You’ve searched high and low for the perfect ikat fabric. One’s too dark, another’s the wrong shade of blue and the third option is a little too bold. Flint Davis noticed this lack of variety presented to consumers by standard fabric dealers and knew it was time that the industry embraced technology. Flint, a Governors Club resident who spent his career at the intersection of media communications and business strategy, is counting on customers doing the same.
Launched in March, Flint’s latest venture, WeaveUp, speaks to his belief that digital printing is the new frontier. “It’s finally matured to the point that it’s real. The cost is right, the performance is right, the sharpness is correct, the vividness of the tones is there,” Flint says. “It’s slipped into your home and onto your body. You’ve definitely worn something that’s been digitally printed, you just don’t know it.”
Any artist can upload his or her design, no matter how simple or eccentric. Flint says the website displays patterns based on
an algorithm – the designs with the most popularity will rise to the top of the home page, but that doesn’t mean the unpopular designs will disappear. “Some people want hot dogs on their couch, and if they want that, that’s great, to each his own,” Flint says.
Once a design is selected, the consumer can adjust it based on color, size and scale; it’s really quite easy. Flint says he was sure the site found the sweet spot between being user-friendly and fun when his 4-year-old daughter Margaux was able to play around with it on his iPad. Users can rate a design, order it for delivery or tack it to a board in a Pinterest-esque fashion to save it for later.
WeaveUp also seeks to solve a big problem facing artists: consumers being so dissatisfied with choices available to them that they steal an artist’s design and alter it. “In all cases, the artist loses out,” Flint says. With WeaveUp, the artist receives the commission even if the design is a derivative of their original. The website also breaks down boundaries for the artist, making their designs readily available to both commercial and consumer markets simultaneously.
Flint, who has been involved in several other successful startups, says it was no accident that WeaveUp was founded here. “This is a place for artists to thrive and for people to find solutions to their problems,” he says. His hope is for WeaveUp to find new roots in a state with an already rich background in textiles.