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Raised to Date: 
$0
Current Interests: 
$10,000 - $25,000

0%
Funded:
Invest Now
 Coming Soon
ID: 
ATX-TTW-2022
Exemption: 
Test the Waters
Accredited Only: 
No
Reviewed Financials: 
No
Issue Type: 
Test the Waters
Minimum Investment: 
$500
Target Goal: 
$100,000
Minimum Goal: 
$30,000
Suggested Investment: 
$2,500
Additional Investments: 
$500
Maximum Goal: 
$150,000
Raise Start Date: 
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Raise End Date: 
Monday, August 1, 2022
Raise Target Date: 
Monday, August 1, 2022

Please click "I Am Interested" to share investment expectations.


Austin as a World-Class Design Destination

We have the talent, we have the luxury clients, we have the creative spirit and sophistication.  All that is missing are world-class resources. 

The Marketplace concept grew directly out feedback from our colleagues in the design/build industry in Austin.  After years of hearing about the frustrations of trips to Houston, Dallas, High Point and New York to find the best architectural and design products, it was clear it was time for Austin to expand access to these resources. 

The mission of The Marketplace is to support the design/build industry and help Austin shine as a world-class design destination, increasing success, prosperity and much-deserved recognition of the city’s talent.

The Marketplace is bringing the best of design to Austin, and we’d love for you to be a part of this project. 

Austin Design Marketplace Interior 1

What is The Marketplace?

The Marketplace will be a to-the-trade/wholesale shopping destination featuring showcases from local, national and global brands.  Vendors can have a touch-and-feel display and connect with trade customers without the cost and commitment of a full showroom. 

Unlike a traditional showroom, The Marketplace doesn’t process transactions, so vendors and buyers can connect directly to complete the sale.

Envisioned as an industry hub, we will host regular popups and special guests to highlight new and exciting products and services, plus host educational and social programming that will bring the professional community together.   

Austin Design Marketplace Interior 2

Problem/Solution

With the changing nature of the interior design industry and retail/wholesale dynamics, to-the-trade design brands are reluctant to invest in large showrooms which require long leases and dedicated staff.  However, the need to experience products in-person remains, meaning that online-only shopping limits a product’s appeal. 

The Marketplace offers brands a way to test the waters in Austin, providing display space, support staff and marketing programs, all in one package that can be as short as one year.  It also allows local brands that have been anxious to improve their penetration in the design industry a chance to expand their exposure without committing to a long lease. 

On the professional side, designers, architects and builders are frustrated with a limited choice of products available locally.  The resources that are available are spread throughout the city and in to the Hill Country, making shopping inefficient. 

Professionals will welcome a single destination with multiple products and enjoy the amenities The Marketplace will offer, including a conference room and coffee bar. 

Flat lay of creative architect moodboard composition with samples of building, textile and natural materials and personal accessories. Top view, grey background, template

 

Customer Profile

Product and Service Vendors

The primary customers of The Marketplace are product and service vendors that sell to the design professional, products like furniture, rugs, lighting, flooring, fabric and accessories, and services like painting, custom upholstery, custom wood and metalwork and more.   In some cases, these businesses only sell wholesale to the trade, in others they will also sell to the end consumer, but would like to target the more-profitable trade professional. 

Trade Professionals: Interior Designers, Architects, Custom Builders

Our secondary customers are the trade professionals themselves; interior designers, architects and custom builders who buy products at wholesale in order to serve their end client.  The professional will not pay a fee to use The Marketplace, although some premium memberships may be developed later. 

Our customer base does not include the end consumer; the homeowner or business owner using the services of the professionals.  Access to The Marketplace is restricted to pre-registered Trade members and their guests. 

 

Revenue Model

At the core, The Marketplace helps product/service vendors reach trade professionals to increase sales.  We charge a monthly fee that includes display space, staff support and marketing to our list of over 4,000 interior designers, architects and custom builders in the Central Texas area.  Our product is a robust marketing platform that increases sales for to-the-trade products and services. 

The Marketplace makes money by connecting product and service vendors (our Partners) with wholesale customers (interior designers, builders and architects). Unlike most to-the-trade showrooms, we don’t sell product.  So you can think of The Marketplace more like a marketing platform, with the added benefit of touch and feel. 

We charge a monthly fee to our Partners that includes the space in the showroom, staff support and marketing to our audience.  Fees range from $1200 to $5,000 per month.   Additional revenue comes from special events and extended marketing services provided to our Partners. 

 

Key Selling Propositions

The Marketplace isn't just a showroom, it is a brand marketing system helping products grow their presence and profitability in the hot Austin market.

Designed to take advantage of the changing nature of both the high-end design industry and of wholesale and retail sales, The Marketplace provides flexible, low-commitment space to allow brands to adjust as the market does. 

Standalone showroom versus Austin Design Marketplace monthly cost

Showcase packages include:

  • Display space: 100-500 square feet available
  • Promotion in our 4000-member local trade pro list 
  • Knowledgeable staff trained on product highlights who can answer questions
  • Ambitious marketing of both The Marketplace and individual brands to local and regional trade professionals
  • Packages range from $1200-$5000 per month, all-inclusive

 

Progress

  • 11 Vendor Partners have reserved a space and paid a 1/2-month deposit
  • A marketing list of over 4000 local contacts in the design/build industry has been built, regular newsletters are being sent to build momentum and social events are being held
  • The lease is in negotiation, drawings are complete and construction team identified
  • Two Founding Investor/Advisors have been secured with an additional eight in discussion

 

Revenue and Profitability

The Marketplace will generate cash flow once we are at 70% of Vendor Partner capacity, which we expect to reach within 4-6 months of opening. Annual profit margins on the base business model (showcases, sponsorships and event rental) is 20% after the first year.

Revenue and profitability

 

Anita Erickson Stile Studio Headshot

Team

Anita Erickson, Founder and CEO of The Marketplace, is a veteran marketing executive with experience at both Fortune 500 companies and startups. She has decades-long experience building marketing programs, especially for small businesses.  Anita has founded three design-related companies personally and has deep knowledge of and relationships within the design/build industries. 

Two Founding Investors are also acting as advisors, and we plan to add an additional 3-4 industry veterans to our Advisory Board. 

The business team has been engaged, including attorneys, fractional CFO, bookkeeper, real estate broker and business coach. 

 

Hear from one of our Founding Investors, Lieve Sather of Turnstyle Design.

 

Financing and Use of Funds

We are raising funds through various channels: founder equity, business loans, direct investors and crowdfunding.  Our base expenses will be covered by equity, loans and direct investors.  Crowdfunded dollars will allow us to build out a more robust conference room, coffee bar and hire additional staff to make the Marketplace an even more dynamic shopping destination and industry hub.

 

Investor Repayment

This investment is based on a debt model, so investors will receive their initial capital, plus interest within five years. Debt financing allows investors to be paid back quickly and on a predictable schedule rather than waiting for an exit event. 

Interest rates and detailed terms will be disclosed when the formal campaign launches.  Repayments and tax documents will be handled professionally by the Silicon Prairie portal. 

 


Please click "I Am Interested" to share investment expectations.


Disclosure: this page represents Testing The Waters materials.

  1. No funds or other consideration is being solicited, and if money is sent, it will not be accepted by the company; 
  2. No sales will be performed or commitments to purchase accepted until the offering statement is qualified; and
  3. A proposed purchaser’s indication of interest is non-binding.