The Story Behind the App
Something funny to know about me is that I have been told most of my life that I OVER-THINK things. Why is that a negative? It’s not! I am taking this over-thinking “weakness” and I’m turning it into a STRENGTH. And, because I am FULL OF THOUGHT - a.k.a. thoughtful, I plan to own it!
Back in the days when we first moved from Hollywood, FL to Minneapolis, the hub and I were paying high rent to live in a great house while we were simultaneously in the process of selling our condo in FL. It was like managing two mortgage payments and unfortunately, we were slipping into debt quickly. Regardless, I had a habit of buying gifts for people and I couldn’t stop - even when I knew we were cutting it close. My “habit” of buying gifts was the only reason for our fights. He would tell me to stop buying everyone gifts and I would tell him that stopping would painfully take away my identity. We were in a constant battle. One day I decided that my marriage needed to come first and if this was our one main fight, I had to concede for the sake of our marriage. I agreed not to buy gifts.
During this gift “dry spell” in my life, I would send my then sister-in-law Lani emails that would say, “I was in this store, saw this shirt and I thought of you.” I would describe the shirt in detail (I had a flip phone and taking a photo wasn’t really a thing back then) and I would tell her : “If I had the money, I would buy it for you to wear for golf. “ She would send a reply saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Sometimes, she would do the same for me. There were a couple of times that we would rip out pages from catalogs, circle the item number and send the page to each other saying, “I think you would love this.” It was all I could do to let someone know that I thought about them but couldn’t afford to actually give them the item.
In 2010, I thought there had to be a way to send free thoughts like these in a more dignified way. I believed that I wasn’t the only one out there with a zero dollar gift-giving budget. Social media was only a toddler at the time but I knew somehow it could help me get the act of thoughtfulness across to many people at once. Thoughtful Pinch, the blog, wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye back in 2010.
Then in 2015 a friend of mine , Allison, gave birth to her fourth child. We were discussing “Push Presents” and I said that she deserved the “Never Full” by Louis Vuitton. She scoffed. There was no way her hub would oblige. It got me thinking… I know Allison was loved by so many. What if I took up a collection to get her the purse. Wow, how hard would that be nailing down all these people to raise the cash? What if there was a way to put it on social media? By now, social media was ruling the world. It would be the fastest way to see who would contribute to a purse for Allison. But then what? Collecting the money from them would be a task that no one had time for or wanted to do.
So it hit me - why not combine both the act of seeing an item that reminds us of a loved one and wanting them to have it with the capability of using social media? It would be much easier to accomplish the goal of buying the gift. That is how the app for Thoughtful Pinch was born. This app opens the door for group giving when budgets prevent people from buying the entire gift. The app allows anyone with a budget of $2 or more to participate in a positive event. The app promotes being thoughtful. It supports a community of thoughtful people and helps those who are mindful in giving and receiving. The app was designed for spontaneous giving. However, since the launch on July 31, 2019, the app seems to fill the gift registry need so I welcome the use of it any way that makes sense to users! This app will also help bring foot traffic into retail stores (I see you Target). Last but not least, who doesn’t like a good selfie on yet another platform?
I scraped together enough money to make the basic app. When I have more money to make many more versions, I hope to improve the group-gift-giving world every step of the way. I would love it if you can spread the word about the app. Find it on the App Store and Google Play. Download it for free. Please use the app and review it. Together we can speed up the development of a better app. I’m hoping there will be a day when we all look back and say, “How did we ever buy gifts before Thoughtful Pinch?”