Patricia Handschiegel, who founded fashion media company StyleDiary (and eventually sold it to StyleHive) is back with a new startup bringing together lifestyle content and commerce.
Handschiegel says she’s been interested in that combination since her time at StyleDiary, but thanks to the acquisition, she didn’t really pursue it. Nowadays you hear a lot more about bringing content and commerce together, but Handschiegel says that for the most part, it an area being tackled by e-commerce companies who start posting articles or other kinds of content featuring their products. With her new site Condiment, she’s taking the opposite approach, focusing on content first and then building the store.
Condiment had a quiet launch in January. Handschiegel says she’s trying to create a digital magazine focused on “life’s little extras” (hence the name, which she credits to Laurie Percival). For example, this week’s issue includes a spread of fashion, furniture, and accessories for the fall, and another on art and home decor picks.
Today, Handschiegel also launched the other big piece of the business, the market. She says she’s curating a small collection of products from “startups” in industries like food, fashion, and home. There’s a separate market page on the Condiment website, but naturally, if one of the products for sale is featured in a Condiment article, there’s a “buy this in the market!” link too.
“These product companies are squarely focused on the offline retail channel, which is their key target market,” Handshciegel tells me via email. “While there are plenty of inexpensive means to sell online, they are often too small in size to invest the human/financial capital to create, manage and grow that presence. Condiment does the work for them.”
Since the market just launched, you can expect the product lineup to grow over time. Handschiegel is hoping to expand the editorial side too — she says she wanted to get some of the experimenting out of the way before investing heavily on the tech side, but now she’s hoping to get on-board with one of the digital magazine publishing platforms. That would also allow her to publish more frequently — although she still wants to take a slower-paced, magazine-style approach. Handschiegel already writes a blog, and she says the her aims with Condiment are very different.
“With a digital magazine, when it’s about making pudding and buying laptop bags, it’s a little less time sensitive,” she says.
Condiment is self-funded.