Innovation That Matters

Roving van collects stock for online gift shop


Product life stories are a familiar concept by now to regular Springwise readers. Sometimes those stories derive from a product’s source materials, such as Diana Eng’s fortune cookie purses. Other times, however, those stories are more a matter of the history and acquisition of the product itself. Creating product stories of the latter kind is The Van, a two-woman Belgian enterprise that uses a Volkswagen bus to tour surrounding areas for unique gifts and then serves those treasures up in a curated online store. Home fashions, accessories and children’s goods are the primary focus of The Van, which lists its products by category, price range and brand. Shipping is available primarily to customers in Europe, with free delivery within Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland on orders exceeding EUR 150. Currently, product descriptions list only the features of the items themselves, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see The Van begin adding details of how they came across each product, thereby enriching the site’s story-telling aspects further. In any case, the basic concept — a store curated through the travels of a quirky team — is ripe for emulation around the globe. Time to hit the road and go shopping…? (Related: Objects’ stories, trackable & brought to life onlineLaotian kudzu bags with a mission and a storyCurated marketplace shares one product story each day.) Spotted by: Noortje Berrevoet-Verhoeven



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