Case Pleathub – Textile Designers Meet Buyers Online

The selling and buying of textile print designs has hardly changed even though a majority of other creative verticals have. Unlike other “creative” verticals such as photography, illustration, graphic design or web design the textile print industry have remained surprisingly intact without any serious attempts of disruption.
This is now changing and Pleathub aims to become a major player in this transition.

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Hard to find – hard to sell
Pleathub’s
founder Erik Larsson has found out basically two problems. “It’s getting harder for the buyers to employ and retain the best textile print designers because they increasingly choose to work freelance or set up small design studios. At the same time these freelance designers are not easy discoverable. They are not present at the largest trade shows and they are not easy to find online”, Erik says. “The second problem is that for the designers themselves it’s difficult to be discovered and market themselves online. Not mentioning transaction processing and licensing” he continues.

These problems coupled with the rise of niche B2B marketplaces gave us the first idea for a new type of two-sided marketplace. A marketplace connecting a new breed of textile pattern designer with clients.

Pleathub marketplace makes things easy
Pleathub is a B2B online marketplace where textile print designers list and sell textile print designs to buyers and where all patterns are delivered digitally. The buyers are retail clothing companies, both large ones operating within the fast-fashion segment (H&M, Desigual, Zara etc), mid-sized and small companies. On Pleathub, textile print designers list and sell their designs and the marketplace functions as a full stack operator, taking care of curation, presentation, recommendations, payments, licensing etc.

“We’re very excited about this opportunity to will help freelance designers and small design studios make more money by expanding and offering their unique skills and services to a new set of global customers”, Erik Larsson says.
Pleathub will help them reach this audience without having to make any costly investments in ICT on their own Apart from the business opportunity we’re also very excited marketplace about having the possibility to boost the unique strengths of Europe’s cultural diversity and the collective creative output of its designers.

New technology opportunities with FIWARE
FIWARE tech and business support is helping realising the Pleathub project.
“After we talked to profiles within the industry we started to sketch out a first draft of our solution. In November 2014 we found out about the CreatiFI accelerator and started experimenting with FIWARE technology”, tells Erik. “Ever since we got accepted into the accelerator and started working on the project in January 2015 we’ve had great assistance from the FIWARE team – both from a technology and business standpoint”, he says.
For Pleathub, KeyRock GE has been particularly useful. This  technology has saved the project a considerate amount of time because it is letting them “factor out” crucial user account lifecycle functions (user accounts etc) without having to reinvent them themselves.

Pleathub is still on the development mode but it is now on course to launch the marketplace in fall 2015.

Author: Erik Larsson, Pleathub

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