Minted, the marketplace for prints designed by independent graphic artists probably still best known for its flagship stationery business, is spreading its wings. First came the debut of its wall art vertical this past summer. And today, the company is getting into another space: Party decor.
Piñatas and tacky noisemakers this is not. In keeping with Minted’s higher-end focus and design aesthetic, these party goods are going more for “chic” than “cheap.” Minted’s party decorations will be sold in coordinated “suites” that start at $65 and contain things like personalized printed banners, table centerpieces, cupcake toppers, and confetti, which can be bought along with matched invitations and thank you cards.
Now, the news itself is reasonably interesting — printing and shipping confetti is a bit different from printing stationery, and the whole thing fits very well into the trend of people ogling well-designed parties on Pinterest. But the larger theme here is how Minted, which was founded in 2008 and has taken on $8 million in venture capital funding, is now positioning itself as more than just a printing startup, but as a big idea lifestyle company.
“Minted has evolved into a multi-category design and lifestyle brand for the mass affluent woman,” founder and CEO Mariam Naficy told me in an email this week. “By crowd-sourcing design from our immensely talented community of designers, Minted can rapidly launch new categories with superior design and selection.”
That certainly sounds to me like more vertical launches are on the way going forward, all aimed at the relatively niche but very valuable demographic of affluent, web- and design-savvy women which is also being targeted well by the aforementioned Pinterest and a number of other newer startups such as Brit & Co.
It all jibes with what Naficy told me earlier this summer at the launch of wall art, its first big step outside of stationery. She said then that Minted’s expansion has been really driven by the group of designers and artists who submit their work to the site and receive a commission on items ultimately printed and sold with their designs — a tight-knit online community that has dubbed itself ‘Minties.’ She said:
“As we saw all of this beautiful art streaming in, we realized we weren’t really a stationery retailer, we were a design community. The range and the strength of our designers was so strong that it can be used in different ways as artwork in people’s homes… The designers don’t define themselves in terms of product categories.”
You can watch the whole interview with Naficy from earlier this summer in the video embedded below starting at the 5:44 mark: