Japan-based design site Creatty launches e-commerce channels



See the original story in Japanese.

Creatty is a website that allows creators to show off their work online. Connehito, the Japan-based startup that operates the service, recently announced an e-commerce channel called Creatty Store, where creators can sell their works online without inventory.

Since its launch back in April of 2012, the website has acquired more than 20,000 fine arts and crafts items from creators. The service is available to access for free on PC, iOS, and Android platforms. On this new e-commerce channel, the startup plans to feature standout designs posted on the platform and help creators to manufacture them for sale. At the time of launch, items available include skins for smartphone handsets and t-shirts only.


The startup will take care of manufacturing and shipping, and pay a commission (upon sale) to those who have designed the products. This is a somewhat unusual approach to its business scheme. For many C2C market sites dealing in handmade crafts (such as Etsy), users sell their works online and the platform will take a commission afterwards. The startup originally considered a concept similar to what other C2C services are doing, but instead they stand in the middle between creators and buyers. We asked CEO Shunsuke Oyu about why he chose this scheme. He explained:

For craft creators, we thought it would be very simple to photograph the works they produce and simply sell them online. That was our original concept. We developed a web app for selling them online, but very few people used it. We learned the market was not quite mature [enough]. And it was probably hard for them to make goods by themselves.

Typical creators using the service are generally folks into fine arts. And it’s likely difficult for them to manage an inventory of products like experienced e-commerce merchandisers.

Mr. Oyu explains that the startup will add more creators on e-commerce channels with plans to have up to 50 creators in the coming months. They are expecting to start dealing with canvas prints and fashion items as well.