IWF Alert: A chat with the brains behind CustomMade.com
“How many pro woodworkers have spent $5,000 to build their own Web sites, and had no one come? They could have come to us and received tons of traffic–for a lot less than the cost of maintaining their own site.” That’s what CustomMade’s Mike Salguero said to me in a cavernous hall at IWF 2010. Good point, I thought.
CustomMade.com is an online marketplace that connects buyers of custom furrniture, decorative items and other products with the artisans who make them. For woodworkers who sell their work, or intend to someday, it offers one-stop shopping. Artisans can create their own profile and gallery pages, and have their work added to galleries that will be searched a number of ways by serious buyers of custom work, from interior designers to regular folks who want to invest in things of quality.
We caught up with Salguero for a quick Q&A at IWF. He and a partner bought CustomMade.com in 2009 and immediately began improving and expanding it from 350 makers to over 1,000. With Mike was Matt Goldstein, director of business development. One of the things we discussed is their brand-new partnership with Fine Woodworking.com, and their plans to share advice with our readers on pricing and marketing work, and a host of other business issues that bedevil pro-minded woodworkers.