The Last Word: Afloat’s Sarah-Allen Preston on Why She Launched Her Dallas-Based Gifting App

“I wanted to be able to make it easier for everyone to bottle that feeling of connection and also amplify it through technology to make it convenient.”

Sarah-Allen Preston
Founder and CEO
.…on why she launched her Dallas-based gifting app, via the Dallas Morning News.

Last year, Dallas Innovates introduced you to Preston just after the SMU grad had launched Afloat, an app that lets users send curated gifts from local retailers with same or next-day delivery. 

Her background as a professional event planner had shown her the value of celebrating milestones, relationships, and holidays. But the trauma of her son’s open-heart surgery, and her eventual divorce, revealed the even more emotional power of what gifts can mean from those who care.

“It was truly the thought that someone was there for me,” Preston told the Dallas Morning News’ Lucy Ladis in an update Tuesday. “I felt connected, I felt cared for. I felt like I wasn’t alone.”

Just over a year after launching, Afloat now has 10 employees, 12,000 users, and connections to 70 local business in Dallas and Kansas City, the DMN reports—and is looking to raise $3 million in growth funding after earlier raising over $1.5 million.

Preston’s startup lists 21 Dallas businesses on its website that partner with Afloat, including Saint Bernard Sports, Stanley Korshak, Talulah & Hess, Nicholson-Hardie, Gardenuity, Boxed Bites, Session Pilates, and Gresham Jewelry

That list could get a lot longer—Preston told the DMN she has 200 businesses on a waiting list as her team works on an upgrade and expansion of the Afloat app.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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