TalentLAB from MADE.COM crowdsourcing platform

MORE about MADE.COM & TalentLAB and here at facebook, instagram and youtube. Find here the first launching video of TalentLAB.


INTERVIEW Ruth Wassermann, Design Director, "TalentLAB combines the most exciting ideas from a global community of designers with MADE's expertise in making things. The goal? To bring unseen, original designs to our customers."

1.​​What​ ​is​ ​MADE.COM? MADE.COM​ ​is​ ​an​ ​online​ ​furniture​ ​and​ ​lifestyle​ ​brand​ ​with​ ​a​ ​mission​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​designer​ ​and design​ ​led​ ​products​ ​to​ ​our​ ​customers​ ​at​ ​affordable​ ​prices,​ ​by​ ​going​ ​direct​ ​to​ ​the​ ​makers​ ​and cutting​ ​out​ ​the​ ​middle-men

2.​​What​ ​is​ ​TalentLAB? TalentLAB​ ​is​ ​our​ ​brand​ ​new​ ​crowdfunding​ ​site​ ​for​ ​design,​ ​Where​ ​we​ ​plan​ ​to​ ​launch​ ​up​ ​to 200​ ​new​ ​designs​ ​every​ ​year.​ ​Anyone​ ​who​ ​has​ ​an​ ​idea​ ​that​ ​they​ ​can​ ​communicate​ ​visually can​ ​upload​ ​it,​ ​and​ ​every​ ​two​ ​months​ ​we​ ​curate​ ​a​ ​collection​ ​of​ ​around​ ​30​ ​designs​ ​that​ ​we​ ​put on​ ​the​ ​TalentLAB​ ​shop.​ ​Our​ ​customers​ ​can​ ​then​ ​pledge​ ​a​ ​small,​ ​refundable​ ​deposit​ ​to secure​ ​designs​ ​they​ ​love​ ​and​ ​buy​ ​them​ ​at​ ​a​ ​great​ ​discount.​ ​Those​ ​designs​ ​that​ ​are​ ​most popular​ ​will​ ​be​ ​put​ ​into​ ​production​ ​and​ ​launched​ ​on​ ​the​ ​main​ ​MADE.COM​ ​site.

3.​​Why​ ​do​ ​you​ ​connect​ ​e-commerce​ ​to​ ​crowdfunding? The​ ​crowdfunding​ ​model​ ​for​ ​TalentLAB​ ​enables​ ​our​ ​customers​ ​to​ ​be​ ​involved​ ​with​ ​the creation​ ​process,​ ​and​ ​for​ ​us​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​read​ ​on​ ​which​ ​designs​ ​will​ ​be​ ​most​ ​popular.​ ​It​ ​creates​ ​a feedback​ ​loop​ ​directly​ ​between​ ​designers​ ​and​ ​customers​ ​in​ ​a​ ​way​ ​that​ ​doesn’t​ ​exist​ ​for design​ ​yet.

4.​​Which​ ​one​ ​of​ ​your​ ​team​ ​members​ ​had​ ​the​ ​idea?​ ​How​ ​long​ ​have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​working​ ​on​ ​it? Like​ ​all​ ​the​ ​best​ ​ideas​ ​it​ ​has​ ​been​ ​an​ ​evolution​ ​of​ ​previous​ ​ideas,​ ​and​ ​very​ ​much​ ​a​ ​team effort.​ ​We​ ​have​ ​been​ ​hosting​ ​an​ ​emerging​ ​talent​ ​award​ ​for​ ​six​ ​years,​ ​and​ ​two​ ​years​ ​ago​ ​we built​ ​our​ ​own​ ​platform​ ​so​ ​that​ ​designers​ ​could​ ​upload​ ​their​ ​entries,​ ​enabling​ ​us​ t​ o​ ​include people​ ​from​ ​across​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​global​ ​territories​ ​and​ ​beyond.​ ​The​ ​awards​ ​have​ ​been​ ​amazing but​ ​each​ ​year​ ​we​ ​only​ ​had​ ​one​ ​winner​ ​that​ ​was​ ​launched​ ​on​ ​the​ ​MADE.COM​ ​site.​ ​At​ ​the beginning​ ​of​ ​2017​ ​I​ ​worked​ ​with​ ​Philippe​ ​Chainieux,​ ​our​ ​CEO,​ ​to​ ​find​ ​a​ ​way​ ​to​ ​make​ ​more​ ​of all​ ​the​ ​brilliant​ ​designs​ ​that​ ​people​ ​uploaded​ ​that​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​not​ ​being​ ​made.​ ​We​ ​wanted​ ​to make​ ​all​ ​of​ ​these​ ​great​ ​ideas​ ​a​ ​reality,​ ​and​ ​so​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​TalentLAB​ ​was​ ​born.

5.​​How​ ​many​ ​products​ ​do​ ​you​ ​plan​ ​on​ ​producing​ ​a​ ​year? We​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​launch​ ​up​ ​to​ ​200​ ​designs​ ​each​ ​year​ ​on​ ​TalentLAB​ ​and​ ​in​ ​the​ ​end​ ​the​ ​products that​ ​make​ ​it​ ​onto​ ​the​ ​MADE.COM​ ​site​ ​will​ ​make​ ​up​ ​5-10%​ ​of​ ​everything​ ​we​ ​launch.

6.​​Where​ ​do​ ​you​ ​produce? We​ ​produce​ ​across​ ​the​ ​Far​ ​East,​ ​India​ ​and​ ​Europe.​ ​We​ ​work​ ​with​ ​100s​ ​of​ ​suppliers​ ​in around​ ​20​ ​different​ ​countries,​ ​which​ ​means​ ​we​ ​are​ ​really​ ​dynamic​ ​and​ ​flexible​ ​and​ ​able​ ​to choose​ ​exactly​ ​the​ ​right​ ​supplier​ ​to​ ​make​ ​each​ ​product​ ​really​ ​well.

7.​​Are​ ​the​ ​products​ ​limited? No,​ ​once​ ​they​ ​are​ ​launched​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​limit.​ ​But​ ​those​ ​who​ ​pledge​ ​a​ ​deposit​ ​on​ ​TalentLAB will​ ​get​ ​their​ ​product​ ​first​ ​and​ ​for​ ​a​ ​great​ ​discount​ ​of​ ​30%​ ​off​ ​full​ ​price!

8.​​Do​ ​you​ ​carry​ ​fair​ ​trade​ ​products​ ​as​ ​well? We​ ​don’t​ ​use​ ​the​ ​fairtrade​ ​logo​ ​but​ ​we​ ​do​ ​have​ ​our​ ​own​ ​stringent​ ​set​ ​of​ ​ethical​ ​codes​ ​that are​ ​based​ ​on​ ​industry​ ​standards​ ​and​ ​we​ ​comply​ ​with​ ​the​ ​EU​ ​Timber​ ​Regulations​ ​which means​ ​that​ ​our​ ​timber​ ​is​ ​sourced​ ​in​ ​an​ ​ethical​ ​way​ ​according​ ​to​ ​those​ ​standards.

9.​​Would​ ​you​ ​like​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​VIPs​ ​and​ ​influencers? We​ ​hope​ ​that​ ​many​ ​of​ ​our​ ​collections​ ​on​ ​TalentLAB​ ​will​ ​have​ ​VIP​ ​curators,​ ​to​ ​help​ ​us​ ​create fabulous​ ​and​ ​diverse​ ​collection​ ​that​ ​keep​ ​our​ ​design​ ​loving​ ​customers​ ​come​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​site!

10.​​Do​ ​you​ ​see​ ​the​ ​designers​ ​as​ ​influencers? Designers,​ ​customers​ ​and​ ​influencers​ ​can​ ​all​ ​become​ ​each​ ​other-​ ​we​ ​may​ ​be​ ​a​ ​customer one​ ​day​ ​and​ ​a​ ​designer​ ​the​ ​next.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​important​ ​when​ ​designers​ ​are​ ​working​ ​that​ ​they​ ​think like​ ​a​ ​customer​ ​too.

11.​​Who​ ​belongs​ ​to​ ​the​ ​curator​ ​team? We​ ​will​ ​have​ ​a​ ​small​ ​team​ ​within​ ​the​ ​business​ ​from​ ​across​ ​design,​ ​buying​ ​brand​ ​and marketing​ ​and​ ​then​ ​we​ ​will​ ​invite​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​external​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​influencers​ ​to​ ​collaborate​ ​too.

12.​​What​ ​is​ ​the​ ​business​ ​model​ ​for​ ​the​ ​designers?​ ​What​ ​percentage​ ​do​ ​they​ ​get? All​ ​of​ ​our​ ​designers​ ​work​ ​on​ ​a​ ​royalty​ ​basis​ ​where​ ​they​ ​get​ ​a​ ​royalty​ ​for​ ​each​ ​product​ ​sold Our​ ​designers​ ​on​ ​TalentLAB​ ​will​ ​have​ ​exactly​ ​the​ ​same​ ​terms​ ​and​ ​royalty​ ​level​ ​as​ ​our existing​ ​professional​ ​collaborators,​ ​who​ ​now​ ​number​ ​over​ ​100!

13.​​Who​ ​is​ ​in​ ​charge​ ​of​ ​shipping? Once​ ​a​ ​product​ ​has​ ​been​ ​successful​ ​on​ ​TalentLAB,​ ​MADE.COM​ ​will​ ​produce​ ​market​ ​and sell​ ​it​ ​through​ ​our​ ​normal​ ​website​ ​and​ ​this​ ​includes​ ​shipping.

14.​​How​ ​big​ ​is​ ​the​ ​team​ ​behind​ ​TalentLAB? We​ ​have​ ​used​ ​the​ ​brains​ ​and​ ​talent​ ​of​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​business​ ​including​ ​our​ ​external​ ​tech​ ​and product​ ​development​ ​teams​ ​in​ ​Asia​ ​and​ ​Europe,​ ​to​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​TalentLAB​ ​is​ ​the​ ​best​ ​it​ ​can be.​ ​It​ ​has​ ​all​ ​been​ ​coordinated​ ​by​ ​a​ ​small​ ​team​ ​of​ ​one​ ​person!

15.​​Will​ ​you​ ​be​ ​present​ ​at​ ​fairs​ ​and​ ​events​ ​with​ ​your​ ​idea? We​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​create​ ​our​ ​own​ ​events​ ​so​ ​that​ ​we​ ​can​ ​engage​ ​our​ ​growing​ ​community of​ ​designers,​ ​influencers​ ​and​ ​customers.​ ​We​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​give​ ​a​ ​physical​ ​presence​ ​to TalentLAB​ ​to​ ​create​ ​networking​ ​and​ ​fun​ ​moments​ ​for​ ​everyone.

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