Pinterest turns virtual ideas into reality

(CBS News) - Stay-at-home mother of two Kristi Gilbert found inspiration for a recent party, from the centerpieces to the party's tasty treats, on the popular social network website Pinterest.

"CBS This Morning" on Pinterest

The social network acts as a virtual cork board of ideas that allows users to "pin" items they like and share them with followers.

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Gilbert said, "All of a sudden it's given me the confidence to do and try things. ... All the recipes, like the centerpiece ideas, everything I just threw to the board. And like last night when I was preparing the food, I go and the recipes right there, I can link right through it. It just makes it easier."

So easy, in fact that more and more women across the country are turning virtual ideas into reality with Pinterest parties, in which all the foods and drinks are inspired by items seen on the website.

One woman said the parties are an excuse to have some girl time with friends.

Many women say they're addicted to the site - or "pinddicted."

Gilbert said, "It's almost what SportsCenter is to a guy because you can literally sit in front of it and waste an entire day in front of the screen."

The 2-year-old start-up company is one of the fastest growing websites in history with more than 17 million unique visitors last month.

Brian Cooley, editor at large of CNET.com, explained the company is 90 percent comprised of women. "The 25-44 (group) is the strongest age sell," he said. "You're going to like Pinterest if you like things to be pretty easy, because you can very simply click and let a photo speak for itself."

Small business owner Holly Xerri has seen Pinterest's influence on her business. Last December, a photo of her invention, the Camiband, a women's fashion solution accessory that helps when your shirt is cut too low to cover cleavage and to extend a shirt that's too short to cover midriffs, went viral on Pinterest.

One photo of the invention received more than 4,000 "re-pins" on the site and 1,204 "likes." Holly Xerri said, "I had nothing to do with this."

Ray Xerri, Holly's husbnad, says that, after Pinterest caught on to their site their 40 to 50 clicks a day skyrocketed into the thousands.

"It was very big," Holly Xerri said. "Shocking."

Cooley said the site creates opportunities for businesses - and especially small ones - to flourish. He said, "This is a virtually no-cost platform."

Whether for business or pleasure, Pinterest lets women curate their picture-perfect life one pin at a time.

Editor's note: "CBS This Morning" uses Pinterest to share behind-the-scenes images (pictures from our greenroom/set) and newsworthy/top talker moments from the day to share, engage, and build community.

  • Lee Woodruff

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