The Threadless of furniture
The brainchild of young entrepreneur Ning Li, Made is a new website that crowdsources chairs, tables, shelves and other furniture designs.
In the Made Labs section, viewers can vote on their favorite designs. Made then puts the winning design into production, and then sells it online at a reasonable price—connecting buyers and passionate designers without the need for a brand to act as middleman.
By offering their audience a chance to invest in something they actually voted for, they become an integral part of the process from beginning to end. Also, cutting out the oft-difficult demands of corporate clients means the end result will more closely represent the public's wants and needs.
With LastMinute and MyDeco founder Brent Hoberman and Bebo co-founder Michael Birch on its board, the site has plenty of online expertise behind it. Hoberman explains, "From an investment trend perspective we see an exciting transition from retailing to 'me-tailing' where consumers are in control, influencing which designs make it into production and with a more direct connection to the factory. Made.com is good news for talented designers who struggle to achieve scale production as it will showcase the best new talent to the buying public and generate demand for their products."