Design

Made.com has made a fab Kickstarter for designs you’ll love

By Oliver Smith 22 September 2017
Image: David Parry/PA Wire.
Summary

CEO Philippe Chainieux has a plan to find furniture you'll love.

Kickstarter is full of novel and creative furniture ideas, but failed projects, shoddy craftsmanship and endless delays simply make it too unreliable.

But what if you blended quality manufacturing, skilled engineers and an in-built marketplace of fashion-savvy customers willing to back creative designers with novel ideas, that’s exactly what Made.com is doing.

Called TalentLAB, the project will see designers upload their ideas, let customers back the ones they want with a small deposit (up to £30) and then allow Made.com to manufacture products from up to 200 new designers every year.

For their support, backers will also get a discount of up to 30% off the final product once it’s ready for sale.

“We hope TalentLAB will become the number one destination for designers; the only place where designs can be bought to life, produced, promoted and distributed to the largest customer base in Europe,”said Made.com CEO Philippe Chainieux.

“More so than ever before, our customers will have access to the most unique design from across the world.”

Speaking at TalentLAB’s the launch event at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of London Design Week, Chainieux told The Memo that, similar to Kickstarter, TalentLAB will be as much about telling the story of the designers as it is about selling their products.

Next year Chainieux hopes the designs created through TalentLAB will make up to 10% of all new products launched on Made.com’s site.

Cunning craftsmanship

TalentLAB is more than just a supercharged Kickstarter for fashionistas, it’s a cunning business move for Made.com – a company that pioneered the idea of just-in-time manufacturing ditch stock and warehouses in favour of a simple streamlined digital platform.

With customers essentially pre-ordering and part-paying for new products, Chainieux and his team further reduce the chances of new furniture being a ‘flop’.

They can also encourage more designers to be more creative and experimentative, dabbling in new trends safe in the knowledge that the crowd simply won’t back ‘flops’, and giving crucial feedback to Made on what’s hot.

Chainieux told The Memo that, similar to Made’s existing Emerging Talent Award where the company invites new designers to compete for the chance to have their designs sold on the site, TalentLAB will be open to designers of all skill-levels.

That’s a win for designers, a win for Made.com, and a win for fashion and design fans too.