Fresh Direct

So what new business models, readily available to the aspiring designer/entrepreneur, will emerge victorious from this economic tsunami? My money is on the direct sale approach. Whether online, or at your local flea, fresh design is cropping up everywhere and it’s affordable.

One of the best examples of the new DIY sales model is Supermarket, a digital storefront platform where you buy products directly from the independent designers who make them, and guess what? The savings are passed on to you, the design hunter. Developed by co-founders Randy J. Hunt and Ryan Deussing of elsewares.com, Supermarket is a well-curated and designed shopping experience that “makes it easy to buy great design”, as boldly stated in the uber-accessible language of Mr. Hunt’s intuitive aesthetic.

Rosie The Riveter via Design*Sponge

Ryan was a guest blogger yesterday on Grace Bonney's heavily bookmarked design*sponge, with the important task of interviewing independent designers on what’s helping them get through this new era of careful-consumption. The resulting 15 “ideas for making upturns in a downtime” is a candid and informative look into what seems like optimism on the design front. Ryan included some of my own philosophy, under the heading "Good Idea: Adapt to new realities". Read the entire post NOW. And buy a copy of “Who Moved My Cheese?”, a motivational parable about dealing with change in your work and in your life, by Spencer Johnson.

Last year, the demand for my pricier goods dropped off to the point where I needed to make a big change (my cheese was moved). A couple of weeks ago, I opened a shop at Supermarket, for super cool sterling silver jewelry that’s mostly priced under $100 (I found some new cheese!). My sterling silver Collection pieces run as high as $2,500, but at Supermarket I’ve created a collection that tops off at $300. Happy hunting!

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