The Los Angeles startup also wants the world to be more mindful around messaging.
We all know about those apps that can turn your cell phone pictures into beautiful albums and picture books. But what about those precious exchanges via text?
Some of life’s most important conversations happen by text, from daily expressions of love to life-changing job offers. But each day we also wake up to an overflow of pings, chats and notifications that can make it tough to pinpoint these special messages. It can be difficult to find and save these moments, as they can easily get lost in the digital clutter of our devices. We also worry that the messages could be deleted forever due to a technology glitch, or, worse, a lost phone.
Keepster aims to safeguard your messages, and even turn them into a journal to remind us how important our digital interactions can be. It gives you the opportunity to save, cherish and reflect on the text messages that matter most to you.
Michael Weisfeld, director of marketing at Keepster, says the company has already built a community of avid users. “They are blown away by the quality of the books and then how special they become once they hold it in their hands, especially when they have made a book commemorating a really special event or a lost love one,” he says.
The idea came about in 2015, when founder Jennifer Simchowitz wanted to curate a year of text messages into a beautiful book for her significant other. The simple and sweet idea took a ton of work; she spent hours scrolling through her phone, and cutting and pasting selected texts into a word document. She then had to cut and glue printed pages into a beautiful red journal. Her partner called it “the gift of a lifetime.”
Six months later she lost a dear childhood friend, and she couldn’t imagine losing all their texts. No matter how seemingly mundane, scrolling through their messages played a part in her healing process. Simchowitz further discovered how invaluable texts could be.
She took her passion for preserving text messages to a Startup Festival in San Francisco, then got accepted to an incubator where she was the only woman in the cohort. Three years later, she launched Keepster as a desktop app that allows mobile users to save, search and organize text messages, and print the best ones into books. Simchowitz began expanding her company and team, including hiring Weisfeld as marketing director.
Weisfeld says Keepster wants to continue growing its community of mindful messagers. “Our biggest challenge is getting people to see the sentimental value in the texts and messages that they have sent over the years,” he says. “Also, once the value is understood … getting over the technical hurdles to download, install and import those messages into Keepster.”
A strong web presence plays a key role in helping new customers learn the ins and outs of Keepster’s capabilities and software. Weisfeld adds that launching with a .co domain has been particularly helpful during startup mode. “As a startup we were trying to keep costs down, so .co was a good option,” says Weisfeld. “It’s a very good option if the .com is taken or too expensive.”
When asked about the company’s most celebrated milestones, Weisfield says bravado is not really part of the Keepster culture. “We are still pretty humble and trying to get the masses to make Keepster books. But, if we were to brag it would be about the enthusiasm and willingness for the customers who ‘get it’ to make volumes of books from their conversations.”
He says Simchowitz and the Keepster team have since preserved many memories throughout their startup journey, as well as lessons that could help any entrepreneur beat the odds: “Don’t cut corners or try half-measures. Work hard … put in the work … and you will reap the benefits.”