Take a stroll through the world’s artisan fairs or flea markets (there are a lot) and you’ll find that one-of-a-kind crafts present an easy escape from big-box stores and dime-a-dozen consumer goods–for the shopper. It’s more complicated for the artists, who can only see what product demand is like after they’ve made and then brought their creations to market.
We’ve is a new e-commerce platform that adjusts those economics by connecting interested buyers with artisan designs so that purchases can dictate creation, and not the other way around (if this sounds like Kickstarter, don’t forget that the founders very clearly pointed out that Kickstarter Is Not A Store). We’ve, which makes no such protest, is the next logical step for former architect Eve Blossom, who left the industry to create the fair-trade textile company Lulan Artisans.
At first browse, We’ve at least looks like another Kickstarter-Indiegogo spinoff, with simple bar charts marking the funds raised. But the ethos is totally different. It’s less about launching a new enterprise and more about finding two maker-and-consumer puzzle pieces that fit together.
“The idea of designing a bag that is just the way we love it, and doesn’t exist anywhere,” was the impetus behind Mahsa Vanaki’s Pythagorean Purse, one of the first products available on We’ve. “I wanted the structure to be different than any bag ever made.” Vanaki’s creation is made of three interlocking triangles that, when pieced together, create a Jetsons-style handbag that’s still somehow both classic and feminine in looks.
We’ve emphasizes transparency in the design process. For Vanaki’s part, she penciled out the idea (“I was hooked as soon as I did my first sketch”) and then applied her architecture expertise to creating digitally fabricated geometries, from which she laser-cut the U.S.-sourced gray wool felt.
The Pythagorean purse costs $80, and can be bought through Vanaki’s We’ve campaign, here.