Online Retailer of the Week: Fab.com


Fab.com

Fab.com operates a one-stop design shop for unique, discounted housewares, and style inspiration and cataloging.

You can buy discounted, quality home accessories on the newly re-launched Gilt Home.  And you can kick off a design spree with listing and inspiration tools like Pinterest or Svpply. But isn’t it simpler to do the shopping, find visual stimuli, and keep a style profile all in one place?  Fab.com is a source for just that.

Unlike many of its flash sale brethren, Fab was born out of a social networking site, not a retail impulse.  Bradford Shellhammer and Jason Goldberg founded Fabulis, a lifestyle and reviews site, in 2010.  While the site was deemed lovely, they could never push it past 30,000 active weekly users.  After introducing a successful daily deals component, the partners opted to shut down Fabulis to launch Fab, a far more retail-focused iteration of their first effort.

An user-uploaded bit of inspiration on the Fab design site.

However, they’ve held on to many of Fabulis’ original components.  A prominent inspiration page, to which anyone can contribute, functions as an on-site style pinboard.  (And first-time photo uploaders receive $5 toward their next purchase).  Meanwhile, the flash sales themselves go live in a manner similar to Of a Kind’s model, seeking to educate their buyers.  Each new boutique features a short bio along with a quote from the goods’ creator.

Most important, the site’s members can create their own style profiles in order to keep track of a certain style motif, make a to-buy list, or just catalog some visual ideas.  Images on Fab’s inspiration board come with a heart icon — click it and the photo uploads to your profile.   Images can also be added via your computer or from around the web.

Two current sales offered by Fab.

And of course, there are the goods themselves.  Shellhammer and Goldberg are committed to finding unusual but useful, quality housewares, along with the occasional accessories.  The site offers eight new sales a day, which occupy a range of prices and designers.  Fab features both independent artisans — say, a furniture maker five years into business — along with more established brands, like 30-year-old Mercer Cutlery.

Between the discounted prices and the tools it offers to keep track of one’s design life, Fab provides multiple motivations to ultimately make a purchase (which, if anything, could prove difficult to resist).  But whether you’re there to shop or to get inspired, the site can be endlessly useful for furnishing a new place from the top down or just sprucing up a rental.


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