A curated digital collection of gifts with a built-in search function, San Francisco-based Wantist is taking the guesswork out of buying presents for the people in your life. It can be especially useful for those who might be uninspired about shopping but want to give a creative gift.


3 Startups Rethinking the Business of Gifting


This San Francisco-based service seeks to reinvent the experience not only of giving a gift but of receiving one. Like Wantist, the Wantful website offers an assortment of gift items to choose from. The buying part is where things diverge.

What's innovative: Shoppers select 12 items from the collection -- which is heavy on housewares, jewelry and other accessories -- that they think a recipient will enjoy. Wantful then custom-prints a photobook showcasing those 12 items and ships it to the recipient, who can choose one to receive as a gift.


A subscription service that allows you to receive gifts from people and companies you find interesting, Hollywood, Calif.-based Quarterly is about broadening your horizons while treating yourself to something special.

What's innovative: Each gift is a surprise. You choose to which contributors you'd like to subscribe, and every three months you'll receive a special package from them at your door. Contributors in the Quarterly stable include Timothy Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek, writer Joshua Foer, Kottke.org's on Kottke and the women behind venture-backed online food community Food52.


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