Global cottage industry

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Wondermade.com is not a great eCommerce site, but they do everything else so well that they’ve really captured my imagination. It’s a tribute to focusing in on a single, simple product that’s (in part) carried them from a seemingly charming kitchen project to national acclaim.

Wondermade makes marshmallows, out of thin air (and some sugar). In fact, they’ve sort of reinvented the marshmallow, offering bourbon and Sriracha-laced varieties in addition to the more traditional s’mores and mint flavors. The product itself is great, but more as an experience than as a food item… I’m not sure how many marshmallows someone might be expected to eat, but I’ve twice enjoyed presenting these little gems to friends, family and clients during out last two NYE celebrations.

Which brings us to the genius of the business, I think, which is two-fold:

First, the branding is fantastic. It’s hipster and beautiful and it wants to be unboxed. Wondermade has wrapped a smart identity around a traditionally dull product in a way that makes it attractive to adults (as well as kids).

Second, the compact, lightweight package is perfect for eCommerce. It ships cheap and it keeps for a while. What’s more, getting started doesn’t require a factory or a tech investment, just a stove and a bit of creativity with recipes.

Amazon it is not, but nor is it trying to be. It’s a neat example of how a little home-based business can blow up on the web with some intelligent marketing and an authentic sense of style.