Some parents buy baby journals and write all the things their newborn do, say and eat. Other 21st-century parents choose emails as a way to collect special family moments, as this Californian couple did.
The goal is always the same: collecting sweet memories to treasure in the future. Jeff and Stephanie McNeil, a couple living in Waltham who’s been married for ten years, were no different from all the parents looking for a way to preserve the very first days of their first son. Around mid-2014, they realized that their memories were disappearing too quickly.
“There’s a whole host of… smaller memories that are either uninteresting for your friends on social media, or just too personal, or you just forget to track.”
“We didn’t have a good place to put them,” Jeff – now a father of five – said in an interview. “We had these empty baby books… Some of [the amazing things with the kids] ended up on social media, but there’s a whole host of kind of smaller memories that are either uninteresting for your friends on social media, or just too personal, or you just forget to track.”
To solve the problem, Jeff and Stephanie picked SMS as the tool to record their memories and they build a company called Qeepsake (pronounced as “Keep-sake”) around that idea.
The text messaging service they offer is intended to be a sort of virtual friend that asks users questions about their children. On Qeepsake, parents create a profile for each of their children by providing their date of birth or the due date. Then, the system selects a list of age-appropriate questions from its database and send parents a daily SMS asking one question, such as “What was something fun that you did with your daughter today?” or “What are two words that describe your son’s personality?”
“We focus on kids that are newborn to about seven years old, that’s our sweet spot,” Jeff said.
Qeepsake stores answers and photos that parents text back. Users can also text Qeepsake anytime they want to record something. Once they feel they have enough material, they can log on the website, fix any typos and order a book with all the contents they saved over time.
As for pricing, there are three paid membership levels starting at $23 per year. There’s also a free version of the service that asks a question a week. Books start at $29 plus shipping.
Jeff, who works full-time on Qeepsake since late 2015, said that the company has over 100,000 users and over 10,000 paying customers. Currently, they have five employees and a handful of contractors. In September, the company raised almost $878,000 in an equity offering.