In a world where almost every brand has a digital marketplace and flash sale sites flood our inboxes daily, shopping online has become more stressful then hopping between brick and mortar stores on a rainy day. But a flood of emerging, curated online boutiques in the past year has acted as a refresher on what we first loved about the digital space. There are dozens of these shops in our peripheral, but none spark style inspiration quite like The Cools.
What launched as a members-only website in June 2012 opened to the public last month, giving everyone access to shop the store’s 300 leading fashion, lifestyle and design lines. With a combined 100 years of experience in these creative industries, The Cools team personally curates brands based on craftsmanship and creativity. But the interactive nature of the space makes it more than just a shopping site. Not only are featured brands able to curate their own stores by posting content like photos, videos, news and inspiration, members have the option to customize their profiles and engage with The Cools community by adding products they love, posting inspiration and following tastemakers who influence their style.
And though we’re all about ditching big brands and supporting the little guys, The Cools founder and CEO Olivier van Themsche further puts things into perspective. “If you’re a mass market brand, you can sell directly to the consumers on platforms like Amazon or eBay,” Olivier says. “But when you’re a leading brand not on the mass market scale, you can’t sell on these marketplaces. The Cools is the first marketplace where a curated selection of brands can sell directly to the consumer. Brands only pay a 12% commission of their retail sales, which disrupts the current wholesale model, and they make 4 to 6 times more profit. The Cools is simply the next generation of eshops.”