You know, that time — I was on the NBC Today Show!!
12:37 pm | April 1, 2021
What?!? Little ole’ me featured ON THE NBC TODAY SHOW! Still seems like a dream.
My journey into the digital gifting world began in a tizzy during the holidays on a Toys R’ Us shopping trip. I had three kids needing my attention with each desperate to make their own wishlist. I had a long list of names to buy for - and zero gift ideas. As the visibly irritated lady behind me ran me over with her shopping cart, I bumped into a “baby registry” sign. I thought to myself, why the heck don’t they have that for Christmas? And for kid birthdays? And for graduation? It would make my life so much easier. First world problems, I know, but a big problem nonetheless. When I couldn’t find a digital solution, I decided to create one. A successful real estate broker (and busy mom of three) quits her day job and starts a mobile app development business...makes total sense, right?
That's what happened. I created a mobile wishlist app and website with barcode scanner - MonkeyWish. Remember those scan guns that help you add gifts to your Target wedding registry? Well, MW worked like that, only it was by using your phone. And you could add anything from anywhere with any barcode.
Three months after our mobile app launch, the NBC Today show featured MonkeyWish as, “the online and mobile gift registry service of the 21st century.” OMG! Who came up with that? Thank you! A billion times better than I ever could have dreamed. As you can guess, downloads and site visits went through the roof. We almost crashed. As I retell this story, it still seems more like fiction.
Leaving the Today Show, I was 100% sure that we were on our way to big success. Those Christmas lights at Rockefeller Center were brighter than ever. As I toured around the city, it felt as if my feet never touched the ground. The momentum of publicity continued and I got the chance to visit LA and teamed up with Evite - you know, the world's largest online digital invitations. Crazy. Memberships continued to grow and everyone was making wishlists. We moved to #1 in the iTunes App Store for gift registry. Unfortunately, even with all the unprecedented milestones, we were still not making enough sales. People were making wishlists like crazy but no one was buying from the wishlists. Why?
We figured out that most members were uncomfortable sharing their lists. They felt as if they were asking for a gift. Kind of a bad conclusion for us! Why was this a socially acceptable practice for weddings and baby showers but not any other event? My team and I quickly realized we had to pivot and tackle this gifting problem in a different way, but no idea how. Unfortunately, the economy had collapsed and so had my 20 year marriage. I put future MW development on hold. I had to get my feet back on the ground. After many tears, fears, prayers, business books and countless late nights of research and discussions, I developed a new vision and a new brand -- GiftBoss.
Since day one of this journey, my passion has been to take away stress for the gift giver. I want to help, whether it's a corporate manager looking for VIP client gifts, a busy mom needing direction during the holidays, a new boyfriend looking to impress his gal, or grandma and grandpa buying on a limited budget. My vision for GiftBoss is to create a positive environment where we can connect, laugh, contribute, and be inspired. An environment, where we should remember that gifting is not just buying a gift or spending money. Gifting is a state of mind -- it’s a smile for a stranger, a hug for your teen, a kind word for a colleague, or a few minutes of your time to help someone in need.
Excited to hear your thoughts, comments, questions, ideas and inspiration. xo, Kristi