Meet CustomMade: Excerpts from the Fox News Live Special!!!
Watch the live Fox News special and read excerpts from CustomMade’s national television debut…
Fox reporter: Michael Salguero, CEO co-founder of CustomMade.com, Seth Rosen the CFO also a co-founder is with him.
You guys start this business where people can custom make furniture and things like that when’s there’s like a housing depression and people aren’t, they’re not doing anything. How’s that goin?! :::laughs:::
Mike: Right :::laughs::: So, we found that during this economic climate, consumers are really looking for more quality, and that really speaks well to our site. So we give the consumer the ability to custom make something and work directly with the craftsperson. So it’s locally made, made in the U.S. or made in Canada, and far superior as far as quality goes.
Reporter: Is it like Etsy? You put the craftsperson and I guess the client together – you’re kinda like matchmakers.
Seth: Yeah, I think Etsy primarily focuses on handmade goods. They’re really focused on allowing the maker or the craftsperson to sell something that’s already made. Whereas we’re really focused on the service of custom, we’re gonna set you up – it’s sorta like Match.com but for service providers who make custom goods and provide custom services.
Reporter: So Michael, you guys are sitting around one day and you day, “Hey, I need something custom made, I can’t find it, I’m gonna start a site,” is that kinda how it happened?
Mike: Pretty much, Seth and I, we both worked in real estate, started buying custom suits, custom shirts, custom belts, custom shoes, Seth was outfitting an apartment and was looking for a custom coffee table, and stumbled across this website CustomMade.com.
It had been in existence since 1996, and we told the owner in 2008 we were interested in purchasing the company, injecting some new blood and new capital into it to grow it. So yeah, it was a perfect example of a business that we created to solve a problem that we had.
Reporter: So it was out there, Seth, but it just wasn’t doing anything I guess…Did you get your coffee table?
Seth: Yeah, I did. I got my coffee table. I wanted something very specific. People who know me know I have a pretty specific set of tastes, it was just very hard to find exactly what I wanted. I had shopped at a bunch of different stores, I had looked at a bunch of the larger furniture stores in our area, and I’d sorta found this theme that if you get closer and closer to the person who’s actually making these goods then you can buy local, you can buy handmade, you can just get a much higher value product than if you just go out and buy retail. You can also get exactly what you’re looking for which was my sort of attraction to buying a coffee table custom made.
Reporter: So it’s a unique business in that people have to know what they want and all that, and it’s not cheap, I’m sure; I’m sure some stuff certainly garners a decent cost, how does all that work in what’s ostensibly an economic slowdown?
We’ve seen a lot of consumers in the middle class, upper-middle class to upper class who are still looking to buy that high-quality item. And if you compare shopping on CustomMade to the experience of shopping at a larger sort of higher-end retail establishment, you’ll find that the quality on CustomMade is far better. You actually have a relationship with the person who is making it for you.
So if you’re going to spend those dollars somewhere, why not make it for first of all supporting your local economy and secondly, you can have a relationship with the craftsperson. You can go to their shop, you can even source the lumber with them. You can go to the lumber yard and pick out the piece of wood you wanna use.
I think in the higher-end retail establishments you don’t really know what’s gone into what was created for you. What type of woods were used, what types of labor conditions there were, and this really answers those questions: you can source directly.
Reporter: Wow. Is it out of your hands then once the love connection is made? Ya know, I go to my artisan, you’re done, we bargain out a price.
Mike: Yes. We ask for feedback and stuff that we can continue to build out a more robust profile for the artist, so you could read recommendations from people that have used them before, but we are not in between.