“It came about from a frustration of not being able to afford the B&B Italia I drooled over in the showrooms, and not knowing where I could find it secondhand — and more within my budget.” So recalls Melanie Carson of founding Lushpad, an online buy-and-sell marketplace for secondhand mid-century modern furniture, accessories and related objects sought by vintage collectors and interested dabblers alike, along with secondary-market contemporary art. Now a year old, the site averages 33,000 unique visitors a month — mostly from North America, with user concentration in California, British Columbia, Ontario, New York and Texas.
“We’re all about democratizing design, making it accessible for everyone,” says Carson, a B.C.-based graphic designer and creative director. “Anyone can list on the site — you don’t have to be a retailer or dealer.” Lushpad.com’s listings are paid: items between $250 and $800 cost $8; items over $800 cost $12. Items worth up to $250 are free to list. Wantads are also free.
Lushpad’s ads are monitored by the users themselves. If an ad is reported to be inaccurate, measures are taken to rectify the situation, including — if necessary — banning a lister from the site. All transactions happen between the buyer and the seller, though Lushpad will provide shipping agent resources if needed.
“I guess you could call Lushpad part gallery, part auction house and part design magazine,” writes Carson on her site. “It’s about finding and living with beautiful — and affordable — things.”