Awww, the end of another year. 2013 was truly a great one for us here at NewlyWish and we hope it was the same for you, too. Before we launch full-steam into 2014, we thought we’d take a moment to look back on the year just passed. A lot of sweat, a bit of blood, and a few tears were shed, helping us grow and appreciate all that we have. Above all, we are thankful to our engaged couples, without whom there is no NewlyWish, our boutiques, artisans and brands who provide all of our fabulously unique gift options and, finally, our wonderful community of the wedding industry's finest. All together, you have helped shape our business into what it's become.
With so much excitement this year, it only feels right to do a proper recap, so we thought we'd start a little week in review series that includes our top memorable moments, achievements and things we are thankful for (with appropriate shout-outs, of course). Today, we're chatting about our site upgrades, our new team members, meeting with Marc Andreessen and new merchants we've brought on board.
Launched: NewlyWish 2.0
We spent most of the summer designing a new look, feel and functionality for NewlyWish, reflecting our ‘wish’ list and the great feedback we’ve received from you all. This all culminated in the launch of our ‘new’ site (lovingly dubbed NewlyWish 2.0) which offers a whole new browsing experience chock-full of nifty tools. Here are a few of our favorite features...
Personalized registry homepages
Everything we do on NewlyWish is about personalization and creating a registry that is reflective of your life and style, so it is only fitting that we upgraded our registry homepages to fully reflect our mantra.
Couples can now add their own favorite photos, include a personal message to guests, easily access their unique URL, and set personal preferences, like letting us know if they'd like gifts held until after the wedding and turning on or off email alerts to let them know when something is purchased.
Another nifty feature is the ability to create a registry with one-click. We've started with kitchen starter sets as well as basic whites for linens, and also applied it to our exclusive mix-match tabletop collections we created with brands like Waterford Wedgwood. Pick a collection, and add all the elements to your registry with... wait for it... one click.
Group gifting options
This tool was a long time in the making. Couples can now add big ticket items to their registry, and their guests can contribute any amount they want. Simple and super useful.
Registry Gift Tracker
After getting a number of requests for a full list of everything that was purchased for a couple, we decided to build a feature so folks could access this info within their own registry tools. Our tracker keeps a real-time list of all items purchased, what’s been shipped, what’s in process and who to send a ‘thank you’ note to. Again, simple, but will save you hours when you finally sit down to check ‘thank you’ notes off your list.
2013 also brought some amazing talent to our company. We reunited with our original architect and lead developer, Ian Enders, who moved back to NYC from San Francisco to join us full time as our mighty CTO. The man is a genius and has really honed his craft as one of the most brilliant developers I've met. And that's just the half of it. He's a leader. He's a decisive decision-maker. And he's pretty cool to hang out with.
We also brought on board a new Social Media Director, Lauren Reynolds who went from Fordham graduate school intern to full time NewlyWisher. It might help that she's engaged to be married next month (Congrats L!), but she brings an energy to our group that we love - she's one you want to be around. She's a skilled, hardworking multi-tasker with a smile and we're thrilled to have her on board.
Meeting Marc Andreessen
2013 also brought some exciting opportunities. We were fortunate enough to win the Women 2.0 Pitch Competition which, among other prizes, gave us the opportunity to fly to the Silicon Valley to meet with Marc Andreessen… yeah, well, that was pretty damn cool. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous, but within minutes of meeting Mr. Andreessen we felt at ease and genuinely welcomed. We spent an hour together talking about NewlyWish, the wedding and e-commerce industries and getting to know each other a bit. He gave us some great, tangible advice for our company as well as some intros to folks that could help further the growth of our business. Certainly a first-class experience.
New Merchants Added to our Network
We welcomed five new partners to our growing NewlyWish network - each bringing something unique and adored by our users. They include the artfully created bridal accessories from fashion designer, Nicole Miller; SF-based charity, Samahope which connects doctors in the world's poorest regions and directly funds treatments to help improve lives; Thompaspaul dinnerware and decor, which has proven to be one of our top sellers with their stylish and durable melamine goods; Minneapolis-based jewelry designer Sara Goldfine of SBG Designs, who has certainly added just the right amount of glitz and glam to our bride and bridesmaid gift offerings; and, SpaFinder which gives our couples access to over 20,000 spa and fitness boutiques from around the globe.
And that's a wrap! Thanks for taking a walk down memory lane with us and stay tuned for Part II on Thursday!
Amanda & The NewlyWishers