Haven’t heard of Ponoko yet? If you care about the environment, make jewelry or are interested in winning $1,000 you might want to learn. Jen has a little chat with Ponoko’s Derek Elley.

NAME:Derek Elley

WHERE ARE YOUR DIGS:San Francisco and New Zealand

COMPANY NAME:Ponoko

WEBSITE:www.ponoko.com

BLOG:www.blog.ponoko.com

TOOL YOU CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT:MacBook

FINISH THE SENTENCE: When I am not working at Ponoko I am…playing at Ponoko

For someone who has never heard of Ponoko will you kindly explain what it is you guys do.
Ponoko is a creative place to buy, make and sell designer crafted jewelry.

For shoppers – you can buy original jewelry from the online marketplace.

For designers, makers and crafters – you can customize and make jewelry using your own online workshop.

For sellers – you can turn your creativity into cash using your own online showroom.

A lot of the head honchos come from computer and marketing backgrounds. What gave you guys the idea to start Ponoko?

3 things: (1) Green (2) Make jewelry making easy (3) Make jewelry distribution easy
1) Primarily the climate change crisis. So we’ve designed a new and greener way for products to be designed, made and distributed that means less waste and less carbon emissions. We cut the waste from oversupply by making products on-demand. We also cut carbon emissions by sourcing local materials and making products as close to the point of consumption as possible. We’re just starting out, but this minimizes reliance on the traditional supply chain associated with the transportation and storage of the products we typically buy today.

2) We also started it because Dave found out that, compared to building web software, making real stuff is a really really hard thing to do. So he wanted to create a system that makes it just as easy to make something as it is to launch a blog, for example.

3) And what I am really excited about is making it really easy for creators to connect with and distribute their creations to the world, without going through the traditional gate keepers.

Ponoko has a wide application, but you seem to meld especially well with jewelry designers. I notice you guys are having yourselves a contest for jewelry designers where fame and $1000 is at stake. Tell us all about it!

Cool. Well, we thought we should celebrate summer – so you submit your coolest idea for a jewelry design inspired by summer, the community votes on your design and our judges pick the winners. The top 20 get their product made and shipped for free and the #1 gets $1,000 cash + free making for a month + free home page advertising for a month. You can find out more here … http://www.ponoko.com/mingleandshare/ten-day-design-challenge-about

Rumor has it that you guys are about to branch out into selling jewelry supplies. When do you expect that to start happening?

Yes, to provide a service that’s seriously useful it needs to give jewelry makers a place to get everything they need to make cool stuff and a way to get it to people, all with the least fuss. So if you want to make jewelry you can come and design completely unique stuff, choose the findings and supplies to match, we then make, package and ship the whole thing to you (or your customer) ready to rock and roll.

So besides jewelry what are some of the other things people are using Ponoko for?

There’s soooo many things people continue to use us for and that’s way cool. We’re excited to continue seeing new applications of our service. But we’re focused on jewelry because we love what people are creating as it brings out the best in our service – and its at the right price.

Once people have their wood or acrylic laser cut people can sell their goodies on Ponoko. Tell us how that works.
The best thing to do is to check out the diagrams here

We’re adding metals to our line up too.

(ODB Necklace by Bza, Season Leaves Necklace by Seeing Things Conz, Erik Brooch by Chromatophobic & Endoplasm Hanging Planter by Pollen)

By jennifer perkins




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