It all began in the first lockdown..
In April 2020, colleagues and tourism professionals, James Fitzgerald, Alex Howard and Melissa Heath were facing the prospect of redundancy thanks to having zero international visitors to New Zealand for the foreseeable future. With much uncertainty the trio came up with a unique concept for turning Kiwi’s into experience gift givers, and supporting so many struggling tourism businesses.
Over the lockdown and many zoom calls the 3 perfected a concept that allows the gift buyer to choose the amount they want to spend, and the recipient to choose whichever experience appealed to them the most. It would all then be packaged up in an exciting physical gift, so the joy of gift giving isn’t replaced by a sad PDF voucher. What word best captures the feeling when the buyer nails the gift and the recipient cant wait to use it? Chuffed.
The team behind Chuffed Gifts – Melissa, Alex and James – in our office in Tauranga.
As soon as the first lockdown finished Alex hired a motorhome and travelled the North Island in 2020 pulling partners into the vision, while Melissa tirelessly worked to create the online and visual presence of Chuffed Gifts, and James figured out how to find customers and fulfil any orders.
By November 2020 the initial partner network was established, a website built, and exciting physical gifts created – so we put the word out.
The results were instant – people loved the concept, filled our inboxes with ideas, and, most importantly, started to buy Chuffed Gifts for friends, family, colleagues and clients. Christmas turned out to be a the best time to launch a business like this!
As 2021 rolled around, we got a bit more serious. We moved off the kitchen tables and into our first office in- the Tauranga CBD. Alex was back in the campervan, this time recruiting experience partners all over the country, and we were putting serious thought into how we can create the perfect gift for everyone.
We’ve now built a national partner network of over 250 businesses, providing over 1000 experiences across our range of gifts, have a very loyal customer base, and have tens of thousands of happy gift buyers & receivers, all over the world! We even picked up an award in the emerging business category of the Tauranga business awards at the end of 2022.
But Chuffed Gifts is still just getting started!
Thinking back to April 2020 it brings us so much joy seeing the number of New Zealand tourism businesses who are now benefitting from the gift giving market through Chuffed, and the idea we had at such a low point for the industry is actually making a real difference.
Stay tuned- as we expand our gift and partner range and produce products suitable for any gifting occasion.
Stay tuned – we think we can make a big difference.
We can gift better
Chuffed is on a mission to change gift giving culture in New Zealand with a new type of gifts. We want to rid New Zealand of material gifts and thoughtless gift cards and bring about a change where the best unique gifts are about connecting people, places and businesses and fostering lifetime memories and life changing experiences.
Gift giving should be inspirational and unforgettable both for the gift giver and receiver…. that’s Chuffed’s mission.