A new website for selling Iranian handicrafts is gaining traction.
The online store for selling handmade gifts called Eshti, loosely based on Etsy.com–an international arts and crafts sales website–aims to create a niche market for traditional goods.
Eshti, a Persian word meaning spindle, hopes to revitalize the online arts and crafts industry with its online shop offers. With the help of the website, independent retailers can now focus on the production side while the website deals with marketing and sales, according to Techly.co this week.
For those unfamiliar with the Etsy format, independent retailers with limited production often have a hard time selling their wares through online marketplace websites like Ebay. However, when a dedicated website is available, high quality handicrafts get the increased publicity they deserve.
The website instructs craftsmen to send their items to Eshti where they will be professionally photographed and priced accordingly. It also takes responsibility for selling, packaging and shipping the handicrafts.
These are key issues for independent retailers, as they struggle to meet high demand with their low production levels.
The website works on an exclusive format where craftsmen will be selected to sell their wares when they undergo the registration process on the site and their products meet the sales criteria.
In Iran, there are many online handicrafts outlets, but Eshti claims they are not like other versions. The company focuses on promoting the artists instead of products. In a sense, the company aims to curate the items on their site to avoid a jumble sale mentality.
The website currently lists, nature-inspired watches by WeWatch, handmade owl-like purses for ladies and pomegranate tissue holders, among other items for sale.
Eshti is part of Dmond Accelerator program, which is the country’s first US-backed incubator for startups. Dmond is supported by Dmond Group, which in turn is support by Silicon Valley’s Plug & Play Investment Group, run by Iranian émigrés.
Online shopping has been boosted by Iran’s expanding Internet user base. This, coupled with the growth in mobile Internet connections, helps the online sector grow and mature over time.
Eshti is unique and expected to leave competitors behind, as it limits its sale and separates the wheat from the chaff.