If you're looking for a desk on Etsy, you peruse the offerings, and if you find one you like, you buy it. But online marketplace CustomMade flips that sideways: You spec out the kind of desk you want, and a network of craftspeople submit bids. "Whatever it is," the company writes, "we'll connect you with the Maker who will make it for you exactly the way you want it."
Those seeking custom furniture, jewelry, leather goods, tableware, and even site-specific carpentry—one client in Massachusetts is currently seeking a local maker to remove, re-finish and re-install a door—can hop onto the site and write up a project brief. Though CustomMade is based in Boston, that means little on the internet; their network covers the entirety of both the U.S. and Canada, comprising some 3,000 craftspeople. They've also got a handy map and town listing by state/province, so you can search by geography.