The Series B round for Witherspoon’s Draper James brand was led by San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures.
The Foundary is a members-only daily sale site for home goods and furnishings.
Hayneedle Inc. today announced the launch of The Foundary, a daily flash-sale site that sells furniture, décor and other home goods at prices up to 70% off retail prices. TheFoundary.com is the first flash-sale site for Hayneedle, No. 69 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. The e-retailer operates more than 200 niche e-retail sites.
To access and shop the sales at the new site, consumers must sign up for a free membership at TheFoundary.com. Four or more new sales, each featuring multiple products, are posted daily and run for 72 hours. Product categories include wall art, bar supplies, patio furniture and rugs. The company describes items on sale as “products of substance” intended to introduce consumers to designers and brands. The company says that most of the products featured at The Foundary are not available on other Hayneedle retail sites, but there may be some crossover. “For members of The Foundary, we’re doing the shopping for them,” says Doug Nielsen, CEO of Hayneedle.
The company says it started developing its flash-sale approach earlier this year and has closely watched the flash-sale services of others. “We certainly looked at every other flash sale site. We really wanted to develop a site we personally would want to shop at and went out and built that site,” says Jason Goldberger, chief merchandising officer at Hayneedle.com.
Hayneedle quietly launched The Foundary Oct. 14. Hayneedle says it promoted the site’s soft launch through social media and through Hayneedle’s other e-retail properties. It also previewed the site to influential bloggers who focus on home products. Goldberger says the company expects the best marketing to come through word-of-mouth referrals by customers.
The company is promoting The Foundary to existing Hayneedle customers, but customers must complete a separate sign-up to receive daily e-mail notices about the sales. The company says Hayneedle’s existing fulfillment and customer service operations also serve The Foundary.
The company also is offering novice home product designers the chance to have their goods appear for sale on the site. The company is running The Foundary Designer Search on Facebook through late November. With it, designers with less than $100,000 in yearly gross sales can upload a photo of a product or design and tell the company about it and why it stands out. Members of The Foundary will vote to select the winner.
The company says this is the first time Hayneedle has attempted to source products through a contest, but that the discovery element of it is part of what will make The Foundary distinct from other Hayneedle properties. “Hayneedle is about what the customer needs. The Foundary is about what the customer wants,” Goldberger says.