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Why I started GiftAFeeling

Moving to Canada as a 17 year old teenager with no place to live and without any friends or family in the entire country, after missing a flight in Amsterdam and luggage still in India due to some operations issues in the flight; I was standing alone at the Toronto Pearson Airport with just a handbag and some money that could get me a taxi and a couple of days at a hotel. It was then that I became an observant - observing a whole new country with a completely different lifestyle, and of course a different language. Although, one thing that remained the same was human psychology - people here were laughing at similar jokes, they had similar responses and emotions to different situations. And with time, my observations on the similarity in brain psychology got even stronger as I cut-short my education and started working at a bank as an IT Innovation Lead. At this time, I was entering into my 20’s when I started mentoring younger people with career advice and helping the older ones with their life problems, mostly on dealing with emotional intelligence - the simpler ones on a daily life basis, not as a psychiatrist.

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." -Carl W. Buechner

On a regular day at the bank, while one of my teammates was retiring, I was given the responsibility to buy gifts; and as simple as it sounds now it was equally difficult to think what to buy. Just like anyone would do, I pulled out my phone and searched on Google, read a few blog posts and watched a few videos, and I believed I had gained a fair understanding of choosing a decent gift. But as soon as I opened Amazon, Etsy, and a few other sites, my mind went blank. Just one question arose - “How can I possibly apply those blogs' knowledge into choosing a product?” And much to my surprise, it was not only me who was still struggling with choosing a gift every time an opportunity came, but it was everyone. Time and again I kept hearing these questions among friends groups, on social media, and everywhere; especially around Christmas time.
As COVID-19 pandemic hit, and I switched to work from home, I started to spare some time to research online and connect with some psychologists researching these topics. Soon myself and a few psychologists gained some momentum and found the root cause of this; not much to our surprise the science was hidden in the human brain itself. Although, it’s all about the feelings and emotions, together we nailed down a few practical attributes of a perfect gift that if fulfilled successfully, would guarantee that the gift would be well received.

Having spent years working with clinical psychologists, studying research from Association of Consumer Research, UCBerkeley, BBC, and so on., it is found that there are four common attributes of gifting that tends to evoke chemicals relating to happiness in the human brain. These attributes are:

1) Personalization
2) Usefulness
3) Experience, and
4) Long-term satisfaction

These four attributes are certain to spark the feelings and emotions of happiness, wholesomeness, and contentment if done right. And as I like to put it - “These four attributes are the secret compounds to spark the right chemicals in your brain, whether it’s for you or anyone else - they never miss”

We started off educating people on these through various means including Zoom conferences, writing blogs as well as utilizing all social media platforms. Although my other mates were fully focussed on sharing just the content, I kept debating if we have really solved the problem. Eventually, this is what everyone else has been doing - educating through blogs and then ordering from Amazon. I had been through this before when buying a gift for a retiring colleague where there wasn’t any interface between the content consumption and the practical application. Thus, after also receiving a lot of requests and questions from people, I decided to create a platform to bridge this gap between learning and buying and named it “GiftAFeeling”. Feeling, because that’s what it really is.

However, a short note to break this thought cycle of what many people think what GiftAFeeling is, which is “it’s a gift e-commerce store”, I would rather say that it’s a learning platform where you can learn anything and everything relating to “The Science of Gifting” on a practical manner so that you can choose the right gift for your friends and family. And as I always say - I never tell people to buy from GiftAFeeling because I don’t believe anyone can ever get someone to buy from us. I understand that there are a lot of companies out there investing fortunes into their marketing strategies to snach every single penny out of customer’s pockets, but it only takes one badly received gift over all their promises that would mark the downfall of these companies. However, what I believe in and recommend you is to get educated on GiftAFeeling. Learning the Science behind gifting is of utmost importance, not only to gift well, but to also refrain from falling prey to these other giant companies with their fake promises of “Best gifts”.

Conclusively, I created this company which bridges this gap between learning and buying, based on research done on human psychology. With the ​​vision to leave zero questions in the mind of people when they are gifting, our goal is to make gifting as easy as grabbing coffee; no over-thinking or questioning.Our company redefines the word “Gift” as "GiftAFeeling”

And this brings an end to my short story.
So all the best, hope you enjoyed the reading and let it sink in!


Vinayak Mahajan,
Founder & CEO,
GiftAFeeling Inc.

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