Nowadays, everybody seems to own the same furniture. Have you ever visited a friend’s house and spotted the same IKEA furniture in their house? I have and I’m certain that I’m not the only one. Whether it was at a friend’s house, on Instagram or in a YouTube video, I’ve seen one too many times that people own that same dresser from IKEA as me. As much as I liked my dresser, a part of me was sick of seeing everyone owning the same thing as me. I wanted to revamp my room and make it more unique and personal, but in a world where big businesses come in, the lack of convenience and the idea of googling a million interior design websites just to look for a dresser seems like a pretty daunting task.
In the furniture industry, IKEA has been a dominant player of the market. With a net profit of 3.5 billion euros and a store in every major metropolis, it’s no surprise that the brand has sucked up many people around the globe into buying identical pieces. When major brands dominate a market, it becomes harder and harder for independent designers and makers to have as much reach as them and for the consumers to find a “special” piece.
Where can we find unique designs? How do we discover upcoming designers? Where can professional designer sell their stuff online? This is where CROWDYHOUSE, a Dutch company, steps in.
Founded in 2013 by Mark Studholme and Suzan Claesen, CROWDYHOUSE initially started off as a crowdfunding platform for designers. Studholme had previously worked at Archello, a social network platform for architecture and design. During his time there, he became keenly aware of the struggles designers and makers face nowadays; the lack of an artistic platform dedicated to selling their works－which is what led him to launch CROWDYHOUSE.
After launching CROWDYHOUSE as a crowdfunding platform, he quickly came to realize that “many designers were not cut out for the business part of the job. Whether it was writing content, or shooting a photo of their works, they seemed to have a problem with promoting their works. Most of the successful companies behind crowdfunding tended to be people that were commercial” he says. This problem led to what CROWDYHOUSE currently is now: an e-commerce platform and marketplace. They’re building the technology that allows designers to sell all over the world, which allows their designers to focus solely on their artistic works.
In short, CROWDYHOUSE is basically a very well upgraded version of Etsy, the Brooklyn based handmade e-commerce website, with a European twist. While Etsy is open to anyone that is remotely crafty, be it someone who makes crafts as a hobby or professionally, CROWDYHOUSE is a platform geared purely for the professionals. “We follow a certain criteria, selecting only European professional designers that are presenting contemporary works,” says Studholme.
If you’re still not quite sure how it differs from Etsy, keep in mind that CROWDYHOUSE is not a platform that will bombard you with one million items like Etsy. No, quite the contrary. Everything on their website is impeccably curated and showcases only the highest quality contemporary European designs. In an era with overwhelming amount of e-commerce websites that contain millions of items to choose from, people have no doubt been falling into quantity over quality for the wrong reasons. It is almost refreshing to see a website that purely focuses on the quality. So, the next time you plan on making another trip to IKEA, why don’t you hold that thought for a second and check out CROWDYHOUSE’s website.
Head image taken from Crowdyhouse facebook page