Bradford Shellhammer, the entrepreneur who in 2010 cofounded Fab.com, an e-commerce site for well-designed home, bed and bath products, personal accessories and furniture, has another business up his tailored sleeve: Bezar.com.
The site will launch in the spring as a members-only e-commerce site offering goods from emerging designers and major brands sold through online pop-up shops. Every day Bezar.com will launch a pop-up shop for each of four categories — art, house, jewelry and accessories — featuring one designer in each. The shops will typically last three days.
In addition to Shellhammer, Bezar’s founders include Justin Chen, chief financial officer, who was previously an investment banker, and Pieterjan Mattan, creative director, who held the same post at Fab.com.
Shellhammer has lined up financing from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, which is leading the $2.25 million seed round for Bezar.com. The early-stage venture capital fund is one of the most active tech investors in New York, having backed start-ups such as BuzzFeed, Refinery 29 and Warby Parker. Other institutional investors in this round include MESA+, Burch Creative Capital, BoxGroup, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Sandy Hill East Ventures and Sherpa Ventures. Additional investors include Andy Dunn, founder and chief executive officer of Bonobos; Mindy Grossman, ceo of HSN and industrial designer Yves Behar.
Bezar.com listed Whoopi Goldberg as a special adviser. Shellhammer said, “She was a giant customer of Fab.com. She’s helping us get the word out and choose products. She even wants to design some jewelry and hair accessories.”
Shellhammer described Bezar.com’s aesthetic as “sophisticated and elevated,” saying his taste has changed since he started Fab.com. “Five years ago, my taste was a little bit more kitsch,” he said. “My outlook on life is still very colorful and eclectic. There’s probably going to be a lot less plastic and a lot less disposable products.”
Bezar.com’s sweet spot will be in the $65 to $85 range, but prices will spike for fine jewelry and other categories, Shellhammer said. Two brands indicative of Bezar.com’s approach are Necklush, hand-made hybrid infinity scarf-necklaces priced from $22 to $105, and Nervous System, a design studio that 3-D prints “lace” necklaces priced at $290.
Shellhammer in November quietly left Fab.com after the site began losing some of its momentum. Fab.com, which had sales of $120 million in its first year, changed its model to general e-commerce when it found that flash sales weren’t working. Shellhammer declined to give a sales projection for Bezar.com, but said it would be far less than Fab.com’s $120 million, which wasn’t sustainable.