We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent artists that people do not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted uses technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses.
Minted’s community of independent artists and designers are located in all 50 states and over 100 countries. They are illustrators and textile designers, painters and packaging designers, marketers and stay-at-home moms. Some have design degrees, and others are participating in Minted competitions to learn design for the first time. They share a deep love for creative expression, personal development, risk-taking, and most importantly, paying it forward by helping each other.
Minted is a design marketplace. We source creative content from a global community of independent artists, then sell the best content in the form of art, home décor, and stationery, directly to consumers. An early pioneer of crowdsourcing, Minted has held art and design challenges monthly since April 2008. Challenges are open for both submission and voting, the ‘crowd’ curates Minted’s product selection by rating products, and Minted utilizes analytics to evaluate votes.
Our core competencies are mobilizing and activating creative people, and enabling them to monetize their art by identifying the industries and products where their art is most interesting to consumers. Minted produces and sells winning designs, paying the designer a commission on every sale. In addition, winning artists and designers have stores on Minted. They can launch any of their creations into their stores, utilizing Minted’s manufacturing, fulfillment, and customer service capabilities to run their businesses.
We share information broadly and bring people at all levels along in our decision-making. We value our colleagues’ opinions, and we believe in learning from our own history to drive growth.
We base company decisions on providing the best designs in the world to consumers, breaking the mold of what is considered operationally or technically possible to liberate designers’ creativity. We treat designers well, keep our promises to them, and build our company with them at the table.
We enable others to decide what great design is, rather than deciding what it is for them. By listening carefully to our community and letting them make decisions, we unleash full human potential.
There is limitless possibility as to which consumer verticals can be disrupted by the Minted marketplace of artists and designers. We are building one of the most impactful e-commerce companies in the world. We have the patience to make decisions that serve us, our designers, and our consumers best in the long-run.
Pictured above: Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO at home in San Francisco
Mariam Naficy founded Minted in 2007. The daughter of a development economist, she grew up in 5 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Having seen interesting art and design in her travels, as well as the art created by her own family members, she was intrigued in 2007 by the idea that there was hidden creative talent around the world whose work was not accessible to consumers and that the Internet could help surface. Her founding question: could crowd-sourcing design build an e-commerce company that stayed in tune with its consumer audience forever?
The company held its first "design challenge" in 2008, a save-the-date card design competition that attracted 66 entries. Initially, the company balanced its crowd-sourcing approach by also carrying stationery brands, almost failed, and was panned by the media. Naficy raised 111 million in cash to last through seven years of operation, brought the company to cash-flow break-even with a lean team by 2012, then raised a first large funding round in 2013.
Tens of thousands of design and art entries later, the company has expanded into the art business and the home décor business and its products have reached 40 million homes. The company is backed by Benchmark Capital, IDG Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Norwest Venture Partners, and has raised 190 million in capital. LinkedIn named Minted as one of 2014’s 10 Most In-Demand Start-Ups among job seekers. Naficy was named one of the 25 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2013.
Pictured at left: Mariam Naficy, Minted Founder & CEO at home in San Francisco