Bradford Shellhammer, founder of design retailer Fab.com, is poised to launch a new platform for the design community: Bezar, a New York City-based, members-only e-commerce startup offering carefully curated modern design via daily online pop-up shops.
According to the founder, Bezar will help emerging designers reach design lovers, as well as let iconic brands engage with new audiences and assist shoppers in accessing authentic pieces from new talent.
With a name that came from the blending of “bizarre” and “bazaar,” Bezar is, at its heart, a marketplace for selling striking, out-of-the-ordinary pieces in four categories: Art, Home, Jewelry and Accessories. The designs will be unique, valuable, in a range of prices, and all curated by the “globally in–house” design scouts led by Shellhammer. The shops will typically remain live for three days.
Product on Bezar.com
“Everything we sell is authentic and has a story. Everything we sell is a little bit bizarre,” Shellhammer said. “We only sell special things, things with heart, things made by human hands or dreamt up in a maker’s mind.”
Justin Chen, Pieterjan Mattan and Matt Baer
For this new undertaking, Shellhammer called upon Justin Chen, a private equity investor; Pieterjan Mattan, former global creative director at Fab; and Matt Baer, an attorney and fourth-generation furniture and design executive.
Lerer Hippeau Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund and the most active tech investor in NYC, led the multi-million seed round of funding for Bezar. The investor has backed BuzzFeed, Refinery 29 and Warby Parker.
Other institutional investors in this round include MESA+, Burch Creative Capital, BoxGroup, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Maveron, Sand Hill East Ventures, and Sherpa Ventures. The TV Production company World of Wonder, iconic industrial designer Yves Béhar, Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn, HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, and Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, joined as well. Bezar is also supported by distinguished advisers, including Whoopi Goldberg.
Members can sign up for the beta site now and share the site with friends to accrue referral credits. Bezar officially opens for business this spring. Stay tuned for more information.