Meet Afloat, Your New Favorite Way to Gift
The Dallas-Based App Makes Shopping Local as Easy as Amazon PrimeBY Caitlin Clark // 02.04.22
The "Shake Me Up" set from Madre, $121 on Afloat
"A True Thank You" bouquet from Pointer's Petals, $115 on Afloat
The "Wine and Coffee (Table)" set from Madison 214, $251 on Afloat
The Heather Pajama Lounge Set from Sur La Vague, $105 on Afloat
A taupe shagreen lacquer backgammoon set from Madison 214, $1,150 on Afloat
Gifting is an art form. To truly nail the feel-good gift experience, it’s not necessarily about what you’ve bought, but the care that goes into finding it. Maybe the present has a meaningful backstory, or it was sourced from a gorgeous local shop — either way, it comes with a story all its own. It’s that level of thoughtfulness that Sarah-Allen Preston wants to harness with Afloat, an on-demand gifting app that launched in Dallas this February.
The easy-to-shop platform is all about connecting you with local names to know. Open the Afloat app on your phone and you’ll immediately discover giftable goods from Jojo Mommy, Nicholson Hardie, Saint Bernard, Madison 214, and Madre. Grab a “Morning Journaling” set from Dallas juice shop The Gem, a floral bouquet from Pointer’s Petals, handmade jewelry from Madison McKinley, or go all in on an Afloat-curated gift box filled with locally-made goods. With just a few taps, a thoughtful gift is on its way — delivered in Dallas that same day or the next.
To work, Afloat — which handles tech support and logistics when it comes to delivery — needed to have a hands-on founder. Preston, an SMU graduate and former event planner, was up for the task. “I’m such a people person,” Preston tells PaperCity. “I love the local stores and the energy of Dallas. I just started having conversations.” She got to know small business owners on a more personal level and took their recommendations on who to connect with. “This initial group we’re launching with was put together mostly through word of mouth,” she adds.
Afloat combines the ease and swiftness of Amazon Prime with the feel-good nature of shopping local. Perhaps best of all, it makes it easy to find a reason — big or small — to gift. “That’s really what gifting is about,” Preston says. “The reinforcement of a true relationship and connection.”
Download the Afloat app here.