Katy Aucoin, launched dearduck, a platform that elevates the concept of “know your customer” to revolutionize gifting

How did you decide to start your own company? What was the thought process, and what were you doing before?

It seemed like almost everyday I had to make decisions for other people that left me feeling like I was shooting in the dark. Which wine do they prefer? Are they gluten free? What scent makes them sneeze? What should I give them for their birthday? In 2015, I realized that I could combine my background in data analytics with this lifelong passion for the psychology behind gifting to revolutionize gifting. Essentially, I have combined my personal pain point, passion and profession in to a solution that benefits many.

Today, dearduck makes it easier to make the right choices for others — every person in your life, for any reason and every budget — every, single, time.

Take the holidays for example, if your clients are in your dearduck flock & you want to give them a bottle of wine — we send the right wine recommendations directly to your inbox 30/14/7 days in advance so you never have to guess again– we even let you know if you should say Happy Hanukah or Merry Christmas!

We allow retailers to send the right recommendations for your flock. Before dearduck, their only option was to send generalized gift guides around the holiday calendar — such as the gift guide for her on Mother’s Day. It should be the gift guide for your mom at any given point throughout the year.

Katy Aucoin, founder of Dearduck

Describe a perfect day (at work or in your personal life)?

Waking up early, naturally without an alarm. Catching up on emails over coffee & breakfast, outside if the weather is nice.

Going to a great lunch with friends, my favorite in Houston is Tiny Boxwoods. I could stay there for hours — it’s a good thing they don’t have wifi!

Hosting a dinner party with friends and going all out! I love nothing more than making a beautiful cheese board, decorating the table with fresh farm style flowers & setting the table with unique and pretty finds.

In fact, a few years back I hated the thought of having to leave people out just because my table couldn’t seat everyone so I learned how to woodwork — from scratch, thanks dad! — and designed & built my own table that could seat up to 14 people. The wood was taken from the very first bar that my grandfather & dad had their first beers. It’s a great conversation piece for dinner parties and is something that is so special to me.

What is your best advice for other entrepreneurs?

Think about what change you want to see in the world — the product that gets you there may be far from what you originally thought. As you go, look at the data and if its not telling you want you want it to tell you, figure out what will. Don’t be afraid to pivot… find out who needs your product the most and how to make it even better for them. The rest will follow.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Frank (our mascot) is basically me …in the form of a male duck. We share a quirky personality & a passion for giving great gifts!

What’s next for you and your company?

Gifting is hard to get right yet the goal for gifting is vitally important to building and strengthening key relationships. And it is not just hard for families and friends, It is hard for corporations, it is hard for employers, it is hard for brands. Yet, gifting is NOT something people do once or twice a year, it is constant. Whether it is a bottle of wine for a host, an incentive gift from a company to a recruit, a thank you from a corporation to a client, or a thinking of you gesture for a friend or contact, gifting is a constant part of our lives and it carries huge meaning. Because of this it currently is a constant source of stress. We intend to revolutionize gifting and help strengthen all types of relationships by powering experiences that offer the right choices for the right person at the right time.