Today on the Craft Industry Alliance podcast I’m talking with Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower. Spoonflower is the largest marketplace of surface designs by independent artists all over the world. Through Spoonflower anyone can upload an image, tile it as a repeat, and have it printed on wrapping paper, wallpaper, or over a dozen different kinds of fabric. We recorded this episode while I was visiting Durham, North Carolina a few weeks ago. I had the opportunity to tour the Spoonflower headquarters and sit down with Stephen in person to chat.


In our conversation Stephen and I talk about:

  • What Spoonflower’s day to day operations are like right now.
  • How digital printing with pigments differs from dye-based printing. We talk about wash fastness, crocking (when fabric rubs against itself), and fading.
  • How Stephen and his co-founder, Gart Davis, met and came to found Spoonflower and what it was like in the very early days (2008).
  • Why taking small jobs from hobbyists and quilters was a customer base that nobody else wanted to deal with and how Spoonflower embraced those customers and built a business around them.
  • What happened when the New York Times Home section put Spoonflower on the cover in 2009 and orders flooded in but getting a loan to buy new printers was proving to be very difficult.
  • How Spoonflower is funded.
  • The role of the Spoonflower marketplace in the site’s success and why Stephen considers Spoonflower to be part of the “Etsyverse.”
  • Partnership contests with other companies like Creativebug, UPPERCASE, and Skillshare and the Fabri8 contest.

spoonflower lobby


Stephen refers to:

Keep up with Spoonflower via their blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can listen to the show right here by clicking on the arrow below, or subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher and listen on the go. If you enjoy the show, tell a friend about it. Thank you!

P.S. Thank you to Cody from Lu and Ed who talks about her email newsletter at the start of the show.

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