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Goodsmiths brings on former Better Homes exec, readies group buying

Often, startups are fueled by passion. For Deb Gore Ohrn, the decision to end her 18-year career at Meredith Corporation for an 18-month old startup was in following her heart. "It was just like, 'Oh my God, I need to be working with (Goodsmiths),' " Gore Ohrn said in a phone interview Tuesday. That feeling


The Goodsmiths homepage represents a few of the more than 1,300 sellers that have flocked to the site. 

Often, startups are fueled by passion. For Deb Gore Ohrn, the decision to end her 18-year career at Meredith Corporation for an 18-month old startup was in following her heart.

“It was just like, ‘Oh my God, I need to be working with (Goodsmiths),’ ” Gore Ohrn (left) said in a phone interview Tuesday.

That feeling was mutual. On top of her expertise and relationships in the world of crafters and makers – her resume includes six years as editor in chief/marketing director of the Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Group – Goodsmiths CEO James Eliason said her enthusiasm was a major factor in hiring her.

“She immediately just showed incredible support for what we were building,” he said.

On July 23, Gore Ohrn will become the startup’s sixth full-time employee, taking the position as creative marketing advisor. Her goal, she said, will be to make Goodsmiths the best it can be for both buyers and sellers. She’ll work on a recommendation engine, brand guidelines, marketing plan and consumer outreach tactics, such as connecting Goodsmiths with farmer’s markets.

Dave Kurns, director of corporate development at Meredith and an advisor to Goodsmiths, introduced the two parties, though Gore Ohrn said she had been following the startup since its inception.

Goodsmiths growth

Gore Ohrn is joining the team during a period of growth for Goodsmiths. In four months, the site has attracted more than 1,300 shops with more than $880,000 in inventory; Eliason said Tuesday morning he was hopeful they would break the $1 million mark by week’s end. The website has seen 300,000 page views in the last 2.5 months.

“What we’re most excited about is we’ve recieved a lot of positive feedback on what we’re creating,” Eliason said. He thinks part of the reason people are flocking to Goodsmiths is because the market has been dominated by a single source, Etsy, for so long, and makers are ready for a new option.

One of the biggest factors that will separate Goodsmiths from competing sites is set to launch within 30 days: Group Buying. Eliason described it as a sort of Kickstarter for crafters; it allows the maker to find buyers for their project before fully developing their prototype. (For more on group buying, check out the video below.)

That’s not all: The team recently rolled out guest checkout options and infinate scroll, and they’re working on redesigning the dashboard for shop owners. On August 1, they’ll hold a public launch party in Des Moines. The angel-invested company is also looking to secure Series A round funding.

“We are definitely still in startup mode as far as product development and getting things out the door,” Eliason said. “Our whiteboard is definitely full.”

 

Check out the Goodsmiths’ promotional video below for an overview of the site, including group buying.

 

Credits: Screenshot and video from goodsmiths.com. Photo of Gore Orhn from Pinterest.

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