Kansas Citians can now get same-day delivery from the city’s largest local marketplace through afloat — a gifting app by one of the metro’s leading startups that allows community members to pick out and send neatly-packaged goods to their loved ones, said Sarah-Allen Preston.
“We have always been huge fans of Made in KC, and many of our users requested a partnership on the platform,” said Preston, who co-founded afloat alongside Laura McKnight and Olivia Lynn. “We were honored to meet with them and make it happen.”
Click here to read more about afloat, which was named one of Startland News’ Kansas City’s Startups to Watch in 2022.
The afloat app officially launched Feb. 1 in Kansas City and Dallas with dozens of retailer partners across the cities.
“We are so excited to be live in both cities; and it has been so gratifying to see relationships being easily celebrated and local retail being supported,” Preston said. “We have been amazed by the traction and look forward to continued growth.”
In both Kansas City and Dallas, afloat has a waiting list of small businesses partners, Preston noted. Knowing that a partnership with one of Kansas City’s most well-known marketplaces would complement afloat’s mission, the afloat team reached out to Made in KC — a curator and retailer of Kansas City-made products with shops, cafes and marketplaces across the metro.
Made in KC is continually looking for the opportunity to collaborate with other businesses who align with its values, said Keith Bradley, co-owner of Made in KC.
“We also like afloat’s care and attention they put into the process,” Bradley said. “They are really trying to elevate and make convenient same-day gifting and give Kansas City another avenue to show their love and appreciation for others.”
Made in KC curated six bundles and care packages featuring products for an evening of barbeque or day of self-care. The packages range from $50 to $98 and are now available on the afloat app.
“The bundles they’ve created exclusively for afloat from local curators make the gifts extra meaningful,” Preston said. “… We definitely see this as a strategic partnership. We hope to be the avenue where KC locals send gifts — or out-of-towners send gifts to locals — when they can’t make it to the store but want to make a gift meaningful and local, as well as convenient.”
Other Kansas City-based retailers on the afloat app include: Sierra Winter Jewelry, Lemon Squeezy, Learning Tree, The Little Flower Shop, Swoon Cookies, J. Rieger & Co, KC Hemp Co., Scissors & Scotch and more.
More partners, app features and special deals are in store for 2022, Preston teased, noting her gratitude for the community support thus far.
“Honestly, we have been blown away at the feedback,” Preston shared. “People love afloat’s mission of celebrating everything and supporting local; and we love hearing how much they enjoy using the app. We have also heard such positive things from all of our retailers — it’s a big love fest!”
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This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.