Erin Weed, a Boulder-based entrepreneur, is using Kiln as her hub while she builds her business, The Dig. She’s dedicated her career to helping professionals communicate more efficiently, and she lights up Kiln Boulder with her experiential artwork (photo above!), authenticity, and energy.
The Dig is a process that helps leaders clarify and simplify their purpose and put it into words. In a way, it exists as a culmination of Erin’s personal and professional learnings on communication, speechwriting, leadership, and purpose. For this very reason, we can’t tell the story of The Dig without telling Erin’s story first.
Erin’s professional career began, like it does for many of us, out of college. But, it looked a little different than she had always imagined. When Erin lost a close friend to homicide in college, she turned her focus towards teaching women’s safety and self-defense strategies. In essence, she took a challenging message and connected with a wide audience who didn’t necessarily want to talk about this tough topic. Her first company, Girls Fight Back, taught seminars at schools and colleges across the world. Erin became a public leader, speaker, magazine columnist, author, and spoke to one million people in a decade at live events. Her platform was huge.
From Girls Fight Back, Erin learned the facets of communication, which rely on clarity, competence, and connection. Soon, she started helping experts refine their messages on topics that had nothing to do with women’s safety. She volunteered at TedX Boulder, and worked with TED speakers, who despite being experts in their fields, struggled to give high-impact short talks. In essence, the methodology that Erin developed while helping these professionals was the inspiration for The Dig.
The Dig exists because as students, we’re never really taught how to distill our purpose. To write a worthwhile speech, Erin starts by having her clients talk about their lives. She draws out macro level themes through a process of pattern recognition. These themes help streamline storytelling about the past and even hold clues about the future.
Since moving into Kiln, Erin has begun creating experiential sticky-note art, which lines her office space with vibrant color and inspirational messages. From across the room you see words, but as you move closer, you see whole life stories depicted on sticky notes. This art installation exists functionally as a way to practice pattern recognition, and artistically, to assemble the stories of people’s lives into themes and unique operating systems.
Erin, alongside many entrepreneurs who work at Kiln locations, is scaling her business. She’s also taking advantage of Kiln Boulder’s close proximity to, and partnership with, the Boulder Creative Collective as she explores the relationship between The Dig and art. She says, “I moved into Kiln to have reliable internet, but what I found was just a really supportive group of positive individuals. What I’ve gotten out of Kiln is a community that really relates to the work I’m doing.”