Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

CustomMade Raises $18M for Commissioned Crafts Market

CustomMade, a fast-growing marketplace connecting makers of goods like furniture and jewelry with buyers who have something specific in mind, has raised a significant funding round.

CustomMadeAtlas Venture, Google Ventures, Schooner Capital, Next View Ventures, First Round Capital and Launch Capital put $18 million into the company, bringing its total funding to $24 million.

The site focuses on the relationship between sellers and buyers, and aims to spend some of its funding developing products so they can better share designs and photos throughout the creative process. “We want you to participate in watching a piece come to life,” said CustomMade CEO Mike Salguero.

Custom stuff is less expensive than you might think, according to Salguero. “If you’re comparing it to Ikea, that’s a little tough, but if you’re comparing to Pottery Barn or West Elm or Restoration Hardware, we’re right on,” he said.

But this is not like many other e-commerce sites; the average CustomMade transaction is $1,000. The company takes a 10 percent cut from its 12,000 listed sellers, all of them vetted to ensure they are professional craftspeople.

Besides furniture (the site started way back in the 1990s as a woodworker directory) and jewelry, other big CustomMade categories include wedding and bridesmaid gowns, metalworks, custom bobbleheads and custom walking sticks.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work