Monday, July 23, 2012

A Better Way of Gifting With Wantful

Based in San Francisco and New York City, Wantful aims to put an end to “forced smiles and poorly suited gifts that never see the light of day.” According to founder and CEO John Poisson, the startup wants to create a gift-giving experience that's richer, more thoughtful, and more personalized. How?

As the gift giver, you simply head on over to the Wantful site and enter a few details about your recipient, including gender, age, relation, and occasion. You will also have to answer some questions about their sense of style and interests, as well as tell the site how much you want to spend. Wantful will then suggest some items that match all that information, but you can easily swap them out if you like. Once you've selected 16 items, Wantful will whip up a customized printed gift book to be delivered to your recipient (or you can have it sent to your own address so you can present it yourself). You get to choose the cover image of the book and include a personal message inside.

The gift book, which is hand-wrapped in Japanese rice paper and Wantful's signature black envelope, shows a gift code for all 16 items. Your recipient can enter the codes at the Wantful website to learn more about each item and then select which one they like most. Prices are not revealed to recipients. If you need a gift right away, you can skip the printed book and just opt for the email version, which includes a link to each item.

Wantful has partnered with over 200 designers, brands and producers to offer hundreds of one of a kind items ranging from $30 to $500. “We're going after really small products that are interesting, hard to find, and have a great story behind them,” says Poisson. “These are not the things you'd find if you walked into a department store or went on Amazon.”

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