Let’s Make Direct-to-Community the Next D2C

A Deeper Look at the Power of Flourish Planet

The past decade has seen a surge of direct-to-consumer e-commerce business models around the world. In 2020 alone, d2c sales in the US surged 40%. Whether these models have provided consumers with newfound access to affordable eyeglasses or an accessible high-tech toothbrush, direct-to-consumer businesses have been touted for the economic value, optionality and power they grant to consumers. 

But what we don’t talk about enough is the power that d2c ecommerce models grant to the creative maker economy. 

When creative makers are able to access a world of consumers through a d2c marketing platform, the potential for them to also gain the same economic value, optionality and power as consumers on the other end of the direct-to-consumer model is similarly compelling. The power gained by producers and makers is an even more impactful aspect of the d2c model. And that potential is precisely what we’re driving at Flourish Planet. 

At Flourish Planet, we’ve created the first maker-owned platform for sustainable creative commerce. 

The Flourish marketplace is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Million, a 501( c) (3) tax-exempt charity whose mission is to create sustainable livelihoods for artisans everywhere. Through this legal structure, it is not only our moral imperative to put the artisan at the center of every business decision. It is also our legal imperative. 

And through our model of d2c e-commerce, we are leveraging all the economic benefits that we’ve seen from the success of direct-to-consumer models and ensuring that those benefits are in service of the makers who make Flourish Planet a vibrant, sustainable home for global craft. 

Driving Economic Value

When makers are able to sell their products via an e-commerce marketplace, they are able to bypass the traditionally-high - and often exorbitant - marketing costs of trade shows and agents. And when that d2c model is a marketplace that is open to all qualified makers, the cost of accessing the market is even further decreased, as small maker-owned businesses do not need to invest in the technological buildout or online marketing of their own e-commerce platform. 

In this way - due to significantly increased profit margins due to bypassing wholesale marketing and decreasing makers’ marketing costs - Flourish Planet is maximizing the economic value reaped by the makers featured on the platform. 

Creating Optionality

Much has been said about how D2C models have allowed businesses to reach customers they may not have reached through the typical wholesale model. Moreover, businesses can target and control their customer reach. When we apply this benefit to the maker-owned creative economy, the opportunity to create optionality for artisan businesses is that much more powerful than it is for a traditional consumer business. 

Why? Because artisans have been squeezed by middlemen for centuries. 

The handwork and craftsmanship that goes into artisan products - and is so often greatly undervalued by buyers and consumers - has meant that the razor thin margins of the wholesale model have not worked in artisans’ favor. The power of d2c to increase profit margins so that artisans can earn a living wage means so much more to the global creative economy than it may mean for a traditional d2c business. And that’s the power we’re unleashing at Flourish Planet. 

Building Economic Power

Through direct-to-consumer models, we’ve seen fledgling start-ups turn into billion dollar businesses. Consumer product businesses which started as a one-woman Shopify store have grown into retail powerhouses with brick and mortar stores and stock market tickers.

It’s only a matter of time before D2C for impact realizes its full economic potential for communities around the world.

At Flourish Planet, we’re maximizing profits to the makers through a direct-commerce model, and together, we can see how increased profit margins support living wages, community development projects, education and a host of other impact-driven projects that our featured makers are driving in their communities. 

For so long, we’ve discussed how increased margins can drive business growth. But we haven’t discussed how those increased margins can drive social impact. And that is our goal at Flourish Planet.

As we grow and flourish, it is our hope that we can inspire our entire community - businesses, non-profits and consumers - to appreciate the power of Flourish Planet’s D2C platform precisely for the value and power it gives to creative artisan communities around the world. 

Let’s make direct-to-community the next D2C.