SINGAPORE – One positive to come out of the various versions of COVID lockdown was the number of people who decided to launch a small business from home. But once the business is established, how are you going to reach your customers? That’s where The Collective comes into play.
Founded by four young Singaporean entrepreneurs, The Collective is a new online shopping app that will help you support local emerging home-based businesses.
What is The Collective?
“The Collective is an all-in-one mobile marketplace platform for all local home-based businesses in the food, crafts, and service sectors; it aims to be a home for all home-based businesses. This platform empowers home business owners or who we call ‘Hometrepreneurs’ to grow and sell their collections to a wider audience,” say the founders.
Vernetta Fong, one of the co-founders, faced coronavirus lockdowns right after she had opened her own cafe.
“Four months in, the Circuit Breaker was implemented, and I decided to stop operations and switch to home-based,” explains Ms Fong. “I went in with no expectations but soon realised that it was really difficult to manage delivery, consolidate incoming orders from the various platforms, and reach out to new buyers as a new online business.”
Ms Fong has a background in UXUI design and felt that she could use her skills to create a new platform that could bring all the necessary requirements together: “As a result, The Collective Marketplace - An all-in-one marketplace platform for home-based businesses, was born.”
While the idea came easily, implementing The Collective wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
“We were all wide-eyed first-time founders with dreams of launching a perfect product in three months,” says Ms Fong. “The initial timeline that we planned turned into a 9-month journey trying to develop a stable app and having sellers onboard with us without a product yet.”
Despite the delay, Ms Fong says the home-based maker community was very supportive.
“We are very grateful for this wonderful community that we were very lucky to meet both online as well as in-person during our photoshoot that was conducted for the sellers on our platform. With the support we’ve been seeing for our local community, and as more consumers pivot online, I believe that there’s still a lot of growth for all these home-based businesses.”
How does The Collective work?
The Collective is an app that will help you easily browse and shop a wide range of home-based products from the food, crafts, and service sectors.
“We currently have about 100 products ranging from cakes to crispy shallots to ice cream listed on our platform,” says Ms Fong.
“Some of the most popular items are the beautiful artisanal loaves by Marymount Bakehouse, refreshing gut-loving kombucha by Re:Kombucha, assorted burnt cheesecakes by White’s Bakery as well as fruit-filled mochi by Sweetshapes.”
There is also a ‘Review’ function that will help you with choices, and the team also picks various new home-based businesses to try every month. You can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play Store, and once you set up an account, you can start shopping.
“Building a product that can help solve other people’s problems is simply fulfilling but ultimately, believing in the reason and what we can do for the local community that drives us to push boundaries and stay motivated during difficult times,” says Ms Fong. “Our local community is the reason for The Collective, and we are constantly gathering feedback to improve our app to make it even better for them.”
The Collective Marketplace App is available for both iPhone and Android users.
It is free to download at the App Store and Google Play Store. For more information about The Collective, go to https://www.thecollective.com.sg/ or email email@example.com
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