Good afternoon! I don’t know about you, but I hear there are a lot of people surfing the interwebs this week looking for holiday gifts (read: Cyber Monday). One great place to start for inspiration is MakeunderMyLife sponsor, Lovely Clusters. Rachel has done a great job creating a space to upload photos of your favorite handmade and vintage pieces found online. And the best part is you can surf other people’s favorite items or “clusters” as well. The new “Create a Cluster” feature is amazing. I tried it myself (shown below) using my new favorite color, yellow as the common element.
To provide a bit more background on the feature and where Lovely Clusters is headed, I asked Rachel to answer a few questions. Here’s what she had to say.
What inspired the “Design a Cluster” feature?
I was frustrated with the treasuries on Etsy and how you have to wait to make one and then they expire and poof there gone. Don’t get me wrong I am utterly in love with Etsy as you can see almost all of our sellers are from there but I think it could be better in the treasury area. I just wanted to make my own and lots of them! I was having so much fun making my own clusters on the site that I felt other people could enjoy this as well. I think its a great way to get more people involved in the handmade community even if they don’t make anything.
It’s so cool that you allow people to pull products from all over the web (could be a great business tool for designers *hint hint*). What makes a cluster stand out among the rest?
I decided I wanted to do 9 squares so there was a middle image that could essentially mark the main image of inspiration and there are less images you have to choose so you could make them faster and more cohesive. Curating has become not only fun but inspirational especially for designers. When starting a new project designers are trying to get a feel of what the client wants so seeing a group of colors with a particular style can be quite appealing to someone who may have a hard time describing what they want. I have been using them mostly for my graphic and web clients but I can see it working for many other areas of design.
How has Lovely Clusters grown in the past few months? Where do you see it heading in 2010?
I have been pondering the idea of adding an online magazine integrated into the site and providing more ways to give shoppers discounts from our sellers. Right now we have over 100 sellers and I would love to see 100 more added to the site next year. That would be a whole lot of lovely! I am still quite shocked at how fast our site has grown. We are averaging 10 new sellers a week and our stats and subscribers have grown exponentially. Its getting bigger and beautiful every day and I feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of people involved. The handmade community is a wonderful thing to be a part of.
And in other exiciting news… Rachel has announced on the Lovely Clusters blog that I will be choosing my favorite cluster on Monday here on MML. So enjoy browsing other clusters, creating your own, and I’ll be back to debut my pick next week!