Toronto Startup: IppinKa Is A Crowd Buy Store For Beautiful Products

A new startup out of Toronto called IppinKa is recruiting tastemakers and lovers of beautiful products. In the tech world these people are commonly referred to as early adopters. However if you have a keen eye for beautiful things than you should pay attention to what this startup is doing in the crowdbuying space.

IppinKa is also recruiting designers of great products. Are you a sculptor? Have you made a unique home accessory? Are you a contemporary furniture designer? IppinKa is looking for you. They hope to match those tastemakers with designers of fine quality products.

As their website suggests they are starting a movement for functional and well made products.

We got a chance to talk with one of the co-founders of IppinKa before their upcoming launch.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Jerry Chang is a sucker for Japanese products. Educated in Engineering and Product Design, his role model is Dieter Rams.
Fran Rawlings is a social media maven and a world traveller who loves finding great products from different corners of the world.
 Alan Soong, with an education in Engineering, is a product designer by day and seasoned online shopper by night.
Where are you located?
We are located in Toronto, Ontario.
Where does the name IppinKa come from?
“Ippin” is the Japanese word for great products. “Ka” means house. We came up with the name after seeing a picture of a house with beautiful products displayed in it.
 More after the break

What is the problem that IppinKa solves?
IppinKa solves the problem of consumers being confused with the large selections of products out there. A product may look nice when you see it on the web, but once you  get it you realize the product doesn’t have much use or the quality isn’t as good as you thought. IppinKa is starting a movement to encourage people to care more about the products they buy. At IppinKa, our product experts pick and choose from an ocean of products and only recommend those that we would buy ourselves.
So based on what we’ve seen is this some kind of reverse Groupon model?
We are still playing around with the model, but we believe the crowdbuying model could work for the kind of products we are discovering. These products are a little harder to find and the distributors are usually not located in North America. Our members get together to create enough volume to make it economical for the designer or his distributor to send the products to us.
What is your secret sauce?
Function and quality are two attributes that we value the most at IppinKa. We believe choosing products based on these two criteria will help us weed out the products you regret buying. We also work closely with designers to learn more about the products we choose – this insight that is not readily available anywhere else.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in the launch process?
Launch early and iterate quickly, but don’t change what you care about. We care about functional and well-made products, and even though our target demographics and model have pivoted, we haven’t suddenly changed who we are.
What’s next for IppinKa?
Alpha release of IppinKa is coming soon where we will launch with a line of products that fit a certain theme. The launch theme will likely be Kitchen Products. Other themes are being prepared in the mean time!
How can people learn more about IppinKa?

We can be found on our landing page (, blog (, or facebook ( If you sign up now, you can get early access to see our store!
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