frankworks Logo | frankworks for Plunket

Marketplace website  

Full stack React Project

bellybutton web project | frankworks

Frankworks were fabulous every step of the way.  With a limited budget and a tight timeline, the team at Frankworks took a pragmatic approach to the design and build process, ensuring that our MVP product delivered above expectation, ahead of time and under budget.  Their passion for the project and ongoing support means that they have gone above and beyond to deliver bellybutton to market. 

Hamish Clentworth



Around October 2021, Hamish of Plunket approached frankworks looking for us to develop a POC marketplace which is now known as

Being a small & accessible agency that mostly focuses on building 5-10 page websites for kiwi businesses, we were excited to get our feet wet on a project that was firmly in the full stack development area. 

It’s against our ethos to do anything half assed at frankworks, so to ensure we could deliver this project to the highest of standards we went out fishing and found ourselves  a beast of a developer and a brilliant general admin. Both played instrumental roles in the success of this project.


Hamish approached our team with a clear goal in mind, but not an overly clear idea of how to accomplish the goal – which is exactly where we add value. 

The goal was to build out a proof of concept (POC) marketplace that was tailored specifically to parents looking to sell or buy items for their babies, all easily and without distraction from other market verticals. For example, baby furniture, baby clothes and much more. 

With that in mind, the marketplace needed to perform a number of tasks, and it needed to perform them well. Users needed to be able to sign up, create an account, list items for sale, buy items, leave reviews on other users, ask questions on listings, be able to search the site using filters and more. 

We had a build time frame of just over five months so it’s safe to say that we needed to get a move on and keep the momentum up.

bellybutton web project | frankworks

Plan of attack

Due to the scrappy startup nature of a POC, we needed to settle on the best approach and methods in order to make this project a success straight out of the gate. 

After a lot of work together around how we wanted to build the marketplace, we decided to go with Sharetribe flex. Sharetribe flex gave us all the necessary infrastructure to build a marketplace. 

We could have gone with an off-the-shelf solution, but we came to the conclusion that we wanted to control as much of the build as we could in order to build in future-proofing and scalability from day one.  With Sharetribe flex, we were able to have the core marketplace infrastructure from which we could build the majority of the marketplace from scratch using Typescript React. 

We all knew that this project was going to be a biggun and we were going to always be pushed for time. That made tracking, management and reporting the next high priority on the list for running the actual workstreams. We used an agile approach, using sprints, reporting and regular backlog management to keep on top of each stage and milestone of the project and it ultimately played a huge role in the success of this project.

The build

Early December 21 really saw things start to kick off. Laura was at the front of the design side of things and was hard at work getting wireframes sorted. Once we got our wireframes signed off as a team, we moved to creating HIFI designs which brought us to early January 22, which meant early January was go time. 

We had one final pre-kickoff meeting to agree on a few bits and get underway with the build, at which point the boys, Jonah and Jordan, were hard at work with starting the coding and dev work.

We spun up a development server on Netlify and started working through building a skeleton of the marketplace. Once the skeleton was built we were able to get a better idea of how things fit on to the page and what it actually looked like outside of the design. We then proceeded to build out a lot of the functionality and get our marketplace in the shape to start talking with the Sharetribe Flex Console. 

Once we got to the stage where we could use the core functionality on the marketplace such as creating an account, buying, selling and leaving feedback things started to get really exciting as we were approaching the polishing phase. The polishing phase consisted of really aligning each page with the HIFI designs until they were pixel perfect. 

Throughout the build, we worked closely with Hamish to identify potential wins in both interface, functionality and flow – an agile approach which was incredibly beneficial for both, giving us the chance to help Hamish make decisions quickly, with all information at hand. This also enabled us to take a much more of a partnership role, giving us the ability to approach Hamish with best-practice solutions and suggestions from day one.

The build was released to test with bellybutton test users in early May 2022, and after a few weeks of testing, in May 2022, we hit the last phase of the build, with Jonah and Jordan building out mobile and tablet screens.

bellybutton web project | frankworks

The end result

Our original committed launch date was the end of May, however we managed to move through testing and big fixes pretty rapidly, meaning we ended up launching a week sooner than planned, seeing go live around the 20th May 2022. 

Not only did we finish a week early, but we finished under the committed budget, delivering all of the functionality and a few easter eggs, bringing a really exciting development and a new relationship with Plunket to a really successful launch.

If you’re interested in how we can help you build your dreams, get in touch with us today.

We’re always on the hunt for new development work to sink our teeth into!