On Christmas eve, we sat down with Karina Calvert-Jones and Lindsey Miles, founders of Whilo—the exceptional new gift app that takes the guesswork out of gifting to ensure you give (and get) the perfect gift, every time. With the holiday upon us, here’s a glimpse into the lives of the fabulous women who have made thoughtfullness easy by refining the way we exchange gifts with those we love.
Karina Calvert-Jones, Co-Founder & Advisor of Whilo
In the spirit of gratitude, how does Whilo shape the notion of giving and receiving gifts? With Whilo you should never have to give or get another crappy gift ever again. Providing your family and friends are using the app, you should be able to buy or receive something for them from their lovelist. Just jump on their profile and choose a gift within the price range that you want to spend and simply buy it for them with just a few clicks. No need to stress about what to buy or where to shop for it. It’s really so simple.
Please share a cherished memory involving a holiday gift you either gave or received. I recently visited my 97-year-old grandmother in her nursing home and I was so thrilled to see her enjoying the cashmere throw blanket we brought her. She instantly wrapped it around herself, despite the heat wave we are having. It looked like a big, soft hug. It was wonderful to see her so happy.
Where do you stand on wrapping gifts–love it or hate it? Who doesn’t love a beautifully wrapped gift? But I’m always the one who asks to get my gifts wrapped at the store because I loathe doing it myself. I often have to unwrap them again to remember what’s inside and who it’s for!
How do you decorate your home during the holidays? We always get a fresh tree and pull out our collection of decorations that we’ve amassed over the years. I look forward to the Christmas-scented, festive candles that make the house smell amazing—I especially love the Dyptique candles trending on Whilo right now.
How do you exchange gifts with your family? Do you have a fun tradition? We usually all sit around the Christmas tree–it’s wild and frenzied and fun. It’s a day of gluttony!
What’s your most favorite item on your Whilo wishlist at the moment? I’m loving the idea of the big, organic cotton tent for 8-10 people. I also recently found a vintage 1962 Mercedes that popped up on trending. Hey, you never know, right?
We can all agree that giving and receiving a bad gift, sucks. Just for fun, what’s the worst gift you ever gave (or received)? Ha! I have a few but my all-time worst was the bathroom scale I got for Christmas one year–yes, true story! Last year my family gave me a bread maker for Mother’s Day. It’s still in the box! But I have been guilty as well—I gifted a friend the same exact key ring two years in a row, which was embarrassing. It was my go-to gift from Henry Cuir leather goods. I’d bought a few and would grab one when I was short on time or ideas.
As we bring 2016 to a close, what are your personal highlights? Launching Whilo with Lindsey has been a highlight, for sure. Watching a dream become a reality has been incredible. It’s been such a fantastic journey.
Lindsey Miles, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Whilo
What does the notion of “giving” mean to you during the holiday season? One of the things we lack most in my family is time—so during the holidays, spending time with one another along with family and friends is the biggest gift we can give to ourselves and each other. Of course, Whilo has been a life saver, doing all our gift shopping within minutes, then closing our devices to get back to the fun stuff–cooking, drinking, eating and playing games together.
Where do you stand on wrapping gifts–love it or hate it? As long as I am not doing it at 12-am on Christmas eve (which I’ve done too many times to admit), I love it. With the luxury of time, I enjoy a good wrapping session with Christmas music playing in the background, a freshly-lit fire, and a lovely glass of wine.
What brings you the most joy on Christmas? The absence of urgency—to be able to sit around all day with nothing to accomplish other than spending time talking with loved ones. Then coming together to cook a fantastic feast for the evening where we all eat and drink for hours on end with no cares in the world. These are the moments when time stops and pure joy fills the house.
What is your most favorite item on your Whilo wishlist at the moment? We just featured a ski-list by the incredibly fashionable Lisa Ruffle. She posted a pair of suede hiking boots from Tabitha Simmons that are stunning. I’m would love to receive them!
What is the most gratifying gift you gave through Whilo this holiday, and to whom did you give? Using Whilo has brought gratification by allowing me to gift what I know someone will love—as opposed to what I love and hope they love too. I bought my husband a piece of Italian luggage that he has been oohing and aahing over for nearly a year. To make the gift a bit more gratifying and personal, I’ve created a scavenger hunt, guiding him to its hiding place inside the 1978 Volkswagen bus in our garage, which happens to be how we met—I sold it to him 10 years ago on Craigslist. I love a good hunt for presents. What’s better than a thoughtful game that leads you to a present you really want?
It is often said that “It isn’t how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Please explain how a gift app like Whilo, can help spread the love. This is so true. I think presents should truly be about the other person loving the item, not about how much we like the item ourselves. This is where Whilo comes into its own. People can now gift things they know the other person will truly embrace—even with clothing, thanks to sizes saved in their personal profiles. In my opinion, the time saved not having to trudge through stores to guess the right gift, should instead be spent on thoughtful cards or homemade presents. I’m also really excited to launch our charitable arm within the app, allowing users to gift those in need.
As we bring 2016 to a close, what are your personal highlights? Launching Whilo was a huge moment for me and the fantastic Whilo team this year. Like most start-ups, we’ve had our struggles and setbacks but we’re so proud of what Whilo has enabled people to achieve this holiday season. It’s been such an exciting year!
By Hilary Boyajian
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