Crowdfunded furniture is the future. Made.com’s new TalentLAB puts customers in control over which products get created, while helping emerging designers bring their products to market.
Ever had a very specific piece of furniture or lighting in mind for your home, only to struggle to find it anywhere?
Made.com feel your pain. The online retailer has just launched its second phase of TalentLAB; a crowdsourcing platform that helps bring new designs to life and lets the customers (i.e. you) decide which products are sold on its website.
For the first time, customers will have a say in exactly what goes into production, through supporting new, emerging design talent.
Simply vote for the products you love most by pledging a refundable deposit of between £5 and £30. When a product reaches the funding it needs for production, the manufacturing process can begin – so only the most popular times will be created and listed on the Made.com website.
In return for pledging, backers receive privileged pricing of up to 30% off the final retail price, and the opportunity to own the design before it’s official launch on the Made.com site.
And it’s not just for designers, either, as anyone can submit their design ideas to TalentLAB. Once submitted, Made.com’s design team shortlist the best of the bunch, and the end result is made and put on the website.
This means completely fresh designs, from simple accessories to large furniture pieces, plus a stress-free way for designers to realise their potential as designers would otherwise face prototyping, pitching, costs, risks, uncertainty and marketing, which can be a daunting prospect.
In other words? Win-win. Now designers get to have their products made and marketed without the hassle, while the rest of us get to have a say in what products we most want to see in our homes.
The initiative started in 2017, when Made.com first asked young and emerging designers to submit projects that they would like to see realised. The company now plan to use the TalentLab crowdsourcing platform to launch as many as 200 up-and-coming designers each year.
So far, Made.com has selected products from 17 designers for its launch collection.
The products now live for pledging include a tree-like coat stand, a medallion shaped wall mirror, ladder style shelving and a trolley storage system.
Maybe you can finally see that idea of yours become a reality?