehensive plan before starting anything. The more you plan, the higher likelihood of success.
  • He believes that business success is a team effort and that his company would not be where it is today without his team. He considers them to be truly the best of the best. Having the right people on the bus and making sure that they are in the right seat, is another reason for their continued success. They look for and acquire the best talents to join the team and then give them the right tools to succeed.

“I am proud my hard work and perseverance in the business world is paying off and my biggest success is my son,” added Dastmalchi. “By placing my focus on my family and helping others to be more successful, it has brought great things my way. Having a healthy balance and prioritizing what is important in life is the key. True success is when you maintain a balanced life: physical health, emotional health, family, work and community. I believe that they are all equally important. If one or more are neglected, you are not able to optimize your performance.”

Dastmalchi’s corporation distributes products worldwide. His team works carefully with each company to determine their packaging, branding, sourcing, and marketing strategy. Some of the brands in the portfolio include Vanity PlanetBradford Watch Co., DazzleproVitagoodsKove, I Cook By Color, and the recently acquired Gretchen Christine lifestyle brands from celebrity designer Gretchen Rossi. For more information on the company, visit: http://dastmalchi.com.



As a business owner, vice president, writer, editor, client account specialist, community producer and media relations professional over the years there has been a need to wear many hats. In doing so, it has allowed for me to build contacts and hone in on valuable skills in a variety of industries. I have been extremely successful in this industry and able to generate some incredible stories for clients all over the US & Canada. I am very strong in developing and pitching editorial content for both national and local media, creating articles, scriptwriting, and press kit development to name a few.

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