The founders of Findeling, Katharina Walter and Florian Schneider, have been active on the B2B market with their new Fairling website since March 2017. Earlier, the Hamburg-based start-up had made headlines with their app that brings small, owner-run businesses together with potential customers. Now Fairling is bridging the online gap between local businesses and both German and global producers. Walter told Hamburg News: “Fairling is a curated online fair that aims to simplify B2B sales and make them go digital regardless of location. We help brands with strategic campaign planning from awareness to purchase and positioning products in the right offline stores and far beyond as well.“
Win-win for local dealers and international labels
Growing demand among producers of lifestyle goods, fashion and interior design products prompted the founders to establish a second business pillar. By late 2016, the Findeling team had expanded their network and were catering to 700 owner-run shops including 400 in Hamburg and others in Berlin and Cologne. Their latest business pillar, Fairling, is a unique way of reaching potential business customers. The idea is proving a hit among local business who cannot afford to attend or host stands at key fairs in Germany and abroad. Three months after the official launch, Fairling is bringing around 1,000 local retailers from Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Cologne and 300 brands together. Companies in the European textile industry account for some 75 per cent.
Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Barcelona
Last year, a prototype was developed and producers finally availed of the beta version from September 2016. Walter explained: “We developed a targeted advertisement that puts labels in contact with retailers i.e. matching labels & stores. We want to close another gap that cannot be filled with online advertising measures.” Fairling is set to link up local retailers in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart this year and in European cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Barcelona in 2018. Fairling has also hired nine freelancers in various places brining the team to 14.
Focus on sustainable products and slow fashion
Meanwhile, Findeling’s local shopping app is heading for even more success. In 2016, the platform helped 200,000 users find suitable local shops using a product and label search engine and shop recommender technology. “Our unique selling point is the special focus on sustainable products and slow fashion,” Walter added. The app uses filters and quality seals such as “bio”, “vegan”, “handmade” or “up cycling” to guide users to products and shops. Users can also follow the posted shops creating a network between owners and customers. Now, Findeling hopes to add local retailers in Frankfurt Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Munich to the app in 2017.