At Pandoland in June, I asked former Fab co-founder Bradford Shellhammer if he had trouble raising money for Bezar –his re-do of Fab.
After all, Fab had become the unicorpse posterchild, whose early flame-out convinced some investors never to invest in ecommerce again.
He said he hadn’t, which – despite the fact that I’m a admitted fan of Shellhammer – I found surprising. Bezar seemed a do-over of what many people, including me, loved about Fab: the quirky, curated aesthetic. But it came mired in a flash sales model that hasn’t proven a great path for building a sustainable, large business. Investors were ready to back that again? In a world filled with stumbles by Gilt and Zulily?
Sure, Shellhammer calls his sales “pop up shops” and makes the point that this isn’t mass-produced branded inventory whose sole reason for being “flashed” is liquidation. But the experience of logging in everyday to see time-limited sales still felt… dated.
Yesterday, Shellhammer revealed he’d had another plan all along: Leveraging early success of the pop up shops to launch a designer marketplace filled with permanent shops. It’ll be like Etsy, but more curated, with an elevated aesthetic and no restrictions around being handmade only. Nary a bird will be put on it…