For a long time, CafePress was the major player in customized product creation on the Internet. Slowly other sites sprang up, like Zazzle, Skreened, StickerGiant, Lulu, and many more. Many of these options are novelty one-offs, though, and you’re paying for the customization, not the craftsmanship, of the product. But the success of these somewhat kitschy sites have revealed a real hunger in consumers for customized, personalized products, and a new wave of entrepreneur is capitalizing on this trend to bring customization tochocolate, men’s dress shirts, and a whole lot more.
I’ve been exchanging emails with a number of these entrepreneurs about their products, asking them all the same questions: how and why? All of them are building something that someone wants: not a one of these folks is trying to create a market where no demand exists. Many of them are also trying hard to democratize the entire purchasing process, and working to undo the homogenization of mass-produced products.
Source: TechCrunch/Scott Merill