Retail & Vinyl

SoulBlendr Creates An Etsy For Band Merch

Soulblendr-logo SoulBlendr launched in January and, though I have mixed feelings about catchphrases like "Etsy for Bands", it's the easiest way I know to communicate the concept of a site that connects fans, bands and artisans. I hate to sound like one of those gushing judges on a dance competition show so I'll try to keep it in check but I really love this concept. I think it has huge potential for connecting the growing artisan/handmade goods movement with bands' need for unique merchandise and fans' desire for cool merch.

SoulBlendr is really pretty simple, you register as a fan, band or designer and then do your thing. There is a social element to the site which emphasizes connecting bands and designers but also allows for fan interaction.  Facilitating the band/designer connection is one of the more unique aspects of SoulBlendr in that bands license and collect royalties on the use of their logos and related ip by designers.  Interaction with fans, who could be interested in either category, helps strengthen one's fanbase.

It's still early enough in their development and in their publicity work that the platform hasn't yet been overrun with people so it's a lot easier to have visibility on the site than it will be later as compared to a platform like Etsy which is stuffed to the brim with products.

On a related note, the homepage is very close to Etsy's design, as are the product pages, for example, compare this Leather Wrist Cuff on SoulBlendr to this Handmade Leather Journal on Etsy. Can you say clone?

This means that eventually they are going to be strongly attacked and will have to survive what will be fair criticisms of that choice, especially since it's a site for designers! But, as Eliot Van Buskirk says about Turntable.fm clone Rolling.fm, clones aren't always a bad thing, though I'd be really annoyed if were at Etsy.

That said, I'm finding some cool stuff on here and will be telling some of my designer friends about the site. In fact, I may start talking to my developer friends about cloning this project. I can imagine all sorts of other brands and orgs that would love to be matched up with hip, young designers!

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance: World Dance News is his primary web project. To suggest websites and related topics for review, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing the information with me. The article was extremely informative and I look foward to reading more soon. Thanks again. Jay

  2. Spoke with Charley Hoefer from SoulBlendr and he says they’re changing the design fairly soon which is good to hear cause I think this project has great potential.
    In fact, they are developing it with the recognition that it could serve other markets as well.
    The biggest push has been getting the backend together which focuses on the process of artists offering their ip and designers proposing merch using that ip. It’s free for artists, which is really cool, and also offers an opportunity for designers to build in relationship with a band.
    I think it’s really a next step kind of product and I’d hate the design issues to obscure that. I’m looking forward to how this develops and have no plans to clone it though, if they’re successful, there will be copycats!

  3. Huge problem with this site. The Items are ridiculously overpriced. Which leads me to believe only super fans would buy any of those items in the first place.

  4. Hey Chris I just saw your post, we’re working on that actually by adding a ton of new designers starting n February that will push the quality up and the prices down to a more fan friendly price point. Appreciate the post, keep the faith we’re learning and improving every week.

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