Bilal Khalife has spent his career working with world-renowned brands, leading buying teams for major retail operations, and gaining intimate insights into the ways artisans transform their passions into businesses that stimulate local economies.
Over the course of 15 years observing small businesses, production lines and handmade luxuries, Khalife has seen globalization and digitization shift the landscape of commerce. “Industry has changed. Businesses started to source cheaper, scaled production, leaving crafters, artisans and makers to go out of business all of a sudden,” he notes.
Unable to be as present in the business cycle and keep up with the overhead and ever-changing standards of full retail operations, business for these makers became limited by geography. With fast fashion and consumer culture in full effect, Khalife notes that the unique, lasting goods that once brought satisfaction and a sense of individual identity, became increasingly difficult for the average customer to find.
Now, as the Concept Architect and Co-Founder of OCrafter, Khalife has created a digital marketplace for handmade goods that makes space online for these skilled artisans — or ‘Crafters’ — and breaks down the barriers to their customers.
Today, the OCrafter team launches the first of their three total platforms, the Crafters Mobile Application. This app gives Crafters of all sizes a tool to showcase their products, manage their shops, and connect with their customers. The digital tool, specifically created for vendors, gives global artisans space to bring their talents into the future of commerce. The app is currently available for Android and iOS.
Ocrafter will also be launching the Shoppers Mobile Application, for customers to search for products, submit reviews and connect directly with crafters.
Their website, expected to launch later on, will expand on the mobile offerings, along with the launch of an ambassador program to encourage further uptake and performance.
From emerging artisans to high-end luxury craftspeople, Ocrafter’s suite of tools intend to provide experiences that create synergy between consumers and makers worldwide. Khalife anticipates that this revitalized, digital experience will foster a new dynamic for shoppers and businesses alike.
View the full press release here.