Interview with Albanfootball founder Alban Selami

Albanfootball is the one and only successful e-commerce site that exclusively sells the authentic Albanian Football jerseys…

Albanfootball is the one and only successful e-commerce site that exclusively sells the authentic Albanian National Football Shirt and tracksuits made from Adidas to global customers.

It’s a big success, especially since the Football team of Albania is close to being qualified for the first time in their history for Euro 2016 Football Championship. And that’s not all. The latest addition to Albanfootball, is the jersey from Skenderbeu Football Club, that managed to get qualified for the first time in their history for the UEFA Europa League.

Jersey after jersey, Albanfootball is promoting the Albanian Football across the world and expanding its product lineup, yet Alban Selami its original founder remains not known to many. We had the pleasure to sit down with him and discuss how his entrepreneurial journey started from his early boyhood to his latest success.


What’s the story of Alban Selami

I moved to the United States from Tirana, Albania at the age of 13. I grew up admiring many American entrepreneurs that shaped our modern society and wanted to be apart of it.

In my senior year of high school, I started my first business which was a fashion forward t-shirt line by the name of Vernato. I had some personal capital saved from previous gigs and believed that could build something truly amazing. We made really awesome t-shirts, beautifully designed and meaningful. Since it was only two of us, we had to do a lot. I learned many fundaments of business. Marketing, product development, dealing with manufacturers, product launches, basic graphic design, e-commerce and everything in between. It gave me a great understanding of business without actually going to business school.

After Vernato didn’t work out, I started Alban Football, which I’m proud to say is the mostsuccessfull Albanian online store of football products.


You launched your first startup when?

My “first” startup (if you want to even call it that) was when I was 13, a freshman in highschool. I had purchased a desktop computer with CD burner, (I believed it was the latest technology at the time). A friend of mine ran a business selling music CDs, and I courted him so he could let me handle his CD burning aspect. I did that for a few months.


How did you figure out ecommerce was your thing?

I’m a product guy at heart. We live in a time where if you have a product to sell, you must know how to sell online in order to be succesful. It’s a good medium to master.


Vernato, how did it go?

It was amazing business journey that played a big part on my growth as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately things didn’t work out as we hoped so we decided to shut it down in 2013. It was heartbreaking but a very necessary experience to have. Everyone must fail at least once in their businesses to appreciate the process of development.


From Kickstarter onto Albanfootball…

My mission with Alban Football was simple. I wanted to solve one big problem that existed: build an online store that sells official products of the Albanian NT to Albanians all around the world. I saw no one was doing it, and thought felt confident I could make a contribution. I made a few calls, send a few emails and used my experience from the previous business to launch and ship as quickly as possible. It was actually a lot easy as it might seem.


What’s next for Alban?

We are working on releasing more products for Alban Football. Albanian Football is growing and we’d like to be on the forefront of it. The Albanian NT has never performed this better, and Skenderbeu Korca is the first Albanian club to play in a major European tournament. We are proud to carry official products for both of them.

We are working with more Albanian freelancers, contractors, suppliers and our ultimate goal is to bring more jobs to the Albanian economy. We also are working to bring a non-profit inactive to our company, but are working out those details. There are also plans for other startups, but let’s leave that for another time…

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