We recently had the opportunity to interview Dana Ostomel, founder of Deposit a Gift. We hope you enjoy this inside look at such a unique registry service.
1) YBD: Hello! Please introduce yourself and tell us how many years you have been in business.
DAG: Thank you for sharing the Deposit a Gift cash gift registry service with your readers and clients! We are delighted to be part of the blog for Your Big Day. My name is Dana and I am the Founder and Chief Gifting Officer. We launched our service at the end of last year and are already servicing thousands of users.
2) YBD: Tell us about Deposit a Gift and why you decided to start this company.
DAG: Years before I got married, I wondered how anyone could store so many presents—and even if they could, how they had the time to unwrap, return (often), track and use them all. The way we live has changed and it is driving a different set of ‘starter’ needs: we’re more mobile, getting married and having kids later, are more eco-conscious and thinking longer term – we need a gifting option that makes sense for our changing times, one that is flexible and can accommodate a variety of needs. I started to think that I could simplify the registry process—and not just for weddings, but for any big gifting event, while still offering a gratifying gifting experience that is important to gift-givers. And so Deposit a Gift, the next generation gift registry was born.
3) YBD: What makes Deposit a Gift unique?
DAG: Simply put, Deposit a Gift is a less crass way of asking for cash. Our registry let's friends and family contribute monetarily towards dreams and experiences you want most. It's incredibly user friendly, and offers a great alternative to traditional registries -- ideal for couples who already live together and have all their pots and pans, blenders and wine glasses. Our registry was built to function like a department store registry to be easy on gift-givers, but allows couples to register for anything — from honeymoons to home down payments, newlywed activities to charities.
4) YBD: How do you provide added value for the soon-to-be wedded pair?
DAG: Customer support is hugely important to us. We want our users to benefit from the flexibility that comes with an online cash gift registry, while still not losing the personal support that they would get from an in-store registry. I try to make myself available to our users as much as they’ll allow, to ensure they know that they can count on us for anything they need during this important moment in their lives.
5) YBD: What are the benefits of using Deposit a Gift (for engaged couples and gift-givers)?
DAG: Everything about Deposit a Gift is about choice, so the power is in your hands:
• You can choose to register for more than just your honeymoon, OR create a hybrid registry of ‘honeymoon + newlywed activities’ OR ‘volunteer honeymoon + charity’ -> THE ONLY LIMIT IS YOUR IMAGINATION
• You can choose when you redeem your gift money and do it as often as you want
• You can choose how to redeem your gift money: via free direct deposit, personal check or Visa gift card
• You choose when to publish your registry and make it publicly accessible
• You can choose to use our site as the hub for all your event details or you can choose to just use the pages you want and turn the others off. Please feel free to view this sample page.
• You can choose to list your other registries on the same page so that everything is in one place and convenient for guests
• You can choose to keep your environmental impact to a minimum and get what you want: No shipping. No gift wrap. No returns. Just the green you want for what you need down the road.
• And, importantly, you can choose when and where to spend your gift money without worrying about store credits or misplace receipts. This allows you the freedom to do many things: save for a larger goal, shop at your own pace from more unique stores, buy locally and support your community’s small businesses and local artists
6) YBD: How does using your service simplify the registry process for the engaged couple?
DAG: Our goal is to offer the most fun, flexible, hassle-free experience possible to both user and guest:
• You don’t have to work so hard to ‘spread the word’ about what you want. A Deposit a Gift wedding website has the cash gift registry ‘baked in’ amongst the rest of the wedding details. So you can circulate the site to your guests comfortable that you are sharing valuable information that they need about the wedding, but also that the registry you most want them to use is easily accessible in a subtle way.
• You don’t need to spend hours in a store or online picking out gifts
• You don’t have to worry about misplacing credits or stores going out of business
• You don’t need to agree with your partner about everything you are picking out
• No one needs to spend their weekend returning gifts
• There are no returns, no space constraints
• Guests traveling from afar don’t have to worry about transporting gifts
• If you have guests coming from another country, receiving cash gifts through Deposit a Gift can help ensure that you don’t lose money on depositing foreign checks or contending with exchange rates
• You don’t have to worry about any of the gifts getting lost or misplaced on The Big Day. Plus it’s a convenient option for guests who want the ease and security of paying with credit card.
• It’s perfect for showers too! We offer a printable gift certificate at checkout that guests can use if they want to bring a gift to the party. There is also a time delay option so that the user won’t be notified of the gift until after the shower. Find more tips by clicking here.
7) YBD: What tips or advice do you have for engaged couples preparing their registry?
DAG: TOP 5 REGISTRY TIPS:
1. Create at least 1 registry, not more than 3. If you are among the couples that feel uncomfortable ‘asking’ for gifts, try to shift your focus and keep in mind that you are not ‘asking’ for anything. A registry is an idea list that relieves guests of guess-work and stress, and is anything but a list of demands. It’s good to give your guests choices, so 2-3 registries is a typical sweet spot, while not being overwhelming.
2. Don’t have separate registries per event. There is only 1 thing happening here: you are getting married. When you register, you are creating gift lists for this occasion in its entirety and these registries may be used for everything from an engagement party to a bridal shower to a bachelorette party. Don’t let semantics confuse you…some stores call it a wedding registry, some a bridal registry, some a gift list, but they are all the same thing.
3. Make it fun -- think like a gift-giver! Although this is your moment, you’ll fare better if you keep your guests in mind. This does not mean that you should stress about what they’re thinking, you’ll think, they’re thinking and all of that emotional head garbage! Thinking like a gift-giver means: What do you like to give as a gift? If you’re like most, you want to give something special that you’ll be remembered fondly for. So whether you’re making a registry to update your kitchen or registering for a new home fund, try to create a list of special gift items that feels personal and is fun for guests to shop from.
4. Keep it simple and all in 1 place. Many guests struggle just to keep up with the details, book hotels and manage flights, let alone make sure they buy you a nice gift. The last thing you want is for the registry to add to their confusion. Today wedding websites are easy, often free and the perfect tool to stay organized: Fill them with all the wedding details, including the registry information so guests have it handy. The wedding website URL can be included on an invitation insert or emailed as appropriate.
5. Online availability is key: Make sure to have at least 1 registry with an online shopping option so guests can just click and go. You’ll be surprised how many gifts are bought the night before or the day of the event.
8) YBD: What is one thing you want everyone to know about Deposit a Gift?
DAG: Deposit a Gift is the service to use when you prefer cash gifts.
If you have any questions that you would like to ask Dana directly, she can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her: http://www.twitter.com/DepositaGift Keep up with Deposit a Gift’s news: http://www.facebook.com/DepositaGift