Finding the right present for family and friends can be a difficult pursuit, especially now during the holiday season. So, when Lindsey Miles, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Whilo, had dinner with a friend who sparked the idea of an app that would make gifting easier, she decided to take a chance on it.
"The idea was sparked about 20 months ago, when my co-founder and I were sitting at dinner and she was explaining that her kids were being invited to a lot of birthday parties at their school," said Miles. Miles' friend didn't know the children very well, which made shopping for a present difficult. "And she said 'wouldn't it be fantastic if there were an app I could go to and learn a little bit about their friends and see what they're into and maybe even get ideas of what they would like to receive,'" said Miles. Miles, being an entrepreneurial thinker, found the timing was just right to start this project. So, after conducting research and assembling a team she learned there was a place in the market for such an app.
Whilo, launched in February, is an app in which users can create a profile posting images of items they would like to purchase or items they would like to be given. Family members or friends will then be able to click on items to purchase them as gifts. "The premise of Whilo is we believe the perfect gift should be a surprise and not a guess," said Miles. "What our platform allows users to do is to shop anyway they like on their phone or on a desktop and use our extension or share button to save anything they find to their Whilo list."
The app is similar elements too Pinterest in that users can pin items using a share button. It has also been said to share similar elements too Amazon and Instagram because of the shopping and social aspects. "And then the other element is, it has a registry functionality to it where if you do buy a product for someone you can actually market search it for everyone else to see," said Miles, "but the person who is receiving won't know, they won't be able to see it has been purchased. So, you will ensure you don't double gift but you do get them something they love."
The less than a year-old app is still adding new features and working to make the app better for its users.
"As we come into the holiday period one of the things that will be coming are lists," said Miles, "in that you can organize things you save." This way users can create lists for their children for holidays and birthdays. This feature launched in October, just in time for the holiday season. "It should offer a great feature set for family locally and abroad," said Miles.
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