June 10, 2015: GiftStarter appeared on Product Hunt
Not sure how they decided on today, but this morning as I woke up before the alarm clock... I grabbed my phone to check what time it was. It was just a lil bit after 6AM. There were all of these message... GiftStarter on Product Hunt!!!
Imagine this. Me: Immediately upright. HUH!? Say WHAT? What to do what to do what to do?
It's now 942PM. We now have 76 "Upvotes". It feels like a pretty proud moment for us, for GiftStarter. We did pretty well. We're smiling. So thought we'd share. :)
*** [FYI: This post was written sometime back in February, 2015. For some reason, I forgot to post it... so here it is.]
I thought long and hard about what photo to include with this post. There really isn't a good one. I decided that the best way to portray this startup journey was to find the longest video I could of the craziest roller coaster video on YouTube. Apparently, the Olympia Looping is one of those "holy grail" of roller coasters for many roller coaster enthusiasts. It only exists in Germany. It travels around all over the country. (I'm not one for physical roller coasters. Not my thing. I can do the emotional and mental ones.)
As you can imagine, there are some major highs we've experienced, and some low points as well on this startup company journey. Yes, just like a roller coaster.
Some excitement had:
Ultimately, I think of the roller coaster as another word for war. We are each soldiers on a mission - fighting battle after battle. Without the support of the team and our family/friends, we would not have this opportunity - to transform gifting.
And personally, without the arms and heart and trust and support of my husband, there is no way I would have the opportunity to do this. The way he wears our GIftStarter tee-shirt EVERYwhere. The way he brings us donuts to cheer the team on. The way he is constantly looking for ways to connect us.
June 5, 2015: POW! It completed today!
Yes, there's an AMAZING gift (Apple Watch, YAY!!!) that's being given with all of those family/friends. The bigger gift is this mosaic that illustrates the community behind the gift. 1 piece, 4 pieces, family, advisors, friends, mentors, investors all together --- amazing! They don't all know each other. They definitely don't all even live on the same continent. They come from all walks of life.
It's magical, you know?
POW! Today, Shari, my sister-in-law, Chris (the guy that married us), and Gina (another GiftStarter advisor) pitched in and finished out the gift. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out. https://www.giftstarter.co/giftstart/Birthday-Love-for-Arry
Birthday party is this weekend on Sunday. So... maybe I'll post up more photos from that so you can be a part of this birthday journey to the end. :) For today (TGIF), just spent the past 3.5 hours recording myself presenting, uploading the 3 minute pitch to YouTube for a pitch application with my husband's help. Cross your fingers we get to present in 2 weeks.
June 4, 2015: Beautiful mosaic of family/friends = art that moves my heart.
Day 2 of the birthday gift campaign my husband started less than 48 hours ago. End of the day, well.... I had to go look again, and that's the screenshot of what I see! More faces of people I love in our lives. It's amazing. My mentor and our GiftStarter advisor, Barbary. Our accelerator mentor, Kevin. My brother. More GiftStarter employees. OMG, the first GiftStarter customer. My husband's friends. Really special experience to see everyone join in.
If you want to check out the gift campaign in progress, here's the LINK: https://www.giftstarter.co/giftstart/Birthday-Love-for-Arry. And if you scroll down the page, you'll see all the lovely messages from everyone. That's the best part... that makes your heart go, "wow, I'm not alone".
Despite how lonely it feels a lot of the time, I'm not alone. I have all of YOU too!!! :) No one is as alone as they may want or worry. It's important to maintain perspective. Just getting home from the Fritsky Chair Dinner with the University of Washington tonight. It was nice to take the evening off and wear a dress, and heels. Yes, heels!! I did have quite a few people come up afterwards ask me where the GiftStarter teeshirt was (LOL).
June 3, 2015: My husband launches my birthday gift campaign on GiftStarter.
Well, how can one be the founder and CEO of GiftStarter and not know when a certain gift titled for me (ME!) comes through - a certain gift started by my husband, the Gift Champion. :) I resisted and resisted all day from looking --- finally had to go take a look at what was going on with the gift campaign that started less than 24 hours ago. OH MY GOODNESS! (See screenshot above -- or here's the LINK if YOU want to go take a look yourself. Pretty sure it's open if you want to pitch in and try GiftStarter yourself).
If you click on the link, you'll see what he wrote on the campaign (so sweet he is):
One of Arry's great loves (other than me & Mochi) is GiftStarter, so it's only appropriate that we do a GiftStarter campaign for her! I know she's been eyeing this watch all year and I know this gift would be perfect for her. * EVERY PITCH IN FROM EVERY PERSON WILL GIVE HER MUCH ENCOURAGEMENT AND BIRTHDAY SMILES. I guarantee it! (it won't be a surprise though, fyi :) I will provide cake and cookout to celebrate her 100100th birthday, so please come over!
WOW. If you look at the screenshot of the gift above, you'll see the corners on the gift are from my husband. My In-laws and mother are there. My maid-of-honor from our wedding (with the green hat). Christie, my cofounder in the middle. My husband's BFF is there. My BFF from college who lives in Asia even pitched in. One of my BFF's in California and a colleague from GiftStarter. Already!!! And kudos to my husband for remembering that I've been drooling and talking about wanting an Apple Watch some day for Christmas or something. :)
You know, the startup journey is very often a lonely one. Today, I am reminded that there's a whole bunch of people out there that do care. I just have to remember. It really is special to get these digital hugs and special notes from everyone. Thought I'd share the experience. I can't believe it, a whole year older in T-5 days.