Our next interview in the Make Your Life Simpler blog series is with Svetlana from Kindergifts, where guests can pool funds for dream gifts and good causes.
"No one’s too small to make a difference."
1. Svetlana, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am the founder of Kindergifts, an online invitation platform which helps parents simplify gift giving at children’s birthday parties and teaches kids about being kind and helping others.
My background is in the Consumer and Retail industry, having previously worked at Diageo and Tesco.com. I never thought I’d become an entrepreneur although I’d often think about different business ideas. My experience as a mother of two children made me realise that the way we shower our kids with birthday presents has gone out of control.
So, I decided to do something about it and this is how Kindergifts was born.
2. What's your favourite parenting hack?
I always like to give my children options that they can choose from. It alleviates arguments and allows them to make decisions. For example, when they were little, I’d give them 2 - 3 options of what to wear. So, they feel empowered and in control of their choices.
This trickled into other areas of life as well – toys, meals, movies and, occasionally, I overhear them giving each other options while they are playing, which is magic.
3. How does Kindergifts make parents lives easier?
We take away the stress of buying and receiving birthday gifts for both the host and the guests. When you send a Kindergifts party invite, the host can suggest a group gift and a charity chosen by the birthday child. So, it’s easy for the guests to contribute money towards a collective present when they RSVP.
The child gets a dream gift, instead of many, and the rest goes to their chosen charity. So, no more waste and clutter or second guessing.
Also, introducing a charity as part of the birthday celebration is such a nice way to talk to children about being fortunate and helping others. Imagine what the world could be like if one day we’d all choose the gift of giving for our own special day!
4. What 3 people | movements | organisations inspire you?
Greta Thunberg, what a brave girl! An inspiration to all generations with such a poignant message. She is a wonderful role model for children, especially, young girls. I give her as an example to my daughter of how one person can make a difference and should always standup for what they believe in.
One of our amazing charity partners, Little Village and their CEO Sophia Parker, for fighting child poverty in London. They are helping thousands of single mums and working parents with the essentials of life such as clothing, nappies and baby kit for children 0 to 5.
Olio app founders, Tessa and Saasha, for their ambition in tackling a $1Tn food waste problem on a global basis and at scale. It’s a clever app that helps people and businesses share their surplus food with people who need it the most.
5. What are you working on at the moment?
This has been a record year for us in terms of product development. We launched a brand-new version of Kindergifts in January, Virtual Parties in April, Virtual Entertainment in May, now we’re about to launch Charity Fundraisers and, later in the year, we’ll be launching a new invitation module with gorgeous new designs. We want to make it absolutely irresistible for our users to celebrate the “kinder” way.
6. Svetlana, what’s something about you that Google doesn’t know?
Apparently, as a child, I didn’t say much until I was two. My mum was really worried about my language development. Then to her total dismay, I started using some pretty complex words and sentences. We often forget that children are unique and develop at their own pace.
7. What message would you put on a billboard?
8. Where can we connect with you?