Etsy May Have Some Competition On Its HandsBy: Chris Crum - January 9, 2013
Etsy has been growing steadily, and launching features and apps that should only help that growth continue. In November, the company announced that it surpassed 20 million members, and blew the previous year’s sales out of the water.
If Kitsy Lane can help it, however, Etsy won’t be the only household name in online selling for people who make jewelry and accessories from home. The company, which defines itself as a social commerce company offering a platform for at-home entrepreneurs, has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from Data Point Captial and Longworth Venture Partners, as well as existing investor Point Judith Capital (via Natasha Lomas).
In addition, Data Point Capital’s Scott Savitz, who founded ShoeBuy.com, will be joining Kitsy Lane’s Board of Directors.
“The Kitsy Lane team is thrilled with the response women have had to our value proposition,” says CEO Andy Fox. “It’s certainly been rewarding to help our network of Kitsy Lane Boutique Owners, many with no experience, grow independent businesses.”
“Kitsy Lane has demonstrated impressive results at such an early stage of its development,” said Savitz. “The model is ripe for further disruption of traditional commerce offering a turnkey approach for individuals to profitably become retail entrepreneurs. We are happy to be part of such a terrific company and look forward to lending our expertise to help it grow.”
The company launched in July, and currently has over 22,000 women owned and operated businesses, and continues to own thousands of new shop owners each month.
“I have had my own Kitsy Lane Boutique, Bright Lily, for four months and I just love it,” says Boutique owner Katie Webb. “The marketing and merchandising tools are easy to use and really work. My business is growing. It’s exciting and at the same time a lot of fun.”
Kitsy Lane says the key to its success has been its use of Facebook as a way to integrate into each Boutique owner’ social community. Of course, the site also utilizes plenty of Pinterest buttons.