It’s a situation we’ve all found ourselves in: We have a vacant studio space in Brooklyn, but what we really need are German lessons. Common capitalism has a circuitous solution: Rent the studio, use the money to hire a tutor. But what if there were no monetary middle man? That’s the model behind OurGoods, a new barter network for New York creative types that helps users trade the skills or stuff they have for the ones they seek.
“I’ve traded my work dress for my personal website, for a photo shoot, fencing gear, laundry access, research assistance, and designer bike attachments,” says co-founder Caroline Woolard. Woolard sees a huge benefit to skipping cash for strapped but skilled artists—and to the conversation that goes with pricing a dress in terms of epées. “Barter asks both parties to talk about value.”