Stockist Interview – Kuttlefish

In our second interview in the series we chat to founder Ian from Kuttlefish, an online marketplace and community specialising in recycled products and sharing creative ideas on reuse.

Rusted-Kuttlefish-logo 1. Tell us a little about the history of Kuttlefish?

Kuttlefish’s roots really took hold in July 1995 when our founder, Ian Moise, joined the Peace Corps and immersed himself in a new culture for the first time in the Republic of Congo. Not only was he impressed with the utilitarian mindset of the people there (every can, piece of rubber, metal, and cloth was being used), but he was shocked at the potential western businesses were missing out on. There were inner tubes being made into bungee straps, fallen trees being whittled into toothpicks, and metal being hammered and molded into small stoves. Little kids were even in on the action, making toy cars out of bamboo. Ian took on that mindset and recalls turning his oatmeal can into a hand washing device. It became clear to him that value was truly in the eye of the beholder.

Years later, as the internet and social media grew, Ian had the idea to connect the countless crafters, makers, artisans, artists, and entrepreneurs from around the world in an online community to exchange ideas and products, and build a marketplace for goods that contributed to reducing waste.

2. How did you decide on the name?

We were looking for something unique and creative, but also something that represented our mission. The kuttlefish (or cuttlefish) is known to be one of the most intelligent sea creatures. Often referred to as “chameleons of the sea”, they are able to change color, shape and texture. “Kuttlefish” represents the ideas of change and adaptation; the materials are the same but the form is new, and the kuttlefish survives.

3. How do you find brands to stock in the shop?

Sellers create their own shops and brands using the Kuttlefish platform. Our job is to let sellers know about our community, create the tools they need to grow their businesses, promote their work on our marketing channels, and provide outstanding customer service. We are, however, always keeping an eye out for upcyclers and will extend a personal invite to anyone whose work supports our mission and who we feel will be successful selling on our site.

4. There are many platforms out there – e.g. Etsy. Why do sellers come to Kuttlefish?

Sellers tell us there are four reasons they like Kuttlefish:

– We don’t charge a listing fee.

– Our commissions are the lowest online – 1% in your first year and 3% thereafter.

– We provide tips to our sellers on how to generate traffic to their unique, upcycled and recycled products.

– We love promoting our sellers – if you open a shop and send us an email (support@kuttlefish.com), we’ll share your work on our social media channels.

5. What products could we expect to find in the marketplace today?

We have a wide range of products in our marketplace, and they all share one thing in common – they contribute to reducing waste.  There are upcycled, reclaimed, recycled, repurposed, salvaged, and reused materials in there. We have many artists, crafters, artisans, and makers from around the world that post their unique products and ideas on Kuttlefish.

6. How would you describe your typical customer?

Kuttlefish customers want to do some good in the world. They come to Kuttlefish looking to buy quality products that also make a difference. They want their dollars to benefit their present, future and their kids’ futures. They also value the artistry and creativity of our innovative sellers.

7. If designers want to pitch their products to you, what is the best way to get in touch?

We love engaging with new sellers – contact us at support@kuttlefish.com with any questions. However, opening a shop on Kuttlefish is very simple. From the homepage, just sign up, and then click “sell”. Once you list your products, send us an email so we can share them.

Find Reclaim on Kuttlefish here.

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