Third Ward company creates new way to buy, sell and trade
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - It may not be Silicon Valley, but there's a network of possibilities at a new company in the Third Ward called Okanjo.
Okanjo means checkout in Japanese, and the company launched Feb. 1. CEO Michael Drescher and President Jeff Rowe are pumped.
"Okanjo is really E-bay meets Craigslist," Rowe said. "We really position ourselves as a local social E-commerce platform."
"We're a Wisconsin based Milwaukee headquartered company," Drescher added. "We've been embraced. Because we are Okanjo, we buy, sell, give. We make it very easy and that creates an entire community of people."
The for-profit company makes it simple for clients to donate to non-profit organizations.
"If you want to give five percent, ten percent, all of it, or none of it, it's your choice," Rowe explained. "That's a differentiator of Okanjo."
You can buy, sell, or trade on Okanjo, and it's free to list. Sellers pay a seven percent flat rate, and users can put up as many photos as they wish. Individuals, businesses are welcome to sell new used items.
"You can make the argument that every time you put something out that is unwanted and unused, anddoes not end up in a landfill or at the end of a driveway, that is sustainability," Drescher said.
Molly Cary is Director of Business Development for Okanjo.
"It's also spring, and what better way to clean out your closets and do some spring cleaning," she said.
Okanjo already has thousands of items and more than $4 million worth of product. New companies like Okanjo mean a boost for Milwaukee. Brendon Thomas is Chief Product Officer for Okanjo. He sees the company as a great way to keep young professionals in MIlwaukee. Thomas is excited about the possibilities.
"Sometimes the talent escapes us," he said. "Having opportunities here where that talent can express themselves and build something new and unique is just amazing."
The philosophy behind Okanjo is simple.
"We're about bringing communities together so you can shop with people you care about, for things you care about, and those things may not be physical things," Drescher aded.