"It's obvious to everyone that it's really simple these days to set up your own e-commerce shop," says Claire Mazur, a cofounder of the indie e-commerce retailer Of a Kind. "So the question for retailers becomes, 'What can you do for designers and producers that they can't do for themselves on their own e-commerce shop?'"
Since 2010, Of a Kind has partnered with more than 200 fashion designers to sell limited-edition pieces on its retail site, which doubles as a space to market the compelling stories behind each piece.
Starting today, Of a Kind is moving away from just selling limited-run, one-off pieces to offering full collections for sale from four designers who have previously been featured on the site: Ace & Jig, Dusen Dusen, K/ller, and Eayrslee. Offering designers the ability to sell more pieces on Of a Kind's e-commerce platform will, of course, means it can stand to make more commissions from sales through the site. (The bootstrapped company is on track to raise $1.2 million in revenue this year.)
Although build-a-business services like Shopify and Squarespace let anyone with something to sell set up an online store, Mazur and cofounder Erica Cerulo say they've continued to attract business because they offer an increasingly large suite of services designers aren't interested in or able to do for themselves, like marketing.
"[Designers] had stories they wanted to tell their audience about, but they weren't writers and editors," Cerulo says. "It was sometimes really hard for them to get that information out there in a way that felt compelling."