Words by Tess Becker
An increasingly common practice as people get older is to write notes or prepare gifts for loved ones for future events.
This is something that Art Shaikh experienced firsthand, as he was given the responsibility to deliver these messages and gifts to relatives and other loved ones at his father’s request after his passing.
Art’s father had given him a box filled with family movies, hand-written cards, and old photographs, and even years after his passing, he continued to be there for people. This inspired Art, and he wanted to make the same thing his father did a lot easier and more accessible to everyone, and in came CircleIt.
Art’s goal was never to be an entrepreneur. “I had no intentions of starting a company. I had a very good career working for a big software company out of San Francisco,” Art tells Smiley News. “what I was doing there got me introduced working with people of many different companies. So I learned a lot about customer experience."
This experience would eventually help what he was doing with CircleIt: a service that helps you send cards and gifts to loved ones for any future date or life milestone.
“I'm not doing this to make a paycheck,” Art says. “What joy my family feels when I deliver those things to my loved ones. My mission, if I can bring that joy to the rest of the people and see what that means. Many people may have not lost a loved one but when they do and when they get some of those stuff, the joy that brings to them and it's worth basically betting everything in your life over that.”
In the beginning, they didn’t see much traction, only having about 300 users in the first 10 days about a quarter million in the first year and just two years later they’re projecting over around 5.2 million users.
“It’s still uncharted territory,” Art says. “What I'm building, people have thought about. The idea of doing things for loved ones in the future is nothing new, but the way it has been done hasn't changed in over 100 years.
“If you want to be there for a loved one. If even the kid is there, CircleIt guarantees when the kid gets older or when his 16th birthday is there, or when he's graduating we are going to deliver those things for you.”