We’ve seen Australians accessorise with bespoke shoes, watches, shirts and glasses, but a new Australian startup is hoping to bring that desire for custom-made products to the home with the bespoke chair.
Emma Veiga-Malta, founder of My Bespoke Chair, recently won the Skillsapien Virtual Pitch, held at StartNest, which is aimed at giving local startups the opportunity to foster international connections.
As part of her prize she’ll be flying to the US in October to learn how to pitch to American investors and prepare her custom-made furniture business for overseas markets.
Veiga-Malta told StartupSmart she came up with the idea for her startup in 2011 after realising there was a huge potential in the online sphere for custom-made products. She launched her website – which allows people to design their own chair – in November 2012.
“It was an organic progression of something I was doing for 16 years,” she says. “I didn’t wake up one day and say okay, I’ll make a website where you can design your own chairs. People always love to be part of the design process and I thought with technology and the internet I could give people more opportunity to design something themselves.”
Veiga-Malta believes customisation has a strong future ahead of it because it allows consumers to celebrate their individuality – particularly within their own home.
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“Mass customisation and co-creation is a growing trend online,” she says. “In the next five years it’s going to be a very common practise – people will be co-designing the products they purchase online.”