808STARTUP: Goodsie

If you’re a small Hawaii retailer trying to build an ecommerce storefront to sell your wares to the world, you have tons of options,  from Amazon to Go Daddy to Magento, plus hundreds more,  none of which are very pretty, very economical, or very easy. Enter Goodsie, a new approach to taking the pain out of putting your store on the web.

Goodsie-powered store Tea&Pixels
Goodsie-powered store Tea&Pixels

Goodsie, built by the team at HiiDef (also behind Flavors.me) and launched this past spring, is a quick and easy way to create your very own ecommerce site in just minutes. They provide Paypal and Google Checkout payment options, and offers an interesting hook into Fetch for musicians, photographers and others looking to sell digital downloads. Goodsie has also focused on aesthetics, which comes across beautifully in their showcase of customer sites and which will knock your socks off if you have any sense of style. Contrast some of these Goodsie examples with a typical ecommerce storefront on eBay’s offering. And, check out the video at the end of this post to see how easy Goodsie makes it to create a stylish site.

Goodsie is priced at $15/mo and offers a 30-day free trial. Amazon, for comparison, is only $10/mo after a 2-year free trial. However, Amazon Webstore is not something that can be set up in minutes, or even something that can be set up without a good degree of technical know-how.

By this point, you are probably asking yourself, “How is this an 808STARTUP?” Good question, and thanks for paying attention!

HiiDef is entirely virtual, with members of the team in Sweden, New York, Minneapolis, Ontario, Wisconsin, and (lucky us!) Hawaii-based developer and musician, Jess Jacobs. With so many small, creative, culture-driven retailers in Hawaii, Goodsie is a great tool to help our local retail entrepreneurs—whether creative- or product-based—get an online store up quickly and with a look and feel that can reflect their brand and style. As Jess put it, “We are passionate about helping the often-struggling small business movement, something that is particularly important to the Hawaiian Islands!”

Allthingsd reported a $2.6 million round for HiiDef this past spring, listing investors as TechStars, NextView Ventures, and others. However, other articles note some discrepancies around the actual amount of funding, but pegs their total raised to date at near $7 million. In general, however, Goodsie has been getting a lot of good coverage since their launch

For jobseekers, HiiDef has a couple of developer openings on their jobs page.

Here’s the 411 on Goodsie, or, rather, the 808:

  • 808STARTUP: “Goodsie.com is a place to create a beautiful custom-branded storefront on top of a rich and fast-growing platform, and all for just $15/mo!”
  • STARTERS: Former executives and employess of Vimeo, IAC, Frog Design, Wal-mart, Mahalo and others
  • LOCATION: HQ listed as Florida, but team is completely virtual, including a developer on Oahu
  • BUSINESS MODEL: Subscription of $15/mo
  • COMPETITION: Lots, from Amazon to Intuit to WordPress
  • BACKING: $2.6M round raised in Spring, 2011, from a variety of investors
  • CONTACT: Email or Facebook