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).