Minted, the San Francisco-based company that aims to democratize design, is set to reveal its expansion into wholesale and licensing.
The company’s founder and chief executive officer Mariam Naficy told a crowd during the National Retail Federation’s annual Shop.org conference in Los Angeles that the company is diversifying its business and preparing to begin selling to retailers and manufacturers.
Minted currently sells its stationery and home and wedding products directly to consumers online and through a store opened last year in San Francisco.
Since its founding in 2007 the company has made a name for itself by hosting design competitions soliciting anyone, no matter their background or training, to submit art. Their work is then voted on by the Minted community with the winners’ designs going on to be sold through the firm’s online shop. It holds no inventory, making and fulfilling orders on demand.
Today Minted counts an archive of more than 175,000 patterns, artwork and photos and while Naficy began the business with stationery only, it has since expanded beyond that category and will continue to do so, the ceo said.
The serial entrepreneur started online cosmetics retailer Eve.com and sold it in 2000 to Idealab, which later sold the business to Sephora. Following the sale of Eve.com, Naficy went on to launch e-commerce at The Body Shop,
The ceo said during her presentation that Minted’s revenue is now in the nine figures. Total funding raised to date is $90 million across five rounds, the most recent being a $38 million Series D closed in 2014.
The secret to Minted’s success? Continual freshness across the 10 years its been around, which is only possible by tapping the crowd, Naficy pointed out.
“For us, it’s about crowd to table design,” she said. “This is a fast process that validates the consumers’ point of view immediately. Most importantly, it tears down these legacy assumptions of who knows more: the customer or the merchant.” In Minted’s case, the answer would be the former.
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