Finally! New Web Site Let's You Buy Hard-To-Find Gift Cards

You know that secret home store that you're just dying to share with your best friend? Or that Roscoe Village wine bar that the boss has to try out. The holidays are the best time to share your favorite go-tos with loved ones/employers/in-laws, but finding a gift card to the spot in question can be nigh-high impossible — a problem that led Kara Kaplan and Jennifer Morris to found GiftBar, the first, super-curated Chicago gift card marketplace that hooks you up with some debit at everywhere from high-end restaurants to men's clothing boutiques. Once you purchase your new card (which can be applied to any of the merchants participating on the site), it can be delivered via email, text, or snail mail. Now, that's setting the holiday wish-list, err, bar, very high.
Oh, and did we mention we had a mini Q&A with Kaplan and Morris?
What inspired GiftBar?
"The inspiration for GiftBar came from a personal gifting experience. When one of Kara's best friends moved to the suburbs, she tried to purchase a gift card for her birthday from her favorite local store near her new home. When she learned that she couldn't purchase one online, Kara tried calling the store only to be put on hold and then learn that she needed to fax in a credit card authorization in order to have it mailed out. By the time it was sent in the mail, it would miss her friend's actual birthday. Kara had to drive to the suburbs the next day to purchase the gift card in person. Frustrated with her experience, she called Jen to vent. They decided that there had to be an easier way to buy gift cards from local merchants. With that thought, GiftBar was born and so was a great alternative to the usual big box gift cards."
What GiftBar cards are you giving this year?
"While there are so many great merchants on our site, our favorite gift card to give would be our 'GiftBar of Choice.' This allows your recipient to easily visit our site, and decide how they want to spend your gift dollars. It really takes the guesswork out of where your friend likes to shop, and allows the recipient to choose their favorite stores, and spread the money around however they choose."
Can you explain the process briefly to our readers?
"Visit and search from a variety of categories including high-end boutiques for women/men/kids, spas, salons, and restaurants. Simply decide on a merchant and the dollar amount to gift and choose when to have your gift card delivered either via email, text, or in the mail. You can also make sure to put yourself on the list this year by creating a gift registry to make gift giving easier for friends and family."
What is the best part about working together?
"Starting a business is one of the hardest things you can do, so to have a partner that you believe in 100% makes it so much easier, and a lot more fun. We know each other so well that we finish each others' sentences, and it doesn't hurt that we always agree on where to eat!"
Image: Courtesy of GiftBar

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