The Gift Angels


Big things do come in small packages. We find out what big things does the new luxury gifting website, GiftVault, offers.

By: Karishma Parkash Suri

Posted on: March 10, 2012

Big things do come in small packages. We find out what big things does the new luxury gifting website, GiftVault, offers.

Once upon a time there was a man who ordered a three carat heart-shaped engagement ring and needed help with the proposal. A website suggested hiding the ring with a special message in one of its specially commissioned life-size sweet tree which was delivered by two security guards!  The wedding took place in Italy and the couple lived happily ever after. No, this isn’t a fairytale; this is a story of an actual GiftVault customer!

Shopping could be a great fun-filled activity and even therapeutic at times, but if only for yourself. Because at least we have a certain idea of what we may like, even if not always (yes, it’s true). Come to shopping for someone else, and it turns into an absolute nightmare! Because you may have absolutely no idea what they may need or even want. Taxing and taking a toll on your mind, shopping for someone else can be quite a task. Even if you know what you wanted to gift, you might have wondered if it will be an appropriate gift for that particular occasion or not. As the above example suggests, you can easily leave all your gifting woes to the new luxury gifting website, GiftVault.com, which we think will make gifting as easy as tying a ribbon on an already wrapped present. Yes, really.

Wish lists and registries have always been life and time-savers for most people and this portal is no exception. GiftVault.com has different services to suit the various demands of luxury gifting. The GiftVault Social Network makes buying the right gift for the right person easy and fun. GiftVault users share wish lists, gift ideas and experiences, upload videos, discuss how to make an occasion perfect, surprise friends with gifts without having to ask their shoe size, shop via Facebook, and post favourite products on their wall. GiftVault Planner ensures users receive SMS/email reminders of special occasions along with friends’ updated wishlists. It provides all the services to make gifting as enjoyable and easy as possible, while ensuring you always get the right gift.

The third part is, of course, where patrons can actually buy gifts. Choose from a selection of extravagant gifts like Christofle wine decanter, de Grisogono Tote, Dom Perignon White Gold Champagne Jeroboam, Louis XIII cognac, Caran D’Ache pens and many more. The easy navigation, clean design and uncluttered interface make it a treat to browse through the website. 

Occasions come and go, but the gifts are the ones that get etched into one’s memory. GiftVault’s forthright, glamourous and passionate owners Ms Lee Greenberg and Ms Violetta Winkworth-Gruosi know social networks are pivotal to their future expansion. “At the time of GiftVault’s early development there were no e-commerce websites that targeted the luxury gifting market,” said Ms Winkworth-Gruosi. Existing sites were either specialized in certain products or categories or were gift sites for lower end / mass products. “We wanted to create one place where affluent, cash rich, time poor customers could go to satisfy all their gifting needs,” she shared.

From the start
The brainchild of Ms Greenberg (a former Beijing-based new media fundraising and venture capital specialist) and Ms Winkworth-Gruosi (a luxury expert with degrees in business, gemology and international management, and the daughter and step-daughter of the heads of Geneva-based jewellery brands de Grisogono and Chopard), the two are now putting their heart and soul into making your materialistic dreams come. After completing their business degrees together in 2007, both the ladies followed different career paths. Ms Greenberg was working in the Internet and online network industry in China and Ms Winkworth-Gruosi in the luxury jewellery industry in Switzerland. The two met again in 2010 in a social media conference and have been working together ever since. Having come from such different experiences, yet having the same goals and ideas seems to work in the favour of the two.

“We offer gifts for everyone. Our product categories fall under men, women, children, and the home. We want people to be able to come to our site and buy a gift for their partner, children, grandparents, colleagues and pets - all in one place. We want our customers to be able to do this with the assurance that everything they are browsing through is handpicked through a strict selection process. Essentially, our customers do trust GiftVault and we take this trust very seriously,” said Ms Winkworth-Gruosi.

Behind the scenes
Violetta Gruosi is a star child and has attempted to stand on her own two feet. Difficult as it may be, she seems to have done an outstanding job nevertheless. Her great great great grandfather was William Wilberforce who led the movement to abolish slave trade. Her grandfather was Peter Winkworth, a collector of nationally significant and rare Canadian art and her father, Fawaz Gruosi has built an international brand, de Grisogono. “Growing up with such a background has inspired me to want to do something, and more importantly, it has given me the confidence that anything is possible with hard work, passion and good and positive people around you. I am extremely proud of what my father has achieved, and being his daughter has allowed me to see firsthand the work and passion involved in creating an international brand,” she shared.

As for Ms Greenberg, if you are wondering if she has funded any new media ventures recently, you may be disappointed. “I haven’t funded any new media ventures. I have, however, been involved in numerous start-ups and enjoy challenging and exciting experiences,” she said. We wondered if she primarily handled the finance part of the website and she shared that she was predominantly more hands on with the website and its development. “Being a start up in its baby phases, we share many responsibilities together,” she said.

Is this for me?
Both the founders have a clear profile of their intended customer in my mind. “Our customers are those that care and take pride in getting the right gifts that will have the ‘right’ reaction. They enjoy giving gifts, but do not have time to scan the market or to understand completely what would be appropriate,” they said.

Planning the logistics of delivery can often be quite complicated, But it is quite well-planned out by the two. “For London deliveries we have our own small service, and for national and international deliveries we work with the biggest courier companies, ensuring real-time tracking and insurance. We realize that this is a main differentiator in the e-commerce industry and we strive to offer the highest service. We often receive last minute orders from customers desperate for their gift to arrive on time and we so far we have managed to fulfill even the most seemingly impossible of requests,” Ms Winkworth-Gruosi said confidently.

The website caters to all countries in terms of shipping. However, the duo would like to grow slowly and surely and not run before they can walk. “We are using the UK as our starting point and from here we hope to become more and more international. One of our ethos is that we under promise and over deliver. It is important to get things right and as perfectly as we possibly can,” they shared.

If customization is what you want, they do that too. “It is possible to receive pretty much whatever your hearts desire. We will personally try to solve any gift related request – just try us!” Ms Winkworth-Gruosi said.

Click away!
The Internet is the most exciting industry to be involved in. It is continually developing and innovating, and with good reason. Ask the ladies and they will share that right from nurturing the site to its developments in functionality and navigation, to choosing magnificent products to future expansion in emerging markets, the internet gives them easy access and serves as a perfect medium to reach out to their audiences. And the audiences too will agree that it is convenient and efficient to another level! Thinking rationally, it is a win-win situation for all.

Harnessing the potential of internet, GiftVault has made selecting gifts easier, as has hinting about desired gifts more subtle and fun. And we, for one, applaud the unique idea!

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