Swedish-born e-commerce site builds a stateside brick-and-mortar

Work & Business

Swedish-born e-commerce site builds a stateside brick-and-mortar

It used to be that brick-and-mortar stores would start a website to sell their products.

Now, it seems, the opposite is true.

Tictail is a Sweden-born e-commerce platform that gives creative entrepreneurs the power to create a simple online store in seconds to sell their wares – everything from clothing to furniture to home goods. Since its launch in 2012, the online platform has grown to more than 2 million products from 140 countries.

And like many once online-only brands, Tictail is dipping its toes into the brick-and-mortar world.

Tictail2In January, Tictail opened its first permanent storefront in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at 90 Orchard St. Tictail Market sells some of the site’s products and, in doing so, introduces shoppers to emerging designers and creatives from around the world, across fashion, home decor, jewelry and art. The permanent storefront comes after three 2015 holiday pop-up shops in New York, Paris and Stockholm.

Tictail – “the coolest online store you’ve never heard of,” as described by the fashionistas at StyleCaster.com – was founded in 2012 by native Stockholmer Carl Waldekranz.

“From day one we’ve sought to bring together a community of amazing local brands from around the world, and give them the tools to build global businesses,” said Waldekranz, who earlier this year was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, in a press release about the new store.

Tictail Market, he has said, is an “immersive experience” and a touch-point for New Yorkers to explore and engage with Tictail.com entrepreneurs around the globe.

Differing from the more hobbyist Etsy platform, the Tictail community is centered on ambitious designers who operate growing independent labels. Sellers on Tictail include noted menswear designer Daniel DuGoff, chic street fashion brand Romeo Hunte and women’s designer Anne-Sofie Back. Most who sell on Tictail also have a separate, dedicated website in addition to their presence on the site.

Photo via Tictail

The design group wetheknot sells limited-edition products such as shirts, shorts, sweaters and even dual-purpose wallet and tobacco pouches crafted in Portugal. The company has been using Tictail for the past three years. Co-founder Felipe Cardigos calls the platform “five star,” with a user-friendly layout and near full-customization on the site.

“They’re also very efficient at helping solving our problems, which is a plus,” said Cardigos, whose products also are featured at Tictail in Manhattan. “Being engaged in the Tictail community has helped us reach a wider audience, and being represented in New York City at Tictail Market Place has been a good venture so far.”

The Swedish-designed Tictail Market New York hosts a seasonal community seller in the front of the shop, giving local small business owners a central storefront to build a local audience. The store also hosts various events, such as the #tictailtable dinner series, maximizing the site as a community meetup space where “Tictailers” and other creatives can meet, collaborate and create.Tictail3

Additionally, the store has installed Tictail Mural on Orchard Street, a series where talented local and global artists design a piece to be displayed for one month. To see some of the murals, featured artists and inside the store, check out the Tictail Market tag on Instagram.

Rachel Sender, an illustrator and graphic designer in the Netherlands, has a Tictail store to sell her whimsical ceramic pots. She said Tictail is a wonderful platform “and I still can’t believe it’s for free.”

In February, she visited the company headquarters in Stockholm and was asked regularly by employees of how the service could be further improved.

“This proved how eager they are to make it the perfect platform for us sellers,” said Sender, who teaches in the illustration department of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.

“The design of the online stores makes you look professional and various shops keep contacting me for wholesale purchases,” Sender added. “There is a strong community feeling around Tictail that makes you feel supported and helps you discover fantastic designers and makers. I’m super thankful for having such a wonderful service available for free and I love the fresh and young vibe of the Tictail team.”

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