A bit of madness: Doorstep Market creates an award-winning global market for local makers

Meet the Experience Maker Jonathan Taee.

“Our maker community is really why we do this, and what drives us.” – Jonathan Taee, founder and CTO, Doorstep Market

Shopping on Doorstep Market is like stumbling across a great farmers market and discovering totally unique goods handcrafted by local, small businesses. The difference is these makers are from everywhere — not just a single region.

Image of makers with their products.
Image of makers with their products.

You’re able to find a Persian rose tea and Moroccan tea glass set from Tay Tea in the Hudson Valley, organic estate-produced basil olive oil from McEvoy Ranch in California, or Tennessee wildflower honey from Bee 901 Co.

Image of honeycomb and bees.
Image of olive oil and bread.

These makers are at the core of the Doorstep Market mission, but the real story behind this year’s Adobe Experience Maker Maverick Award winner is how mission meets modern digital technology.

Two women washing fresh picked produce.
Hands making pottery.

Hear more about this curated eCommerce marketplace, recognized for driving the customer experience through innovation, in our full interview:

Timing, and technology, is everything

The Doorstep Market site is built on Adobe Commerce Cloud Pro supported by Adobe Sensei’s AI capabilities. When its founders came together to build an interactive, curated, multi-vendor marketplace, they decided to embrace the flexibility and power available today with Adobe Commerce.

“I think building this 10 years ago would have been a real challenge”, said Taee.

Today, hundreds of makers have made their products available on the site, providing a broad audience of consumers and brand-building resources that helped these small businesses thrive during the pandemic.

Image of a man hitting a fiery barrel.
Photograph of makers with their wares.

COVID-19 became a catalyst for the Doorstep Market idea, as supply and demand broke down for these makers. The founding team saw this as an opportunity to step up, pool resources across technology, expertise, and relationships, and build a marketplace that supported the maker community.

“There is a huge amount of resiliency and grit, ingenuity and gumption from the maker community. No one needed saving — look at what happened with curbside pickup and how customers and businesses started changing the way they interacted. We weren’t here to fix a problem, we are here to amplify all the efforts the makers are already making”, Taee said.

Mavericks by design

Pivoting during COVID is one thing, but for a business to start in the midst of a global pandemic meant doing so with a fully remote team.

“We built a team that was truly remote, and at the center is Adobe Commerce”, said Taee. “So, we were building this eCommerce platform that was a very content rich experience as well, feeding into this big platform that sits in the middle of us every day.”

There is no real blueprint for starting a curated marketplace during a pandemic, and the Maverick Award is about embracing bold, out-of-the-box thinking like this.

According to Taee, “There’s probably a bit of madness built into there somewhere, but a lot of experience and confidence among the founder team. We took a big risk with the vision of merging a content-rich brand-building experience in an eCommerce platform. We know people are tired of shopping these mega online stores. Buyers want to know where things come from.”

Jonney is on to something — survey data shows 91 percent of consumers prefer small businesses when convenient, and 74 percent actively search for opportunities to support SMBs even when it’s not convenient.

Photograph of parents multi-tasking with. a baby in a carrier.

“I have a background in social anthropology as well, so I’m sort of where technology meets human interaction. We saw a need out there, and thought, we can build this thing”, said Taee.

Sometimes brilliance is simply the act of saying yes — we are going to try.

It’s the absolute spirit of the Maverick award, and at the core of Taee’s advice for next year’s Adobe Experience Maker award submissions:

“Be fearless. Anybody can win this. Put enough gumption and energy into your project and try to build something special. You can make it. We were up against some huge businesses, and we’re only a year old. But we have big dreams, and we work really hard at it. If you think you have a great idea, go for it. The world needs good ideas right now.”

Doorstep Market was nominated by their solutions partner Envision eCommerce. Learn more about the Adobe Experience Maker Awards.