Text Appeal

Text Appeal

By Jordan Kushins / Photos by Anna Wolf
Will Robison and Jacob Krupnick believe that transforming basic transactions into “retail experiments” will change the rapport we have with what we buy. Subports launched in late 2009 as a techie, Brooklyn-based, text-to-buy business model—a one-time online registration links your credit card information to your cell phone number, and purchases are made by sending an SMS—but the implications of the service subvert the conventional add-to-shopping-cart experience.

Goods are available online at the Subports PortalMRKT, but Robison and Krupnick’s respective roots in performance art and photography have instigated a series of unconventional pop-up shops, which maximize the convenience of on-the-fly buying: At one, a clairvoyant helped customers select gifts; at another, goods were stashed inside hollow books to meet the restrictions imposed on street vendors in New York City. Coupled with their commitment to independent institutions—–the current crop of over 130 partners includes music venues, boutiques, bake-sale organizers, even yoga studios—–texting for treasures takes on a sense of adventure that you just can’t get from a trip to the mall.

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