Kitsy Lane raises $3.5M for craft jewelry marketplace

The social commerce platform sports 22,000 women-led boutiques

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
January 9, 2013
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I’m not a crafty mom. I wish I were, but alas, I’m all fumble-fingers and can’t thread a needle to save my life. I love supporting crafty moms on Etsy, though, and tend to buy a lot of up-cycled kids’ clothes and cloth diapers made by work-at-home moms.

With Etsy definitely feeling the mom love, it makes sense that other startups would want to hone in on that market as well. One arts and crafts platform, Kitsy Lane, is specifically targeting women and stay-at-home moms, and could prove to be a worthy Etsy contender. The site, which offers users the tools to create their own online boutiques, announced Wednesday that it has raised $3.5 million in a Series A round led by Data Point Capital and Longworth Venture Partners. Existing investor Point Judith Capital also contributed to the round.

The arts and crafts scene is exploding as more consumers turn their eye toward unique, personalized, and one-of-a-kind items, rather than mass produced products. Etsy is the clear leader, but other players have emerged to tackle other angles of the arts and crafts market, like Custom Made, which matches consumers with makers who can help them with their personal project idea. In the same vein, Kitsy Lane (which has the cutest name ever) isn’t necessarily taking on Etsy head-on, but is focusing on a specific group and product: women and jewelry.

The site currently supports over 22,000 women-owned businesses—and the businesses are all centered on jewelry and accessories. The platform provides users with a master catalog of curated merchandise as well as a social customer acquisition and promotions engine, which allows users to reach out to customers on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the site allows users to create coupons, sell discounted items in a flash sale, and send out automated emails.

The site has been growing at a rate of 40% a month since inception in July 2012.

The company couldn’t be reached for comment, but I am wondering about the narrowness of the women/jewelry vertical. So much jewelry in one spot kind of sounds like overkill, which makes me wonder if Kitsy Lane will have to expand to other verticals in the near future, which could put it in direct competition with Etsy. 

"Kitsy Lane has demonstrated impressive results at such an early stage of its development. The model is ripe for further disruption of traditional commerce offering a turnkey approach for individuals to profitably become retail entrepreneurs," says Scott Savitz, Managing Partner of Data Point Capital, in a statement.

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