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Jessica Lachs is GiftSimple’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. She recently received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a dual major in Entrepreneurial Management and Strategic Management. Prior to Wharton, Jessica was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, where she worked with companies in the technology, retail and service industries. She also holds a BS with honors from Cornell University.
Jessica explains the origin of GiftSimple: "The idea came together from my own gifting experiences and those of my friends. It started at college graduation when my brother asked what he could buy for me. I wanted new luggage, but it was too expensive for him to buy alone. So he organized a group gift from my family and friends to buy the luggage. He complained that the process was a hassle, and I thought to myself, 'there has to be a simpler way.'
Then I heard a friend’s story. She was a schoolteacher and had received a slew of unwanted gifts at the end of the school year from her students. While she appreciated the sentiment, the gifts just ended up in the back of her closet. What she really wanted in her closet was a new Burberry coat, but at $500 it was outside her price range. The following year, she told the class mothers that she would prefer everyone chip in to buy her one large gift—the Burberry coat! And they did! It worked out for my friend, but not everyone is comfortable being so forward.
Finally, when my birthday came around last year, I was elated to receive so many good-wishes and birthday-drink invitations on Facebook. It occurred to me that if I could collect the price of a NYC cocktail from a few friends, it would go a long way towards paying for my new laptop. And GiftSimple was born!” There is no reason to get unwanted gifts or to agonize over what to buy someone. Users are able to purchase the big-ticket items they really want, and gift givers know they helped contribute to a meaningful purchase.