Cerulo, a former editor at Details and Lucky, and Mazur, an entrepreneur, describe their platform as part e-commerce, part designer showcase. Although Of a Kind has featured such sustainable designers as Dirty Librarian Chains, Forestbound, Love Mert, Nettie Kent, Popomomo, and Study NY, a spot on the site hinges more on aesthetics and overall vibe than any eco-specific attribute.
Cerulo and Mazur describe the Of a Kind platform as part e-commerce, part designer showcase.
“It’s important to us that the designers have lot of freedom to create something they love, but we help them figure out what will work best for our audience,” Cerulo tells Ecouterre. “It’s also really important to us that the edition they create really epitomizes their aesthetic since we’re often introducing people to their work for the first time.”
Shoppers looking for a curated shopping experience find Mecca when they come to Of a Kind. With every item hand-picked, the duo says their “editions” give shoppers a sort of “aha moment” where they see pricing really demonstrates value.
Some designers have even become regulars. In the past year alone, Study NY’s Tara St. James has put out three editions with Of A Kind, all to great response. St. James says Cerula and Mazur’s hands-on tack, and the spirit of collaboration that animates each effort, was what attracted her to the site in the first place.
St. James says Cerula and Mazur’s hands-on tack was what attracted her to the site in the first place.
“Erica and Claire are very involved with the development of each item put up on the site,” the Brooklyn-based designer tells us. “We worked together on the styles that were eventually produced. The girls are very familiar with their customer base and as a result are easily able to spot items that will be successful.”
St. James says she also appreciates the pair’s ability to engage shoppers with the bigger story behind the products, whether it’s the provenance of the materials, its inspiration, or even what the designer happened to be reading or cooking at the time. “There’s no disconnect,” she says. “It’s a seamless and very user-friendly experience that allows the customer to meet new designers and support them at the same time.”
Of a Kind, in other words, offers the one thing chain stores struggle to provide: authenticity.
“We’ve found that helping people connect with makers on a human level makes a huge difference,” says Mazur. “It makes them feel like they’re investing in a person and not just buying a necklace or a bag.”