Suzan Claesen (CrowdyHouse): Stores should learn to offer the client an experience, not just products

by Olivia Vereha

This article is part of a series of interviews with successful entrepreneurs in Europe and not only, series meant to help you by revealing as many things as possible about the strategies, tactics and management ideas drawn from founding stories about companies which managed to build a path, through innovation and dedication. #startupseries

”CrowdyHouse is a premiere (a launch) platform and a marketplace for the world’s best designers,” is the phrase that marks the beginning of the story we have heard from Suzan Claesen, co-founder for CrowdyHouse. Both Suzan and her business partner Mark Studholme come from the artistic and lofty field of interior design. Studholme is a name any architect familiar with the digital world has heard at least once, due to the time he spent running Archello, a website dedicated to architectural projects from all around the globe, presenting thousands of works created by architecture studios from all continents.

Today, from their offices in Amsterdam, the two act as curators for numerous object designers, they help them launch their products and sell them on an online platform developed with the help of two Romanian programmers. About their business concept, the issues they faced during their launch and development, about how to work with remote employees and about entrepreneurship as a lifestyle we will find out directly from Suzan from this interview she gave for our publication, Manager Express.

Enjoy the read.


Manager Express: How was CrowdyHouse born?

Suzan Claesen: I have a background in the design industry and my co-founder Mark Studholme was the editor in chief for an online architecture and design platform called Archello. We noticed that the industry was changing, designers are less depending on big factories and labels to craft  their products. Many manufacturing methods are available and designers work more with the smaller companies and craftsmen to make their products. These designers were missing a channel to sell their work. There are a lot of places to go to for hobbyists and amateur designers such as Etsy, but these platforms are not suitable for the professional designer.

CrowdyHouse is curated, we make sure products are of a high quality and reach a certain standard. What makes CrowdyHouse most unique is that designers can launch new products with us. For a low commission we help designers bring their new designs to the market, help them with press etc, and after their first premiere campaign they can keep on selling their work through CrowdyHouse on the regular marketplace.


Who lives in the CrowdyHouse (employees, designers, manufacturers, marketing people)?

We have an office on a beautiful canal in Amsterdam. Here we are with our team of myself and Mark, our front-end developer, an online marketeer, a design scout and interns. We have two back-end developers who are based in Bucharest, Romania.

So you have an office in Romania as well. Why Romania?

When Mark and I started CrowdyHouse we were looking for developers to build the website. Via an online site we got in touch with a team in Romania and it just worked really well. They joined the team full-time as soon as we raised our seed round and the development team has been there ever since.