1. What is the Gift Club App and how did it originate?
Kate: The Gift Club App is first and foremost a new form of all purpose gift registry for your smartphone.
I am personally not a fan of traditional gift registries but I am sympathetic to the dilemma of modern gifting. We all have too much stuff and there is nothing worse than creating more clutter and landfill not to mention debt, angst and resentment.
This gave me the idea of having a searchable wish list. Users can add things, preferred charities or intangibles, to their list as they come across them or think of something they would like. Unlike a traditional gift registry, there is no need to send out lists of things you would like to friends and family. You essentially "set and forget". No one needs to feel pressure or put out that you expect them to give you a particular gift. You aren't asking anyone for anything, you are just listing the things you would like and it is up to the gift giver whether they want to look up your wish list.
Image from www.foolishwisdom.com
The group gifting feature allows groups to nominate a gift for a recipient and vote on the preferred nominated gifts. This feature was inspired by trying to coordinate class gifts for the teacher but it could equally apply to workplaces and sporting teams - any time that a group of people want to get a gift for someone.
Screen-shot of Gift Club App
There is also a Secret Santa allocation feature which allows members of a group to randomly allocate each person to another person within the group so that no one knows who got who.
A very cute 'old-fashioned' wish list
Image from www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_list
2. What are some of your favourite features of the app? Who is the app designed for and how can it assist people with their gift shopping?
Kate: My favourite feature is the searchable wish list. I have learned so much about my friends and family by finding what they are wishing for. It is astonishing sometimes how little is involved in making the people we love feel special.
The App is designed for everyone! Even if you think you want for nothing, you will receive gifts at some time. People will always want to mark special occasions with gifts and so you might as well let people know what you want whether that is a new wallet, home made banoffee pie or a donation to your favourite charity.
Screen-shot from Gift Club App
Kate: It's been a steep learning curve! I know nothing about technology and did not even own a smartphone when I came up with the App. My sister thinks it is hilarious because I always said I was yet to hear of a useful App and then I developed one. The most challenging part of the journey has been understanding the programming process. The most rewarding part has been meeting small business owners and learning about innovative and creative products that I can recommend for gifts.
Screen-shot from Gift Club App
4. What is the best gift you have ever:
Kate: One of my friends at Uni had so little money that he went without shoes for a year. He had to walk 6km to Uni every day in bare feet and had to give up most sport. For his 21st, a group of us pooled resources to give him shoes.
Kate: Apart from my engagement ring, which doesn't really seem like a present in the traditional sense, a painting by the Brisbane-based artist Starr that my husband gave me for my birthday a few years ago.
5. What's next?
Kate: At the moment I am concentrating on letting people know about the App. It is a unique product so it has been very time consuming introducing it to potential App users.
Ideally I would love to create my own line of eco gift tags and wrapping materials to complement the App.
Gifting is an art and we seem to be losing that art at precisely the time in our history when we most need it. Human connection has become so transient. Giving a well presented and considered gift, no matter how small, is an important way of connecting with someone in a multi-sensory way.
How to get it:
Gift Club is a free App that can be found on iTunes here and on Google Play here. You can also find more gift ideas, gift wrap and celebration ideas the Gift Club Facebook page.