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What are the challenges you’ve faced and overcome to reach this pedestal and contribute to Canada's economy?

While there were many challenges as an immigrant such as communication barriers, fitting into the Canadian culture, and motivating employees, the major one was “How to share knowledge with the right audience”. Educating people by means of digital platforms (as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) is difficult in today’s noisy world. With the average attention span as low as 5 seconds, it’s difficult to create “edutainment” (education + entertainment). Especially when competing against big giants like Amazon, Etsy, PMall, etc., who are promoting their products as “Best gifts”, “Perfect gifts”, and “Top 10 gifts”. Moreover, since our message was based on human psychology, it was difficult to garner interest as psychology isn’t everyone’s area of interest.

The first step in making our knowledge simple and easy to consume was by converting the psychological attributes of gift-giving into actionable steps. Therefore, we laid down a last-minute gifting checklist that people can follow to brainstorm a perfect gift for each and every receiver. And although these 4 steps were research-driven, they were converted into thought provoking questions and examples that helped people find gifts in less than 5 minutes. And the best part was - it worked for all age groups, demographics, ethnicities, etc.

Soon, we started receiving requests for product recommendations as there wasn’t a website or shop which offered products that fit these attributes. This was when we launched the e-commerce side of GiftAFeeling, where all the gifts were proven to be loved as they fulfilled these psychological attributes. Over the span of 1 year, we have created over 50 jobs in Canada covering the domains of psychology, research, design, IT, content writing, blogging, sales, marketing, HR, recruitment, and many more. The biggest success was hiring interns and co-ops; especially in the psychology and research area where students have the most difficulty in finding jobs or even entering the industry. GiftAFeeling has solved this problem by providing a platform to psychology students by offering them training and internships as they are pursuing their studies. Along with this, we have increased sales not only in Canada, but globally - contributing to the Canadian economy. Furthermore, GiftAFeeling has partnered with local Canadian firms, shops, and organizations to fulfill the orders. This has not only helped the Canadian customers to get their orders from local vendors, but also helped the hard hit vendors who lost a huge chunk of their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, although the last-minute gift-giving checklist solved the problem of finding gifts, there was now much more that people wanted to learn; experiments, research, ideas, stories, and proof behind the research. Thus, we launched our blog platform - “Shared Secrets'' where our researchers and psychologists published their experiments, knowledge, and work. While there is still a lot to share on gift giving, I am proud of the entire GiftAFeeling family that has formed and what we have achieved together in just a span of 1 year.

Please describe how your company demonstrates measurable success as a business and as an employer.

The following are the five aspects that our company has displayed success with:
  • Educating People, Impacting Lives: We have accomplished the goal of educating people by giving a Ted Talk on the 4 step process of finding a perfect gift and sharing this knowledge on a bigger scale through TV and news outlets like CNBC, Ticker News, Wall Street Select, USA Today, LA Business Podcast, etc. and have been published in Exceptional People Magazine, Business Digest Magazine, etc. While there is much more on the way, we believe we have sown the seeds perfectly.
  • B2C Growth: What differentiates us from competitors in terms of selling personalized gifts is legitimacy through means of research. Unlike all our competitors - globally, not just in Canada. Therefore, we believe that for every product sold to a customer, we have helped an individual in not only finding the perfect gift, but also saved them from getting trapped by false promotions and offerings. We have not only sold, but have received 6,289 five star reviews from the individual customers we served in the first year of existence
  • B2B Growth: When it comes to gift-giving, it’s not only limited to individuals, as organizations also make a big percentage. The goal of both the individuals and corporations, when it comes to gift-giving is the same - “forming and strengthening relationships”. We help corporations achieve their employee retention and employee recognition goals by offering them research-driven promotional products, corporate gifts, customized merchandise, and much more.

    In the very first year of existence, we have served big customers like University of Alberta, University of Windsor, University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Obliquity Club, etc.
  • Continuous Research & Development: Research and development is the root of our business, that’s how it all started. Thus, continuous R&D - not only in terms of psychology & the gifting domain, but also in terms of technology is another major pillar of our company. We have been successful in publishing our knowledge in a book - Unearthing the Gift which became a #1 Bestseller in Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, UK, and USA; and finally, the #1 Global Bestseller on Amazon, the world’s biggest marketplace for books.

    Moreover, GiftAFeeling is successfully building a revolutionary 3D personalization feature - introducing revolutionary 3-d personalization This will revolutionize e-commerce personalization not only for GiftAFeeling, but for the entire world.
  • New Jobs: Over the span of 1 year, we have created over 50 jobs in Canada covering the domains of psychology, research, design, IT, content writing, blogging, sales, marketing, HR, recruitment, and many more. The biggest success was hiring interns and co-ops; especially in the psychology and research area where students have the most difficulty in finding jobs or even entering the industry. GiftAFeeling has solved this problem by providing a platform to psychology students by offering them training and internships as they are pursuing their studies - psychology researchers Along with this, we have increased sales not only in Canada, but globally - contributing to the Canadian economy.

How has your firm contributed to the Canadian start-up culture and created new jobs?

  • Pioneer Canadian R&D In A New Direction:GiftAFeeling is a highly recognized thought leader and also a leading R&D company in the gifting arena around the globe. Its leadership and innovation has led to a Ted Talk invitation, appearances on TV and many new outlets, and publications in magazines like Exceptional People Magazine, Business Digest Magazine, etc. Some other R&D, outside of the gifting domain is the revolutionary 3D personalization technology - introducing revolutionary 3-d personalization

    All this has not only made GiftAFeeling a leader in the gifting domain, but also, Canada. This has given a new direction to the Canadian startup culture in terms of investing in the R&D and how to leverage that in selling. Moreover, it has acted as a pioneer for other new entrepreneurs to work towards finding and solving bigger problems by going deeper into the root cause. Furthermore, it has provided a blueprint to new companies on how they can educate people through various means even on topics like psychology.
  • Creating Jobs:GiftAFeeling has created jobs in all domains - psychology, research, design, IT, content writing, blogging, sales, marketing, HR, recruitment, and many more. Amongst these, the biggest success is hiring interns and co-ops; especially, in the psychology and research area where students have the most difficulty than all other fields to find jobs or even enter the industry. GiftAFeeling has solved this problem by providing a platform to psychology students by offering them training and internships as they are pursuing their studies. Some of the interns/co-ops were from University of Western Ontario, McMaster, and universities in Vancouver, among the many others.

    Moreover, job opportunities were not only limited to Canada as interns from Italy, Netherlands, India, Pakistan, United States, etc. were also employed. Finally, GiftAFeeling is one of the fastest growing companies in Canada and is constantly expanding the teams in sales, marketing, technology, design, and many others by 3 times going forward. Within the first year of existence GiftAFeeling has hired 50+ employees from around the world with the majority of hires being from Canada.
  • Solved Problems For Canadians - No More Importing From The USA:
    • Organizations One of the biggest challenges that Canadian firms and organizations face is finding a Canadian partner which can provide promotional products and customized merchandise with 100% brand integrity, high visibility, and less headache. Most of the orders before GiftAFeeling was established, were fulfilled by importing from China and USA. GiftAFeeling has solved this problem by providing the right portfolio of products based on research, offering 1,000+ products with full brand integrity, and relieving the pressure of getting items on time by providing a top notch service all from locals in Canada. Some of our recent customers include University of Alberta, University of Windsor, University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, Obliquity Club, etc.
    • Individuals Apart from the B2B, GiftAFeeling has been close to Canadian citizens by working with charities, small and mid-sized businesses, and direct consumers by means of social media channels. GiftAFeeling has partnered with local Canadian firms, shops, and organizations to fulfill the orders. This has also provided a blueprint for other Canadian startups on how they can leverage local Canadian businesses and shops, along with how to optimize the supply chain locally.

What initiatives has your business put in place during the pandemic to support your local community and your clients?

  • GiftAFeeling has partnered with local Canadian firms, shops, and organizations to fulfill the orders, globally. This has not only helped Canadian customers to get their orders from local vendors, but also helped the hard hit vendors who lost a huge chunk of their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • GiftAFeeling was also involved in sponsoring and supporting charities, especially when things turned virtual. Some examples are the Brain Walk (Toronto), SickKids, Big Bike Giveaway, etc. Moreover, the returned items are donated to a charity of the customer’s choice, and any damaged apparel is donated to an appropriate location if possible or recycled for use of the raw materials.
  • Offering a Canadian marketplace service where small shops, solopreneurs, etc. can go virtual and set up their shops on our ecommerce platform. Some examples are:
  • Helping Canadian startups and small businesses by providing them small quantities of customized products in a timely manner and a cost effective way. From a single personalized product to 50,000 in bulk, we do it all fully in Canada while most of our competitors import from China and USA.
  • Of the many benefits we offer to Canadian employees, a cool one is below:
    “Share the warmth!” - as our tagline says, not only do our customers share the warmth through personalized gifting, but also our employees, especially Canadian employees. Gift giving is all about sharing the wholesome and ecstatic feelings, thus, all the employees at GiftAFeeling, get a free personalized gift of their choice for all of their immediate family members. The popularity and success of this benefit was so big that during Christmas 2021, personalized gifts shipped to Canadian employees made 16% of the total personalized products shipped by GiftAFeeling during the holiday season.
  • Pioneering in Sustainability: Sustainability is not a mere tagline; it is a mantra for us at GiftAFeeling. We do not mislead customers into thinking we’re sustainable—aka greenwashing—we strive for a sustainable and greener environment through our actions, products, and recycling. Read to see the steps we take to ensure a greener environment and benefiting all Canadians - sustainable section


Yash Patel,
Founder & COO
GiftAFeeling Inc.




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