You can think of it like the arrival of etsy 2.0: handcrafted accessories and lovely, well-designed items created by independent artisans, crafters and makers from around the world are at the heart of a slew of new and worth-a-look style startups. Great for hunting down gifts and little treasures you won’t find everywhere else, here are four you’ll want to check out:
Brika: This just-launched site from a pair of Toronto creatives highlights an array of pretty, plucky and brightly-hued accessories, beauty and home decor items alongside profiles of the designers who’ve made them. Head here to scoop up easy gifts such as sparkly necklaces, handmade baby blankets and printed notecards offered in limited-time sales. Added bonus: so much eye candy to add to your Pinterest wall.
Bevel: Along with I.R.L. trunk shows (I had the chance to stop by the inaugural San Francisco event not too long ago), this site focuses on bringing the traditional trunk show experience into the here and now with an online platform focused on connecting emerging, independent designers and shoppers on the lookout for new, different and innovative designs. Exclusive made-to-order collections are sold through the site in limited online sales, with only a select number of items available in each. Want in? You’ll need an access code. Try this: NYC 150.
Zanoby: This just-launched crowd sourcing site is a go-to for handcrafted accessories, leather goods, jewelry and lifestyle items (think super stylish road bikes, and you’re on the right track) by Italian artisans. Much of what’s currently offered has a lux-meets-rustic edge, and an expanded roster of designers from yet more countries is on the horizon. The the site’s twist: enough shoppers must order featured items before they’ll go into production. Designers win by covering costs upfront, while buyers get lower prices than they’d find at retail.
Makeably: D.I.Y. minus the D.I.Y. is one of the perks of this platform from two ex-Googlers. Head here to search for custom creative gifts and accessories, connect with makers and work out all the details for one-of-a-kind creative projects that range from hand-knit infinity scarves to painted flasks and custom-painted children’s tables and chairs. Once you’ve settled on a project, your maker will get to work and deliver the goods within a specified time period, leaving you to enjoy the D.I.Y. ethos without lifting a finger.
More stylish startups….