It'sSomeone just asked me how it's going. Usually people, including me, respond with, "great!" ---> I didn't this time. Thought I'd share with you verbatim what I actually said and how I'm actually doing (and with continual appreciation to my dear husband Daedalus who's been my rock, so steady and unwavering in his support of this person that is me):
"My heart is heavy. I think I'm on the brink of tears at any given moment. I'm still hopeful (I don't know why). :)"
I posted this on Facebook earlier today. Yes, there's a smile-y face at the end of it. Both feelings at the same time, positive and negative, happiness and sadness, hope and despair, ... I'm feeling all scrambled eggs inside. It's been tough, especially this past week. My family is going through some very challenging times.
Well, it's the end of the end of the day, and out of nowhere, all these people, some close, some random, some far far away, and some acquaintances commented. I'm kind of in awe. Awe. ... or like, "awwww....."
So this is what love is, right? This is what being a community is about, right? Is this real? I feel like there's real hope for humanity. Conservative, liberal, green, blue, tall, old, young, city person, world traveler, small town, man, woman, ... we're all in this thing called life together.
It must be the season or something. I feel like there's just too much noise. There are too many distractions. This is the home screen on my iPhone 6plus phablet BEFORE I made the change.
This is my NEW home screen on my iPhone 6Plus phablet. I focused on only keeping apps that I 1) use every day or should use every day, or 2) apps that I really enjoy or want to prioritize up in my life. Somehow, Amazon.com has made the cut but they just make it too freaking easy to get all those shopping errands (household items, diapers, etc...) done with 1 thumb. And, dudes and dudettes, I love Words with Friends. :) Turned off the notifications on most of the apps. I just don't want to know. I have to do that to email too. I generally don't enjoy emails, text messages, ... actually, I DESPISE Facebook messenger, and voicemails.
Screen #2 = Random stuff I may keep.
Most of this (80%)... will get deleted if I don't try it within a few months. Even if I do try it, if I don't use it again, it will get deleted. A few items are just "hanging out" here. The Settings and the Calculator are exceptions - it's just I don't want them on the main home screen.
Screen #3 = Evil stuff I want to do a LOT LESS of.
And yes, there's our baby Lentil's face there, reminding me that there's much MUCH more to life than social media or online videos.
There REALLY is such a thing as TOO MUCH. Too much noise in the world today. We're all paying attention to the wrong details about what matters. We'll see if this helps me. I'll report back in a few weeks on this.
I'm sharing with you an email I just wrote and sent out to our greater community and team today. If you feel compelled and want to join in - shares, "likes", retweets, and all comments/suggestions gratefully welcome.
Would appreciate your help in evangelizing our newest local brand team to join the #Gifting Movement with GiftStarter, Sturtevant's! We are absolutely very happy to add them to our #community of AWESOME brands with truly wonderful PEOPLE: (butter LONDON, icPooch, Restrepo Leather,Seneca & Spruce, B&H Photo, ... and more, with more coming!)
Thank you for being a part of the GiftStarter #community and #movement - to bring the power of family and friends together for each other. The #community and #people coming together is everything to us and the brand partners we work with. After all, without each other, what do we have?Life is about those #human moments of meaning (something I've been thinking about more and more as time flies by).
And really, personally, I have been feeling that time scarcity in this life we have together. The message (thanks to my mother) that has been with from the time I was growing up and is getting louder as I get older, is that for those of us that have been #blessed and are able, it is our responsibility in life to enrich the lives of others as much as we can, every day. We can make a difference, together. #PeopleMatter
Suggested Shares to Share the Snow Gear News (Facebook! Twitter! Google! Whatever your preferred sharing medium is):
Thank you in advance!
ARRY YU Co-Founder, CEO
"With the growing importance of social influence and mobile shopping to our customers, we needed to explore a solution that allows our Bezzie Mates to shop and give socially this holiday season. GiftStarter was the perfect partner to celebrate this customer experience and support group gifting across social and digital platforms," said Leslie Freytag, President & CEO, butter LONDON®.
Not sure if y'all saw, but we (at GiftStarter.co) recently launched our partnership with butter London. It has been an amazing past couple of months working with their team towards the launch.
Why is the butter LONDON partnership so awesome?
If you haven't already - seriously, check them out. They have some AMAZING sets that would make anybody who loves beauty, fashion appreciate the kind gesture of their amazing gift sets. I personally, have my eye on that TRUNK!!!
Very excited and always appreciate your support.
Experiences. End to end Experiences. E2E. It's about focusing on the human end to end consumer experiences - using software, process and people to enable that awesome experience in the real world. That's what we care about.
At GiftStarter, when we were going back and forth on the scope of our MVP (Minimum Viable Product), we were torn about what that was. Should it be based on the technology piece of the process in aggregating payments from various people towards a group gift? Should it be being able to select and create the group of people that would do the group gift? What about the card? What about the thank you? What about shopping for the actual group gift?
Ultimately, we picked the MVE (Minimum Viable Experience) around gifting. Now with that, what we found from doing hundreds and hundreds of interviews and hours of research, was that the card is one of the most important pieces of gifting. Yes, the card!!! And many of those around us tell us repeatedly about what they see as the value prop of GiftStarter: the payment aggregation, the social pieces, the collecting of payments, .... To us, the payments are a small piece of the gift process, and definitely not the most important part. There are plenty of companies that do payment aggregation and collection - that's not us, and that's definitely not GiftStarter. We are obsessed with the gifting experience.
With each and every awesome group gift through GiftStarter, we deliver a creative personal handcrafted card with the group mosaic and each person's personal message to the recipient. I make a lot of them personally, our team makes a bunch more, and now, we've recruited my other to help us out with card making. Each card is made with love.
Thanks for all of your support.
So excited! So excited! So EXCITING!!! (YAY!)
Our team was jumping up and down all afternoon/evening and into this morning as our startup company was chosen to be highlighted in GeekWire's Startup Spotlight! So cool!!!!!! (So much thanks to John Cook and Monica Nicklesburg for this opportunity). (*Happy dance!*)
A couple of our favorites from the Geekwire article:
The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: “Building and strengthening the team that we are today in such a short time and over distances. It is an ongoing and personal process to commit to each other and the company every day. We’ve embraced a lot of tips and tricks from other entrepreneurs, like Kyle Kesterson, around teaming best practices that have really taken our team to the next level.”
I would love your feedback and thoughts. Thank you for being with me on this awesome journey.
The startup journey is one that I am so happily immersed in. I wake up an hour or two before my alarm clock (yes, BEFORE!) excited for the day ahead, the twists and turns, the Gifting Huddle(s) (what we call our team daily standups where we talk about priorities, status, etc...), sharing with the world and everyone I meet how awesome this company and our product is.
GiftStarter.co is the web address of our newly soft launched site. We've kept it generally narrowed and focused on the Seattle market and to our supportive family and friends. We have specific reasons on why chose the five retailers we've initially launched with: 1) Nordstrom, 2) Costco, 3) REI, 4) Brooks Sports, and 5) Filson. One reason is because they are local to Seattle - we're a Seattle startup afterall that aspires to grow up to be a bigger great company. All of these retailers are very customer centric in terms of the customer experience, the focus, and the service they provide. Quality in terms of the products they offer and their service. Another common theme for these retailers is the fact that we find that as employers and as members of the community they are a part of, they take care of the human side of business (not just the profit side).
Support Network: We cannot express how thankful we are individually and as a team for our support network. For me, my husband is an amazing human and I am most grateful for him. Every day he cheers me and our team on. Every evening he earnestly listens to me as I rant and rave about the day's activities and news. I don't know how I got so lucky to be married to him. My husband is a gift. (*wink)
Company: The first few months, we spent it focused on building our team, talking about our company mantra/values/mission/vision, defining what fit is to us in terms of our company/team/product, dreaming about our ideal retail partners, .... It's amazing. Absolutely amazing, energizing, and refreshing to have this opportunity to build a company and our first product from the ground up.
So much more to share - and much more to come. We have soft launched, and since you are part of the family and friends world to me, we would love it if you would check out our site. Become a Gift Champion for someone in your life and share that story through the act of gifting for them with your family and friends. Gift a tent and go camping with your friends. Gift a barbecue grill for someone's new home and share delicious food together. Gift an iPad for the gift of digital interaction for your friend the entrepreneur (having access to an ipad has been critical for me).
Missed a blog post last week. ... and it's two weeks away to the end of the year. Rats. It's been really bothering me... Not that it really counts, but I'll do a makeup post (or two) before the end of the year in an attempt to make up for it. Sorry about that...
Just came back from a crazy busy weekend of wedding planning, dinner with my future-in-laws, my business partner's (Mina) son's first birthday party, an engagement photoshoot with Jonathan of Jonathan | Lindsey Photography, meeting with our videographer, ... I feel like I'm life has accelerated to the max and I'm barely warmed up. Trying to catch my breath!
One thing I'm struggling with is a) I like blogging, b) I like social media, c) I like sharing, d) I don't mind sharing personal stuff, e) I want to be respectful of my fiance and others... and so.... some of the things I want to write about/share with you (i.e. everyone) - I'm struggling with how and when and how much I can. I'm thinking we'll figure it out as we go...
Anyone got advice for me?
My beau, Dae, and I have been seeing other pretty seriously for about five months now. I've got quite a funny update to share with you: two days ago we decided to make it really official - on Facebook. Yes, Facebook. On August 14, 2011, Dae and I coordinated our efforts and updated our relationship status to "in a relationship with Arry/Dae". We updated our Facebook profile pictures to a favorite photo of each other together, too. It was a scary, silly, and serendipitously happy moment in our courtship together.
Until a few months ago, I had actually forgotten that my default status of "single" was up there in my profile - and was reminded of it after getting quite a few questions about that. Dae didn't have any relationship status visible to his Facebook network - and maybe his network/friends just don't notice these things. I don't know what it is - are people just nosy, are people just very interested, or is this really important? I was reluctant at first to admit it... but the Facebook thing bothered me as an annoyance... Then I felt a little stupid about it, and the more I thought about it, the more important it became that I be open and transparent about our relationship - I wanted to tell the world. After-all, I am proud to be in a relationship with this awesome man.
We decided to sit on it for a little while we continued to grow closer together - our relationship is interesting in that there are so many aspects about it that feel so right and natural - and there are so many aspects about it that we consciously, intentionally do to be "crystal" clear as we don't want to assume/take each other for granted. I've been wearing the banner of "I'm independent, strong and single" for years now. My Facebook status has said "single" for years - because surprising or not, I haven't been with anyone in recent years where I felt the desire to change it, ever. Those relationships obviously didn't last... And now, I'm in this awesome relationship that has been truly wonderful - both in the fun we have together and in the ways that this relationship has stretched me to grow. I want to be a better person and I feel challenged. I am happy. Silly or not, we made an intentional decision to act together to make our relationship "official" on Facebook. It feels good to be on the same "page" as Dae.
Yes, so... it's official now for absolute positive reals now. See screenshot above - that's the proof. Facebook says so. :)
What's this? Spotify has come to the US? Something about music service or another? This past week, there have been many posts and notifications around Spotify (and Klout and Google + and ... for that matter). What's all the fuss? Ah, well, I've been playing with Klout for awhile now - and they have this tab, "Perks" for Klout users, and recently I clicked that particular tab to find that Klout members get free memberships (not the premium kind right away). So I signed up with my "special" Klout code.
Wikipedia says Spotify "is Swedish DRM-based music streaming service offering streaming of selected music from a range of major and independent record labels, including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal that launched in January of 2008". So what's that mean?
I was originally on my newly acquired iPad when I was browsing around - so off I tried to download the software onto my iPad, which failed. I had to get up and go grab one of two PC's I own to download the Spotify software. It also works on Macs, by the way. Linux users, looks like you're out of luck/gotta do some hacks to get it. Once the Spotify had downloaded onto my PC - I immediately started searching for some music favorites that came immediately to my mind by Robyn, Blonde Redhead, Rihanna, Phoenix, and Johnny Cash.
Songs came up immediately. Double-click. Music to my ears! Right click - and I can add it to a playlist. A playlist? I created one called, "Arry's Favorites". Linked up my Facebook account by clicking the top right corner - and voila! Suddenly all of my Facebook contacts with Spotify accounts appeared. Click on any of their profiles, and I can see any public playlists they have setup.
Well, that's as far as I've gotten - but I can see how cool this could potentially be. I see the attraction and am tempted to upgrade to a premium account so that I can have access to all my Spotify music and playlists via all of my devices (iPad, iPhone, PC's...). What would be really cool is if all of my other devices would automatically get Spotify too (Nintendo Wii, my Apple TV, xBox, etc....) - nudge nudge for any of you out there with product influence. In fact, same goes to those at Hulu/Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Google, YouTube ... - y'all should talk and figure your stuff out. This about ME, the customer! I'm sick and tired of services not playing nice and making me sign up for multiple accounts and manage all of these multiple accounts with all of my multiple devices. Sounds like a headache, huh?
Welcome to the U.S., Spotify! Glad you're here.