Fab’s Ex-Design Chief To Start A Consulting Firm (And A Rock Band)

Bradford Shelhammer reveals his post-fab career plans. That includes debuting a new band at the Milan furniture fair with British furniture designer Tom Dixon. Yowza.

Almost four months after leaving Fab, the troubled e-commerce company he cofounded, Bradford Shellhammer has announced his next venture: the consultancy, where he expects to offer design services to a range of industries, from retail to arts and hospitality, in Europe and the United States. His first client, outdoor gear site, Shellhammer says he’ll work on the editorial packaging of their products.


In a tangential piece of news, he is also starting a rock band with British designer Tom Dixon, he says. “We’ve been talking about it for like a year,” says Shellhammer, who plans to lead with band with vocals, with Dixon on the bass guitar. They’re currently looking to flesh out Rough, the band, with other players who can bring a Fleetwood Mac-like vibe to the group: “We’re actively seeking a woman in the design world,” he says. They hope to debut in April, at Salone Milan.

“What I did at Fab was challenge our creative teams to find obvious stories to tell with merchandise,” Shellhammer tells Co.Design. “Like Valentine’s Day, or back-to-school. At Fab it could be something like, ‘We’re going to have a week where we celebrate typography.’ Or a theme could be as simple as a color. [For Back Country], is there a way to package the content on their site–let’s say for Coachella. It’s a way to think differently about the products being sold.”

Other projects might focus on office design, logo, and graphic identity, or even product development, Shellhammer says. The company will be run entirely by Shellhammer, with the help of one or two not-yet-hired staffers, and between one and three freelancers, on a project-to-project basis.

Outside of, Shellhammer is advising at four early-stage startups, all of which fall under the umbrella of e-commerce or design: 72Lux, which helps editorial sites monetize product mentions; Heartwork, a furniture design company; Simply Framed, an online framing service; and Reissued, an app for selling used wares.

On November 1, in a blog post Shellhammer announced that he would leave Fab: “As I remain today a shareholder and a non-executive advisor to Fab, I also have the desire to explore, discover, and see the world and do other things. What’s next for me?”

About the author

Margaret Rhodes is a former associate editor for Fast Company magazine.