Ahalife, a global online marketplace for curated luxury lifestyle products, has acquired Kaufmann Mercantile, an artisan-focused site with a similar aesthetic.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This marks the second acquisition for Ahalife this year. The company purchased Bezar, another business focusing on creative entrepreneurs, in February.
Shauna Mei, founder and chief executive officer of Ahalife, said it was during the Bezar acquisition period that she was introduced to Kaufmann Mercantile and its founder Sebastian Kaufmann. “They had seen what we did with Bezar and realized that we’re all trying to solve the same problem, which is to work with artisans. So it made sense to join forces.”
She said there is a “common thread” that runs through all three businesses, which is to promote independent designers and artisans from around the world who create quality products.
Ahalife is a curated site with more than 4,000 products from more than 45 countries while Kaufmann works with 300 creators from 20 countries.
There is very little apparel on either site, which is intentional. “There are so many companies selling ready-to-wear online,” Mei said. So instead, the brands focus in more on beauty and accessories such as jewelry as well as home products.
“There are so many marketplaces out there,” she added, mentioning large sites such as Amazon and eBay, but to find quality merchandise, “you have to dig through the mess. We want to cut through the noise and deliver the best of the best.”
Mei said there is not much overlap between Ahalife and Kaufmann Mercantile in terms of merchandise offerings, “but we have a similar point of view on a lot of different things.” She said Kaufmann offers the best of everyday items with a focus on home and outdoors products.
Kaufmann said when his site does offer apparel, it’s usually just an individual piece rather than a large-scale collection. “But we stay close to apparel by offering accessories, which is our biggest category.”
Mei said Kaufmann will remain with the combined company and in fact is assuming the new role of chief curator officer. He will also work on the content component of the business.
“Storytelling is so key with these artisans,” Mei said. “The average person hasn’t heard of them so we’re investing more and more in content.”
She said that for now, Ahalife is not planning to acquire any other like-minded brands, but that the company remains “opportunistic.”