With the business revolving around a user-friendly app, rather than a website; its focus on making existing products more accessible to the consumer, rather than producing more and more; and developed by a group of design-loving friends who found a gap in the market, rather than a company looking to create one – they’re all reasons why Couchelo stands admirably apart from many other retailers out there.
It’s no surprise that the young, Sydney-based team has fast become industry leaders, recognised as one of the top startups to come from Australia in recent months. I caught up with Will Fan, one of Couchelo’s co-founders to find out more.
What exactly is Couchelo?
Couchelo is a curated marketplace for unique furniture and homewares. We make it easy to find vintage, pre-loved and handcrafted items you will want to post on instagram with a #instahome. We mean the retro bar stools, the industrial lamps and reupholstered vintage chairs that will make the most enviable abode.
We are connecting boutique businesses, collectors and design lovers on an easy to use platform where you can browse, buy and sell. We have just launched a preliminary beta app on the iOS store showcasing some really cool items. Remember to check back for when we launch our ecommerce store!
How did Couchelo come about?
After a few weekends of binge watching Mad Men – we had a certain look in mind whilst trying to furnish a new apartment. Where do you start looking for an industrial 60s lamp, or Don Draper’s handy office drinking cart?
eBay and Gumtree meant sifting through used mattresses and cheap imports from power sellers. Ikea ruled out anything unique (or sustainable). Weekends became drives around Sydney checking out questionable leads from outdated websites.
What we realised is that Australia has a very scattered group of boutique bricks-and-mortar sellers, collectors listing on eBay and standalone online craftsman. These were the people selling vibrant bespoke designs, revived vintage pieces and who don’t really have an online presence. Not only was there no go-to place for everyone to connect, there was also no easy way for buyers or enthusiasts to find them.
We want to make it simple and encouraging to look for cool furniture. By creating a curated online marketplace, it means that only the best items from the most interesting sellers are available in one place.
Tell us about yourselves and your backgrounds!
We are passionate design amateurs turned enthusiasts who wanted to do something to transform the industry. Couchelo is about using updated technology to help a niche market become more accessible to appreciation. We are a start up so we are doing everything. Will looks after the business side of things, Fei is in charge of the day to day operations, Mike is responsible for the development of our technology and Sisi is our marketing guru.
Who is the Couchelo consumer/market?
We welcome anyone who loves great design, pieces with a bit of character, a creative use of materials or simply a tasteful pre-loved piece in need for a new home.
From the sellers’ end, we only want the best items so we are developing guidelines to help potential them understand what kind of items may be unsuitable for Couchelo. In the meantime, the team is very hands-on with the curation process to ensure continual quality.
To celebrate our recent launch, we’re giving away $250 each week to spend on Couchelo! To enter, simply download the App, create an account and favourite an item. This will give us a chance to find out what kind of stuff people love to help our curation process.
Find out more about Couchelo here!