I try to feature design stuff on CrunchGear when I get the chance, but more often than not the products in question are only available directly from the designer, in very small quantities, owing to their limited means of manufacturing the item. This also tends to drive the price up. I don’t like it when the price gets driven up.
StyleFactory is a relatively new online store that hopes to alleviate at least part of this problem. They feature items by “the hottest talent in the world,” and you, sir or madam, get to vote on whether a particular item should be manufactured at all. Saves cost, leverages social input, and it has big shiny Facebook and Twitter share buttons. What’s not to like?
Well, their selection is a bit limited at the moment. While I like the Clover lamp and Stacked Ply table, there are really less than a dozen items available (though many are available to be voted up or down), and it’s not really clear what will and will not be included in the future. Should I be coming here for my art needs? Will I ever see apparel? I suppose this will be cleared up as the selection and community grow and mature.
There is already a surfeit of design nooks on the internet offering unique selections of designer items, but I haven’t seen one quite like this. And the voting is incentivized: if something you voted up makes it to manufacture, you get 10% off. That’s a lot when you’re buying thousand-dollar tables.
We’ll keep an eye on this one; after all, it may furnish a few posts in the future just due to the mix of designers and interesting products they’ve got going on.