Fab Co-Founder Bradford Shellhammer left the NYC-based e-commerce startup in November 2013. Fab, a company that was once valued at $1 billion but purportedly entered discussions for a sale of $15 million a few months later, was a learning lesson for him.
In a profile in PandoDaily, Shellhammer talks about his new startup, Bezar, a design marketplace. With $2.25 million in funding from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Bezar is a e-commerce site selling home furnishings, jewelry, and accessories handpicked by Shellhammer and a team of curators, or “design scouts,” who will focus on spotlighting independent designers and potential larger brands that fit the company’s design tastes. Bezar is launching later this spring.
Shellhammer has been known as a tastemaker since his days at Fab. In a piece about his departure, Forbes wrote that “Fab has lost their special sauce.” Shellhammer hopes to use his refined taste, combined with his love for independent designers, to provide these designers with a 3-day profile on the site. Shelhammer says they can sell the same amount of product during the 3-day period as they might in a year on Etsy.
For small, niche, marketplaces like Bezar, Etsy, and even Fab, the ability to sell in the most markets available is important. For independent designers, the ability to sell in foreign markets would be exponentially more difficult without these companies. But with a high propensity for fraud, selling in foreign marketplaces is difficult for startups. One of the benefits of using Trustev is that, by lowering fraud to almost zero, startups like Bezar can sell items in a different countries without worrying about fraud — giving independent designers a bigger incentive to use the marketplace and a bigger platform to sell their products.