The pandemic has seen a huge increase in sales of interiors and homeware, and it's no surprise. At first it was a way to make staring at the same walls more bearable but before long, homeware and interiors bloomed from a passing interest into a fully fledged hobby for many. Some started their own independent brands, making crochet and ceramic objects; others started Instagram shops sourcing unique, secondhand pieces to sell on; the rest of us discovered these pieces and explored different aesthetics, from earthy '70s to the more minimalist Japandi.
All this interest in the home has led to a rise in – and rising awareness of – fast homeware, with savvy people finding ways to promote sustainable, secondhand pieces and independently made items over mass-produced homeware lines. Different sites popped up that made shopping vintage and secondhand furniture easier when car boot sales were closed, and small brands were championed through Instagram markets like A South London Makers Market.
Yet no app had united all these different sites, social media accounts and retailers, creating a market for secondhand and independently made pieces – until now.
Launching on 24th November, Narchie is a homeware social marketplace app that dubs itself 'the Depop of homeware'. Equal parts retail platform and social media tool, the visually led app makes it genuinely easy to find one-of-a-kind, independent homeware pieces, from candles using sustainable, organic beeswax sourced by beekeepers to iconic vintage items from Ikea. Crucially, you can sell your own pieces on Narchie too, enabling users to buy, sell and connect seamlessly with other digital native decor enthusiasts – all on one platform.
When you download the app, the interface is similar to Instagram. You can follow different handles of brands and individuals so that your home feed will fill with the listings of those you follow, allowing you to browse easily. You can 'like' these items, which will then, according to House Beautiful, shape what you are shown on your explore page, where you'll be recommended similar profiles to the accounts you already follow. A spokesperson at Narchie added that a separate feed for everything the user has liked and saved will be added early next year. Alternatively, you can use the search tool to explore key terms like 'terracotta' or 'candle'. This search tool will also allow people to look for specific colours, brands, items and so on. Sellers will be able to tag their items to make the discoverability really accurate. The average postal cost for homeware is £6.25 and courier cost for larger furniture pieces is £12.45.
Crucially, this is not just a buyers' but a sellers' app too, with each user able to build a fully shoppable profile, listing items in a mood board-style, scrollable feed. Whether you're clearing out an old room or launching your own small enterprise, Narchie bills itself as a great place to start or grow a homeware business. Narchie charges a 10% fee per transaction including shipping, and sellers determine the cost of shipping.
From what I could see before launch I really liked it. The search functionality (which wasn't fully working when I tried it) will be essential for buyers, and for sellers I think it will be a really seamless way to grow your brand. Narchie has even built a guide to being a seller, which includes advice on everything from photography to pricing and will be available online in a few weeks.