Providence College graduate Mathew Carlson ’20 spoke with The Cowl this week to discuss his recently founded company and website, ParentPresents. Originally from Ramsey, New Jersey, Carlson was a Business Economics and Finance major and President of the Golf Team at PC.
Carlson’s graduating year and start to his professional career were uniquely difficult, as the world was thrown into the relatively early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carlson always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, but the pandemic, remote work, and living at home gave him inspiration for his company. At the time, he had just started working for a consumer healthcare company.
“Living at home, I realized that there was a sneaky amount of times young adults with newfounddisposable incomes have to find a thoughtful gift for their parents— bothbirthdays, anniversaries,Christmas, and Mother’s and Father’s Day.” Carlson suspected that many other college students and recent graduates felt the same pressure to find meaningful and exciting gifts.
As stated on the website, he wants the company to be “the go-to spot for Millennials and Gen Z to find “giftspiration” when it’s time to buy presents for their parents.” ParentPresents is dedicated to gift-giving just for parents.
For Carlson, having a smooth and easy-to-navigate website is essential. The site provides gift-giving guides tailored to specific interests that are constantly updated. “I want the company to be the authority in the gift-giving space—an intermediary between consumers and brands.”
At this point, branding is the company’s main objective. Carlson is working with Good Monday Productions, a New York-based professional video and marketing service. “They are great,” Carlson says. “I got connected with them through one of my roommates at PC, Frank Cassisi ’20.”
To effectively establish brand recognition amongst young adults, viral social media posts are the name of the game. Carlson and Good Monday Productions are working hard to produce click-worthy content on TikTok (@parentpresents).
Carlson greatly values his time as a student at the PCSB. “My PC education helped me a ton—they exposed me to everything. Classes like organizational behavior and marketing are so relevant to what I am doing now.” He was also able to develop a connection with a PC graduate and mentor. “Kevin Marzollo ’07 has been an incredible mentor and asset,” he said. ParentPresents can also be found on Instagram (@parentpresents).