The platform was born out of the MADE Emerging Talent Award – an annual competition for up-and-coming designers to break into the industry, and get their product made and sold. Each year, MADE received thousands of incredible entries – but only one piece could win. The winner for 2016, the Cairn side table by KIMXGENSAPA, was such a hit with MADE customers, it’s now in their top three best-selling products. And that’s why they launched TalentLAB - so more new designers could be discovered and get their products MADE.
How does it work? Every 2-3 months MADE.COM curates a collection of designs from the ideas submitted. You place a £5 deposit on a design you like, and the most popular pieces get MADE and sold on MADE.COM. If your design gets MADE, you get the chance to purchase it first, and save 30% on the eventual retail price. If your design doesn't make it, you get your deposit back. Simple.
MADE’s Design Director Ruth Wassermann and her team curate the shortlisted collections every two months, using their experience and knowledge of creating marketable products for MADE’s discerning customer base. MADE also hopes to invite guest curators to help form their collections. On TalentLAB, Ruth says: "We know that there are many adventurous, innovative ideas in the world that never get brought to life. TalentLAB will shine a spotlight on creativity, helping designers get a foothold in the industry." Their first collection, the Launch Collection, saw 11 products go into production, and they'll be launching on MADE.COM in the Autumn. Their second collection, the Ready-to-Work Collection, is currently open for pledging, and emphasises functional pieces that can be put to work.