Much can be said about online shopping, and some of it isn’t good. Consumerism. Loss of connection. The decline of brick-and-mortar retail. But there are many aspects of online shopping that are very good, including increased access to products and ability to compare prices. Perhaps one of the best outcomes of e-commerce is that emerging designers and artists now have a gateway to audiences to which they would have previously been unknown.
Tictail, a Stockholm-founded and New York-based e-commerce platform, is making it even easier for these up-and-coming brands to get their goods to the people through user-friendly interface and on-point visuals that enhance brands rather than distract from them.
We spoke with Briana Feigon, Tictail’s Director of Global Communications, to find out more about what Tictail and to learn about their latest campaign, Not Faceless:
Tell us about the inspiration launching Tictail. Why does it need to exist?
Tictail was founded in 2012 as a solution to offer creative entrepreneurs a beautiful, easy-to-use website builder. The idea began with our CEO and co-founder, Carl Waldekranz. His mother, after decades of being an artist on the side, decided that she wanted to take her ceramics and make it into a full-time business.
Carl watched as she struggled to find an e-commerce tool that would be beautiful, easy-to-use, and actually help her establish a global brand. This eventually inspired the idea for Tictail, a company that is now a community filled with tens of thousands of fashion and home decor brands from around the world.
There has been a surge of platforms for emerging designers globally. What is important or appealing about these platforms for consumers? For designers?
From a consumer point of view, making a platform as easy as possible to shop from — and also to get to know the brands they’re shopping — I think is most important. If a shopper can’t find what he/she is looking for, they’ll never return to your brand community. And then it comes down to personal taste.
We see, for example, that Tictail shoppers are individuals, often working in creative fields, who genuinely care about supporting small businesses and buying products that no one else will have.
Tictail shoppers are often creative directors and artists who appreciate getting to know the story behind a brand. With Tictail being a Swedish-born company, we also see how shoppers appreciate the Scandinavian aesthetic of our site. We use lots of clean lines, white, bright colors, and warm, inviting language. Shoppers in the US in particular also love that they are discovering cool fashion and home decor brands from Europe via Tictail.
Can you give us a few words about your business philosophy?
Tictail’s mission is to empower the self-made entrepreneur to build a global brand. I love this philosophy for its focus on entrepreneurship.
My parents both started their own companies and from a very early age I have been incredibly inspired by entrepreneurship. I think that pursuing something you are passionate about (and ideally really great at) is the most admirable career choice in the world.
I also love how Tictail has been focused on being a global business from day one. Our international reach is so core to our ethos and helps to differentiate Tictail from other marketplaces.
Do you think that Tictail fits well with a Scandinavian audience?
Without a doubt. Visually, our site is very much in line with the Scandinavian aesthetic. Clean lines, lots of white with pops of playful color. We focus on high quality products and pieces with a story to tell. There’s craftsmanship and storytelling and light, happy energy; all of the best parts of Scandi culture and style.
Our brick-and-mortar store, Tictail Market, in New York City’s Lower East Side, has a similar feel. It’s almost shocking the amount of people who walk into our store asking if we’re a Swedish company. Then again, we also happen to have a strong community of Swedes who love coming to events in our space, so that likely contributes to the curiosity as well!
Tell us about your most memorable moment so far with Tictail
I love this question because it allows me to reflect on some of the wonderful memories I’ve experienced in the two and a half years that I’ve been part of the Tictail family. We’ve had a ton of incredible events, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time and becoming close friends with artists and entrepreneurs who I’ve met thanks to Tictail, I’ve even planned a trip throughout Europe, seeing a different Tictail brand in each of the cities I’ve visited.
I think my most favorite moment at Tictail was our global brand meetup in 2015. We wanted to bring Tictail brands together to connect about entrepreneurship and creativity; to talk about what its like to build a brand from the ground up. On the same day in September around the world, we had over 1,000 Tictail brands come together in over 17 countries. It was so moving to see how Tictail has been able to really connect this extremely talented community of creatives from around the world.
Can you name a few designers you’re currently excited about?
This question is overwhelming because I spend a huge chunk of my time getting to know and falling in love with Tictail brands, so to make the question a bit less daunting, I’ll focus on Scandinavian Tictail gems.
– Chêne: Stockholm-based blogger turned bag designer, Fanny Ekstrand, is amazing. She has such a fantastic eye for color, style, and her prices are super affordable as well.
– If you’re in need of home decor inspiration, you’d be missing out if you didn’t scope out Designfirman’s Tictail store. Any time I browse their collection, I want to redo my apartment. They are pure class; amazing taste.
– Ida Klamborn is the coolest woman you wish you had as your best friend. She is creative, wildly talented, about to become one of the most respected fashion designers in the world, AND happens to be so down to earth and kind with infectious energy. Her clothing is also amazing and I want to own everything she’s ever made.
– While we’re talking fashion, I just bought these clogs from Tictail Swedish brand Ten Points. Wonderful quality leather, great pricing, speedy delivery. And the compliments from people just won’t quit!
You can follow my Tictail shopper profile to keep up with all of my favorite products and brands I’ve discovered.
What’s next for Tictail?
We’re just now launching an initiative called Not Faceless, which is all about educating shoppers on the impact of shopping from small business owners and slow fashion designers.
There is so much waste in the fashion world — for example a piece of clothing is worn only 7 times, on average, before its thrown out in the US. This statistic is so frustrating and really reflects the ubiquity of fast fashion. It makes fashion feel faceless, forgettable, disposable.
For Tictail’s Not Faceless campaign, we want to “give a face” to as many small businesses as possible. Small businesses are so core to our economy, providing jobs for about 50% of the working population and accounting for about half of the nation’s GDP. And yet when people are shopping, they are so quick to run to fast fashion brands to buy products that do nothing to support small business owners. Not Faceless is about showing shoppers how to use your wallet to make a difference, to make a choice about who to support and how. It doesn’t hurt that you’re also able to walk away with unique, high quality pieces, that no one else will have.
This campaign is coming to fruition in multiple forms. First, we’re coming out with our latest lookbook, where we’ve styled the Autumn/Winter collections of over 30 Tictail designers, all of whom focus on slow fashion. The lookbook is stunning, shot in the Swedish Archipelago, and highlights how accessible, beautiful, and high quality slow fashion from small business owners can be. Through this lookbook, we hope that shoppers can get a better understanding of the benefits of investing in a wardrobe where every piece you wear is actually supporting a small business owner to take his/her brand to the next level.
Another element of this campaign is showcasing the stories of all of these lookbook brands. Similar to our successful bio card wall at Tictail Market, we’ve seen how much shoppers appreciate connecting with the stories of the designers they shop.
We’re also coming out with a really special social campaign, welcoming as many people as possible to post a photo on Instagram talking about what makes them #notfaceless. It can be as simple as posting a photo of your home or yourself highlighting the home decor or fashion of a small business owner, and then in the caption talk about what decision in your life makes you #notfaceless. Best part is that we’re giving a Tictail shopping spree away to one lucky winner, so post on the hashtag for a chance to win!
What’s the process like for a just-starting-out designer or maker to get involved with Tictail?
It really couldn’t be easier. Go here to start your Tictail. We’ll walk you through the entire process of setting up your store, uploading products photos and descriptions, adding in details on shipping and tracking, details on your brand story, and within minutes you’ll have access to millions of new potential shoppers from around the world!