CustomMade Looks to Expand, Drive New Model for E-Commerce and Retail

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uniformly Amazon-like experiences to also include more personal and community-driven approaches. (Though there’s nothing wrong with Amazon’s model, clearly.) It’s also interesting that the startup’s founders aren’t retail guys or craftsmen or social Web geeks. They’re just savvy businessmen who saw an opportunity from the outside, by looking at the problem differently.

“With paradigm-shifting companies, people always think the founders are nuts. In this case they’re right,” Rosen says. “What everyone’s doing in e-commerce is, ‘How do I sell more stuff, and be the person to sell more of it?’ We’re saying, that’s totally cool, but you could also do this.”

Their business still faces serious challenges, of course. “Our biggest competitor is what we call ‘blinders.’ Consumers don’t know custom is an option,” says Salguero. “People still think custom is the way it was eight years ago. It’s not,” Rosen adds. “It’s basically a retail alternative right now—if there’s a connector.”

CustomMade hopes to be that connector on a grand scale. In the next few months, the company plans to roll out a new website that will look “a lot less like e-commerce,” says Rosen, and a lot more like Kickstarter. For example, it will include better ways to gather ideas for custom projects. “The focus of our site will be our stories,” he says. “Projects will all look like creation experiences.”

Before any new retail model can take off, though, more consumers will have to believe they can get better value for their money through CustomMade than via traditional outlets. One thing’s for certain: times have changed, for both buyers and sellers. “Customers can get access to makers they never had access to before, and makers have access to technology they never had before. They can communicate,” says Rosen. “We’re all selling stories. I think people want to buy that.”

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8 responses to “CustomMade Looks to Expand, Drive New Model for E-Commerce and Retail”

  1. Disgruntled Maker of CustomMad says:

    I would agree the founders are NUTS They have violated the legal agreement of CustomMade with me and will not make it right

  2. CustomMade Sucks says:

    Custommade is currently involved in illegal business practices and are with-holding funds from the makers on their site. There are numerous complaints to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission concerning their company and the payment processing partner WePay they demand their makers switch over to. They are fast developing a reputation for not listening to their customers…both designers and buyers because of their big payout agreement with their payment processing partnership. Run FAR AWAY and sell your stuff on Etsy!!

  3. Very discusted Maker says:

    →I feel bad for CM because this was and could be a Great Company, but at this point the practices and System glitches are going to run CM into the ground :( Very sad the people who have the power to say “we mad a mistake” and go to a system that will make themselves and the makers happy, just won’t do that!

    →It’s going to be interesting to see if the do the right thing or ride their pride right into the ground
    I was very happy with CM until the partnership with WEPAY and Now I absolutely Hate doing business with them, As one of the Wonderful people who are creating the Artesian Products make CM possible, we are being mistreated, and unfairly forced to suffer struggle and take money losses, that should be and probably are Illegal!

    • Disgruntled Maker of CustomMad says:

      Since Google ventures has hands on after they gave CM the grant I doubt it is in just the hands of CM but google which couldnot careless!!!

  4. David Trueblood says:

    A leather jacket can be mixed with everything, and it is always