will partner with Evite

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:04 p.m.

The Gainesville online gift registry service will now have the power of Evite’s 31 million registered users through a partnership the companies announced Tuesday.

The MonkeyWish gift registry will be available starting at midnight tonight to people who send out invitations through the free online service at

MonkeyWish CEO Kristi Hawley Taylor said she expects to add 30 to 40 jobs by the end of the year as a result of the online traffic the partnership is expected to generate for her business. The company has seven employees and interns with an office in the University of Florida Innovation Hub.

“If there’s a golden nugget in the invitation world, this is it,” Taylor said. “They’re really the only player in the invitation game online as far as free invitations go.”

Evite was formed in Los Angeles in 1998. The company says it handles hundreds of millions of responses for 7 million parties and gatherings a year, with 28,000 invitations sent every hour.

MonkeyWish is unique among online gift registries in that it allows users to compile wish lists from any retailer with an online presence. Through affiliate partnerships with 160 retailers, the company gets a share of revenues from sales made from the lists in return for driving traffic to the retailers. Affiliates include major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.

Taylor said MonkeyWish has 25,000 members. She does not share sales figures.

After creating a birthday invitation through Evite, users will have the option of creating a gift registry wish list. Once complete, MonkeyWish will provide a link to embed in the invitation.

“There’s a natural affinity between party hosts, guests, and gifting,” Ed Gross, Evite director of business development and monetization, said in a news release. “At Evite, we’re always looking for ways to enhance the party-planning experience, and we’re delighted to be able to offer MonkeyWish’s gift registry services to our community.”

Taylor, 38, said she got the idea for the online gift registry while shopping during the holidays with her three children at Toys ‘R’ Us. Users can add the MonkeyWish tool to their browser and click to add a product from any website or add items manually. A mobile app is also available to scan UPC codes on products to add them to a wish list.

Taylor worked as a real estate broker and developer before the market crash. Her family is part-owner of Progress Corporate Park in Alachua and she said she was inspired by the innovation of the companies there.

She hired Luis Manuel, a UF computer science graduate, as her chief technology officer and Rob Magary, a Santa Fe College graphic design graduate, as creative director.

Development started in October 2011 and MonkeyWish launched in September 2012. Taylor said they had a surge of business after she appeared on NBC’s Today show on Dec. 6.

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