Althemy is a young community platform and marketplace that promotes alternative subcultures and lifestyles. Our goal is to connect creative people from alternative spheres with the consumers of their creations who’ll appreciate what they are making. Whether you are a crafter, artist, geek, a model or simply a person with an interesting idea or a theory that you would like to share with other like-minded people, Althemy is here to give you the tools and promotion you need.
1. How did you come up with the idea of Althemy? Tell me about the process of bringing Althemy to life.
Once upon a time, in early 2000’s, we had a forum and community platform, known as ‘Cyber City’. Its members used to organize parties once a month and engage in vivid forum discussions about all things alternative – including fashion, different hobbies, lifestyles, music and philosophies. The problem with this community however, was that it has been very local oriented and with the rise of Facebook it gradually withered.
Still, it gave us a small sample of mechanics relevant to alternative peoples’ inclinations and interests. It showed that people who belong to one of the alternative ways of living, will most likely be attracted to a few others as well and they will often share similar sense for aesthetics and similar interests. In short, alternative people have more things in common than they are different.
So idea of Althemy is rather old, but 2 years ago we decided to revamp it and try to give it a new shape – a platform whose main purpose would be to help people from different alternative subcultures to promote their work, their hobbies and passions and more easily find the audience (other alternative people) who will like what they do. Thus the name Althemy – which stands for Alternative alchemy, a secret ingredient that brings people from alternative subcultures together.
2. So, is Althemy another social media like Facebook? What makes you different from other social platforms?
It is a social media platform but with a twist. While Facebook is centered on personal profiles, Althemy is centered on users’ websites. Old fashioned websites – with a blog, gallery, forum, video, about page, etc. It is still a work in progress, but the main idea is to enable people to easily promote their work, passion or hobby and attract other like-minded visitors to it. The ultimate idea is enabling people to earn and make a living from doing things they love and are passionate about.
3. What is the process of becoming a member? All members can have their personal Althemy site?
Becoming a member of Althemy is easy, all you need to do is register on the platform. By becoming a member you are able to participate in discussions across the platform and get rewarded for it. Making a website is an optional feature and yes, it is available to all those who wish to have one.
4. Is Althemy available for people who want to promote their work only? Or other people can join the site too?
Everybody can join the platform and making a website is not mandatory. As a regular user you get awarded for your activity on other people’s websites with ‘gold’, which is Althemy’s own virtual currency. When you collect enough gold you can use it to purchase promotional vanity items or giveaway gifts from some websites on Althemy. You can also use it to make and maintain your own website free of any charge, for lifetime.
As for the website feature, it is available to everyone and you can always use and share your website’s link among your friends and family. However, in order to have your website listed on Althemy, it needs to meet certain criteria – to belong to some of the alternative subculture topic and to be more-less presentable. In practice it means that users need to replace demo content they get when they make a website with the one of their own.
5.You are quite a new site but you have managed to attract some big names in the alternative scene. Did you approach them or did they come to you?
We were lucky to have Serbian alternative scene ready to support us when we first started and all this wouldn’t be possible without recommendations, introductions and support from Serbian community leaders in different alternative scenes – gothic, cosplay, games, music bands and tattoo artists. From there on we got introductions to some of the big international names. Of course, there is a number of those that we approached, whose work was recommended to us and whom we personally invited.
6. Tell me more about ‘Face of the month’. This feature is great to get more publicity, so how can someone become your face of the month?
Choosing a Face of Althemy is a very selective process, available only to those who already have a website on Althemy. At the beginning, we have ourselves offered some of our members to be a Face of Althemy for certain month. However, as the number of interested users grew, we already have a waiting list for this feature. At the moment, if someone wishes to become a face of Althemy they need to contact us (http://www.althemy.com/contact-us) with that wish and submit their website on Althemy for review.
7. What are your goals for 2016? Do you have any special projects coming up?
One of our biggest plan for 2016 is to introduce an e-commerce feature that will enable our users to have their own e-shop on their websites and start earning from it.
We’re launching Explore page that will allow users to easily browse or search through all the shops on the platform according to their criteria. But more about that in given time.
We’d also like to announce the continuation of Althemy’s collaboration with big names on the alternative scene and send an open invitation to all those who’d benefit from having a website on Althemy.
8. To conclude, what message would you like to leave?
We would like to invite all of you who are attracted to Gothic, Steampunk, Cosplay, Tattoos, alternative music and Spiritual development to visit Althemy and join if you like what you’ll find there. Althemy stands for unity, mutual attraction and understanding between people from different alternative subcultures, lifestyles and interests. Our vision is to empower this curious, different, defiant, bold, open-minded and colorful person that lies within each one of us and encourage you to embrace your inner explorer and consider the roads less travelled by.
Our ultimate mission is to enable our users to build a great online presence on the platform, communicate our visions, passions and creations among each other and let our differences and uniqueness be the forces that will draw us closer together and inspire mutual creative engagements.