Just as 2016 was kicking off, a new shop called Tictail opened in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At first blush, it appears to be a clothing brand or maybe even a home goods store. Curious to learn more, I spoke with Co-Founder and CEO Carl Waldekranz to get to the bottom of what exactly Tictail is. As it turns out, the brick-and-mortar store is really a small part of what Tictail is all about. At its core, Tictail is a global online community of over 100,000 independent brands, each one using the platform to house their online storefronts.
It’s also the result of years and years of hard work and dedication by Carl, a man who’s not unfamiliar with entrepreneurial spirit. “I was surrounded at a very young age by people who worked tirelessly on pursuing their passion projects,” he says. It was this influential dynamic that instilled in him the spark and drive necessary to get an independent company off the ground. Working alongside Co-Founders Birk Nilsson, Kaj Drobin and Siavash Ghorbani, the team has slowly but surely worked to curate a beautiful collection of makers, the majority of which sell jewelry, fashion, art and interior decor.
Democratizing e-commerce — and giving power back to small businesses — is always top-of-mind for the company. In fact, seeing the brands on Tictail thrive is the most rewarding part of their job, the founders tell us. Their site has helped creators quit their day jobs to pursue their passions and has also seen online shops grow into brick-and-mortar spaces. Through Tictail, Romeo Hunte even became a go-to resource for Beyoncé. I’m not surprised in the least by these success stories — the entire site is full of some fabulous finds.
Now for the big question: How does Tictail differ from Etsy and other DIY marketplaces? Founder Carl says that while others are focused on handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces, Tictail is more geared towards the maker who is ready to make it big. “They are choosing Tictail to build their business, to take it to the next level through the reach, distribution, marketing tools, and community that Tictail has to offer,” he explains.
I love finding new resources like this. In all my giddiness, I’ve combed through Tictail and hand-picked some of the best up-and-coming creators for you to peruse. Who knows, you may even snag something from a shop that’ll be the next big thing. Click through to see which 10 caught my eye, and to take a peek inside the recently-opened NYC shop. Enjoy! —Garrett