Celebrating a work anniversary is an exciting milestone for Catawikians as well as Catawiki. As a company, we strive for everyone to feel empowered to do the best work of their careers. It’s extra special when one-year anniversaries turn into 5, or even a decade. We’re grateful for the dedication and time Catawikians choose to spend with us. We currently have over 100 Catawikians that have been with us for 5+ years, and a growing number of 10+ year team members. In this blog, we put them centre stage and celebrate their accomplishments.
Today, we turn the spotlight on Guido Mascini. As our trusted Director of Wine & Whisky and Classic Cars, he is our North Star when it comes to the finer things in life.
About 12 years ago, I worked at The Netherlands’ first online auction house and we were auctioning a comics collection. I asked Catawiki founder René to market this auction in their database. Catawiki was merely a catalogue back then, but it turned out they had plans to start auctioning as well. We kept in touch and regularly met up at Grand Café Restaurant 1e Klas – a historic spot situated inside Amsterdam Central Station. A year later, I started at Catawiki. I was the first ‘Amsterdammer’ to join, so now having moved our headquarters to the capital feels extra special.
I started out as a Business Developer and Wine Expert. I’ve always been a lover of wines and spirits and we saw many opportunities in this world of ‘high-end passions’. That set the stage for our current Luxury category, which I led from 2013 to 2015. When we changed the company structure, I was asked to take care of the Benelux region as Country Manager. In 2018, I moved back to the Wine and Whisky category, and today my responsibilities include Classic Cars as well. Turns out, it makes much more sense to structure Catawiki’s business model by object categories rather than countries.
It’s hard to pick one, but I’ll narrow it down to three. One: always make sure the foundation beneath your organisation and teams are solid. Two: hire people who know more than you do. And three: never compromise, even if it takes more time. I've seen many attempts at quick fixes, but they always turn out to cause more work in the end to achieve the desired results.
There’s so many, but one stands out. We were on a team getaway in Beaune, the capital of Burgundy wines, to visit the world famous Hospice de Beaune wine auction. After a good night out, Catawiki Wine Expert Olivier Baret took us to a spot overlooking the vineyards of Aloxe Corton – a small village located in eastern France. We had a great outdoor lunch with the whole team, enjoying a splendid white premier cru in the November sun.
It might sound cheesy, but it’s my family. My wife Femke and I have four amazing kids who take up a lot of time. Between sports, swimming, school and homework, our days are pretty packed. My comics collection hasn’t been touched for years, however my whisky collection does keep growing.
My grandfather had a company importing sports gear from various brands, including Puma, Le Coq Sportif and Dita. I therefore inherited the only sponsor contract Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff ever signed – some time in the mid 1960s. He regularly visited my granddad’s home in the early seventies and on those occasions I would sit on his lap. I essentially got to meet the greatest football player of all time and I don’t remember a single thing about it!
Becoming acquainted with Ridgeview, a world-class sparkling wine. When I first started as a Wine Expert, Catawiki had only one (!) wine seller. I approached every wine importer in my book to grow our business, and one of them introduced me to Ridgeview: an English sparkling wine served at royal state banquets hosted by the late queen Elizabeth. It rivals the big champagne brands, is relatively unknown, and tastes great.
My lovely wife and I have four kids: Evi, almost 13, Dante, 11, and twins Laura and Robine, 6 years old. We live on IJburg, a residential neighbourhood built on artificial islands in Amsterdam’s IJ lake. My close colleagues know I’m a big Ajax fan – season ticket, visiting European away games, the whole thing. Conveniently, our home is a mere 20 minutes by bicycle to the Johan Cruijff ArenA! Watching games is my favourite ‘time off’ now. Earlier this year I went to see Liverpool - Ajax, which was my first time visiting Anfield Road. Great memories.
Within 10 years, I expect Catawiki to be the world's largest marketplace for special objects – reaching beyond Europe, serving passionate collectors in Asia, America and elsewhere.