March 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Propped!

It began with a dream—that our vibrant and connected food community could have a space all to ourselves, where interesting handmade, artisan and vintage kitchenware would be celebrated. Where 1930s era pie tins would coexist with the latest in hand-forged steel skillets. Wheel-thrown ceramics glazed with every watercolor under the sun would parade seamlessly with perfectly scrunched-up laundered European linens.

HB post empty office

We wanted to create a space where we could put makers in the spotlight. By doing this, we could go behind the scenes and take note of their work styles, explore how their pieces come to life, and discover where they go to get inspired. We could also glimpse what trends they see in kitchenware, and how they see themselves fitting into this rapidly evolving maker landscape.

Though we’re starting our business locally in the US, we firmly believed that our community of 400+ million global food lovers and home cooks had an itch for unique kitchenware that had yet to be scratched.

So we set out to deliver. We opened our hearts and minds to a world filled with developers and designers; sought the advice of fellow entrepreneurs who’ve since guided us with clarity and wisdom; built relationships with investors who love the idea that we’re creating a marketplace for an existing—and passionate—community.

And we don’t use the word “we” lightly. Propped is a team effort, the combined output from a group that spans the globe from New York City to LA, Philadelphia, Montreal and Jakarta. If you’re a maker you’ve probably chatted with Sonia, our inveterate digital marketer/ops specialist/wearer of many hats. If you’ve said hello on Instagram or Facebook, you’re talking to Laura, one of three Canadians on our team. Customer service problems? No sweat, that’s Maurisa on the end of the line, ready to help out in the event that anyone spots a bug or has a question.

HB post shelf with props HB post ferns and couch

We’ve had many exciting challenges as we built the business. Starting with the name itself, which came from a list of 200+ options. In our early days we’ll even admit to calling ourselves “PROPD”—same name, different spelling. Très au courant we thought.

“Not so,” said a valued and trusted naming expert who suggested that it was a little, ahem, Internet 1.0.

Next came the logo, more team members, our studio in Hoboken, a New York City office, even more team members, and on December 5th, 2016, we opened our doors for business with over 40 makers who signed on to be part of our launch.

HB post Jessica taking photography

It’s been a huge pleasure to serve this community and we’re not slowing down. Our goal is to continue to support local makers and vintage resellers who are doing their part to keep items out of landfills (the last stop for the majority of donated items in this country). We’ll also continue to foster the spirit of cooking, the artistry of presentation, and the joy of connection that we see happening on our site and our social media feeds.

We’re thrilled that you’ve been part of our journey. If you haven’t already, come visit us on Instagram, drop us a note on Facebook, or send us a Tweet. If there are makers whose products you love and aren’t listed on Propped today, let us know and we’ll do what we can to get them on board. And for those of you with collections of kitchen items that are now taking over the living room (you know who you are), we’re here to help. We’d love nothing more than to help you sell your items back into a community of people who love to cook and style their kitchens with the coolest items on the market today.

See you around,

Xx Team Propped

HB post Jessica in front of table with beaters

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